Friday, November 16, 2012

Purposeful Padding in the Math Classroom - Part 2

23 iPads ready to go!
Today is the DAY!  The iPads rolled into the math classroom! Excitement filled in the air.  I felt like a kid walking down the stairs on Christmas morning.  The day had finally come!  

A stack of 23 numbered and labeled iPads greeted the students as they walked into the room.  They immediately had a surge of excitement course through their veins too!  

“Whoa, are we using iPads in math?”, one student asked breathlessly.  

All of us could barely wait for the bell to ring, announcements to finish, and class to start.  

As we handed the students the iPads, their eyes were round and full of wonder and they had lots of questions.  “Do we get to use these every day?”  “Can we put our picture on the home screen?”   “Is this mine?”  

“The answer is YES!  For the next five weeks, these iPads are yours,” said Gina Stukenholtz, 7th grade math teacher.

First things first!  We started personalizing the iPads in Settings. Students added their e-mail addresses and changed the lock and home screen pictures.   Then we showed them how to move the apps we will use the most to the dock. They thought it was great fun to make the apps shake and jiggle and drag them around.  

With our dock set, we tapped right in. I created a two question iPad survey for the kids to take with the Socrative App.  The purpose was twofold. First to learn how to use the app and second to get a feel for their level of experience with the iPad.  That’s when hit our first little bump when all the kids hit the wireless at once.  About half of the kids were able to take the survey, and the other half had to close the app.   Instead of panicking, we just kept it all in perspective and kept rolling.

Next we use the Fast Facts Math app to practice multiplication facts.  When out of nowhere, the bell rang! The kids moaned!  We all wanted math class to be longer!

The last few minutes of class were a bit hectic as we quickly collected the iPads by number and stored them on the shelf.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Everything took a bit longer than we planned.  
  2. There can be no assumptions made that just because these are mobile kids, they will know what to do.  
  3. We learned that it isn’t the end of the world if something doesn’t work quite right, we just move one.  
  4. We also realized that we need to have class helpers.   We will have one person in each row in charge of handing out and collecting the iPads every day. We will have another person in each row in charge of charging the iPads every other day.

    -Ann Feldmann

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