Monday, 29 April 2013

Awesome Apps (sorted by student need)

Was looking on the virtual learning network today (if you are not a member, sign up it has great tips and tricks from teachers!) and I saw a link to this great website.

It has a great selection of apps that are sorted by student need... Many of the apps on her move from the content consuming (playing games/apps) to content creating (creation of something through the use of an app).  Each of these areas have times and places in the classroom, however the content creating develops higher order thinking with students!

Ok, enough procrastination from doing my mathematics masters paper... back to work!

Enjoy this awesome resource! Have a happy holiday!


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Blogging... well trying to!

So today I have started a classroom blog for my kids... I am still pretty new to blogging so am just giving things a go!  I would love tips and advice on some of the things we could do on our blog!  My class left the classroom excited to share our blog with their family and excited to think of something we could share with the world!

Here is a link to our classroom blog...

I will try and update my blogging journey alongside my iPad journey!


Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Welcome to 2013,

I have had a busy summer and am getting underway with a new class for 2013.  I have a lovely bunch of year 2 students who are eager to learn more about using apple t.v and the iPads.  Alongside this I have an eager bunch of teachers who we are setting up with eRooms this year.  They will have apple t.v, flat screen t.v's and iPads in their rooms full time. 

I met with these 6 teachers this week and their enthusiasm has been astonishing.  They are so eager to learn how to set up their apple t.v's and ways they can use their apple t.v's in the classroom!  I will keep you posted as to our journeys together.

One of the things I wanted to share with you is a group on you tube called 'Have Fun Teaching'.  I use this group through my apple t.v to teach some spelling.  They have alphabet, counting and sight word songs that are catchy at the students absolutely love them.

To find them either, search 'Have Fun Teaching' in you tube.  Or search for one of their songs...  usually called 'the b song' or 'the c song' etc.

I am hoping to post more pics up this year and some more things I learn along the way!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Using apple t.v in meetings - feedback and formative assessment

Today for a PRT meeting I was able to share two short clips on feedback and formative assessment through my apple t.v straight from my laptop using mirroring.  These are great clips which show Dylan Wiliam discussing the importance of giving effective feedback.  Take a look at the links below!  They are very interesting!

Feedback on Learning By Dylan Wiliam

Formative Assessment By Dylan Wiliam

Using apple t.v and laptop mirroring for staff meetings...  Another way this technology can be used!  We also were able to work collaboratively on a google doc sharing our thinking on feedback and have this on the screen for all to see.

Just thought I would share another way that the technology can be used (and some good clips on feedback and formative assessment).


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Snapshot of Learning Journey - iPads and Apple T.V in a Junior Classroom

Snapshot of Learning Journey -  iPads and Apple T.V in a Junior Classroom

The aim of this snapshot is to provide information about ways in which iPads and Apple T.V. have been used and are enhancing the learning of students in a year two class at Rototuna Primary School.  This snapshot will also outline a learning process that I myself went through when I implemented these technologies in my classroom.

Rototuna Primary School has been lucky enough to have 40 iPads available for student use across the school.  These are stored in sets of six in order for teachers to be able to book them out for blocks at a time, to use in their classrooms. 

Alongside this, midway through 2011, Rototuna Primary school brought three LCD television screens which have been put onto teaching stations for three teachers to trial using in their rooms. 

In my classroom in particular, I have been also trialling the use of Apple T.V. and how this can be used to engage and impact on students’ learning.

Teaching and Learning

Classroom Management of iPads

Teaching Apps Prior to Learning

It is important to teach the apps to the students prior to expecting them to use them independently.  One of the ways that I do this in my classroom is through Apple T.V.  When introducing a new app, I endeavour to; show how to get to the app, explain the learning that the app helps the students with, show the features of the app and model how to use the app.  When this has been done it enables students to independently use the app. 

App Choosing Boards

With the vast range of apps available on our iPads at Rototuna Primary School I have used a choosing board system when the iPads are being used in rotations.  Students have a selected few apps which they are allowed to use.  This means that students are using apps that are targeted for their learning and enables them to remain on task as it is a clear expectation that students use the apps on the choosing board and no others.  When creating my choosing boards I screen shot the apps available, colour print and laminated the cards.  This means that my choosing boards have the actual images that the children will see on the iPads they are using.

iPad Treaty

Initially our classroom treaty applied when using iPads in the classroom.  However, after some time the students decided that it was important to have an iPad treaty.  The students brainstormed and wrote their own rules that they thought would make the use of the iPads run smoothly.  This iPad treaty is located on our ICT table where the students can see it.  The students decided that if you did not follow the iPad treaty you would not be able to use the iPads on that day.

Learning First

When implementing the iPads into my classroom I think of the learning first.  It is important that the learning is not overshadowed by the fact that the teacher wants to use the iPads on that day.  I endeavour to think of my learning and when considering ways that I could teach the learning what iPad apps come into play. I think about data consumptions both using the apps and using apps to produce something.  This is the significant difference when thinking of ideas.


I use ‘Notability’ as a modelling book type app.  I use this as a pre-prepared template to begin writing.  I can go into this and adapt it for future use.  I use this through Apple T.V. with the mirroring on.  I have also trialled using ‘Whiteboard’ and ‘Show Me’ to do this but I found that I wanted the page to continue on.  This is one of the reasons why I love ‘Notability’. 

