Thursday, December 6, 2012

Student Progress and Learning - TLLP

Our "iProject" students continue to grow and learn with the iPad. Here is an update based on the journals that our EA's are keeping.

Our Grade 2 Student:
  • Routine and expectations are now established and the student transitions to the device without too many difficulties/distractions.
  • Letter School App is helping her identify and trace numbers and letters (Math & Language). This app provides repetition for the student, requires her to follow instructions, and encourages her to take her time. It leads to some frustration but also leads her to the awareness that she has to take her time in order to be successful (tracing).
  • Currently using the "iLearn With Poke: Seasons" app to assist with the measurement strand in Mathematics. The student encountered difficulties at first - she simply started dragging icons on the screen without listening to instructions. With explicit and simple directions provided, the student was able to work productively and successfully. The "iLearn With Poke: Seasons" app also allows the student to apply and demonstrate her understanding of temperature by identifying clothing that are appropriate for the weather conditions.
--> important to explicitly teach the student (step by step) how the app works and what the expectations are
--> new apps are to be explored first. Important to let the student explore the app, to discover the workings of it on her own in order to establish some knowledge/familiarity.
--> Allowing the student time to explore apps before formal instruction seems to allow for a more productive/successful experience because a) the student will have already had time to explore/discover apps and b) will prime the student to make connections (to the prior knowledge acquired from initial exploration) as she learns.

Our Grade 4 Student:
  • In Mathematics the student is working on multiplication. His EA reports that he initially works well with "Space Math" when he answers the questions correctly but becomes easily upset/frustrated when his answers are incorrect.
  • It seems clear now that our grade 4 student is easily distracted by the graphics in some of the apps. When using the "Mathopolis" app - a fire fighter themed app where addition/subtraction/multiplication/division questions must be answered correctly in order to put out fire in buildings - the student will purposely answer questions incorrectly in order to watch the building be destroyed and burned. The graphics are distracting the student from his learning and his demonstration of learning.
  • In Language we found a "Cursive Writing" app for the student - he loves this app and states that "this is cool". It engages and focuses him in writing.
  • He makes attempts to use the more "primary" apps.
  • In Reading, he frequents the same texts. It is very difficult to get him to engage in other texts - he likes to do the same activities over and over again.
  • The iPad continues to be used as a reward for the student.
--> Our grade 4 student is easily frustrated/upset when things don't go his way. I wonder if this is an issue when using the iPad or the norm for him as he lives his day-to-day life.
--> He requires constant supervision when using the iPad. If he is left unattended he will disengage from his learning and venture into other apps not appropriate for that particular time.
--> When it is time to transition from the iPad to something else the student still experiences difficulty.
--> We will start to look for apps that are not too visually stimulating. For example, for multiplication type apps, it may be beneficial to have simple flash card activities that are made from simple graphics (e.g. few colours, animated visuals).

Our Grade 5 Student:
  • Continues to engage in and focus on his learning using the iPad.
  • The student uses and engages in a variety of apps each day. His EA reports that he is finding success and joy from using the device. It is difficult for him to use paper and pencil, the iPad allows him to learn without the paper and pencil.
  • In Language he has been using the "Story Time" app in a number of different ways (e.g. creating sentences).
  • His EA wonders whether we could print some of his work --> I need to teach the EA how to take a "screen shot" which can be emailed to a desktop computer and then printed :) - I have a feeling that this will open things up and set the student on a new and exciting path.
--> The grade 5 student appears to be making the best of the apps on the iPad.
--> He remains engaged and is doing well with the challenges posed to him by his teacher/EA.

Your feedback is always welcome - I would love to interact with you to hear what your thoughts are. Please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or email me at

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