Using iPads for Writing {and AirPlay!}

Hello!

Hello!

Ariel wanted to pop in to say hello! Or really, she’s trying to convince me to play fetch with her. She’s such a sweetie and this is the face I often look at as I’m trying to get work down on my computer. She can be quite persuasive 🙂

iPads with Writing

I hear the question a lot “You can’t use iPads for everything, right?”, as well as the comment “I don’t think my kids could handle that”.

After a full year of being 1:1 with iPads in my first grade room, I can honestly say I’ve learned so much about management, ideas, creativity, etc… probably learned more this year than my kiddos!

It’s been such an incredible journey. I started slowly…. incorporating them more and more, until now the iPads are integrated seamlessly all day long.

At the same time, there is a natural balance that happens.

For instance, we use the iPads during writing time.

But, OF COURSE, I believe that my students need to know how to use a pencil, they need to know how to write on paper, and my kids have plenty of opportunities to use both paper/pencil and iPads for writing time. I usually switch off weeks- 1 week we write on the iPads and one week we write with paper.

There are also times when I let them pick which way they want to write.

What’s interesting is this- since my kids have the opportunity to use an iPad everyday, they are just as happy to use paper and pencil too. I think it’s the ability to choose their own choice, the variety, and knowing their strengths that makes them excited.

One of the ways I’ve been using the iPads during paper writing time is this…

Writing

Writing

 

As you can see, on the desk is the writing piece we spent the week completing {Our week of writing is spent with a teacher model, student writing, student’s adding more, editing, and sharing}

Then, I had the kids use the app ChatterPix to take a picture of themselves and read their writing pieces.

Chatter Pix Kids

Chatter Pix Kids

The app records the kids voices and makes it look like their mouth is moving.

Writing

Writing

Then, I had the kids leave their own iPads at their desks. They got to walk around to the other iPads around the room and listen to their friends writing pieces.

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

It’s a simple, easy way for the kids to share their writing with multiple people. The kids also love it because 1.) It’s fun to walk around the room, 2.) It’s a silly app, and 3.) iPads are fun plain fun!

Another big accomplishment this year has been my students learning how to AirPlay, or reflect what is on their own iPads onto my computer {which is then projected} so everyone can see.

AirPlay

AirPlay

It’s been amazing and something I definitely want to start earlier in the year next year.

I mentioned earlier in this post the comment I hear a lot that “My kids can’t do that” related to technology. I can honestly say- my first graders amaze me daily with what they can accomplish. This can be no more true than when related to tech.

I intro’ed AirPlay one day and that’s really all it took. They love any chance I give them to share through AirPlay and it’s a great way for me to see what they’ve accomplished.

So, have I come across anything on the iPads they can’t handle? Nope, not yet 🙂

Thanks for seeing this quick way we use our iPads during writing time. I hope you can use it on your adventure!

Room Walk-Through, Desk Re-Do, and 3-D Marshmallow Shapes

Hello party people!  It’s Thursday around here, a Thursday afternoon with 9 days left of school! A lot has been going on, in and out of school. For starters, here has been my latest project.

Plain Desk

Plain Desk

I found this old desk at a local thrift store. It was not looking great. But, it was $9.00. Which is seriously the price of my Starbucks in the morning. A whole desk for nine dollars? Yes please.

I convinced the husband to go to the store with me and help me get it home. He was less than impressed with it’s condition. I promised him that I could change it! Thanks to Pinterest (of course) I’ve been wanting to re-do some furniture, because I keep seeing amazing trash to treasure examples!

We also went by Menards and visited the section in the paint department where they have extra or left-over paint for cheap. I picked up a quart sized can of gray paint for $10.00.

It was so expensive still because it was chalk board paint I think, but still the perfect price for this project. We also got white primer (mostly because we also needed it for another house project)

Primed White

Primed White

Step one was to paint the desk white with the primer. I did two coats of this, letting it dry fully between each coat. I didn’t sand it at all before this. Let me say again, I DIDN’T SAND IT AT ALL. Why? Mostly because the girl’s blog I read who also did this didn’t sand it either. Once you put the sealant on it, there isn’t really a need. Also, this won’t be an item in a “high traffic” area of the house (like a kitchen cabinet for example) so I’m not too worried about scratches or knicks.

Started to be Painted

Started to be Painted

The gray paint came next. It was looking better already! I also did 2 coats of this and followed up with any last minute touch-ups as I looked it over the next day.

Finally, I used a matte finish Polyurethane sealant. I did 3 coats of this over the course of a week (following the directions on the can) This provided a clear finish!

Final Product!

Final Product!

Here it is in the end! I changed out the hardware as well. I put on those three glass handles and a new silver pull handle along the top. I think it turned out great and adds so much to our guest bedroom!

3-D Solid Shapes

Last week we were learning all about 3-D, solid shapes. As part of this unit, the kids learned words like “face” and “vertex”. They also learned about the names of specific solid shapes, like cylinder, sphere, etc.

On one of the days, the kids got to make the 3-D shapes we’ve been learning about. How better to do this than with marshmallows!

The kids used tooth picks and mini marshmallows to make the shapes of the unit. They loved it- and who wouldn’t, a project that uses marshmallows screams fun!

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

I was worried the kids wouldn’t be able to make these shapes without seeing an example, but boy was I wrong! They were instant pro’s.

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

The one thing I didn’t account for was how many tooth picks we’d need! {Darn my math skills!}

I thought- foolishly- that 500 tooth picks would be plenty! I didn’t think about how many toothpicks each student would need for each shape. So basically, after everyone made a cube, there weren’t many tooth picks left to make a rectangular prism.

It worked out fine because the kids just took apart their shapes and used the tooth picks again for a new shape. But in the future, or to other teachers out there, BUY MORE tooth picks than you think! 😉

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

It turned out great and was a fun, fun way to practice our 3-D shapes. Thanks so much for checking in to our adventure. I hope you are having a wonderful end to your school year as well!