Start Your Year With Google Chrome Basics for Kids

Google Chrome Basics For Kids

According to the New York Times, a reported 7 million Chromebooks were delivered to schools across the United States in 2016. So hopefully, you were one of those fortunate teachers that now have this amazing device available to you to transform your teaching.

Chromebooks are more than just an easy way for kids to have internet access. They can be used as powerful tools for efficient learning and creativity. My 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders that are well-seasoned members of my “Chrome Squad” are now sharing and collaborating on Google Slides, conducting surveys on Forms, voice-typing stories in Google Docs, developing work portfolios in Keep, collecting and sharing their favorite extensions and apps with classmates and teachers, editing images and creating their own videos! Amazing what they can do with the right tools and time to “Sandbox” what we teach them. If you are interested in reading more about my Chrome Squad, please see my previous Chrome Squad posts- Part 1 through Part 5.

So, now what can we do to begin training students to use Chromebooks more effectively? We can start with the basics! As elementary teachers, this thought process is in our DNA, right?

The diagram above is what I use to teach my students the basic functions of Chrome to visit websites, Drive used to store files, Docs, and Slides to collaborate and share work content. This diagram shows how the apps work together and is one of the pages from my ebook – “Chromebooks For Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad“. Available in July of 2017 on Amazon. Make sure that you sign up to your right – “BE NOTIFIED ABOUT MY NEW BOOK “CHROMEBOOKS FOR KIDS” if you are interested in receiving email notifications regarding my book. I start with Chrome basics on the second week of school with this lesson in the “Getting to know your Chromebook” Chapter. Most of our younger children come to us understanding how to “Swipe & Tap” on an iPad or their parents Android phone so building an understanding of a virtual, unseen workflow takes time, practice and patience. As an added barrier, we put a keyboard in front of them with very little training about using those keys. Nonetheless, they have all had experience being on the Internet in some capacity so, we start with using Chrome as their Internet portal and from there we begin talking about Digital Citizenship.

Most of our younger children come to us understanding how to “Swipe & Tap” on an iPad or their parents Android phone so building an understanding of a virtual, unseen workflow takes time, practice and patience. As an added barrier, we put a keyboard in front of them with very little training about using those keys. Nonetheless, they have all had experience being on the Internet in some capacity so, we start with using Chrome as their Internet portal and from there we begin talking about Digital Citizenship.

The first week of school is always filled with procedures and reminders to build upon the social skills they have already acquired. The second week of school is a great time to parallel good “Digital” decision making with those in-class procedures. We talk about “If it is not okay to do in class, it is not okay to do it online.”

Our sweet little “Digital Natives” understand more about navigating certain devices and sites than we do in many cases, that is for sure but they still need to be explicitly taught the proper use and expectations regarding their new devices, vocabulary necessary for effective communication and most importantly they need our ever-present moral guidance. According to Martine Oglethorpe, author of “Parenting in the Digital Age” and blog site The Modern Parent, it is critical that we help children build up a resilience to cope with the challenges that our 21st Century learners will face. Can they spot a scammer or a site that may be trying to gather personal information, known as “Phishing”? Can they identify false information, resist the temptation to post photos that they do not have permission to post or are not appropriate? These are just a few examples of the types of conversations we need to have with our kids and are addressed in my book.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the outstanding effort that Google is putting toward educating our students to be more resilient when it comes to interacting online. Google’s new- “Be Internet Awesome” was just recently released where students visit “Interland” using a highly “Gamefied” format to build online safety awareness. There are four lands to visit- Reality River, Mindful Mountain, Tower of Treasure and the Kind Kingdom. I am very impressed with the teacher lesson materials also included on this site. Check it out! My kids love it!

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3 Ways To Get Images Into Your Google Drive on a Chromebook

3 Ways to Save Images to Google Drive on a Chromebook

Often times, students find copyright safe images that they want to save to their Google Drive to use in a project but getting that image into their Drive can be a challenge. So, here are 3 ways to get those images into Drive. Read below or watch my husband’s (Paul) video HERE that he did for my “Chromebooks For Kids” Hyperdoc coming to Kindle in July. If you are interested in learning more, just look under “Categories” for the “Chrome Squad”.

  1. Two Finger Click on the image- “Save As”
  2. From a Screenshot- CTRL +  (Switch Window Key)


         * Where does the image go from screenshot?- It goes to the temporary downloads at the Right Bottom corner.

         * How do I get that screenshot into my Drive and out of the temporary downloads?

