Saturday, June 16, 2012

iTalk iPads Organization

This is the continuing saga of my joyful journey into 1:1 iPad land with my kinder/first grade class.

So now I had 25 iPads for my 25 students and a charging/syncing cart to keep them in.  BUT there needed to be a bit of organizing to make this all work.

Here are some of the organizing ideas I used:

1) Number Everything!  (Children, iPads, slots)
The children in my class all have a special number.  (I have the amazing Rick Morris to thank for sharing this great idea!)  So it made sense to number the iPads with my student's numbers.  This was done with a silver marker on the apple on back of the iPad.  (Since the apple is an advertising symbol it shows through the cover.  Works for me!)  The cart arrived with each slot for an iPad already numbered.  So student #1 used iPad #1 which was placed in slot #1 at the end of each day.  I do love having things organized!  (But read idea #4 as to how I further organized the cart.)

2)  iPad Test and iPad License
Since you can't drive without a license, it seemed to me that students shouldn't be able to use an iPad without a license.  And nobody gets a license without taking a test, right?  So I created an iPad license that could only be earned by passing the iPad test. Luckily for me, my students totally bought into it!  To pass the iPad test they had to demonstrate a variety of skills such as turning their iPad on and off, getting it out of the cart and putting it back it, AND they had to explain WHY we were using iPads in our classroom.  (A little brainwashing occurred here ... if they used the word "play" they automatically failed the test.  If they used the word "learn", they passed that question.  In fact, if a student later asked me, "May I play on my iPad?"  I always said NO!  If they used the word learn, that was a different matter! :) When each child passed the test, they were given a very special iPad license that could be revoked at any time.  (Sadly, a few were revoked from time to time.)

3)  Daytime Home
I had to decide where my students would keep their iPads during the day.  Hmmm ... but first I needed to consider how I wanted the iPads used.  Just like everything in teaching, first you have to clarify what your philosophy is and then you do your planning.  I decided I wanted the iPads to be another tool in our classroom.  I also decided that like pencils and paper and other tools, I wanted my students to have easy access to the iPads.  So I purchased a dishtub from Target for each team.  (Cost: under $2 each.  But for that price, my only color choice was white.)  Each team received a tub to permanently place on their desks.  When we weren't using the iPads, the children placed them in their team's tubs.  This meant that if a child finished an assignment early, they could pull out their iPad.  It also meant that when my entire class was reading individually, some students chose to read on their iPads.  (Some children continued to choose traditional books, but the option was always there to do either.)

4)  Nighttime home
The charging/syncing cart is the nighttime home.  Each iPad has a numbered slot that it "lives" in at night.  BUT it was super hard for my kiddos to find the correct slot.  I decided it was time for ... COLOR CODING! So I bought four rolls of colored tape (blue, red, green, and orange).  I put a strip of tape on the front of each iPad and a small square of the same color next to the correct slot in the cart.  (Of course, I created an ABCD pattern: blue, red, green, orange, etc.)  Volia!  My students were easily able to find their iPads at the beginning of the day and then at the end of the day, find their iPad's correct slot.  Hurrah!  (The tape won't last forever on the iPads, but long enough for students to know which color slot to look for.)

Whew!  I love things to be organized!!  In fact, I just read a hilarious note on Facebook.  Here goes:  I am CDO.  CDO is like OCD, but the letters are in order, like they should be. Oh yeah, that is so me!  A place for everything and everything in its place!  Love it!  But if you could see my classroom right now - I am moving classrooms and it isn't pretty right now OR if you could see my living room - I am moving classrooms so decided to bring a few (cough, cough) boxes of things home to organize ... then you would revoke my CDO license.  So, it is off to organizing that I must go!

Love to all,


  1. I love the idea of the ipad license! I am CDO, too! :-)
    Finally in First

  2. I'm definitely CDO & my 1st grade teacher buddy would most certainly agree! That is too funny!

  3. Camille,
    It seems like you are all learning from this experience. I love reading your reflections about integrating technology.

  4. Thanks so much for your sweet comment. That's so neat that your student teacher also had an autobiography. I'm so jealous of your iPads. I would love to have just one in my classroom. And, I think all teachers are a little bit CDO haha.

  5. Hi Camille! Thank you for letting me know about my not working links. I fixed them thanks to you!!!

  6. Love these ideas. Thanks for sharing. I might have to do an ipod license. We have 2 touch ipods but they need some help remembering to turn them off.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

  7. Great ideas Camille. I too, number everything . I had a parent sew seat pockets for my kids and that is the daytime home for their iPads. I recommend using denim. It is far more durable. Like the iPad license!