Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't drop it.............

5 year olds + breakable = Mrs. Dills' stress rising

I was fortunate enough to have my Principal purchase a case for my ipad.
I was also fortunate that no one dropped it before we received our case.  (The "Don't drop it" stress is valid...I can't tell you how many clickers have crashed to the floor!  Thank goodness they are very hearty!)

I was torn on what type of case would work best.  Here's the one that I have and I would suggest it to anyone with small children using your beloved ipad!  It fits snugly and is very easy for the children to carry around.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

21st Century Skills

There's lots to be found at by Partnership for 21st Century Skills!  Here is an overview of this site's belief that every student needs to be educated and prepared for the future. 

This site is full of articles and resources for teachers, professors, parents, and community members.  I especially found the Route 21 link to be helpful.  There are actual resources for giving assessments and lessons focused on 21st century skills. You are able to search for what fits your needs.  Unfortunately, I felt that there is so much information on this site that it is challenging to navigate and know which avenue you want to investigate.  Some of the material I found was dated 2004, which I believe it outdated! 

P21 and Fablevision created this short film below to help students and teachers understand that "education" is now more than the 3 R's... Now one must add the 4 C's (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation).  The film is called "Above and Beyond".  If you'd like to read about this project, click here!

What do you think?  Will this film help your students see the importance of the 4 C's?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How can I use this blog????

I see this blog as a way for me to share information about the experiences of my class using ipads.  My hope is that my experiences will not only help others but to also bring about comments and suggestions on how I can utilize the ipads most effectively.  So, for this particular blog my goal is to create a professional blog for myself and others to share ideas. 

I have a classroom blog which can be found at which I use to share information with parents.  I can share slideshows of pictures, information about upcoming events, reminders, and tips for extra help with school work at home.  Since I have kindergarteners I find it difficult for students to actually participate in the blog.  I do show them when I update the blog and try to encourage them to view it with their parents.  They love the sites we visit so they are typically excited that they can show mom and dad how to use the sites. Many parents love having the extra help!

Here's a screenshot of my classroom blog!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On Friday, I introduced Sketchio to my class. This app is free and very simple, which is great for K! It is basically a can change pen colors, use an eraser, and add pages. One student got to use the Ipad while the rest of us used our small whiteboards. It is amazing how well kids can pick up anything, are not afraid to try it, and are successful in no time!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Digital Kindergarten: iPads in Kindergarten? YES!

Digital Kindergarten: iPads in Kindergarten? YES!: I'm a little surprised by how many negative articles I've come across this week about the school district in Maine that is going 1:1 with iP...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Free App

Thought I'd share this FREE interactive book for kids.... It will not be free for long!
Bartlebys Book Buttons

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ipad pics

This app is called "ABC Alphabet Phonics".  It starts out by giving two choices and tells you which letter to touch.  Be the end you're choosing among 10 letters.  There is also a number app that is similar.

Let the games begin...

     As we just finished our first week in kindergarten there is still so much to do! We are learning procedures, rules, and expectations.  I always try to introduce the technology I will be using in my classroom right from the beginning.  So begins the Ipad adventures in Kindergarten... I must say I had to swallow my reservations.  My biggest fear is that THEY WILL BREAK IT!  Can you imagine???? 5 year olds cannot be expected to understand the value of money (this is easily proven by the choice of a penny over any other coin time and time again!).  So, I am stressing the 'procedures' of using the Ipad.  The main rule of the moment is "Do not pick it up and take it anywhere."  I will let you know how it goes!!!
     So far about half the class has been able to individually use the Ipad for a letter recognition app.  I have also used it in whole group.  I have a document camera so I placed the Ipad under the document camera and demonstrated different apps and how to navigate the Ipad. 
     Needless to say all of the children are excited to use the Ipad.  As I get to know my students' strenghts and weaknesses I will be searching for apps that fit our needs. 
     As a side note:  The app "The Monster At the End of this Book" is from the Sesame Street Book staring Grover.  It is very cute and engaging!  My 10 month old was giggling and wanting to touch the screen the entire time!