I’m very lucky that we have a set of iPads in our classroom for the children to use throughout the day. The iPads always begin as such a novelty for the children and are a hassle as they end up being so overexcited about the fact that they will have the use of an iPad that they can be careless and irresponsible with them. However, after a bit of training, they are a great asset to have in the classroom.
During our first week I spent a lot of time talking about the rules of the iPad. We have a school policy that each child had to read and sign, so as a class we discussed every rule and why it was in place. The main reason for all our rules were to keep ourselves and each other safe so this point was really being hammered home to the children. In the classroom we have our school rules on display and I also put up a set of the iPad rules so that the children can be directed to recheck them during the day if anything isn’t going as it should be.
Below are a few of my favourite apps…
This app allows you as a teacher to view what the children are doing on the iPads in your class. On my iPad I can also lock children out of their iPads, so they can’t use them anymore if they’re not using them properly. I always have this open when the children are doing any work on their iPads, then I can easily keep an eye on what all the children are doing whilst I too can be working with children around the classroom.
Handiest app ever for quick reviews and summaries. Children can create posters on it to review their knowledge. For example this week we were examining rocks in Science and the children made a poster of the three types of rocks, a definition of these types and a picture of a sample below as well. The children enjoy being able to change the font/colours and add in little emojis.
SeeSaw is how we stay in touch with families. Every time the children do a piece of work, I get them to upload it to SeeSaw into the subject folder. Their parents will then be able to see their work and comment on it. Some teachers keep SeeSaw for just the children’s best work but I get them to upload all pieces of work, as I find it helps me for parent teacher meetings to back up the point that they may not be getting much work done in a lesson due to being chatty etc and the parents will have seen proof on SeeSaw.
SeeSaw is also helpful as I can post reminders for PE, tests etc.
This is a reading app which the children adore. The children all have their own accounts and can go on to read for pleasure. They really enjoy it as there is a huge range of books for the children to choose from. The teacher can also create collections of books and send it to the children, so if you are researching a certain topic you can put a collection of books together for the children to do their research from.
I love having iPads in the class as I feel it has opened up a lot of new possibilities for the children. I also don’t feel the need to use them in every lesson, pen and paper are still very much used the most as I am conscious of screen time and ensuring that I’m not just using them because they are there, it must be as a valuable resource. The children love them and also teach me loads about how to use them. It has helped with behaviour management as if you are not responsible enough, you will not have your iPad and the children really don’t want that to happen.