Thursday, February 07, 2013

Digital Books and IPads: Small Group Instruction

Recent professional development efforts have given me the energy and enthusiasm to try two new teaching efforts.

First, I plan to run two digital book groups after the February vacation.  Over vacation, I'll explore the books and tools so that I'm well prepared.  I'll also schedule the computers too.  I'll choose students for these groups based on their current learning needs and interests.

Second, I'll download great copies of our upcoming read alouds to my iPad so that I can utilize that feature as we engage in the book together.

Third, I'll begin to use the iPads in small groups for math differentiation.  We have a small number of iPads at the grade level so I'll explore a number of apps and utilize those that I believe will fill some gaps we have with regard to math instruction and engagement.  I particularly want to try the Motion Math apps as I like the research that supports those apps.

The next leg of the school year will be focused on analysis, explanation and skill as we ready for state tests and develop essential reading, writing and math skills across the curriculum.  The use of these new tools and strategies will help to invigorate this emphasis.

Committing to a plan to try something new gives one the time and focus to carry the plan out.  Sharing this plan with my PLN early elicits discussion, ideas and further thought.  Hence, ideas are welcome as I know many of you are already engaging in similar learning endeavors.