Grade 5
Maintained by:Heather EarleySilver Lane Elementary School
external image SL_Mascot.jpg

SeptemberThis month I used the iPad to present our year overview to parents during Open House (I will post the presentation on here soon) I decided that my professional growth objective will focus on using my iPad during guided reading and intervention groups, since our school-wide focus this year is improving literacy. I used the iPad with 2 of my guided reading groups to help support the Benchmark books we were using. We were reading books on the Sun, Earth and Moon to correlate with our science unit. It was amazing how excited the students got whenever we used the iPad, and how it really helped to enhance their learning. Being able to find an app that showed how the Earth and other planets rotate and revolve at the same time was much easier than me trying to act it out with school supplies as I've had to do in the past!

OctoberThis month I used the iPad in my guided reading groups to help the students research projects for their Sun, Earth and Moon projects. We began the books in September, and finished them this month. Each group was able to pick a project to showcase what they learned from their books. We had a timeline of space exploration that spans almost 1/2 the hallway. We had a group do a Venn Diagram comparing Mars and Venus. Other groups chose to make photo albums that highlighted pictures of importance from their books along with captions explaining their importance. Many of the groups wanted to know much more than what they learned in their book, so we used the iPad to research their book topics so they could add more information to their project.

Here are some pictures of the completed projects:

The large picture in the middle is a Venn diagram comparing Mars and Venus. The smaller projects are photo albums students made illustrating main ideas from their books

The timeline at the top shows major accomplishments in space explorations with reasons why. Students filled in the gaps with information that was gathered from the iPad. The students loved using the iPad to look up information

NovemberThis month I used the iPad in a different way to help improve guided reading. Our school goal this year is to improve upon the guided reading we are delivering in our classrooms. We have all been using the book The Next Steps In Guided Reading by Jan Richardson to help guide our planning and implimentation of groups. This is a great book when trying to enhance your guided reading plans or trying to get out of a rut with guided reading.During a discussion with one of the consultatnts who works with our building we were talking about how our Literacy Coach was going into classrooms and modeling lessons for the grade levels. We discussed how it would be great to create a video library of these model lessons along with the lesson plans to refer to. I was able to go into 2 different classrooms while she was modeling and taped the groups with my iPad. I learned a lot watching the groups work since most of my students are fluent readers it as interesting to see how different the lessons were. We are now trying to figure out what to do with these videos to store them in a place that everyone can access them when planning. We were thinking a wiki as a way to share ideas.
DecemberDecember was a really busy month for my class. We went to the Wadsworth where they performed with the chorus and explored the artwork and trees for the Festival of Trees. We spent a week at Starbase in Hartford. I used the iPad to take pictures and videos of everything we were doing. I plan on having a group of students create a keynote or another presentation on what they learned at Starbase.

My students in front of the tree they created in art that was donated for the Festival of Trees and auctioned off for charity. They were so proud to see their work on display!

The chorus performing at the Wadsworth

Filtering Water At Starbase


Creating a seatbelt for their "eggbert" who needed to safetly return to earth from space

JanuaryThis month as we began getting ready for the CMT's I had the students begin using the iPad more independently. I purchased the miniMod apps and although they were somewhat expensive they were well worth the money. The students use the cloze app a lot and we have also done work with the inferring and details app. The students love the set-up of the apps being like a bingo game and enjoy working in groups on it. I have also hooked it to the Smartboard to teach lessons on using context clues to figure out what the missing word would be. These apps have multiple levels, I think the actual grade levels may be a bit harder than what they say its a great challenge for the students. On Wednesdays I lose almost half of my class a 1/2 hour before the day is over for Inter-el, with the remaining students we have been watching a brain pop movie and taking the quizzes. This is a great way to reinforce curriculum and the students love trying to beat their score from the week before.
FebruaryThis month we continued to use the iPad to get ready for the CMT's. I used several math apps I had found to review time, money, and other basic math concepts that we have talked about earlier in the year but do not have time to touch on right now as a whole class. I have been doing station teaching in math, so the iPad is one of the stations. The students love when it is their time to use it. Groups seem to work better on the iPad than other stations because they know if they are not working they lose their time on it. In reading I have continued to use it for guided reading. It is a great help for reinforcing vocabulary and being able to give students visuals for what we are reading right at the table.
MarchAs we worked through CMT's I used the iPad for a break for my students. I found a sudoku app that is for kids, so the squared are 6 x6 instead of 9x9. We started doing it as a whole class using the projector and then students worked on their own with it. I also downloaded a Where's Waldo app that my students are amazed with. I was looking for an I Spy app since my class takes out those books from the library every week, those were expensive, the Waldo app was on sale for 0.99. There is a tug of war game, where teams need to spot things on their side of the picture, and other games. This was a great way to increase my students ability to look for details in pictures (I'm hoping they add more detail into their writing), and a great break after the CMT's!
AprilI'm really excited with what we did this month. My students are finishing up a unit on the Westward Movement, and I gave them a choice of what type of project they would want to do. One group chose to use the iPad to do an iMovie. Unfortunatly that did not work since you can't load pictures from the Web onto the iMovie (or if you can I have yet to figure it out), so they decided to do a Keynote. Either way this is the first time my students have really taken the iPad and worked independently with it. I am really impressed with the work that they are doing and the amount of responsibilty they have shown. It is interesting to note they asked for the keyboard to type, they did not like typing right on the screen.