Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Difference Between Assigned and Open Apps: RePost

imgres-1Hi everyone, my name is Laura Bryant, and I am a kindergarten teacher seeking strategies and tools to engage my student’s in purposeful and meaningful ways. Some of those strategies and tools are technology, iPads, and apps. Over the years I’ve learned that there are two types of apps that can be used in the classroom and not all apps are meaningful or purposeful for a kindergarten group. Most apps are either assigned or open. The following chart gives an overview of the difference between Assigned and Open Apps.
As a kindergarten teacher my first choice in choosing  & buying apps is purchasing “assigned” apps. For the reasons listed above. Assigned apps give that “purpose & meaning” that I’m looking for in learning. Especially when we progress monitor 20+ students a year. Assigned apps also lend themselves to differentiation because I can assign targeted practice for specific skill building. In having this ability, I can pick and choose areas of learning for which the child needs improvement in and assign and track their learning.
It does require some iPad management because the same students have to use the same iPad each single time.  My iPad’s are set up like this:
App ManagementEach student is assigned a numbered iPad, his or her name is on the outside cover written on an index card. This makes it simple and easy to manage the iPads when students are working with “assigned” apps.
What I like most about technology is that it’s a tool to enhance student learning in a fun techy way! For me technology and apps are tools to enhance or reinforce concepts and skills that have already been introduced and taught either in whole group or small group instruction. With this in mind, here are my top 4 assigned apps I use in my classroom with my kindergartener’s.
My Top 4 Favorite Kindergarten Apps for iPads:
imgresABCmouse Early Learning Academy – My #1 app and computer software of all time! This app also available online has everything from colors, phonics, phonemic awareness, word families, sight words, number sense, and handwriting! Also if you are into FLIPPED classrooms, ABCmouse is PERFECT for kindergarten FLIPPED instruction. It’s also free with a valid school email!
th-1Eggy Alphabet – This app is great for letter recognition, identification, and letter formation practice. I like this app because it has “guided practice” options, and it’s amazing for differentiation. The difficulty levels are also wonderful because it challenges your “high-kids” and they don’t get bored. Plus they can’t tell that they are doing something “different” from any one else!  I also use stylus pens when student use this app, I like my student’s to practice that tripod grip.
th-3Splash Math for Kindergarten - The data collection is beautiful and provides you with data based on Common Core State Standards… by skill as well. The settings also lend themselves to differentiation and difficulty level. It’s available for all grades! K-5th. StudyPad’s vision is to make learning fun for the kids while leveraging technology to build an ecosystem where teachers, students and parents seamlessly interact.
Teach Me for Kindergarten – This app has a little bit of everything (math, reading, vocabulary, sight words). I like to use this app for reviewing because it takes students on a roller coaster of activities and automatically adjusts to student’s ability or skill level. If students are struggling, per say, it takes them back a step, gives them step by step instructions or explanation of activity and guides students into completing the level successfully. Whats extraordinary, is that in the data collection part, you GET THIS information! Once student’s can successfully complete a level with minimal guided support they are rewarded with 3 stars and move up in difficulty level. I also used this app with fidelity with the group of 3rd graders I teach in the afterschool program and they ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!
Overall, these are my top 4 favorite apps, which I use in my classroom on a weekly and daily basis. I set up my classroom with centers and technology is always one of the rotations. If you would like to read more on how I set up my centers and integrate technology please stop by my blog.
About the Author
Welcome Image
Laura Bryant is the author of tchr888 Mrs. Bryant blogspot. She has been a kindergaten teacher for six years and loves using technology to enhance her student’s learning experience.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Help Make a Wish Come True!

This month I 'm teaming up and helping a cause with my Dear Teacher friend Melissa from A TeaSpoon of Teaching for a fabulous fundraising cause, Make A Wish. For only a $25 donation you will be getting all the wonderful products listed in the link below!

Here is a quick snapshot! Follow the link above to help make a wish come true!

 And please don't forget to stop by to follow, like, and thank all the fabulous blogging buddies who have donated their amazing products to this great cause.  I love when I can do a good deed and get some things to use in my classroom at the same time. It doesn't get any better than that!  I love all of my followers and appreciate your  taking the time to help our school with Make-a-Wish this year! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015 Flash Freebie

Happy New Year 2015! In honor of the first day of year, Flash Freebie going on right now for my newest winter activity focusing on number sense! If you miss it don't worry it will be 20% off the next couple of days! 

If you are looking for supplemental activities to practice number sense skills here you go!

Students will play hands on activities to help them recognize, identify, and understand "how many" a number is! Then they will be ready to abstractly compare two numbers and determine which one is "more" K.CC.7 They will finish up practicing their skills with this Polar Bear Ice Berg Math book! Here they will combine all the skills in one small book, answering how many, which one is more, less, the same, writing the number and filling in a ten frame as a strategy!

Cheers to 2015!