Recently I got together with kindergarten teacher, Natalie Remiger, to plan and teach a lesson using iPads. This lesson was the first time kindergarteners were using iPads at school. I suggested that we find a creative app that would support one of the learning objectives for kindergarten, be easy for students to learn, while also giving me an opportunity to chat with students about iPad guidelines and tips! After brainstorming a few options, Natalie and I decided to share the book Home by Carson Ellis.
Every page of the book is inviting, with illustrations that sprinkle the warmth of home. It is whimsical, with examples of make-believe homes and homes from the future and past.
Natalie read the book to her students. Students loved this book! Once they saw all of the creative possibilities that make up a home, kindergarteners got the chance to try it themselves! With the free iPad app Draw A House, students put their creative juices to work creating a house of their own!
The app is easy to use, with backgrounds, walls, roofs, pillars, windows, doors and even an elevator! Students created houses that looked realistic as well as fantasy homes! It was super fun and creative for these young creative learners!
Along the way, I had a chance to share tips and guidelines:
1. Always carry any device with two hands!
2. Swipe down on the screen (in the middle away from an actual app) to get a search option! This way students aren't left trying to figure out which page their iPad app is on. They can type in the first two letters to the search window to find their app!
3. Five finger close. Students can spread their hand out on the iPad glass and draw their fingers into the middle to close out of an app. This is great for saving wear and tear on the home button on the iPad. (It is also a great option if the home button is being a bit glitchy!)
4. Never touch another student's iPad. If you want to help a fellow classmate, you need to point, not touch to help them find their way.
That was enough for our first day in kindergarten! Students read a book, learned about different homes, created their own home, and learned how to use their iPad successfully! All in all a good day in kindergarten!