Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oral Language and Reading Fun with iPads and QR Codes

My classroom has been fortunate to have the use of three iPads. This is the first year that I have had this option. We have had so much fun using them!

One of the ways I have been using the iPads is to develop oral language for my kindergarteners. When we do the calendar during circle time, I let the students take turns being the "weather person". I let students be the "camera man" and use the iPad to video their classmates weather report. The weather reporter say their name, get to choose what channel they work for, and the time of the news. They then tell what today's weather is and put all the appropriate pieces up on the wall. They then "forecast" what tomorrow's weather will be like and put up pieces for that as well. One of my students is so shy, he was a bit uncomfortable doing this. I encouraged him to try and I helped him do his part. He was shy, speaking quietly, and wanted me to tell him everything he needed to say. He barely whispered his part. I then replay the weather report videos back to the class and they LOVED it!

Next, we used the app called Little Bird Tales. Using this app is a great way to make an interactive digital class book. To get the students familiar with how to use the app and manipulate the buttons, we made a collaborative shape book. I let the students choose whether they would like to drag and draw a square or a circle. They got to choose what color it was outlined in and what color it was filled in with. They then dragged the shape across the drawing space as large, small, skinny, wide, tall, or short as they liked. Then, using the microphone, they would describe their shape: "This is a large, purple circle with a pink middle." It was a simple way for them to begin to learn to use the app. Every time a new student made a page, we just added a page to the book so that the final result was a collaborative class shape book. We then played back and listened to the book. They watched each page and loved identifying who the author illustrator of the page was! My little shy guy was becoming a bit more adventurous and spoke louder with this project.

We then used the app called Photo Booth. I let the kinders choose what "look" they wanted to use to have me take their picture. The X-ray and heat wave look was very popular. I then took their pictures. I loaded the pictures into iMovie. I then had the students speak into the microphone. They said, "My name is XXX, and this is my friend, XXX." I adjusted the length of the audio so that as the student said their own name and introduced the next person, the next person's picture showed up. When you play back the movie, it begins with one student introducing themselves and then introducing their friend. It ends with the last student introducing me. They LOVED all the different looks their friends chose for their pictures. My little shy guy practically shouted his part for this project!! The iPad has truly given him so much confidence in developing his oral language. I am so thankful! He has a voice and he's not afraid to use it!

The most recent activity we have used the iPad for is to practice reading. I downloaded a QR code reader onto the iPads. I created a packet that can be purchased in my TpT store called "Scan & Read, Spell & Write". I created QR codes for vocabulary in the classroom that I use to introduce initial sounds as each new letter is introduced in my classroom during phonics using a QR code creator called QR Stuff. If you'd like to look at what I offer in the packet, please click on the cover page.



I have designed cards for all 26 letters. Below is an example using only 4 of the letters. The four picture cards are cut apart and placed in a center or in different places around the room. Students scan the QR code. Students then copy the word that shows up next to the same picture in the writing space. 






Or, students can use the worksheet below. They can attempt phonetic spelling on the top line. They then scan the QR code for the individual picture and check their spelling. If it is correct, they write it one more time on the lower picture. If it is incorrect, students correct their spelling on the second line.




I have also created the cards with the real vocabulary word under them. The vocabulary cards can be used as a matching game with the QR code cards. 


These can be used as worksheets and they can be laminated and used with white board markers in centers. The pictures are large enough to be colored, developing student fine-motor skills.

If you'd like to see more about how to use QR codes for reading, please visit this blog post I wrote awhile ago: Use QR Codes to Teach Reading.

I would love to hear how you are using iPads in your classroom!

Enjoy!




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