iPad apps and activities- Part 1

Yesterday, I wrote about struggles we’ve had with deployment, but today I want to look at all the good we’ve accomplished so far. Everyone always wants to know what apps schools are using, so I will give you that list, but I also want to explain what activities I done with them. That is the hard part. There is so much great technology out there, but to make this be all about the learning, this is the key. I have attached the current complete list of apps we use on the iPads. Some are just for me to use as a teacher, like AppStart and EduTeacher, but most are for student use.

As for activities, we began with a tutorial of using the iPad. I couldn’t find one online that started with the basics and moved on, so I had to create that from scratch. Next, we began a researching project. Every student chose a local college, university, or trade school to research. They compiled images using Google in their Camera Roll and then used Popplet Lite to create a graphic organizer of the school. They then used Evernote to write a paragraph about the school and recorded their voices reading the Evernote. Finally, the students showcased their Evernotes and Popplets on the screen for everyone to view, read, and listen.

After we completed this activity, we moved on to an Idiom unit. We showed videos on YouTube introducing the concept of idioms: Ziva from NCIS http://youtu.be/dyd9-8ZYsIA and one other for which I’m still searching. We then read the book More Parts by Tedd Arnold and used some handouts from Read Between the Lines! Learning Idioms by Themes by Mary Conger for Super Duper Publications. If I were to do that part again, I would make a PDF and have the students use Good Reader to annotate the answers. We then read In a Pickle and Other Funny Idioms by Marvin Terban. This was PDFed (is that a word?) and given electronically for the students to follow along. Students were given time to play the idiom game on FunBrain. We discussed the origins of idioms and of course their literal/figurative meaning. Finally, we used the app English Idioms Illustrated by Robot Media SL to show comic strip version of these origins. We were finally ready to begin creating our own comic strips of idioms. I taught the ELLs how to use StripDesign (or in some cases, they taught me!). I then let the kids choose their own idioms (from a pre-researched list) to research. We used the website The Phrase Finder and students began the research. They utilized iTranslate and Google Translate to read their research. They then began looking for images on Google to represent the story of their idioms (or literal meaning) and figurative meaning. Students then created comic strips with Strip Design. I think this turned out really well. Unfortunately, we did lose some student data with a sync problem, but we’re working on making sure that doesn’t happen in the future. I would post their final product, but there were names and in one case, a photo used of all the students, so ethically, I can’t. I am going to wrap this up and continue the description of activities in my next post. Next up, Little Red Riding Hood.

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