Gettin’ Buggy With It…Using iPads for Literacy and Science

“Do not limit children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.”  Chinese Proverb

One of the most exciting aspects of using the iPad is integrating it with the content I am covering in class.  We’ve been discussing insects, and what 5 year old isn’t fascinated by bugs?  Today, my students used the Pages app as a science journal to write about insects and then created illustrations in their Whiteboard app.  Afterward, they imported their picture into the Pages document and re-sized it to fit on the page.  Throughout the process, they were buzzing (no pun intended) with each other about their insect facts, helping one another with importing their illustrations, and proudly sharing their masterpieces.  In addition, as children shared their work, they were reading and developing fluency.

Many years ago, when I was in kindergarten, I was given a fat, black, eraser-less pencil and primary-lined paper to write on. I am left handed and as I wrote, my hand smeared my words.  Unable to erase, I would get frustrated and not want to write.  Even in the early 80’s when I was in college, I had no computers available or even typewriters to type my papers.  As our students move into the digital future, they will learn by doing.  I am preparing them for jobs that don’t even exist yet!  It is crucial that content be engaging and relevant and that the rigor in our classrooms promote those higher order thinking skills.  If you break down this iPad exercise into steps, this is what they had to do:

1.  Open the Pages app and change the font size.

2. Type the title and their content. (which is no small feat since they don’t have keyboarding skills, plus they are sounding out their words at the same time)

3.  Open Whiteboard app, create illustration and save it

4.  Go back to Pages and import illustration and re-size.

5.  Read and share

On the revised Blooms Taxonomy, these students were creating, evaluating, analyzing and applying.

This isn’t old school kindergarten.  We are cutting-edge, 21st century learners!

Listen to Gracie read her insect story from her iPad…

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10 thoughts on “Gettin’ Buggy With It…Using iPads for Literacy and Science

  1. I truly enjoyed this blog. Quite honestly, I am amazed with the learning process in kindergarten today. I remember show and tell and nap-time. Kristi, rock on, you are doing a marvelous job with our children and grandchildren.

    • This is fantastic! I am currently researching Ipads and how I could best use them with my first grade students. After 20 years of teaching, I truly believe we need to be using this type of technology with today’s students! I was thrilled to see that you are using them in kindergarten. I’m wondering how you got started, how your Ipads were funded, who supports you if you have problems with technology, etc.. I’m also pretty scared I may not know enough to take on such a large task; I don’t feel technologically savvy enough! But, I know it’s what my students need.

      • Jill,
        Thanks for stopping by! I sent you an indepth reply to your email detailing our project. Hopefully it will give you helpful information as you begin your journey. It is so WORTH whatever challenges you have to face. Good luck!

  2. This is very inspiring. The senior leaders in my primary school have just been given ipads to use for their personal teaching jobs but I am hoping that the next step is for children to use them. I can’t wait!

  3. Kristi,
    I am loving your blog and learning so much! Thank you for your help!
    An Open Door
    P.S. I just got the grant for 25 iPads and am in stun mode!!!!! I have never even used an iPad! This will be so wonderful for my kiddos!

    • Camille,
      This is great news! Congratulations! You will love the ease in which iPads assimilate into your room and instruction. After a very short time you will wonder how you EVER taught without them! Keep me updated!

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