Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, it's 2011 and we have finished the first half of the 10-11 school year. The iAchieve teachers have had several months to get comfortable with using the iPods in the classroom and we anticipate seeing some great things happening over the next few months.

I have shared a wide variety of things I have seen in the iAchieve classrooms already but wanted to briefly share a couple more ideas our innovative teachers have implemented:

One of our teachers is using the 3rd grade High Frequency Word flash cards we added to the iPods to review syllabication principles. Students open up a flash card in the Doodle Buddy Whiteboard app and use the drawing tools to identify the syllables. Students can then save a picture of their work to Saved Photos.

While working on organizational features of expository texts, one teacher simply had her students Google "Parts of a Book" and directed them to go to the second link on the page. She had done this prior to the lesson so she could identify the best website. The link had several activities for students to work on relating to the different organizational features.

I have seen lots of students putting "Web Clips" on their iPods. A web clip is simply a "short cut" to a specific website. This helps the students easily get to websites that they visit a lot, such as their teacher's SWIFT webpage. To create a Web Clip, simply go to a website, tap the icon with the arrow at the bottom of the page, and select "Add to Home Screen." This will put an icon on the iPod screen that looks much like an app but takes you directly to the website. You can customize the name of your Web Clip if you like.

Several of our iAchieve classrooms have students with varying disabilities and the teachers, aides, and therapists are helping them to utilize the iPods right along with the other students. In one classroom, the students was having difficulty steadying the iPod so she could tap on the screen. With advice from one of her therapists, the teacher added velcro to the back of the iPod and on the cover of a three ring binder. Attaching the iPod to the binder steadied it for the student and also put it at a good angle for her to work with it. Ingenious!

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