ClassDojo is a fantastic behavior management tool that monitors students’ positive and negative behavior. It’s free to sign up and their app makes it easy to keep track of everything! One nice feature of ClassDojo is that you can customize the different behaviors it monitors.
Here is a screenshot of their demo to help you get a sense of how easy it is to keep track of student behavior in your classroom.
Sometimes it’s hard for visitors to my classroom to understand how students use their iPads.
I like to post a reference chart that shows off how technology is used in our classroom. It’s also helpful for students, who are often asked about our work on iPads.
This list will grow as the school year progresses and works with any technology cart (“What’s inside my netbook?”)
One of the challenges of introducing anything new to students is allowing time for self discovery. This is especially true when using the iPad in the classroom. As the new school year approached, I knew that I wanted students working on their iPads on Day One.
In addition to introducing some apps that we will be using this year, I felt that it was important to give them some free time to explore the iPad – if only to eliminate some distractions down the line.
In my first year using the iPad with students, one feature that they loved to “explore” was the camera. I’ve used the camera with students for various activities throughout the school year but this September I decided to have them filming right away.
Working with partners students first interviewed each other asking questions such as:
What books did you read over the summer?
Did you visit any family members?
What activities got you outdoors this summer?
With their partner students filmed each other answering the questions and played their videos back to rest of their groups. Students then emailed me their videos and I hope to play these back to them at the end of the year. (Using the reverse filming option, students can also film themselves independently).
Stay tuned to hear about how the camera can be used to film persuasive commercials, book recommendations, and much more!
Check out my lesson plan using the Camera app in my classroom!
I use Gmail for my personal email account and it is great in the classroom too. I have students send work they completed on their iPads (this works with PCs too) to a teacher Gmail account I set up in September. Each student uses the same student Gmail account to send their work to me (I’ve set up each student’s iPad to send and receive emails from the same account).
So that’s two gmail accounts: 1. My teacher gmail account, 2. One student email address that all of the students use to send their work
If students write their name in the subject line of the email it makes it easy to search through my old emails for all of the work they have sent me that year. Using Gmail’s search function, I can type in a student’s name and it pulls up all of the work that child has emailed me from the beginning of the school year until now.
1. Type in the students name
2. Press “Search”
3. All of the work they have sent you will appear on screen
I just think about the student who can’t find their Writer’s Notebook in January and are now missing months of their hard work. This is a great way to store, organize and access student work throughout the school year.
A great resource for math tutorials is MathTrain. This site has student created tutorials for all age levels that are quick and engaging. Their website isn’t iPad friendly, but they have an easy to navigate iPad app that organizes their podcasts by topic. Check it out!
Click on “Podcast” for a list of topics
Internet research in any classroom can be challenging. Students want to believe that everything they read is true. Here are three great sites to demonstrate to students the importance of using critical thinking skills when conducting research online.
All About Explorers
Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
Check out my bundle of Common Core aligned iPad lesson plans for teaching ELA with iPads in the classroom!
Scholastic is offering a Summer Challenge for students! Students can use the Scholastic Summer Challenge website or their Reading Timer app to keep track of their reading all summer. The app allows students to set a timer for their reading and log their minutes each day. For parents, the app includes tips, book lists, and articles.
I’m encouraging my students with access to the Internet this summer (even at the public library) to set up an account and keep track of their summer reading!
Check out my Common Core aligned iPad lesson plan bundle for teaching ELA in the classroom! (Here’s bundle #2 and bundle #3!)
A fantastic alternative to YouTube is Vimeo. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo’s website isn’t block by Websense on most networks and its HD quality videos look beautiful on all screens, including the iPad. In addition to its search function, the Vimeo iPad app allows users to shoot, edit and upload their own videos.
I’ve used HD videos from Vimeo when creating interactive textbooks for the iPad. This time lapse video of the Canadian Rockies is a great example of the quality of clips available on the site.
Here’s a Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app!
Check out this Common Core lesson plan on using interactive textbooks in your classroom!
*This website isn’t censored so make sure you search and preview before sharing with students