I use iPads and apple t.v to motivate writing, we look at ‘Google Images’, go on the ‘Stuff’ website, look at videos on ‘you tube’ and also explore the ‘Kiwi Kids News’ website.  Whilst I am exploring these sites for writing motivations we also discuss how to navigate the iPad and the internet.

We also use the iPads and Apple T.V. to do our shared writing.  We do this as a whole class and usually add it straight into our classroom blog.  This sometimes begins with students taking pictures on the iPads and then we write about the pictures that they have taken.  Follow up activities are shown on our writing task board and each group has specific apps that meet their learning needs similar to my reading rotation.

Another follow up activity that I do is based around handwriting.  I usually do this on a needs basis and have students practise particular letters after they have finished their work.  Students use a stylist to do these activities so that they can get in genuine practise for their letter formation learning.

When we use the iPads for publishing we mainly use ‘Comic Life’, ‘Book Creator’, ‘Sock Puppets’ and ‘Puppet Pals’ apps.  When I first tried to do this I did it in a whole class setting.  I soon changed this and now do my publishing in small groups.  I usually am able to talk them through what they need to do and start to show them how to do it and then students are able to do it independently.  When students are working independently I encourage them to ask three buddies before they come and ask me.  (C3B4ME).  This enables students to learn from each other as oppose to constantly asking me how to do things.


One of the ways that I use the iPads for literacy is to use the book apps for my shared reading, big books.  It is not always me, the teacher, who is in control of the app and apple t.v.  Students love to take the lead and control the app, to ask and answer questions about the story.  This then becomes one of the activities in their reading rotation as they know the book and are familiar with the app. 

Students use the apps that they have already been introduced to.  They usually have two or three apps that they can choose from.  Each reading group have different apps as they each have different learning needs.

During guided reading I also use the ‘Show Me’ app for students to record their reading on.  Students are able to record and listen to themselves reading and reflect on what they can do to improve their reading.  We are also using the camera app to record and reflect on their reading and to also retell what happened in the story that they have read.

As a follow up activity after reading I use the ‘Show Me’ app for some groups.  Students have questions posed on the page and they have to answer the questions, by recording their answers.  This enables the students to more easily talk about their comprehension as opposed to focusing on writing the correct answer.  These are also great pieces of formative assessment that I can use to find out where my students are at and what there next learning steps are.  Some groups also watch ‘you tube’ clips around their high frequency words to support their group learning. 


In a maths group and sometimes as a whole class warm up, I use the ‘Whiteboard’ app and Apple T.V.  I pose a question on my iPad and in small groups the students solve the problem on the whiteboard app on their iPad.  When we have all finished the students take turns at turning the mirroring on on their iPads and putting it on the screen and explaining how they solved the problem.

As a follow up activity to a group session students also go away, solve a new problem and use the ‘Puppet Pals’ app to explain how they solved it.  These are often shown to the whole class at the end of the maths session so that they can see what they other groups have been learning.

I also use a variety of apps in my maths rotations.  Students have been shown how to use the apps in their maths group as a follow up activity to their learning.  These apps usually reinforce prior learning or add to their current learning.


There are many ways that iPads can be used in the classroom to benefit student learning.  For me it is important that I identify the students needs first then think about the best way for me to teaching this skill.  I then see if there are any apps that would fit with that.  I am just beginning my iPad journey and I have a long way to go but I am excited to see where this technology will take me as a teacher and learner and the students in my class.  I am constantly adapting my practises and looking for other ways to enhance the learning of the students in my classroom.

By Jade Silva

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Learning comes first and then the technology to support it

Today I shared my learning journey with two schools in Huntly!  What amazing, enthusiastic teachers and management they were.  The buzz after was amazing! 

The teachers there were truly devoted to using the iPads to support student learning.

My main message, and the biggest thing that I have learned is that the learning needs to come first and then the technology to support the learning this will enable a true blended elearning environment.

A tip - When planning always I ask myself "what do the students need to learn?"  then "how will I teach them this?"  In thinking about how I would be able to teach the learning this is where the iPads or technology may come in.

For example when thinking about one of my writing groups I might begin like this:

What do the students need to learn?   To form their letters correctly when they are writing.
How will I teach them this?  Pen and book handwriting lessons (casey the catterpiller).   Focus letters for the students to have when they are writing.   Using tickled pink and green for growth system to focus on specifics.  iPad app Letter Learner after they write as a follow up or as a pre-writing task to get them reading and mentally prepared to use correct handwriting in their writing. 

As you can see from these quick thoughts, there are many ways for me to teach letter formation, some of it is iPad related but it is all learning related!

My First Blog Post

This is my very first blog post!  

I have decided to create this blog to share my reflective learning journey with iPads and apple t.v.  I have also decided to create this blog to help me to use one next year, with my class, alongside my classroom website.  I will add ideas for how to integrate apple t.v and iPads into your classroom programme.  I will post apps that I use in the classroom and ways that they can be used. I will also add up links to great online readings and other peoples websites.  I will be very reflective with what works and what has not worked with me!

Enjoy reading!  

(p.s: I hope this was a good first blog)!