From small beginnings come great things. -Proverb
Today was the day. After a nice restful weekend and a bottle of Extra Strength Excedrin tucked away in my school bag, I was ready to seize the day. I was ready to take the big step. Today was the day to introduce iPads. It was our 4th day of school and my students were itching to get their hands on them. I had been asked repeatedly over the first 3 days, “When can we use the iPads?” I kept telling them, “soon”. As a child I hated that response from an adult. Soon was never soon enough. It wasn’t that I didn’t want them to use the iPads, I just wanted to skip over the “here’s how to use them” part. You know, the boring stuff. The oh-so-important-do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200-do-not-rip-off-this-tag-under-penalty-of-law important kind of boring stuff. 5 year olds have a casual relationship with the “fine print”.
As soon as I said iPads today, there was instant silence, then instant cheers. Uncontainable excitement. I rolled them out in small groups. 5 at a time, keeping the basics short and sweet. I took each child’s picture on his/her individual iPad and made it the home screen and the wallpaper. This makes it instantly recognizable when opened by all. We went over turning it on, navigating screens, choosing an app, closing the app, and putting the iPad to sleep. We went over how to hold it, how to carry it and where to put it when finished. Wide eyed and smiling, their joy was apparent. Their engagement was instant. Then, oh so quickly, their time with the iPads was finished and we had to put them away. One by one, they returned them to the charging cart so I could lock them away for the day. One child leaned over and said softly to his iPad, “Goodnight iPad. We can play again tomorrow.”
As for the rules and procedures, we get to do it all over again tomorrow and the next day and the next. Modeling and reinforcing the “fine print” ensures that our small beginnings will soon produce great things!
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