Teachley Came for a Visit!

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.34.10 PMRachel Labreque from the company Teachley came to visit the Kindergarten kids. Teachley has developed the apps Addimals and Mt. Multiplis. Addimals is the best addition skills app EVER! When using this app the students gain confidence while learning strategies to help them add basic math facts. The students get voice an choice to complete an addition problem. Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.36.50 PMIf the addition fact is 4+2=  the student may choose from four different skills to solve the problem. They may choose to count on,count all (break the numbers up and count single cubes 1,2,3,4,5,6 by touching each cube to see that 4+2=6) doubles and the tens option.  When choosing one of these options, not only are they solving the problem, they are learning life long math skills that will carry them through. One of my students favorites is when the number line practice is available. The problem 4+2= remains on the page and then a number line pops up on the bottom and the student has to use the number line to figure out the answer. If you have not heard of the is app please give it a try! If you register your class for individual 1:1 accounts you can track their data and get reports about their independent skill practice. Visit the website http://www.teachley.comScreen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.34.21 PM

Start Small to Grow BIG!!!

Technology is in almost every classroom I the United States, how do you implement it, where do you start? I am asked all the time, where did you start, how do you know what to do when? The best advice I can give anyone about technology is to start small.

No on can do everything at one time and make it all work. One way to get started is research educational tech blogs, like this one or over at my friend Kristi Meeuwse’s blog iTeachwithiPads. (http://iteachwithipads.net)Then while looking at all the information pick one thing that you would like to incorporate into a single lesson or one part of your day. Find one direction you repeat over and over again. For example, in my classroom it was morning work. I was constantly trying to greet the students, get lunch count done and explain the morning assignment. Not all of the kids come in at one time and I wanted them doing meaningful work that was relevant to our learning that happened the day before or was going to place later in the day.

With one, three, four or a classroom set of iPad’s this was easy for you to do. I used the camera app on the iPad and made a video that explained to the kids what their morning task was. Then I stored that video on YouTube and I linked the URL to a QR code. All I have to do now is make a 10 to 30 second video everyday and my kids are golden in the morning.

This one little change to the way I had my students come and “figure out” how to get their morning done was the little change to my day. I was integrating the use of the iPad and making mornings less stressful for the students and myself. I can now greet each individual student and make sure every child is ready for the day. The students have a smile on their face and their morning work directions are clear and easy for them to understand.

**** If you only have one iPad you can set the iPad up with the video made on that iPad. Have the students go to the one iPad and watch the video you made. This is fewer steps for you as the video will live on that iPad and you do not need to store the video on YouTube, Vimeo or any other storage site. You will no longer need a QR Code or link for the student’s access.

Just remember everyone has to start somewhere. So find that small place and once that one thing is mastered, go find another piece to enhance your day.