Angela Vanwinkle shares:
I just received my iPad in the Spring, so I haven’t had much time to explore it with my students. I also know I have barely scratched the surface of available apps because I only investigated free apps at this time. I used the iPad at this time as a method of reinforcement and engagement with my pre-school students. With all of that being said, I found that even my youngest students with the lowest language skills quickly learned how to use the apps and responded to them immediately. Students that did not regularly interact with peers in a small group setting became more engaged and interactive with the use of the iPad. I was able to use the engagement/interest generated by iPad activities into follow up Speech classes to improve the interactions of those students in other group activities. I controlled the interactions with the iPad, because I wanted the games to be interactive in the group and I wanted the students to involve each other in the games. They loved them and were respectful of turn-taking opportunities (with training) and involved each other in the games.
One app my pre-schools students loved was Learning Games for Kids-Toddlers. The app included a variety of concepts for pre-schoolers to work on (including sorting, shapes, etc.) and they particularly enjoyed the “Funny eggs” game in the app. I found it to be a great motivator to encourage attention when it was used at the end of class as a reward for hard work! We also enjoyed Preschool First Words Baby Toddler Games, which focused on matching pictures, completing pictures and choosing named items in groups. It was great for naming vocabulary. Again, all of the apps I found had more extensive information to be purchased, which I might consider for my own iPad in the future.
I am looking forward to spending more time this summer investigating apps and games that I might want to use with my pre-schoolers in the fall!
I really appreciate the Crusade for Children’s Grant that allowed me to use this iPad with my youngest students!