Saturday, October 13, 2012

iPads in Guided Reading

Before a class set of iPads I was differentiating my literacy centers for guided reading. Here were some of literacy centers and how I differentiated them:
1. Word Study--At the beginning of the year, it is beginning sounds. As the year progresses it is ending sounds, short vowel sounds, blends, digraphs, long vowels, irregular verbs. The three students that come to this center listen to their individual tape player and complete their work. These tapes are direct feedback and have the students complete the work and then they check it at the end of the tape.
2. Writing-Differentiate based on ability with different levels of support
3. Computer-just simple phonics games (old computers, little memory)
4. Hot Dots-These are very cool and give students instant feedback (which is so important in kindergarten). You can differentiate these as well by buying different sets and making your own!
5. Rhyming--These are also tapes that give instant feedback and offer a wide range of rhyming activities and skills.

I made copies of the CD's or tapes so I would not use my originals in tape decks (so little hands would not ruin the tape by pushing record). Each child in the rotation had their own sequence of lessons based on where the students were in their word study knowledge. This took a long time for set up (rewinding tapes, switching tapes for each student, etc). The system worked well and the time it took to set up each day decreased with practice.

Now, I use iPads during guided reading. Instead of the students going to different centers, they use their ipad with different apps. They have head sets on and are working quietly. (I couldn't always say that when they were working in their centers.) I call my groups and then the students go back to their tables and go back to work on the ipads. The different apps that I use are also differentiated so students are working at their own pace.

Here are some of the apps I use. Each of the apps have an assessment component:
Teach me (toddler, kindergarten, first grade, second grade)
Smarty Pants

I am working on incorporating Raz-kids where the students will also be assigned leveled books based on their guided reading. I can assign a running record and different assignments as well.


  1. Could you upload some audio for us as examples? Sounds great!

    1. Here is some word study audio for you. Are you looking for other examples, specific examples?

      I used educreations with this word study. It is a group of 6 students. You are hearing me but only seeing one student's work. Each student was on their own ipad on educreations. Each of their accounts are listed under my email so I can see all of their work.

  2. Do you find you give more or less feedback/feedforward using the apps?

  3. I find that the apps give the students instand feedback on their work, it is right or it is wrong and it tells them right then. During guided reading when working on their ipads, they are working on word study activities--phonics, sight words, language arts skills. The activities they were doing prior to ipads were activities that also gave that same kind of feedback. I also try to spend some time walking around and watching as well just to give a little feedback. I also monitor the their apps with the assessment piece on the apps.

    So to answer your question, I think I probably give similar feedback but in some sense depending on the student, I might give more. I am definitely able to differentiate even better.

  4. Hi Carrie,
    I am also using iPads during guided reading with my 1st graders. I am the first teacher to pilot this technology in my school district. Last year I started with 6 iPads in my classroom and also received 6 for use in another teacher's 5th grade classroom. We each also have 6 iPod Touches. I am also using the TeachMe apps, with most of my students working on TeachMe 1st Grade. I do have three students who are struggling and are using TeachMe Kindergarten. I love the ability to track their progress. I take a screen shot of each child's progress screen before handing it to them to use it. I started with 23 students this year, so I have around 4 kids assigned to each device. I also use with my students. This year I noticed that the app does allow them to access their account, whereas before it would require the teacher to have a subscription to two of their sites. Since I am paying for the RAZ-kids subscription on my own, I wasn't really crazy about paying more just to use the app. I do hope the company can enable the recording capabilities on the app. Right now, I only have one computer with recording capabilities. I have had some of my students record a story now and then on their home computer, which is nice. Not very many of my students have computers they can use at home though. Have you seen all of the PRESCHOOL UNIVERSITY apps? Do you manage your own devices - as far as downloading free apps, etc?