iPad Organization 101 +Apps

Hi everyone!!! How's back to school going? We are already in our 5th week!?! Can you believe that?? It's crazy for several reasons!!

1. We just received the first midterm email while I only have 1 grade in the computer (papers are graded though haha:).

2. I feel like I'm still in the first week of school with the new Reading Wonders series along with looping with my kids. The looping part has been great! I definitely can see why people move up even though I absolutely love 2nd grade. I envision loving 3rd just as much! (or come back and ask me once testing comes around...may be a different picture by then!)


3. This means that formal evaluations start in 2 weeks!! yikes! :)

Anyway :)...as the year gets going for everyone, I thought I'd share how I organizational tips with you on technology! I can say I fell in love with Apple the minute I bought my iPhone 4. Then came the iPad. The day I stood in line for this, I asked a worker if they were hiring. I went to a hiring event, interviewed, and the rest is history (including any money I thought I ever had...can't resist Mac)! hah I worked part time at my nearby Apple store for a year and a half. I LOVED it! I got to teach workshops, learn all about them, get trained to fix them, and meet a ton of awesome people. SOOOO, now I am basically the Apple person at my school which I'm fine with!  I've gained 4 iPad minis through township grants, and bought 2 on my own with the huge Target sale. Then I keep my old phones to use as iPod touches as well. So way too much information, I'm sure, so let me get to the tips about organizing your technology and some apps I love and use (although I'm constantly finding great, new ones, too)!! :) I am a very visual person so get ready for lots of photos!!

Let's talk set-up!

OUTSIDE: I store all of my iPads in this wonderful 6-drawer rolling cart I bought from Walmart! I used Learning in Wonderland's, Let's Get Organized Set, for the awesome labels to give them each a home. On top of the cart, I keep my Daily 5 Listen to Reading student check off sheet with a wipe off marker on velcro. They use the iPads during this.
INSIDE: I store the charging cord in a baggy to keep it contained along with the iPad. I'm in the process of buying more headphone splitters to add to these as you see in the picture below. The iPad cases are awesome! The are called Caseformers, and you can find them here on Amazon. I love that there is a cover that is also magnetic to put it to sleep. It also allows for 2 ways to set the iPad down. The corners are thicker and designed to hold impact (let's hope we don't test it out, though :). I was going to color code them to the labels (I'm OCD like that hah), but instead I'm going to put the numbers on the screens.
HEADPHONE SPLITTERS: If you don't have one of these, go get one!!! This one is a Belkin Rockstar 5-Way splitter. You can find it here on Amazon. Previously, I used the 2-way splitters from Best Buy that cost $4.99. Well, one of those broke off in an iPad last year which in turn had to be replaced. So I'm sticking to this Belkin, and I'm in charge of plugging them in! hah The 2-way splitters are great too. Just make sure to model, model, model how you want them to be used. I always had them in there so they didn't have to push or pull on them. However, as you read, one did break off. hah So just have them be careful. My kids are really great with the iPads so I know it probably was not the best made product. :) I'm giving my students the benefit of the doubt because they're wonderful!!! :)

Let's talk app organization!

FOLDERS: I'm all about the FOLDERS! :) I organize my folders in the order that they use them in the day. Listen to Reading is the first chance to use the iPads so it's first on the screen. 2nd is reading rotations. I made 4 folders for the iPad reading rotation. When the kids have iPads for their daily rotation, they have 2 options. Based on their reading levels and book clubs, they have been given a number 1-4. My 1s are the lowest group with my 4s being the highest. I separated apps into each folder so I could differentiate the apps more. Now, they can practice at their levels. They can also choose the folder labeled Reading Games. These are more game like reading apps whereas the others are reading passages and answering questions. I also have a folder for my newcomer EL kids to focus in on what they need. The rest of the folders have EM (Everyday Math) games, other math games, phonics, social studies, science, and apps that could fit in more than one are by themselves. 

Along the bottom, I put the apps that are used a lot. BrainPop, camera, QR Reader, and a folder with student tools apps which you can see more of below. :) 

The folders make my life as well as my students so much easier!!! :)

TIP: If you have multiple iPads, set one of the iPads up the way you want it with iCloud on mainly just to back the one up. Then when you go to set-up the new ones, you can set it up from the backup. I already had the iPads, so I erased the content and settings from the General tab, and set it up again. SO MUCH EASIER than doing them all separately! 

Finally, let's talk apps!

I am going to show you what apps are inside each folder I explained above!
If you want to read more about how I use and have used technology with the Daily 5, check out my post, A Touch of Technology for the Daily 5!!

If you have any EL kiddos that are newcomers or speak a minimal amount of English, you HAVE to check out the app, Fun English!!! It's AMAZING!! In fact, ALL of my kids would pick to go on that app! There is a free version, but the paid version is worth EVERY penny!!! I saw one of my EL students smile and laugh for the first time playing on this app last year! I almost cried!

This is the second screen where I have made a folder for all of the permanent apps to keep them out of sight! :) Not that any student EVER goes wondering around a device or anything! HA 

There you have it!!! A little glimpse of how I set up and use my iPads in my classroom! I hope this post helps make iPads efficient and fun in your classroom!! 

Do you have tips of your own, feel free to comment below to share with everyone!! Also, if you have a favorite app you use, I would love to know!!! :)

Wishing everyone a wonderful start to the new year (if it's new right now for you :)!! 
Happy teaching!!

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