         Click that image from downloads and drag it to your Drive.

  1.    Upload image to PDF  from “Print” Window CTRL + P  then – “Change” – “Save to Google Drive”
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Chrome Squad- Elementary Edition (Part 5) Finally Coming Together- Using an Interactive Chromie Bootcamp Chart

Finally Coming Together- Using an Interactive Chromie Bootcamp Chart

My ebook/Hyperdoc– “Chromebooks for Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad”  was created to better transition elementary students from iPads to the ever popular Chromebooks. It is a Step-By-Step comprehensive guide for teachers to share with their students learning to use Google tools on Chromebooks in a Personalized Environment. It was born out of my own need to have something to structure a “Google Apps Curriculum” of sorts to get my students more familiar with the new devices in our classrooms. For those of you that have been through the Google Educator Training, I modeled my book after that training process and hopefully, my material is a bit more simplistic for my younger students. 🙂 To best understand this process, go back and read posts #1-#4 about our Elementary Chrome Squad.

After months of revising and colleague input, I finally feel confident enough to post the final editions of the two main charts I used to get my “Chromies” to seamlessly work in their independent personalized Google lessons. Both charts are from my new eBook- “Chromebooks For Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad” coming out on Kindle at the end of June. Make sure that you sign up to your right – “BE NOTIFIED ABOUT MY NEW BOOK “CHROMEBOOKS FOR KIDS” if you are interested in receiving email notifications regarding my book.

This interactive “Chromie Boot Camp Chart” you see above, is the heart of my book and most commonly used by my students to stay on track. Each numbered step is interactive, meaning that the kids click on the step that links them to the Google App Lesson page they are working on. Each page has a series of videos to watch, assignments to try and followed up with a Google Form to see if they were ready to move on to the next app. Also on this chart, you can see what a Chromie badge looks like including the coveted gems they earn when they help others with the tech skills they have learned, which the kids absolutely love!

My second chart titled – “Independent Work Stations” is not interactive, however, it was also very helpful, especially at the beginning so students would know where to find help if they needed it, knowing where others were working at that same level.

In my book you will receive:

*Directions on How To Use “Chromebooks For Kids- Training Your Elementary Chrome Squad”

*6 Chrome Squad Goals To Guide Action Plans

*2 Charts to Help Manage Learning Paths for Ability Groups

*60 of my “Suggested Apps and Extensions” that link directly to The Chrome Web Store so no searching required.

*A Google Form for each of the 8 steps to assess student mastery before progressing to the next step.

*2 Pages of Printable Name Badge Styles for Students to wear, along with the actual links used to purchase what I found were the best plastic badges.

*Instructional Material to best use 6 of Google’s most basic Apps- Chrome, Drive, Docs, Slides, Keep & Draw to Create, Collaborate and Communicate Student Work

*Over 68 Links to Carefully selected Video Lessons and Websites to teach young children how to use Google Tools using a  language they can actually understand!

*How to Find, Edit & Save Images to Google Drive using 6 Different Resources to find Copyright Safe Images

*5 Suggested Video Tools to use and Share Video on Chromebooks

*Printable Storyboard for Students to Use when organizing Video Projects

*And a few creative EXTRAS!

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“Chrome Squad”- Elementary Edition (Part 1 Intro.)

Ask Me, I Am a Chromie!

Are you teaching young children to use “G Suite”, formerly known as Google Apps For Education? With Chromebooks taking over as the device of choice for most districts, we as classroom teachers have an exciting yet challenging role to play in this transition to integrate technology into our classrooms. Most of us are in the process of learning how to use Google Suite ourselves, so teaching our young K-3 students what G Suite can do and how to use it in meaningful ways can appear to be a slow and daunting process. However, since no one can truly be a tech expert since technology changes so rapidly, we need to model a humble “Growth Mindset” and learn alongside our students or we will greatly inhibit the learning process for us all.  I am far from being an expert on Chromebook use in general, however, I am willing to share my insights and experiences as I am in the process of learning in hopes that my failures, successes and overall process will expedite yours. If you have read over any of my other posts, you will see that most of my G Suite experiences have been on iPads. That is about to change!

As I thought about how to best help my fellow teachers and students make confident gains toward learning Google Tools, I wondered if I should just start with teaching a few kids in each classroom to mentor others instead of training the teachers first like we have done so often in past professional development opportunities. It was then that I read an interesting post on Kasey Bell’s blog- “Shake Up Learning-Student Chrome Squad”. Her post was exactly what I needed! The post was actually written by a colleague of hers, Mr. Cody Holt from Royce City, Texas and was about how this former high school teacher, now a Digital Learning Specialist had developed a mentoring program to help manage his district’s 1:1 Chromebook program with a select group of high school students that he later called “The Chrome Squad”. My idea would take a more primary form of Cody’s Chrome Squad but I believed I was on to something!

Being a primary teacher, it is second nature to take a great learning opportunity that upper grades are participating in such as this and scale it down to a level that can benefit our younger students. I asked myself- “What if I took the same basic program that Cody began and made my own elementary version of it?” Student expectations would certainly look different but the overall goals would be the same. Students using what they learn to in turn help others.

I began my journey with 10 third grade students that I had in my class as second graders the year prior. I already knew the kids and the parents trusted me. (Scary thought, I know!) I selected my “Little Chromies” rather quickly as I kept in mind how Cody had selected his Chrome Squad.

In my next post, I will begin to walk you through my setup process, the attributes I looked for in our Little Chromies, our specific goals and how I began our first few sessions. As always, you can and should adjust your program given your own building variables.



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My Top 55 “Must Have” Apps & Webtools for a Personalized K-3 Classroom

55 Must Have Apps

After four years of implementing a personalized classroom environment, I am often asked about my favorite apps and web tools to match our Common Core subject areas. This is just like asking a teenager what their favorite song is or asking an 8 year old what their favorite movie is. We are always evolving and changing our “Favorites”. So, I was finally able to narrow down a list in a clickable Google Doc below that includes my top 55 “Must Have” apps and web tools. This is by no means a conclusive list. It took me hours to prioritize my original list of 112. I know, I have issues! 🙂 I cannot help myself, I absolutely love finding and trying out new technology that will make our jobs easier and engage our students. Enjoy!

Here is my View Only link:

55 Top Elementary Tech Resources Used in High-Tech K-3 Classrooms

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Personalized Reading for Elementary Students

Personalize Learning for Elementary Reading Using Booster App #2

A New Way to Personalize Reading- Place, Pace and Path

The only thing I love more than finding a great resource that fits a Personalized Learning Path, is sharing it with other teachers! So here it is, Reading Comprehension Booster app by John Stump for $3.99. My class has been using this app for a few years now and is one of the few apps that I keep going back to. This blog- Ideas For has some great screenshots and a video to show the kids how to navigate through the app.

Students select a “Just Right” book, and follow the series of Bookmarks to track student comprehension skills. As you can see in the image above, my student selected a “Little’s” book and recorded the story elements as she read through the book. We used paper books and ebooks, like Epic! or Farfaria. (See other posts in my blog feed for many other awesome digital reader resources.) She had the option to type and even record her voice on each Bookmark page. I love this because it holds the kids accountable as they read and allows for differentiation including non-readers. My students were so engaged and eager to share their “Booster” with each other. All I did was monitor those that had trouble selecting a “Just Right”book, funny how it is always the same kids, and helped a few kids answer questions. It is truly amazing to watch our little digital natives navigate through digital resources intuitively! I learn from them everyday! Each Bookmark page, shown below records- Prediction, Characters, Setting, Story Sequence, Main Idea and extended responses like Connections and Create Your Own Story.

2016-05-26 13.37.01

Recording in a noisy classroom can be a challenge but we used a “Chatterbox” Portable Recording Booth (Also shown in the image above) that you can find on Amazon. This allows the kids to stay in the room where I can monitor and support them more easily. My students used to ask to leave the room to find a quieter place to record. Is that even possible in any elementary school? I think not! 🙂

I would love to answer any questions or comments you have, so please leave a comment and possibly your email address.

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Using Spelling City with Gifted Spellers- A Two Week Study Plan

Spelling City- Gifted Students Blog Post

Help with Word Study Differentiation? Yes, Please!

It would be very difficult for me to fully express how much I love using Spelling City in my classroom because this digital resource (App and web tool) alone has truly made differentiating word study for my students so much more manageable for me and more engaging for them. Those of us that are implementing the “Words Their Way” word study program by Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, have found a variety of ways to manage the daunting task using station activities and paper resources, which I do use as recommended in their book. As primary educators, we know that hands on activities and opportunities to work collaboratively are extremely important, especially for our “At-Risk” students. They need more targeted and frequent practice along with solid phonemic instruction, which Spelling City offers plenty of digital support for these students.

