Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting Started with iPads in Kindergarten

For the first time bringing out iPads in kindergarten, we decided to make it a "Teacher Table" center that groups of four would rotate through. This worked well since work centers are already a part of the classroom routine. With only 10-15 minutes per group, we were able to cover some basics and allow the students to focus on working with one app.

Students first washed and dried their hands (it was kindergarten after snack time). When they first sat down, I had the stack of iPads in front of me and introduced the home button. Although many students had already used iPads, this common language of calling it the "home button" is important to clarify. Then I gave each student an iPad and once they'd swiped it on, had them practice with the volume button. We set all of the iPads to mute and talked about why this was important if we didn't have headphones and were all using our own iPads.
For the first app, we used the free Geoboard. Since actual geoboards were one of the other stations, it was the perfect time to talk about how they were similar and also discuss the differences. This free app never runs out of rubber bands, they never break, they can stretch an infinite amount and the shapes can be colored in.

That's it. We didn't use any bells or whistles, there were few directions and no one was named the winner, but it didn't matter. The students were creating patterns, shapes and designs of their own and challenging their friends to do the same.