Sunday, April 6, 2014

Project Based Learning with iPads!

I'm linking up a day late with my super motivating friend Joanne @ Head Over Heels for Teaching!  I know I'm a day late and a dollar short, but this past week was so exciting that I just had to share with you. 

 First, I must apologize and explain myself as to why I joined the party late.  I took my BBB, Alison's advice from Rockin' & Lovin' Learning and tried to relax yesterday!  I spent the day with my husband, aka "Sexy Beast", my son Erik, and fabulous friends!  We sat around our pool soaking up the sun, drinking Bloody Mary's, and laughin' it up.  We ended the day at a quaint little Thai restaurant for dinner.  What a wonderful day!  I am not only relax I am rejuvenated!   Maybe today I'll even take a little nap!  If you are feeling stressed and worn out, check out Alison's advice!   

Back to Sparking Student Motivation!  Last week I blogged about my first TpT priced item, Implementing iPads in The Classroom: Lesson Plans for Grades 3-5.  I had just received 15 iPads for my students to use as a learning tool in my 3rd & 4th grade combination classroom.  I have to say that it was the most exciting week we have had all year!  My students were so motivated by these iPads!  The best part is that we were not using game apps!  Did you read that?  I'm going to write that again just in case you missed it.  WE DID NOT USE GAME APPS!!!!  That's right! I didn't introduce a single game all week.  We used project based learning apps were students had to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of learning targets and concepts!  

I had a co-worker tell me that she would have never implemented iPads into her classroom with only two weeks before state testing.  She told me to my face that I had made a terrible decision.  Well, I disagree.  I used the iPads as a tool to review and reteach imported skills & concepts that will be tested.  Take a look and let me know your thoughts.  

First, my students had a little fun learning how to use the iPads.  Only 4 out of 17 knew how to use or operate an iPad.  We spent a little time on Monday creating rules and expectations for using the iPads. I introduced the Notes App & Keyboard, Pic Collage App, and signed students up on Edmodo.  Take a look!

All students were to record our class iPad Rules & Expectations using Notes so that they would become familiar with using the Keyboard.  

Then students were to create a Pic Collage demonstrating their understanding of at least 4 rules/expectations

Here students learned how to post projects to our class Edmodo Group!  Students were to type their lesson reflection/exit slip with their project.  

After students were oriented with using their iPads I introduced the Popplet App.  Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the changes  matter goes through.  My third graders are working on the changes water goes through, (states of matter), and my fourth graders are working on chemical and physical changes.  

This is an example of student using the Popplet App demonstrating their knowledge of what chemical and physical changes are!  

My favorite so far is the Doceri App!  This is a presentation app.  My first assignment required students to create 4 slides, (Angles, Polygons, Triangles, Quadrilaterals).  They were given 4 minutes per slide to draw and label as many attributes as they could.  Then students were given 2 minutes to collaborate together and write a script that they will use to record their explain their slides.  It creates a Kahn Academy like video!  Here are a few pics of my fabulous students engaged and motivated to study Geometry!!  

My introduction slide with directions on how to use Doceri!



Students working together to create their scripts!

My students were so motivated to come to school and learn!  I had 100% attendance all week long.  Students had all their homework complete and were eager to get started everyday.  I informed my students on Monday that iPads are a learning tool and a privilege.  If they were not able to take responsibility for their own learning then the iPads would not be available to them.  Wow!!  I couldn't believe the immediate change that I witnessed in my students.  Gone were the sluggish responses,  day dreams of our past Spring Break, and temporary memory loss of year long rules and expectations in our classroom.  I couldn't fail them by not having engaging lessons planned using these iPads!  It was my responsibility to provide them the opportunity.

Thanks for reading my blog!  Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin, Google, and my TpT store!  Share with your friends.  I need more followers.  



  1. LOVE that you took a risk and went for it EVEN before state tests. I completely disagree with your coworker. Honestly, if the kids don't know "it" by now, they aren't going to learn it for the test. I'm sure your students were engaged, motivated, and learning a ton last week. I can't wait to see what else you teach them. I love Edmodo! I'm in love with your charging cart! Totally wish I had 15 ipads and a cart!
    Pinkadots Elementary

  2. Thanks for the support Theresa! I'm looking forward to watching my students review, practice, and refine their reading and math skills this week!


  3. I'm SO proud of you...for your relaxation day AND for implementing the ipads...even before FCAT. I don't see anything wrong with this at all. iPads are a phenomenal motivator and it sounds like you have a really good grasp on the best ways to use them in the classroom already. Your students are lucky to have you as an out of the box teacher before these silly tests! Have a FABULOUS week!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Thanks Alison! I had a wonderful weekend! I hope to have another exciting week reviewing for FCAT with the iPads. Hope your week goes well too!

  4. How AWESOME!! I have heard of these apps but haven't had a chance to use them yet. Thanks for inspiring me to try them!