A great read if you are implementing the use of iPad’s in your classroom

I’ve just read this article on my favourite website Edudemic (it’s now set as my homepage!).

http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-ipad-guide/

the part I love the most about in this article is where it talks about the use of technology and the shift we as teachers need to grasp in moving from enhancement to transformation in our teaching. This is explained using the SAMR model below.

SAMRmodel

This SAMR model really spoke to me because it is what I strive for when creating my lessons for publishing The Interactive Music Room. It started off with creating for the interactive whiteboard BUT now while writing/creating level 4 I am now constantly thinking of how I can redefine the activties to flow across all platforms… data projection, interactive whiteboards & tablets. When I say redefine I don’t just mean something that looks pretty and is “cool” to use BUT an activity that is going to increase the scope and opportunity for students to focus more on being creative than a gimmick of using a piece of technology in school.

This is the challenge we as teachers need to take on in redefining the methodology we use when implementing technology in the classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Mistakes Schools Can Make Implementing the Use of iPads (my comments on an article written by Tom Daccord)

tablet-ABC-on-desk-400x265I was sent a link to this fantastic article (click on the title below) on implementing iPad’s in Schools and the mistakes schools/teachers can make.

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) By on September 27, 2012@edtechteacher

Tom highlights these as the 5 critical mistakes made

  1. Focusing on content apps
  2. lack of teacher preparation in classroom management of iPads
  3. treating the iPad as a computer and expecting it to serve as a laptop
  4. treating iPads as multi-user devices
  5. failure to communicate a compelling answer to “why iPads”

I would have to say that in my experience working in 2 different schools implementing the use of iPad’s as both one-to-one devices and mutlti-use/class sets these are definitely some of the areas we have had to think about, experience and work though ourselves in trying to work out the most effective and efficient use of this new technology. As I myself make mistakes in using this new teaching methodology, as any person does when implementing new things, I am constantly learning what works and what doesn’t. This I will share with you along the way.

In my own music classroom I have come to realise that focusing on using only music apps is not the way to go to efficiently use this technology. As you will see with a lot of my posts so far, I use many other apps that are not content specific. While content apps can be a great resource for teaching specific knowledge, combining these with the use of other apps opens up the use of iPad’s to be more inquiry based learning.

As an author/web app developer myself, I am actually working at the moment on a content specific music app (The interactive Music Room: Book 4) hopefully it will be ready for distribution early 2013. As I create each lesson in the app I am constantly aware of allowing the activities to be as open to creativity as possible, not locking students into a black & white, right or wrong answer, thus not limiting the students when creating & composing.

I would say that the more research & PD I have done has definitely helped me to become more confident in using iPad’s. I have also found that I need to be an expert on how an iPad works to problem solve & fix issues with student’s iPads, for example understanding how settings can impact on the ability to use apps.

I definitely advocate for the use of one-to-one iPads in the classroom, however the implementation is not as easy as 1,2,3. If you are thinking of going down this path I would definitely encourage you to read this article and share it with your colleagues.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Classroom Organisation

In the 6 years I have been teaching Classroom Music I have tried to find the most efficient way to organise my classroom

I would like to share how I have set up my classroom this year, hopefully it will help you and I would love to hear how other people set their classrooms up.

I was blessed this year to be given permission to buy some furniture so off to IKEA I went!

The Expedit 2×2 shelving units & Drona boxes were perfect for storing instruments

http://www.ikea.com/aa/en/catalog/products/80197154/

http://www.ikea.com/aa/en/catalog/products/10219282/

Instrument storage
Instrument storage

My labels are laminated and stuck onto the boxes with velcro sticky dots.

download my posters here percussion_instrument_posters.pdf

images used by permission from Music Room: A development classroom music program by Bushfire Press Pty Ltd

Group name sheets
Group name sheets

During my lessons I have my classes split into 5 groups. Each group has a group name card which has check boxes next to the students name. Each week I check the next students name on the list and they are my ‘Leader’ for that lesson. Their job is to get any instruments or materials needed, pack up and put away things or even cast the deciding vote when doing a project!

download my proforma here  group_organisation.docx

images used by permission from Music Room: A development classroom music program by Bushfire Press Pty Ltd

class set up ready for Lesson
class set up ready for Lesson

I have enough percussion instruments in a box to cater for 1 group. When using percussion instruments with my students I will give each group a different box of instruments and these boxes are rotated clockwise around the room by the leaders of each group. My rule is that when you are the leader you get to choose which instrument is given to each student in your group (works most of the time although you can’t stop some children from trying to buck the system and complain 🙂 ) .

positive reward chart
positive reward chart

For positive reinforcement I award house point stickers for good behaviour, being on task and showing they are ready to learn (the school is split into 3 House Teams for sports day & points are also awarded for being good students in the classroom and around the school)

download my template below

house points chart

How do you organise your classroom?

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl