At Lower Allen, my kindergarten class is using iPads to help teach students several different skills. I incorporate Daily 5 into my language arts block, and found that iPads are a great recourse to use for every area of Daily 5 (Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing, Word Work, Listen to Reading).
My class is able to use iPads for Read to Self, because we have multiple books on their reading level that they can try to read on the iPad. Students have learned decoding strategies and concepts of print. The use of iPads for Read to Self keeps my students engaged and excited to read new books.
We use the same books for Read to Someone. Students share an iPad with a partner and take turns reading a story from the iPad to each other. Also, we have an app with sight words that students can take turns reading words to each other.
Students are able to use iPads for Work on Writing. We have several apps such as Doodle Buddy, popplet lite, Toontastic, and Sock Puppets that students enjoy using to create a picture. Students then write about the picture they created. Students will, at times, use the iPad to write the sentence, label pictures, or they will make the picture on the iPad and write on paper. My class really enjoys using the cut-up sentences to put words together in a sentence. Students originally began using iPads for Work on Writing to practice forming letters.
Word work has really changed students’ learning, and I’ve seen an earlier success with some reading skills. I feel the use of iPads in the classroom has positively impacted student learning. Students are able to make words (Magnetic ABC), manipulate sounds (Magnetic ABC, pocket phonics, or Little…for Kids), make rhyming words (Magnetic ABC and Word Family), and more. Students also enjoy using the multiple Jumbled Sentences apps to put words together in a sentence. Students who need more of a challenge are able to select different levels on several of these iPad apps. Students who need to go back and focus on letters and sounds are able to do so with the iPads. We use the following apps for letter and sound recognition: AppCrayon, Pocket Phonics, ABC Writing, ABC Tracer, and Magnetic ABC. Students who have mastered letters and sounds still enjoy going back and working with letters.
Listen to Reading is exciting with iPads. Students have several choices of books they can listen to on the iPads. Some books are found in apps such as Storia, and other books are downloaded directly on the iPad. Students can choose to have the words read to them instead of reading by themselves on. Students love to have someone read to them, and iPads give them the opportunity to be read to on a daily basis.
Students are able to work on their instructional level when working on Daily 5. iPads are a huge asset to my classroom, because students are more engaged when using iPads. With the use of the iPads, it is much easier for me to differentiate and meet the students’ needs. My class can easily operate iPads independently, which means uninterrupted guided reading groups.