Do you want to incorporate technology into your student’s learning but don’t have a 1:1 classroom? Not sure where to start? I am here to help!
Guest Article by Ashley from Teach Create Motivate
I only have have five iPads in my classroom, and I started out this year with two (one was my old personal one). I am so grateful for what I have been given, but I was pretty discouraged from the get-go thinking that one or two iPads couldn’t really make a difference in my students’ learning. I am here to tell you that it CAN make a difference!
Here are 5 ways you can use just a few devices with your students. You will also find that all of these ideas can be applied to ONE device as well in small groups, station, and/or centers.
This free app is one of my absolute favorites. My students are slightly obsessed too. While this app can be fun and hilarious to play around with, it is easy to use for educational purposes as well. Our favorite way to use this app, is to check our learning in science and social studies. I quickly put a photo of what we have learned about on our devices. It can be whatever we are learning about such as the solar system, Rosa Parks, Heroes, etc. My students have to tell me three things they have learned in the point of view of that person or object. I often take a quick grade for this exercise. I rotate my students through the devices throughout that subject or day. Other students are working on something else while the iPads are going around. I would love to share a Checklist Freebie on my blog if you are interested!
2. QR Codes
Oh the possibilities! I could sit here all day and tell you all the ways you could use QR codes in your classroom. I will just stick to my most used way! 😉 QR Codes on task cards are the perfect way to let your students check their own learning! I have them answer or solve the task card first on their recording sheet, and then scan the code to check themselves. You can easily create your own QR codes on website such as QR Code Generator. I wrote helpful tutorial on how to make your own QR codes if you are interested in creating some for your classroom! I utilize QR codes on task cards in our stations, so that there is enough time for all students to use the devices. I also love using them at the teacher table. This only really requires us to have one iPad! I created a Place Value Task Card with QR Codes freebie, so if you could use it in your classroom, be sure to grab that ASAP!
3. Pic Collage
This fabulous idea came from Jen Jones at Hello Literacy. We use Pic Collage every Monday for Vocabulary practice, application, and review. Students have to find photos that represent the meaning of the vocabulary word. I have seen huge growth with my students’ understanding of vocabulary since we started this routine. They also LOVE and look forward to our Vocabulary lesson now. I put one iPad on each table group, and they have to work together to make their collage. I then have them save it to the iPad for easy reference throughout the week. I like to give my groups shout outs on the document camera when I see they chose a perfect picture for that word. Again, you could do this in small group as well. Note: Be aware that students should probably use Pixabay or Kiddle for their photos. The search on the app isn’t always 100% kid friendly.
4. Charades for Kids
This is yet another free app awesome for so many things! My students use this app mostly for spelling and vocabulary review. We create our own decks within the app such as spelling words, math vocabulary, science vocabulary, etc. I let them use this as a word work station or as a fast finisher activity. It is literally just charades for whatever words you are using for that lesson! It is a great tool to review prior learning and to reinforce that week’s words! You can also use this app to have your students guess book characters by character traits. The students get SO excited when they get a chance to play this. We really have to monitor our voice during this activity. 😉
5. Show Me
Okay, what CAN’T you do using this app? This is a whiteboard on your device! But it gets better! Kids can record what they are doing on it! This is amazing for students “teaching” a lesson to their peers. It records what they do on the whiteboard as well as what they say. You can write with your finger or you can type. My biggest ways I use this in my classroom are in spelling and math small groups. I have my kids sort their words on a tree map with their table groups each Monday. Again, this is so much more fun than some other ways of practicing spelling. I also have my math small groups bring an iPad to our teacher table every single day. They can work with a partner or alone to solve the problems we are working on. This makes it easy for me to check if they are understanding. When we are done, they simply erase their work and it’s ready for the next group!
I hope you can find these ideas useful in your classroom! Remember, you don’t need a ton of devices to use technology to enhance your student’s learning! Just jump in and go for it!
Ashley is a 3rd grade teacher near Dallas, Texas and this is her 4th year teaching. She loves making her classroom engaging and a fun and safe place to be for her students. Ashley is also a teacher entrepreneur and blog author at Teach Create Motivate. You can visit her TpT store and Etsy Shop. She has a passion for creating resources for teachers to easily use in their classrooms. She also enjoys producing beautiful digital prints. You can connect with Ashley on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.