Using the iPad for Writing in Kindergarten

You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ve always believed we learn to write by writing. My students have a lot to say, but often have difficulty finding topics to write about. We have anchor charts around the room with writing ideas. See a couple below:

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However, no matter how many words we have in the room, some of my students still have trouble coming up with ideas for writing. They tend to write the same things over and over…I went to the park, I play video games, etc… We continually encourage them to stretch as writers and encourage them to think of new ideas.  For those those that have difficulty finding inspiration, we utilize the camera app on the iPad.

A colleague suggested taking a picture of the child during the day and have them write about the picture. This has been an extremely helpful suggestion. Here are a couple of samples of student work using this technique:



With one of the children, I found him building something in the block center and on his own, he went to get his iPad to take a picture so he could write about it later. He said he would forget his “details” without the picture.

Supporting students where they are is so important in developing strong readers and writers. Student-centered classrooms provide motivation and autonomy. When we have internal motivation we are more likely to persist and attempt new things rather than when we act out of compliance.

I am so glad I have the iPad as a learning tool to extend and enhance learning…and more importantly, my students are seeing it as a tool, and not just “fun”.

Tell your story…do epic stuff!

10 thoughts on “Using the iPad for Writing in Kindergarten

  1. Hi Kristi- I love reading your blog! As a former 1st grade teacher, one of the best ideas I ever implemented was to let students bring something from home to write about. Then, we would let the kids share what they wrote. The students had a concrete object to write about and they were motivated to write because they were able to share their item; like show and tell. The sharing sometimes took more time than I wanted, but it was crucial in inspiring each other to write humorous stories, plays, etc. The students went from writing one sentence to writing chapter books by the end of the year. It was amazing!

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  7. Hello Kristi,
    I am a student at the University of New England in Biddeford Maine studying to be a Elementary Teacher. I want to someday teach in a Kindergarten classroom! I loved your post and your ideas sound amazing and fun! I am going to have to write down your ideas so I can one day use them in my classroom! While I was reading your post I thought of a few questions and were hoping you could answer them for me to further my learning. In your classroom do you just use iPads for writing time or do you also have writing time with pencils and paper? Also in your class do you teach pencil grips and fine motor skills?

    • Hi Heather,
      We use paper and pencil everyday for Writing Workshop. They use iPads for other types of writing throughout the day. I call it choice writing. I do teach handwriting skills, correct letter formation, writing on lined paper, proper spacing, etc.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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