Taking Care of iPads with Primary Students

Little ones CAN and SHOULD be responsible for their own devices! Make it easy in these few steps

Teach your kids appropriate use with an anchor chart, poster, or inforgraphic. Add on to your anchor chart as new issues and observations arise.


If your students take their devices home, have an easy way for them to transport the devices AND teach them as part of your anchor chart how to take devices home!


Kirstin McGinnis

iPads Meet Early Literacy

Using technology to practice early literacy skills is a breeze! You students can record on ANY document you upload through the Showbie app, giving differentiated material that is accessible to all! While some students practice letter formation, others can zoom into trace a letter then write it or chose which document they would like to practice with. Next, let your little ones work on self-guided practice in letter formation apps such as Writing Wizard, iWrite, or Letter Cat to name a VERY few. These are quick, fun and engaging ways to integrate technology into your classroom!

Kirstin McGinnis @mariemcg72

ChatterPix Research Movies

Our first grade students were researching animals in small groups, and we wanted to step up the typical “book writing” on a typical template on paper.

We came up with an idea for our students to draw images of their part of the graphic organizer (ie. habitat, baby, food, etc.)

Students were given the task to draw their animal and save it to the camera roll.

Then we used an app called, Chatterpix, to record our research and use our own animal pictures! These animals were now able to “talk” with our students voice!
Then, we wanted to step it up a bit!

We added some green screen fun to create some more engaging videos to publish our research!

We painted a wall in our computer lab green and used one of the great green screen apps to put our students within a photo of their chosen animal!

They really, really got into it and loved every minute of this lesson!

They were given CHOICE of photos and allowed to be creative, which was so exciting to see! Check out our work!

Recording Sight Word Fun!

iPads make recording our learning so easy, and possible for our young students! We love sharing and showing what we have learned with our families at home through online posts.

This week, I was working in a ELL Kindergarten classroom, and they are struggling with learning and articulating their sight words. Many of the students parents do not speak English, which also makes it harder for them to practice at home as well. So, we came up with a simple idea for students to record their sight words using images and voice, then post them online for parents to learn at home with them.

Students were given letters and paper and were asked to spell their favorite sight word. Then they were asked to take a picture of the word, then each letter to spell the word in order.

We used a fabulous, easy app, Puppet EDU, to create a slide show and record our voice over the word and letters. Once we saved the movies, we posted them to our Seesaw account for parents to see at home!

Students are now able to use this as a guided reading center to watch, listen and engage in basic sight word practice! Authentic audience, authentic purpose!

Instructional Coach Lissa Blake

Hunting for Letters in Kindergarten

Today in class, we went on a letter hunt with our Kindergarten Students.  We reminded students of our rules for using ipads:  Hold it with two hands, use walking feet and only take appropriate photos.
We introduced the lesson by modeling how to locate the camera on our devices (iPads) and how to point and shoot.  We also reminded them how to zoom in and out by pinching or spreading their fingers.  Students were then given a recording sheet to color letters as they identified them.  Once all the letters were located, we asked students to sit back down at their seats.

BONUS!  This lesson can also be used as formative assessment for matching and identifying letters! CC  RF.K.1.b – Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

We then modeled for them how to use the editing features in the Photo App.  We showed them how to align the box to isolate the letter they found and make it larger.

Our next step will be to import these into an app to create an ABC book.  Be on the lookout for this in our next post!

Blog Post by Kindergarten Teacher Beth Hatlen


Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety

We start the year by making sure all of our students hear the same internet safety lesson to help keep our students safe and start the conversations about our digital footprint, even at a young age.

Common Sense Media is a wonderful site to look for information, ideas and lessons to help teach students about being a responsible digital citizen.

I found a great resource that I used with my second grade students, a video called “Pause and Think Online”. I played the animated music video for my students, which they truly enjoy and start to sing along as we watch it together. Then we have a great class discussion about how to keep ourselves safe online, respect each other and give ourselves a balance of online and outside time.

Once we had this great discussion, I gave them each a bookmark, since what primary student doesn’t LOVE a bookmark

Students were in small groups, and were put to a task of creating a “poster” that tells about some of the information on their bookmarks. They were given choice to create with images of themselves, text or clipart. I gave them a time limit, and let them go on one of our favorite stand by apps, Pic Collage.

Here is our teacher example:

When the time was up, they were put on the task of posting their “poster” on their class Seesaw page and present it to the class.

Great job second graders!

Instructional Coach Lissa Blake


Moving to NOW Classrooms

Articulating what the Now Classrooms Project is has been a challenge for me. The classrooms I envision are so different from a teacher focused classrooms in so many ways. I see a teacher-student partnership classroom with everyone learning together while they are engaged solving real world problems. This concept is really a complete shift in teaching and learning from the traditional model of school.

I made the first draft of a visual of the continuum of change. I think this document will change many times, but at least it is a starting point. There are many charter and private schools that have created schools all around the concept of the student-teacher partnership classrooms, but I want to bring that to public schools.

I understand not every teacher, administrator, school system, or community is ready for a new model of school. That is why I founded the Now Classrooms Project team to start working with the educators that are ready for the shift. I would love to hear your comments on the document.

Meg Ormiston

Founder of the Now Classrooms Project