As you are no doubt aware, the overwhelming buzz in Grade 4 this week was all about iPads! With much enthusiasm and excitement, the learners were finally allowed to trade in their iFrames for the real deal. The official launch of our 2016, 1:1 programme for Grade 4 was a huge success. The increase in the learners’ level of engagement, problem solving efforts, and collaboration, in just one day was really exciting to see, and as educators we hope to see this maintained throughout the rest of the year.
After a valuable discussion about basic iPad device management, safety, and care, and of course answering the vitally important question of “How many games may I have on my iPad?” (we recommend 6 – 8 good quality games b.t.w.), we introduced the learners to Google Classroom, which will be the platform we use to issue many of our tasks and projects, as well as the platform through which the learners will submit these assignments.
We started with a scavenger hunt which required the learners to think creatively in order to take photos of various academic subject related items and then arrange and display the images using Pic Collage. This collage was then submitted via email, thereby practicing how to attach files to an email for submission. The second activity involved creating a digital mind-map on Popplet in order to express a little bit about themselves. This popplet was then submitted via Google Classroom so that they could practice submitting tasks via the platform.
On Friday the learners used QRafter, an app that scans QR codes, to check the answers to addition and subtraction problems, thereby marking their own work and figuring out for themselves where they made they may have made errors. In this way we are encouraging the learners to take responsibility for their own learning.
While the iPads were definitely the highlight of the week, they were not the sole focus of our efforts. We also used some old-school, low-tech devices, like white boards and markers to learn how to use tally charts to count items.
Definitely another great week of learning in Grade 4.