Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 Ways I Have Used IPod Touches With My Year 3 Class

10 (now 11) Ways I have used IPod Touches with my Year 3 class

6 IPod Touch 8GB
1Gmail account
1 Class Blog
1 Class of 31 Year 3 pupils
Apps we are using

1, Reading Record Within guided reading, I use the IPod Touch, to encourage lower ability groups to read when they are not being supported by an adult. The children are given an IPod touch each and asked to record their own reading using one of the recording apps. To add interest to the activity I ask the children to create an audio book and ask them to make a noise to tell the listener when to turn the page. At the end of the session pupils email the recording to me. A quick glance at the length of the recording gives a good indication of the amount of work achieved and listening to the recording provides useful information about their unaided reading skills.
2, Audio Comprehension To spice up a group comprehension activity in guided reading, I regularly give a group the iPods and ask for their comprehension questions and answers to be recorded on the iPods and then emailed to me. Once pupils got used to the idea of pausing between recording their answers, this has been a good innovation resulting in a higher standard of work. I could do this on a laptop or netbook but I would be put off by the added extra time to boot the machine, load programs, save files and attach them to an email.

Pupil Examples of Audio Comprehension

3, Quality Texts Turned Into Audio Books To enable my pupils to create notes from a high quality source which was within their comprehension skills but outside their reading skills, I recorded a non fiction text book on elephants using one of the sound recording apps on the iPod touch. I emailed this to our single google mail account that is setup on all the iPod touches. Pupils opened the mail app and listened to the recording, pausing to write notes. The standard and quality of these notes were far better than both the groups immediately above them in ability who had had to take notes from written sources. It allowed those pupils to work independently in a way that was not possible before.

4, See The Text Hear The Text To enable a group of my pupils to access quality written notes on the Internet that were within their comprehension skills but outside of their reading ability, I used an app called Speak It. This reads typed text in an English accent. I compiled the research from the Internet and emailed it to all the iPods via the one email address. Pupils copied the text and pasted it into Speak It. They could then listen to the transcript, pause it and make notes. Again the quality of their note taking was far above the norm.

5, Photo To Blog Last week in science when investigating factors that contribute towards plant growth, the class took it in turns to take a photo of their plant using the IPods. They attached their photo to an email, added details about their experiment and emailed them to the class blog. Approx 50% of the class took their plants home to blog about their progress. The other half of the class chose to keep their plants at school and blog about progress in school. You can find the blogs at
(If you use the primary filter in school. You will not be able to access it in school as we use Blogger.)

6, Blog The Learning The iPods are fantastic for blogging the learning. I wouldn't dream of using a scanner to copy work. A photograph of their work, cropped and rotated with a simple app, if it needs it, and then emailed directly to the blog is such a time efficient way to share the learning with family, add extra value to their work and publish to a wider audience. It is so easy to do and has transformed how some of my pupils and I think about work. I would estimate that a third of my year 3 class are now writing with an audience in mind. I await final year writing results but early signs are very promising.

7, Instant Animation Apart from the camera, mail and sound recorder the iPod app we have used the most has been Puppet Pals. Recently, two groups of pupils retold part of the Romulus and Remus story as part of our Myths and Legends topic. We have also used it to develop speech and present factual writing in another way. If I am honest the quality of work has not always been as good as I would have hoped for. The app is so easy to use that you expect excellence without the planning that needs to go into a good play script. (Toontastic on IPads simular type program)

8, Extending Literacy Surprisingly, between four and eight pupils give up part of their lunch and break every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to use the iPods to blog their writing. Often this just means writing a sentence to go with the day’s literacy starter. I give certificates to pupils who have work published that has been written in their own time, but apart from this the only bonus is using the iPods. Generally this has been using the mail to blog facility. This has attracted my mid to top writers so far.

9, Extending Phonics Support Two out of five of my pupils, that receive regular literacy support, have stayed in to do extra phonics using PocketPhonics on more than one occasion. This is a lovely app that pronounces letters phonetically, shows you how to form them and then uses them in words and sentences. It was a wonderful buzz when the first pupil asked me if she could stay in to use this during break time.

10, Literacy Aid During literacy, groups that are writing independently use them either to record a sentence to check that it makes sense using a sound recording app or use a Dictionary and Thesaurus app to aid spelling or word choice. I have been keeping a very close eye on this to make sure that pupils are on task and the vast majority have used these correctly.

11, Reading with thinking. Children are asked to read out loud and then add their own thoughts about the reading as part of the recording.

I would not be without my IPods now and am extending their use into other classes as well as purchasing more. The key is to play to their strengths as an instant on multimedia supporting device rather than try to cover all the curriculum with them. As a multimedia companion to a PC or Mac network they are without peer.

1 comment:

  1. I am really impressed with your knowledge and ideas on how one can use the ipod touch. We have recently invested in ipads, I wonder whether there is a app that can be used to the same extent as the ipod touch. Should I be looking at investing in ipod touch?


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