Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer School as Tech Integration

This year in summer school, I have a pretty unique position (for me). I'm being utilized as a tech integration specialist for grades 4-6. It's a weird feeling being that secondary teacher. But, the two ladies that I am working with are AWESOME! They are not approaching me as an add-on to their summer school. They are looking to truly pull my talents and interests in to support the emerging math and language arts students. Very cool!

 Also, let's be honest...the teacher that walks into the room pushing a cart of iPads is going to get the love!

 Here's how we are approaching this condensed time with kids (and iPads).

 Assessing their current levels and need in math facts... Enter MathDrills


 The app name itself isn't entirely inspiring for being a fun way to use the iPad. But, it totally is! The app is game-based and operates in a fun way. The entire time kids are answering math questions, they are "racing" with pit stops, fun sounds and animations, and SUPPORT. The app has optional support features such as a number line, problem count, and ways to tailor the app to the child's need.


 The student is being tracked in speed and accuracy. AND, the app generates a nice certificate and report that can be emailed to various locations. (The kids were really ramped up with the certificate!) We had the students explore the app with the practice and game sections. Then, they completed a 30 question test that allowed for results to be emailed to the teachers. This can be repeated after the two week session to check for progress. Just a great app with many possibilities to customize for the students needs!

 Next...let's get them reading, writing, and creating!

 Enter, ScribblePress app.


 Another way to tailor the instruction towards the student's level. The app itself is geared towards book building. Books that can be shared at completion with iTunes or via a link. The app allows for scaffolding in a fill in the blank format for emerging readers/writers or a completely blank book format for more advanced story generating.


 We used the story skeleton, "All About Me" to have the kids introduce themselves to us and get familiar with the iPad features. They were off an running! We didn't have to TEACH them how to use the app. The features are really well laid out and common sense like. So, the students weren't frustrated with the basic creating. That left a lot of time and energy for proof reading and editing. Students were able to go back through and fix their capitalization and punctuation errors. They added and deleted to personalize. And, the most fun came with the drawings and pictures added! What fun! And, were are working with words... We will polish up those stories about themselves and engage in another writing activity in the Scribble Press app.

 And, from here... We are utilizing some other really cool apps!

 To read about my experiences last summer teaching summer school to 7-9th grade students, click below. You can check out how I utilized google apps, Skype, iBooks, and Edmodo!

Please, share what apps you will be piloting in a summer school program! Or, interested in setting up a quick Skype call between groups? Let me know!


  1. Summer school provides a good platform to the all students to learn some new things and activities.

  2. Wow - Tech Integration Specialist....could that be a new career track for you?

    Thank you for sharing these Apps and how you use them in the classroom. I do have that Math drill app on my iPhone and every now and then let the kids use it (but it's my phone and not totally comfortable with that). But, this year I will have access to two iPads (all day!!!). I'm excited and nervous as I want to use them to their full capacity. I will be checking back with you to see what other suggestions you can make.

    As always - I love learning from you. Thanks for sharing!