iPads for Starters

We decided to use the iPads in maths lessons for a couple of weeks. It has been quite difficult to plan their use into lessons this week, mainly due to so many lessons being taken over by Christmas rehearsals. Because of this, we decided to use the tablets during maths starters.

We have been working on doubling and halving this week so we used 'Epic Math' (a free app) to practice. I spent some time before the lesson, looking for apps with specific doubling and halving practice but did not find manage to find anything promising. Since then I have searched again and found one app (called 'Doubling and Halving' and also free) which I will try out with the children in the coming weeks. 'Epic Math' allowed the children to practice their 2 times tables.

I found that although the children were engaged during the activity and mostly collaborated and shared well, they seemed sometimes to be guessing answers rather than thinking or working them out. I wondered whether the children were focussing more on the element of 'game' rather than the learning objective. It will be interesting to see if the children feel that using the iPads helped them learn, or were just fun to use.

In order to give the children something to compare using the iPads to, I planned one lesson this week with the mini laptops using Education City. The advantage here was that there are enough netbooks for the children to have one each. It was interesting to see that, even though they had a computer each, the children still chose to work together in many cases. The level of work related talk in both lessons was high.

The iPads worked well in the maths starter but as the children were sharing between 4-5, the starter took quite a long time and ended up eroding a chunk of the main lesson. Being super organised with what you want the children to achieve (which app to use, how to get started with it etc...) is key here.

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