I am a year 3 teacher with 28 students. I have an interactive TV and I take my 2 iPads to school daily. Teachers often ask me how I optimise use of my iPads with my class. I thought I would share a few tips.
Tips for a Two iPad Classroom
Ideas for a Two iPad Classroom
Joanne VIllis is licensed under a
Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0
My name is Joanne Villis and I am a Year 3 Teacher.
My school doesn’t currently supply us with iPads. I
have two of my own which I take to school everyday.
Teachers often ask me, how do I use my iPads on a
daily basis so I thought I would share some ideas.
Please note that I teach at an all girls private college
and my students are very trustworthy with my
devices. This leads me to tip number 1.
Tip 1: Teach your students how to respect your device
Students need to be shown how to carry and handle iPads. I told my students
that I bought the iPads with my own money for them to use. You know your
students, if you aren’t 100% confident that a student will respect your device,
don’t let them walk around with it. Place the iPad on a table yourself and
then invite students to use it. Be very clear with your expectations.
Tip 2: Place your iPads on your desk each morning
This sounds like a simple thing to do but if you don’t, daily
classroom distractions can cause you to forget about your iPad
which results it in not being used.
Tip 3: Make your iPad part of your morning routine
I open my classroom at 8:30 each morning. Students enter and
peer test each other with their spelling words. They then bring
their spelling test to me to check and their homework book. I
mark homework every morning rather than collecting books at
the end of the week.
During this time, I have two students who use my iPads for
sight word practice (see tip 4). They collect an iPad from my
desk, practice their sight words and then return the iPad to my
desk. Students who have then completed their spelling and
have had their homework marked, ask to practice numeracy or
literacy skills through certain apps on the iPads. They work in
Tip 4: Support individual students through drill and practice apps
Two of my students need to practice their sight words. When
they arrive at school, they ask permission to take an iPad and
then practice their sight words. Their favourite sight word apps
are pictured below. They are hyperlinked to the app store.
I also use drill and practice apps for maths. This is explained
on the next page.
I also have three students who require drill and practice style
apps for basic number facts. I will often invite these students
to practice their number facts on my iPad during the morning
session, when they have completed work throughout the day
or I frequently allocate the last ten minutes of a maths lesson
for them to work on an iPad.
However, I have noticed over the past year and a half that
students who require additional practice with number facts
frequently opt for the guessing option. That is, they will
randomly select an answer until the correct number is chose.
To reduce the occurrence of this happening, I always make
sure that students work in pairs and take turns on one iPad. If
one student chooses to randomly guess, the other is more
than willing to inform me.
Students’ favourite drill and practice apps for basic number
facts are pictured below. Again, the images are hyperlinked.
I also have two students who are on an extended math
program. Whilst the rest of the class are doing Math Mental
two students take an iPad from my desk and with a range of
different apps. Although there are two iPads to use, they
often choose to work together on the one iPad. Below are
some of the apps they use.
Tip 4: Use the camera function on your iPad
I use the camera function on my iPad each day in order to
capture images of students’ work samples. Some of the images
I will then email to myself so that I can upload them onto our
class website after school and others are kept for students’
Keeping track of whose work belongs to who is easy. For
example, if students have used pattern blocks to create a
tessellating pattern, they write their name on a piece of paper
and place it next to their pattern before I take a photo. If I am
taking an image of work in a students’ book, they simply write
their name on the page.
Tip 5: Allow students to search on the Internet
During writing students, will have a go at word if they are
unsure of the spelling and then use an iPad to check the
correct spelling. It is a quick way to access the Internet. My
students use Safari.
Tip 6: Don’t set up your mail on your iPad
As I let my students use my iPad all of the time, I
have not set up my school email on my iPad. This
eliminates students accidently or intentionally
sending an email on my behalf. To access my
emails I go onto the Internet and log in that way.
Tip 7: Create your own QR codes and use a QR code reader
You can use your iPads for Math or Literacy rotations with
the use of QR codes. You can create your own QR codes and
print them off. Then students simply scan the QR code with
an iPad and play the game or watch the video tutorial.
I create my own QR codes online at http://www.qrstuff.com/
Tip 8: Take your iPad to meetings
The more you play with your iPad, the more familiar you will
become with it. I like to use One Note because I can create
tabs at the top of the page for each meeting which I attend.
You can sync your document with your online One Note
account and then access your notes on any device. However,
as a Year 3 teacher, I don’t find this necessary and I
frequently take minimal notes!
Tip 9: Display your iPad through your Smartboard/Data
There are a few ways to do this but it depends how your
school network is set up. You may be able to display your
iPad through your smartboard or TV wirelessly using
Reflector, Splashtop or something similar.
I can’t display my iPad wirelessly through my TV at school
at this stage, so I have to use a VGA to iPad cable. You will
notice that the two smaller ends of each cable are
different. This is because the one on the left is for an iPad
2 and the one on the right is for an iPad 4. You will also
need to connect your iPad to some sort of speakers, I use
a $20 desk top set of speakers.
Tip 10: Share books with your class
Once you are able to display your iPad through your data
projector/smart board or TV, share stories with your students.
There are many available in the app story and many are also
free. If I share a text using my iPads I let the students run the
sessions. A student will interact with one page and then
another student gets to do the next page. This increases the
number of students who actually get to use the iPads.
Tip 11: Create class books
iPads are ideal tools for creativity but when you only have
one or two in your classroom this can be challenging.
Creating class books is rewarding for all students. Below
are some of the apps that I use.
Tip 12: Allow students to present on their own iPads
When I give assignments I always offer multiple ways for
students to present their learning to the class. I even
include an iPad option. If students have their own iPad at
home, they can create and then bring their iPad to school
to present to the class. For students who don’t have an
iPad at home, I usually allow two students per
assignment to create a presentation on one
of my iPads. However,
the planning needs to
be completed before
Tip 12: Create your own screencasts
Use a screen casting app to record video tutorials for students
or even invite students to create video tutorials for the rest of
the class. Explain Everything is my favourite because it has
many sharing options (ie camera roll, YouTube, drop box etc)
and it is easy to use.
Tips for a 2 iPad Class by Joanne VIllis is
licensed under a Creative Commons