Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Kindergarteners can use iPads…Can You?

After our second full week back to Longfellow working with the kindergarteners, I am finally back in the rhythm of working with them two days every week. I am also doing my 4 clinical hours each week in the same kindergarten classroom, so the students know me very well by now, but after my number sense time is over the students still want me to choose them for math games and activities. They are not used to me helping them with reading, writing, and spelling, but it’s nice to work on other subjects with them outside of the time spent helping them with specific math skills. Since we have narrowed our kindergarten work mostly down to three essential number sense skills – counting to 32, number recognition, and one more or one less – it has been easier to use a variety of strategies to teach these skills. Last week I was able to use colored counting tiles, the stairs in the hallway, and, for the first time, the Ipad to work on whichever skills students needed more practice with.

It may be surprising to many people that kindergarten students can successfully use or learn anything by using new technology such as iPads. I’m sure many adults, and even many college students, have not had any more experience with iPads than these kindergarteners. Personally, I had never used an iPad prior to a class I took at Augie this winter, so it has definately been a learning experience for me to use one as a teaching resource. After using the iPad with several students last week to practice a wide range of skills, I realized even 5- and 6-year old kids quickly caught on to using the iPad. I was able to help some students practice the more/less concept up to 4 or 5 more or less using the What’s Hiding and W0rd Problems games on iPad. With other students, I was able to help them practice number recognition and counting with the Count/Sort and Line Em Up iPad games. I believe the iPad is a flexible, effective tool that can help a small group of students at a time, and I do not worry about using it with such young kids, since they have proven they are capable. For an entire class, I think it has great teaching potential, and for an interesting article and debate on a Maine kindergarten classroom with iPads for every student, check out: http://www.sunjournal.com/city/story/1012022!

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