Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teaching with iPods

Hola amigos!
A wonderful blog TIPS:Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students just got 5 iPods to use in her classroom (Woo! Hoo! Congrats Laura!) and is asking for some help with how to use them. Any one out there want to join her linky/giveaway to offer any advice??
Here is how I use my iPods...
1. Centers
We have a 4 center rotation each day and at one center, once or twice a week, when work is complete, the students get to use the iPods. I like to make the adjust work during these days so that they will all have time to get to play. It stinks when the fast finishers are the only ones who get to play.

2. Morning Meeting
Everyone has a block of time where the students are completing "morning meeting" type tasks, right? Well, after teaching the routine for quite some time, I break my students up into different groups, this time for days of the week. Each day of the week, a group of students gets to use the iPods. I call this my "Room 3 App Store" I am very strict about which games they can play because I want the time to be useful, fun and interactive. I give them a few choices about what they can play and they can ONLY play these choices. I tell them that if they aren't following directions, then they will not be able to play anymore but I haven't had any problems and good thing because I wouldn't have such a hard time taking such a fun time away from them! Each of their game choices works on something that they are struggling with. This makes it SOOOO easy for differentiation and inclusion: everyone gets what they need!
Here's a picture of how I have it set up in my classroom.
I have each iPod numbered (aww man, I don't have a picture of that, I'll put it in the Friday Photo Dump). So, I take a minute and say, "It's Monday, You are on iPod number 1 and here are your 2 choices, You are on iPod number 2 and here are your choices, You are on iPod number 3 and here are your choices, You are on iPod number 4 and here are your choices and You are on iPod number 5 and here are your choices." That was long-winded! I call the students by their names though, not by "You." hehe. After 2 or 3 weeks time, all I have to do is walk over to the App Store pocket chart and say, "It's Tuesday," there are probably students ready and waiting at the table already with their hands out urging me to stop talking so they can start.
To make the picture choices of the apps, I Googled the apps and looked for the image that matches what it looks like on the actual iPod, formatted it to size in PowerPoint and hit print! Here is a copy of the my PowerPoint if you'd like to use it or just take a look at how I did it. Please leave me comment if you download it so I know if it is any good! =) Also, it came out kinda funky in GoogleDocs so just email me if you'd like an original copy.

3. Listen to Reading time during Daily 5
I spent much time on my computer uploading all of my books on CD into my iTunes. After I uploaded them all, I spent more time Google-ing the images of the front cover for each book. It took me all summer last year! But it was well worth it, trust me! All my students have to do is grab a book, an iPod and they are reading to listen to the story. They go to music, find the image of the book and tap on it. So simple for my kindergarteners and I don't have hands tugging on me because they can't find their story. If I want them all to read the same story, I put 1 iPod out and hook it up to my Lakeshore splitter and we are good to go!
This is what it looks like in iTunes

In order to get the picture on there you'll need to:
1. Save the picture onto your computer. I made an entire folder called "Front Covers for iPods," clever, right?
2. Go into iTunes, find the story and right click (sorry guys, I'm a PC user, I don't know what right click translates to in Mac world)
3. Click on Get Info
4. Click on the Artwork tab
5. Click Add
6. Choose your picture and save!

4. As a timer
I LOVE my Kiddie Timer! There is an app called Kiddie Timer that is amazing. There is a free one (with stinkin' ads) and a paid one. I put it under my ELMO and the students help keep track of our time. I also have a helper who taps Stop and Go (mostly because I always forget). If you have an iPod, get this app for your kids and/or your students!

Ok, I have gone on long enough, this took much longer to write than expected. Check out my previous post about iPods here and here for more info (or repeated info) and for some of the apps that I use. And don't forget to link up with Laura at TIPS to help her out and everyone else with iPods/iPads.

Thanks for being here!


  1. Oh my gosh!!!! You are amazing! I can't thank you enough!

    TIPS: Teach, Inspire, and Prepare Students

  2. Thanks for sharing. I REALLY need to get some for my classroom.

  3. WOW what an awesome post. I am sooooooooo pinning you so that I can remember all of your great tips.

    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

  4. This is a great post!! I am hoping to get some iPod Touchs donated to my classroom - they are on my wish list anyway and I have a DonorsChoose project up right now with iPod Touchs as well! I am going to pin this post so I can find it when/if I get them!!

    Oh and I gave you an award, head on over to my blog to get it!


    1. Cindy, thank you soooo much for the award!!

      A friend of mine got 2 iPods from Donors Choose, good luck with yours!

      Kindergarten Schmindergarten

  5. It's great to see how other teachers are using their ipads/pods. thanks

    I am your newest follower.

    rubber boots and elf shoes

    1. Welcome to my blog Sandi! I'm headed to your now, I already love it's name!

      Kindergarten Schmindergarten

  6. I just found your blog and love it. I gave your blog an award. Please come over to my blog to get more info.

    :) Amy

  7. Hi! I just found your blog and I'm your newest follower! Thanks for posting this information. I don't have ipods in my classroom but would like to! I think I'll make a new Donor's Choose project. Your tips are wonderful!

    ~ Lisa
    Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Another kindergarten teacher at my school was awarded 2 iPods from Donors Choose, you should really consider it! I'm sure you will find so many ways to use them,
      Welcome to my blog,
      Kindergarten Schmindergarten

  8. I LOVE your "App Store" I am definitely going to use this. I have had 5 iPods and 5 iPads in my room for about 2 years now and I love your idea of designating which ones they can do by groups. In the past I have put them into folders on the ipod and labeled the folders according to their group name....but this is much cuter :)

  9. I had no idea that kids this young were already using this kind of technology. Personally, I think that is really cool. I wish we had stuff like this when I was a kid.