Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest Blog by Learning to the Core

We are so excited to join the New Year, New Ideas, New Possibilities Linky Party hosted by Primary Possibilities! Having recently joined the blogging world in late November, we are so happy to have the chance to get more great teachers to come check out our blog: Learning to the Core. Once you visit our blog, you'll see that we focus on how we can use technology to teach the Common Core Standards. We are definitely still learning a lot about the Common Core Standards, but we really enjoy sharing our ideas with others and learning from other bloggers, as well!

Amanda is in her 6th year of teaching 1st grade and Aylin is in her 4th year working as a reading specialist for Kindergarten and 1st Grade and worked for 3 years before that as a Kindergarten teacher. We have worked together now for 4 years and have really enjoyed bouncing ideas off each other and creating things together to help our little friends become great readers and writers! We are also very lucky to have 1:1 MacBooks in 1st Grade and 1:1 iPads in Kindergarten. We use technology frequently throughout our day and are constantly trying new ideas out with our friends to get them engaged and learning!

Since technology is such a big part of our teaching, today we are sharing ideas about how we use technology (iPads) in my small groups as a tool to practice Phonemic Awareness, practice letter names and sounds, for making words, and to complete graphic organizers. I find that my little friends really enjoy using the iPads and get very into our activities when the iPad is involved! In our Phonemic Awareness activities, I have my friends put a dot in each box for each sound they hear in whatever word I say. This provides them with a stepping stone to recognizing all sounds in words, which helps them become better writers. We practice letter names and sounds by writing the letter name of the sound I say. I follow this same format for making words, where I say a CVC word, the students say the sounds and then write it on the iPads. Both our phonemic awareness and phonics activities are quick mini activities that produce me with useful information to see how my friends are improving - plus it's fun!

I also have my students take pictures of a blank graphic organizer on their iPads and then they complete the graphic organizer on their iPads instead of on paper. My kindergarteners and 1st graders love the idea that their finger is their marker and that they can choose different colors when working on iPads. I have to say also that their creations on the iPads turn out really cute.

These pictures and activities can be done on a number of "whiteboard" type apps, but I most frequently use ShowMe and ScreenChomp, which are both free apps. These activities are some of the daily ways I use iPads, but we are also regularly trying new apps and new ways to use the MacBooks with our little friends, so please head over to our blog to read more detailed posts on how we use technology in our classrooms, including the apps mentioned above!

Thanks so much to Mona, here at First Grade Schoolhouse, for having us as a guest on her blog today! We are super excited to go check out more teaching blogs who've joined up with the link!

Have a great day!

Amanda & Aylin

Thank you so much, Amanda and Aylin, for guest blogging for me. You've given some "new ideas and new possibilities" for how to use technology in the classroom. Great information! 

Be sure to head on over to Ms. Jones' Junction, where I will be guest blogging today.


  1. I just found you at Ms. Jones' Junction. I loved all your ideas for making whole class books!

    I'm your newest follower. Can't wait to explore the rest of your blog.

    Hope your stop by and say hi real soon.:)

    Granny Goes to School

  2. Hi I loved reading about your use of iPad apps to encourage learning and creativity. I run a small start-up company that has just started producing products. Our first entry is Project Storytime for the iPad. It's a great product that let's kids explore Story Creation through imagination.

    As a parent myself I wanted to be able to work on something that I could share with my kid.

    Hope you get a chance to check it out. Keep up the great work.

  3. Yay for new ipad apps to try! Liked the guest post and am a new follower to the blog!

    Covered in Glitter and Glue

  4. That's a neat way to use the iPads. We only have one iPad in our classroom. Hopefully within the next couple of years we can get some more so that we can do things like this!
    Thanks for linking up!

  5. I'm so jealous! I wish I had Ipads for my room. The kids love the interactivity!

    I'm your newest follower. Stop by my blog!

    The Fabulous First Grade


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