I used to use the free features for Spelling City but when I saw the advantages of the premium subscription, I was hooked and better yet, so were my kids! Right now and subjected to change, Spelling City’s yearly subscription is about $55 for up to 25 students and prorated after that but so worth it! I cannot imagine running my personalized learning stations without it. Spelling City gives my students independent opportunities to practice their own individualized list at school and at home using engaging activities that model necessary language skills in context, take practice tests with immediate feedback to monitor their own learning behaviors and allows parents and I “real-time” results to see progress! 

The focus of this post however, is to specifically address how I use Spelling City to enrich and motivate my higher performing students in the area of Word Study. At the beginning of the year, many of my students were performing beyond the “Primary Inventory” level and ready for the “Elementary Inventory” level skills. They quickly mastered the Within Word and Syllables & affixes stage. By mid-year, they needed more vocabulary development and their engagement level needed to be revived. Our standardized test scores also showed vocabulary development as an area of deficit for all of our kids.

That was when I decided to allow my advanced level word study group of five students to select their own words to work on, each student selecting five words. The engagement level and skill challenge increased 100%! It was fun to watch them at first, selecting the biggest words they could find and smiling with pride as they presented them to the group as optional words for their two week study. They quickly realized that not only was it was too hard for them to keep up with the expectation of spelling all 25 of those words but it was also a huge challenge to have the added expectation of knowing their definitions as well. Experience truly is the best teacher. 🙂

Here are the steps we came up with and have happily followed ever since. Basically, students spend two weeks on a list so the first week they select their words and spend the first week on vocabulary development/meaning and week two on actually spelling those words correctly, ending the week with a digitally administered test.

Day 1- Students Select Words- Students collaborate, select and write down their five words from various resources, mostly paper and digital dictionaries. I also ask them to try to choose at least one challenging word from our content units like “investigation” or “evaporation” depending on our current Science or Social Studies unit. You can see the actual picture of my students’ written list on the picture above with their words under each student’s name. I then check over the list to see if it is ready for Day 2.

Day 2- Day 5- Words Entered Into Spelling City & Begin– I train one student to enter the newly selected words into a new list on our class Spelling City account for me. From there, they happily train each other to complete the next list. Day 2 also brings the first day of developing student vocabulary acquisition of the words on their list through the Vocabulary and Language Arts activities located on the “Activities and Games ” page in the rows on the bottom right hand corner of the premium section show below. Looking over the menu of activities, they are sorted by content areas, Phonics, Spelling, Writing, Vocabulary and Language Arts.

Spelling City Vocab. Screen Shot

Here is a screenshot of one of my favorite matching activities from the vocabulary activites:

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 12.55.30 PM

Day 6-Day 13-  Students select from several activities to practice by hearing their words in context, sorting spelling patterns and applying what they learn. All activities are monitored in “Real Time” (Okay, I just keep refreshing my browser) by percentages in the “My Records” tab for Parents and the “Results” tab for myself. Day 13 brings a practice spelling test which we have affectionately called a “Gray Button Practice Test” that can be taken as many times as they want but students can only take one final “Red Button” spelling test on Day 14 that can only be deleted and retaken if the teacher deletes it so the student can retake the test for a better score. I require my kids to pass with an 80% before considering them to be ready for the next list.

Day 14-  “Red Button” test day! The beauty of using Spelling City on this day is that the kids get immediate feedback on their score and a huge time saving feature for me. Now, reverting back to the belief that our young kids still need to handwrite their work, I alternate a digital test with a written test every other list, so grading a paper word sort once a month is so much better than twice a month. In my initial picture above, you can see a student playing his auditory list on his iPad and writing the words sorted in the correct columns, also a huge time saver for class time. Kids do not need to wait their turn to hear me orally give four to five spelling tests. Pretty amazing!

I have received a great deal of positive feedback from students, parents and my colleagues on this study plan. I would love to hear your story as well! 🙂

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Great Audio Recording tools for Students and Teachers

Audio Tools for iPads & Chromebooks

Why Record Student and Teacher Audio Files in Our Classrooms?  I can tell you why….

#1. Because many of our Common Core “I Can” statements for Language, Reading and Technology involve skills that many of us are still learning how to teach and hold students accountable for mastery. We see standards that include words like, read fluently and with expression, sound out new words, retell in correct sequence just to name a few. We then also see words like; explain, answer, describe, retell, and identify all of which indicate the importance of verbal communication.

Speaking and Listening Standards-

SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.”

Then for writing-

W.2.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish student work, including in collaboration with peers. ”

So, how can we collect that data or even share this data with a colleague or parent? You guessed it! Record your students’ performance using whatever technology you have access to.

