iPad fun :)

So I have an ipad this year to use in my classroom and I am LOVING.IT.  I know there is a ton of potential that I have not even begun to explore yet, but here are a few of my favorite things about using it so far in my classroom.

One of the 2nd grade teachers at our school told us about this app called Too Noisy. It is a noise level gauge that is a great visual for students to see when they are getting too loud. We use it all day long in my room.

If they really get too loud, the "glass breaks" and an alarm goes off. Then the gauge resets itself and the sunny skies come back out :)  My ipad case is magnetic so I can hang it up on my whiteboard for all to see but many times I use my AirPlay feature on my computer and project the image up on the screen during work time so it is nice and big for them all to see (more on that later in the post).   I also really love that in the pro version, there are preset levels that you can choose like "Class" "Group" "Quiet" and "Silent" and then within those levels you can adjust the sensitivity yourself.

 The only downside to this is when I forget that it is on and then I stand right in front of the iPad and "break the glass" myself. The kids always get a kick out of this. We have a chain link compliment system in our room for whole group compliments. When we break the glass too many times we lose a link but if we make it through the whole day without breaking it once we get 5 bonus links (it's only happened once so far so it's a VERY exciting goal haha).

My other favorite feature of my ipad is using Airplay which connects my iPad to my computer screen. I have been using it this week during math journals as a way to share. I set up the Airplay feature, turn on my camera, and hover my iPad over my student's work. They can explain their thinking from their desk and everyone can look up on the screen and see it nice and big :) The kids LOVE this and it is a great way for everyone to get a good view of each other's work. I am excited to explore this idea as the year goes on. This is a fuzzy picture that I took myself (holding my phone in one hand and my iPad hovering over a math journal) but you get the idea :)

 Now I will be honest, I have no idea how the Airplay is set up because we have PC's in our rooms (I always thought it was an Apple thing), but somehow the iPad's can be connected. Greg over at Kindergarten Smorgasboard had a great video post explaining another way to connect your iPad to your computer so it can be projected on your screen and I'm sure there other ways to do this that I haven't discovered yet.

What are some of your favorite ways to use your iPad in your classroom?

I hope y'all have a great long weekend. I have some exciting news coming up next week so stay tuned :)

Today's number: calendar routine.

I'm gonna be totally honest with you...I have sort of a love/hate relationship with calendar. I really really want to love it (and lately I do). I know there are so so so many skills you can incorporate during this time and it really is a good way to start off the day but I usually get to a point in the year when it all just seems the same. I added this "Today's number" routine to my calendar last year with my kidnergarteners but I've really amped it up this year with my firsties.  It really can work with either grade level. Each day we have a special number that we look at and discuss in various ways.  I love that there are so many different conversations we can get into and skills we can hit every day.

I usually start off by using either the number of days we have been in school or the date. In Kindergarten I looped back through 1-10 and eventually 1-20.  So far this year we have been doing the date. We start off by building the number in the ten frame and we do a quick number talk about what the kids see in the ten frame. My kids this year started out pretty reluctant to actually talk out loud about numbers so far so we have really been working on this every day.

Side note: My calendar is mounted on my white board so I use 2 sided magnetic counters and for other sections I just write directly on the board...it gives me more room to move things around and play when we hit a "teachable moment"...more on that later in the post.  Last year I had each section in a long pocket chart and I used laminated paper with dry erase markers. 

So after we talk about the ten frames, we move down to the dominoes. For smaller numbers I actually draw in the domino dots.  Sometimes I have them build both sides and give me a combination to make the number. Later on I fill in one of the sides and they have to tell me what else is missing to make the number.  With the bigger numbers I have been doing this week I have just been having the kids give me combinations and I write the numbers in (mostly so I don't lose their attention while I draw 14 tiny dots with my marker). The tallies are pretty self explanatory. On the day I took the picture (at the top) we were talking about groups of 5 and also groups of 10.

My kids have REALLY been enjoying using our money pocket chart and coming up with all the different ways to build the number using coins. Yesterday they started saying things like "you could get 16 cents by giving someone 2 dimes and getting 4 cents back". Love that! For the before/after we are sequencing the numbers. This day we were also counting by 2's.

For the popsicle sticks, again I usually do how many days have been in school, but this year I have been going up with the number of the day and we just keep adding and regrouping.  I have a great routine for popsicle sticks that really works wonders but I'll have to save that for another post.

Like I said, one of the things I love about this is how we can go off on different tangents and find a million little teachable moments. Today when when we were doing our combinations to 19 1 student said "17 and 2" and the next one said "16 and 3" that started a whole conversation about number patterns and we ended up identifying and extending the pattern.

It really makes it easier that I do this on a white board so I can slide things around and create more space to work and write.   I also found these great magnetic pockets at lakeshore last week that hold all my "stuff"

You can find the red headers for ten frame, tally, domino ect in my polkadot calendar set.
It also has some bright days of the week and months of the year headers.

And you grab the domino template and sequencing boxes from google docs.

Happy Monday friends :)