Classroom "App"lication: iPad Integration Series & Linkup

With the welcoming of a new month, a few weeks of a new school year under my belt, and the freshness that comes with a new season (well, maybe I'm just wishing fall would hurry up and arrive)... I've decided to start a new blog series. I can't promise that it will be weekly by any means, but I do want to share how I use the iPad in my classroom.

I'm beyond blessed to teach in a district that is 1-1 iPad. It is a terrific tool. In order for it to be more than just a paper weight though, some time and effort for integrating the technology into the classroom needs to take place. Our school district has two teachers who have taken a technology integration position for a two year period, just to help the teachers in the district become accustomed to the technology, help lead lessons as necessary, provide tech support, and to show the staff new ways to better use the iPad. Again, I truly am blessed to be in this district!

Thanks to I Teach, What's Your Super Power for the background & Ashley Hughes for the clip art
In one of my reading groups, I am utilizing literature circles on the iPad. The first book we are working through all together, although, later I plan on grouping students by their interests in other novels (2-3 novels going at the same time max, so I can keep my sanity!)

This week, I introduced each of the literature circle roles and the applications that will be used. Students read through the chapter in their small groups and then talked over the comprehension questions. After all the groups were finished, I introduced the app/role of the day. I gave students 15-20 minutes to complete the role and just play around with the app.
I've found that just giving the students a little time to play around with a specific app gives some great benefits. Usually, they find out more of the ins and outs, and cool tricks than I know about the app after just a few minutes.
This week let's the students become experts in the app and have a chance to learn my expectations of them in their individual roles. Starting this coming week, they will be given reminder sheets for their roles and begin to take on the responsibility of their role for their group.

One app that I reviewed/introduced is called "Idea Sketch." The role that utilizes this app is the summarizer. (I plan on using another app to switch it up a bit along the way too).

The summarizer role has 3 expections:
  1. Using Idea Sketch, summarize the reading using at least 5 complete sentences.
  2. A good summary tells the main events from the reading, in the order they occurred.
  3. Be prepared to read your summary to your team. Practice your presentation in advance.
The app itself is pretty easy, once you get used to the swipe required to make a new bubble.

For example:

Find the app.. it looks like a lightbulb

Name the Project.. the app automatically saves it

Click the plus to add a new bubble to start.. then just type and go. To add the next bubble swipe on the bubble you've created. Sometimes you have to hold your tongue right for it to work. 

The summarizer could make one of the following. A sequential chart, or a web of the main ideas to help retell.

I have role expectation cards for each member of the 4 person groups. Each day, the students will have a different role. On occasion, I will switch up the apps used to keep things switched up and different as well.

How do you use the iPad in your classroom? I'd love to know. I'm going to create a month long link up. If you happen to post about an app your use or an activity that incorporates the iPad please link up under the various content areas. I'll keep a tab up at the top


  1. Awesome! I'm sitting back to see how it's done! We're getting Nexus tablets this year and I have to figure out how to apply the same strategies as iPad to Android.

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  2. Wow! Can't wait to see more ideas! We are hopefully going 1:1 this January!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  3. I am amazed with what you can do! I have one iPad to use with students but am using it a lot. I can't wait to look back at your linky and see all the ways folks are using them for math.

    The Math Maniac

  4. Love the ideas!! I will have to share this with a one of my fabulous 5th grade teachers who uses Ipads in her classroom :) Can't wait to see all who link up!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    Mind Sparks

  5. This looks awesome! I can't wait to see what everyone links up and hopefully I can link up soon once I get my iPad Mini up and running!!

    Collaboration Cuties


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