#2. Audio and visual recordings utilize technology to engage students and make our jobs more enjoyable and a bit easier. In the last few years, as I have taken steps toward integrating new technologies into my classroom, I have found that on several occasions, I wanted to preserve an audio recording. 

*To document and share what a student has learned or show mastery of a skill.

*To allow a non-reader to understand content and so that they can participate in classroom activities with their peers.

*Further develop my students’ language skills by hearing stories read to them by other readers and to record their own thoughts for an authentic audience.

What Tools do I use?

Depending on your tech resources, I would recommend the following apps that I have used myself.  Click on the links below to see the iTunes App description page.


Tellagami -Free   Tellagami

Educreations – Free  Educreations- New

ChatterKid Pix – Free   Chatterkids

DropVox – $1.99   Dropvox  This app records the audio and save it directly to your Dropbox account.

Literably– Free   Literably App I love this app/webtool! It records students reading a leveled book and scores it for you!

Notability – $.99 – $3.99 (Price can Vary)  Notability

Book Creator – $4.99   Book Creator Creates an actual ebook. There is a free version but only allows one book to be stored at a time.

Draw & Tell HD – $1.99    Draw & Tell

RecorderHQ – Free   RecorderHQ I use this when the kids want to just record an audio file. It can be uploaded to their Google drive.

Google Keep – Free  Google Keep Note taking with a new audio capability. I was super excited about this. You can see my other post about how I use Keep for student portfolios.

Shadow Puppet EDU – Free Shadow Puppet

Sock Puppets–  Free  sock_puppets_main_icon_07


Chromebooks or PC-

Google Slides   Google Slides (Free) create content, go into the PRESENT mode and then have students create the “ScreencastifyScreencastify Ext video (Also free)  using the Screencastify extention from the Chrome web store. This is awesome for Google Apps for Education districts because there is only one sign in and once the extension is added to a student’s Chrome account, there is automatically a Screencastify folder created that saves each recordings upon completion. No lost or unsaved work and it can be shared with peers, teachers and even parents.

Recording Booth -Chatterbox Blog Post Image  Need a quiet place to record audio any of these projects in your room? Try my Chatterbox for $45.99!

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Teaching Students to Use Google KEEP for Student Portfolios in a Personalized Classroom

I finally found it! The easiest way for primary students to “KEEP” a visual, digital and audio portfolio of their work, Google Keep! Basically, Google Keep allows students and teachers to utilize digital post-it notes that have the awesome capabilities that Google products are known to offer-

  1. Create & Title a note, then share/collaborate across multiple devices
  2. Color code each note using labels so you can find topics more easily in search mode
  3. Upload an image & Audio feedback in mobile app only
  4. Transfer to a Google doc
  5. Set a location Reminder
  6. Lastly, and most mindblowing…utilize the new OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities! This basically means you can take any image that has text on is like a business card or even a text from a book and Keep will translate it to EDITABLE TEXT!!! Think of the possibilities here for young children.

Students are able to easily organize work, record their audio comments, share and collaborate with peers and parents no matter what device they have access to, all free!

I am using Google Keep for my 2nd and 3rd-graders and they absolutely love it! You are welcome to use my KEEP Google Slides presentation that I use to teach my elementary students to use Google Keep. There are only four basic slides, three video lessons and a task checklist that I think you will find very helpful. ~ Your Welcome! 🙂

Keep Screenshot for Blog

Whenever they want to preserve a hands-on project, a writing sample, group activity, or best yet, take a screen shot of their work inside ANY app, they can grab an iPad, open the free Keep app and take or import a picture from inside the app itself. They can then assign the note a color, a title, attach an alarm and even add an audio comment in the app. Google recently releasedKeep as an iOS app and the audio recording time is pretty short but I foresee this to be adjusted soon. Below is a student of mine recording her audio note to her work in our noisy classroom using our recording box called “The Chatterbox”. (Available on Amazon here ) The Chatterbox has really helped my kids have a quieter space to record and certainly helps those shy kids that do not feel comfortable recording in front of others. There is a confined sense of privacy that they prefer and allows me to keep them in the room under my supervision versus taking a risk allowing them to record outside of our classroom.

This is my district’s second year using G.A.F.E. (Google Apps For Education), now referred to as “G Suite, so the problem of young children not having access to an email address has been solved. Even though the function of students accessing their actual email for communication has been disabled by our IT department, it does however, allow our younger students to have access to their own Google accounts and all the awesome features that Google apps have to offer them. I am excited about the prospects and the longevity of this tool, knowing that as my students progress from grade to grade, they have a portfolio of work documenting their progress.

