The first week back to school is always a mixture of nerves, and excitement (dare I say "fun") and for those who work in a one to one classroom (one iPad for every child) it also means... updating iPad apps! This is only my second year working in a one to one program, so I am constantly trying to keep up with all of the Apps that are available, not only for teaching, but also for general organization. I'm not gunna lie, it's a lofty task and can be time consuming. Really... "Ain't NOBODY got time for that." My school is really pushing to become as paperless as possible, so it can be tricky with a group of Grade 5's to keep track of which assignments are where, and let Mom and Dad know where too! With this said, SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME and take a look below! I created a handout for my parents of some of the key iPad "players" to keep them in the loop and thought I would share. The list is below and if you check out my pinterest I try to update my “App Attack” board (horrible name I know) as frequently as I update my student iPads. A lot of these apps are still available on Google Play if you are using an android (no discrimination) so check it out!
EDMODO SAVES YOU FROM ORGANIZATIONAL CHAOS!
It makes sense in a one to one to try to be as paperless as possible, but when deciding how to organize this in a Grade 5 classroom, all I want is a one stop shop for everything. I really hate having assignments here and there, but there is one obvious superhero for solving this dilemma. There are many Apps to highlight here, but Edmodo remains, hands down, my all time favourite classroom organizer, and it is also a website! Sooo if you don't work in a one to one, it is still highly effective. I’ve used it with 9-17 year olds and there is always engagement. It allows communication, organization, even record keeping all in one. Let’s be real, it’s kind of the gift that keeps on giving. It IS the paperless classroom. I love to use it for quizzes, polls, and now I use the folders to organize student handouts. Take a look if you haven’t before, you won’t regret it! AND if you have signed up, I beg you ACTUALLY USE IT! Explore what it can do, it really is the Transformer of educational tools. Check out Edmodo HERE: www.edmodo.com
EDSHELF SAVES MY SANITY!
For the best updates on Apps, websites and technology check out EdShelf! This site is run by “Mike Lee” and if you sign up for the mailing list you will NEVER have to search for an educational App again (this is where the saved sanity comes in). The email updates are filled with all of the information you need to stay up to date with the newest Apps. Honestly, I loathe mailing lists, I hate newsletters, but I NEVER pass up on an EdShelf email! This site was almost shut down from lack of funding and was SO LOVED by educators, a fundraising campaign has it up and running again! Check it out here! https://edshelf.com/
QR CODES SAVE MY FIRST DAY BACK!
I came across an interesting resource from Kristin Kennedy on Teachers Pay Teachers where she used QR codes to make a “Get to Know You” cube. The concept is simple: roll the QR dice, scan the code (using a free App), and it brings you to a question, which you answer about yourself. I used her free printable on the first day and absolutely loved it! The kids were extremely engaged, on task, and actually getting to know one another. It was a COMPLETE success, so I will be working on creating some designs of my own (after I teach myself of course). Check out her resource and her store, and if you are interested in more QR Code activities check out my pinterest board where I’ve collected some! It is a versatile concept that can translate to any subject. Thank you Kristin and check out her store here! http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kristin-Kennedy