To succeed, you will soon learn, as I did, the importance of a solid foundation in the basics of education – literacy, both verbal and numerical, and communication skills -Alan Greenspan
One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is trying to meet all of your students’ needs. In a room of 25 children, I have students who are reading and those who have just started learning letters of the alphabet, plus all other levels in between. The iPads facilitate my ability to differentiate learning for all of my students.
With my children that are still struggling with naming letters and sounds, we have been working with our Magnetic ABC app. This $1.99 app has upper and lower case letters and numbers. It also has themes and objects available for use. As an ABC practice activity, I call out an upper case letter and they choose it and put it on their board. We scroll to the lower case letters and have them find the matching partner letter. Sometimes I call out a letter sound and they have to find the letter that makes that sound. Students who know their letter sounds practice with this app also. They can choose one of the objects and then match it’s beginning sound. I can give them a CVC word and we stretch it out. As they hear those sounds, they choose the corresponding letter. We can create word family words also. The ability to use letters more than one time is a bonus. More advanced students can make sentences dictated to them by either me or a partner.
The app also has numbers and objects. Students can practice their numeracy skills, 1:1 correspondence, addition and subtraction, making sets less than, greater than or equal to, and patterning. My students seem to enjoy the iPad version of this so much more than the real magnet letters on the cookie sheet that I put out in centers. It’s also a lot easier to clean up!
Having a multipurpose app that meets a variety of student needs help me build a strong foundation in all students. We can’t assume that students know these most basic of skills or short change their practice. Apps that grow with students are efficient and effective. Students are engaged and learning is underway. While these activities seem so…well, so basic, they are. It just goes to show you that it doesn’t have to be fancy to be functional and fun!
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