Trying Something New …

Today I decided to try something new: I used the iPad during guided reading. I have recently purchased a second iPad — as a birthday present to myself — and this means that my students have more options with the iPad during literacy and math centres. I happened to have access to one during my guided reading time this morning, and I thought that it would be interesting to use it with my group.

The students read a version of The Frog Prince, and I wanted them to work on retelling the story and inferring how different characters felt. We used the Audio Memos app to record part of our discussion:

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The amazing part happened after the recording. It was time to clean up from the centres and regroup, and while I went to help facilitate this, I noticed that my students listened to their recording. Then they started to add more to the discussion. They spoke about how other characters might have felt, and they used the text to help support their answer. Adding in the listening component with the speaking one, made a difference.

I will definitely be using the iPad again during guided reading, and I have to thank @techieang for giving me the idea in the first place. I only wish that I tried this earlier.

Have you used an iPad during guided reading before? How have you used it? I would love to hear your ideas too!


13 thoughts on “Trying Something New …

  1. Thanks! I admire how you take a tweet and reflect and implement it in your room. Carmel Crevola was talking about guided reading and how teachers ask too many questions at the end of the book. Carmel talked to the group about the importance of a discussion and not a question/answer period. You gave a focus for the discussion and let the kids talk. I’m glad you had Audio Memo to record it. This will be a great reflection piece from your students.

  2. Thanks Angie! I would have loved to hear this talk from Carmel. I used to ask a lot of questions at the end of the book, and this year, I’ve been trying to ask fewer, give a focus for the discussion, but really just let the children talk. Usually I take notes during this time, but recording the discussion, proved to be even better. It also gave me the opportunity to really participate in the discussion instead of being so focused on just the note-taking side of things.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. What a beautiful moment! When students extend learning moments, such as you described, we can tell they have been engaged! Real learning doesn’t have boundaries!

    Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to hear of more uses of the iPad! (I’m buying myself a present soon, as well.)


  4. Thanks Kathy! I was so pleased that this happened too. It was great to observe, and it’s definitely a moment that I hope happens many more times in the future.

    Hope you enjoy your “present” too!

  5. Thanks for sharing! As a mother of a Kindergarten, 2nd & 3rd grader I think this is a wonderful idea! My kids have had exposure to an iPad at home and it is amazing what they learn. What a wonderful way to utilize technology in the elementary classroom!!!

  6. Wow, Aviva! What a great story! Thanks for sharing! I love how you explained how the learning continued even after the “recording”. What special moments! I want to try that now too in my Guided Reading groups!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I am so inspired by your post! I love the engagement the iPad brings to the students learning! I will definitely share this idea with my colleuges!

  8. Thanks for your comment, Lisa! I think that the iPad is an incredible tool to use in the classroom, and it’s great to see what the students can do with it. So many of the students have an iPad at home too, and they have definitely taught me a lot about how to use this tool in the classroom as well.


  9. Thanks for the comment, Lesley! I’m so excited that you want to try this out with your guided reading groups too. I hope you do, and I hope you’ll share how this goes as well. I’m sure that you’ll love using the iPad as part of a guided reading centre.


  10. Thanks Vicky! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post and that you’ll be sharing the idea with colleagues too! It’s great when we can all learn from each other.


  11. Hi Aviva,

    First of all a great blog, I really enjoy how you interpret the happenings in your class. I am continually looking for how ipad and other tech tools can be used successfully in the classroom. Using audio with juniors is a particularly special way to develop oral language, reflection and deeper thinking!

    Thanks for the inspiration!


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