Column: Students using iPOds to further educationWORTHINGTON — The kindergarten and fourth-grade classrooms at Prairie Elementary have had the opportunity to explore some new technology in the classroom. Three kindergarten classrooms and all of the fourth-grade classrooms are piloting the iPod Touch. However, all kindergarten classrooms have had the opportunity to experience this new technology.
By: By Becky Duehn, Cayleen Mackey, Mary Appel and Chad Kremer, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The kindergarten and fourth-grade classrooms at Prairie Elementary have had the opportunity to explore some new technology in the classroom. Three kindergarten classrooms and all of the fourth-grade classrooms are piloting the iPod Touch. However, all kindergarten classrooms have had the opportunity to experience this new technology. Students are having the opportunity to learn and enjoy the curriculum in an innovative way.
We have found free applications that can be downloaded onto the iPod for the students to use that correlate with our kindergarten curriculum through the iTunes store. The applications come in all ability levels to best meet the needs of all students. A few examples of these applications include: spelling games, word building, letter and number formation, letter sounds, letter and number recognition and money.
One way the kindergarten classrooms are utilizing the iPods is through learning centers and small group instruction. The students are actively engaged in their learning through the fun and exciting applications. The students are motivated to learn the concepts. Students are given the opportunity to use the iPods on a weekly basis. As you can imagine, the students cannot wait for their next lesson to use the iPod!
The fourth grade is pleased to have 15 iPod touches that were purchased by the Prairie Elementary Parent Group. We are excited to have these iPods and are just tapping the surface of their potential to instruct the students in everyday classroom activities.
Some areas we are using the iPods are for math facts, tangrams, grammar and tracking fluency. When using the iPods to teach math facts, we are able to track the students’ accuracy and their speed. The iPods have a built-in recorder so we can record their fluency and play it back for the students. Students are really amazed when you play back to them how they sound while reading a selected passage. It really opens their eyes because many of them have never heard their voices recorded before. The students then become their own teacher because they can physically hear the mistakes they are making while reading.
Everyday we are learning a new and exciting way to use the iPods in the classroom. Today, one of the fourth-grade teachers discovered a way to have students type in words on the iPod, then the words the student types at their desk would project on the Smartboard. The possibilities are endless in the ways we can use the iPods in the classroom, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to instruct students in the classroom by using iPods.
Becky Duehn, Cayleen, Mackey and Mary Appel are kindergarten teachers at Prairie Elementary. Chad Kremer is a fourth-grade teacher at Prairie Elementary.