Thursday, January 20, 2011

iPod touches rock!

I can only wish at this point that I had a class set or even 4 or 5 iPod Touches for my classroom but in the meantime, I am loving using my own touch and am finding so many great uses. I've downloaded the Robert Munsch collection of books from Tumblebooks that my kids are using during Listen to Reading time. They absolutely love them... although I'm sure part of it is just that they are using Mrs. Malchow's touch... oohhhh.... we have many books on tape and books on CD available in our room.

Today as I was listening to one of my students read I on a whim decided to record her so she could hear herself and have some accountability into how she sounded as she was reading so I pulled out my touch and used the Voice Record app to quickly record her and then played it back to her so she could hear for herself how choppy she sounded. We then practiced reading fluently and I rerecorded her again. She was proud as a peach when she was able to actually hear the difference. :-) What an eye opening moment for this child. So often the kids are so tuned in to their decoding and the story itself that they totally lose sight of what they sound like. This was a a great way for this particular student to self evaluate herself.

I've also found several great apps for my 1st grade son, which I have also implemented into my classroom for individuals with various struggles.The biggest thing is remembering which app was good for which skill and being able to get it into kids' hands quickly without wasting precious learning time. Again, it goes back to my philosophy of having an intended purpose rather than using it for the sake of using it or just for the coolness of it. This summer, I'd like to take screen shots of the various apps and then list what skill(s) each is good for so I can easily access the app and the target skill. Off hand I can't remember the name of the app, but there is one that has been helpful for my kids that struggle with counting by 5s and 2s.
One of my all time faves is Teach Me 1st grade (there is also a Teach Me Kindergarten). I like it because: it covers several skills, I can adjust the settings for what I want my kids to work on, I can set it up for 4 different children, and it will track their progress.

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