It has been wonderful to see the active engagement, ownership and goal setting that naturally happens as a result of our digital projects.

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Managing Technology in the Elementary Classroom

Managing Tech in the Elementary Classroom

“How do I manage the new iPads in my classroom?” “How do I keep track of the Chromebooks themselves and who has them during the day?” ~ As I continue to invest time and energy in my professional learning endeavors and read other blogs and Twitter feeds, I have noticed these common questions arise when it comes to using new technology in our classrooms.

Device Sharing? Not Optimal but Can Be Managed

If you are fortunate enough to have iPads or Chromebooks in your classroom, more than likely, you do not have a enough for every student, known as a 1:1 ratio and most teachers are even sharing devices with other teachers depending upon how your administration has set up managing those devices. I have my own very strong opinions on this topic and that is that students NEED to have access to the same device everyday. They take a strong ownership role in the maintenance of a device that they are familiar with, like keeping it charged, where to store it when not in use, maintaining the apps, updates and memory limits not to mention how the device is handled everyday. It is also a huge time saver if a previously entered login on a device can be utilized in an app or browser. If not, I have a previous post on what I use to keep track of student logins that may be helpful to you. (See – iPad Management Tag) But even though the accessibility to tech is not always in our control, we do have to be very discerning about what we do with them to best develop our 21 Century learners.

I have found that most teachers are excited about implementing new technology but are highly intimidated by the time necessary to learn how to manage them in a way that works for them and the ability to access experts in a timely fashion or at least someone that has some background to help them along. I can think of many times that I set up a workflow for a lesson, only to have an unexpected barrier come up and no one to ask for help. My “Plan B” is usually a hard copy choice or dry erase group activity. I have certainly learned that no situation is perfect and we all deal with slow bandwidth at times, (My students have named this- “The Waiting Wheel of Doom”) a dead battery and even that same device that just will not complete the task you have initiated at least 10 times. Yes, some of you know just what I am talking about. 🙂

We are all learners when it comes to leveraging technology to best personalize learning for our students, so it can be a daunting task to not only decide how to use them to fit our pedagogical responsibilities but how to keep up with the day to day tasks of who has the devices, when and what are students doing when they have them.  Let me just encourage you my friend, that it is all worth it! The first few months are a bit frustrating at times but when you get to the place that can walk around your room, with ALL students engaged and independent, navigating through programs and helping each other…it is an incredible feeling! Seeing their projects and creativity is amazing to witness.

You Can Do IT!

I myself, have 15 iPads of my own for my second graders in a daily 2:1 situation as a result of a grant I wrote in 2013. I also have inconsistent access to a cart of 30 iPads or for a 1:1 experience at times. I have to say that once you experience a 1:1 situation, it is hard to adjust to anything else. Seeing the efficient use of highly engaged academic time and flexibility of student creativity is irreplaceable! Not to mention the limitless opportunities to differentiate lesson content. On a daily basis, I am reminded that our students are digital natives and thrive in their “Natural Habitat”. Now, please understand that being a primary teacher for over 20+ years, I am a huge advocate of children having hands on writing experiences and face-to-face communication as well but that is another heavy topic for another post. 🙂

Most of my blog posts are curriculum driven, as many other bloggers are doing, knowing that we are our own best asset and sharing with others is crucial to our success. However, I think it is also very helpful to see how other teachers are managing their devices in their classroom. Here is what has worked for me and my iPads but this system can also easily be used for any device.

Device Management- iPads

You can see the chart on my wall that displays a list of partners assigned to an iPad with a numbered background. I have tried stickers with numbers written on the outside and they do not stay on very well so I used an oil based marker that I found at a craft store, to write the assigned number of that device on the outside front cover. There is an “A” partner and a “B” partner. On certain days, I assign either the A or B partner to an independent task or I have them partner up using the splitters that you can get on Amazon for about $4 to $5 each to connect their headphones. The bigger white splitter with green wires connects up to five headphones and is called a “Rock Star” for multiple listeners. As you can imagine, it is the preferred gadget of choice for me and my kids. Now, with 15 iPads and 26 students, that leaves three extra that are not actually assigned to anyone so I use them for that one student that really needs to get on a project or I keep them at my reading table for reading or math intervention activities. I would love to hear how you manage your devices! I am always looking to improve my classroom management. 🙂


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