Last Tuesday, Room 209 had the incredible opportunity to borrow a class set of iPads from the middle school.
We started out the day by watching videos from Discovery Education to help us review what we learned in earlier years about rocks, minerals and earth processes. With the iPads, each student could stop the video to take notes or "rewind" to hear information again. What we noticed was that we took more notes and learned more when we could each go at our own pace without fear of missing important information while we were writing.
In Math, we worked on problem solving, showing our solutions by using a drawing app. We then imported the drawing into a word processing app and explained our reasoning. Wow! There were some amazing results and we really focused on how we showed our solutions. For the first time in all my years of teaching, the class asked if they could skip recess and keep working on math! I was thrilled, but still made everyone head out for some exercise and fresh air.
In English Language Arts, we dove into the world of digital storytelling. We selected stories we wrote earlier in the year so we could get right to work. Mr. Callahan guided us in finding images that fit the theme of our stories. Once we selected images, we imported them into an app called StoryRobe. With just a little time to go, we found quiet spots in the room and read our stories into the iPad microphones. StoryRobe put it all together and we had a slideshow which acted as a background to our stories. It was strange for many of us to hear our voices on the recordings.
Perhaps the most exciting part of this day was that the adults in the classroom were learning as much as the students. We discovered new uses for the iPads, figured out which apps worked best for accomplishing different tasks, and how we might use them better if we are lucky enough to have a "next time."
Our thanks to Pine Glen's own Mr. Callahan and Mr. Villano from the middle school for allowing us this wonderful learning opportunity.