Looking to seamlessly integrate technology into your centers, but don’t know where to begin?
You’ve come to the right place! There is so much tech that is available for little learners, but not
all of it lends itself to a great starting point. This post is all about how I use tablets, specifically
iPads in my classroom.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that I’ll get a few cents thrown my way at no
cost to you. This’ll help me keep this old blog running!
Technology is last on the list when introducing centers into our class routine. When it finally makes
its appearance I’ve tried to make sure it’s not just placeholders, but great learning opportunities.
A lot of times we are handed tablets and things with no real plan of how to introduce them into our
classroom. It often seems like there’s nothing we can do but purchase apps. It can be easy for
students to just mindlessly tap the screen, and research has shown that it has also led to a decrease
in fine motor skills. I was so glad to find the following activities that allow true interaction with
The first 4 activities involves the Touchtronic apps. I first heard of Touchtronic at a conference for
Kindergarten teachers. Needless to say, I was instantly intrigued. These activities contain pieces
that will interact with the app. So the students can actually choose their answer and place it
directly on the iPad in the correct spot! How cool is that? They have several games, from letter
recognition, letter-sound correspondence to building words.
They also have a version with numbers and the available apps include counting, addition,
subtraction and even place value!
The numbers and alphabet are sold separately but they are most certainly worth the cost! Once I
introduced these, my students definitely loved them!
We also have the placeholders which are double-sided. Letters on one side and numbers on the
reverse. It really makes placement so much easier, and my students know exactly where to look
for what they need.
In addition to the letters and numbers, we have the touchtronic spinners. They attach directly onto
the tablet, and the learning begins instantly! On the Sum Spin app, there are options for addition,
subtraction, or quantities with ten frames.
There is also a CVC word app, where students can practice initial, medial, or final sounds. In
addition to the spinner, there is also a little ladybug that interacts with the apps. The first one is
Alphabet Street, where students can practice their letter writing. I love that they have to move the
ladybug down the street and legs appear as the ladybug “walks” down the street.
There’s also a match the number game, and a match the sound game that you can use with the
ladybug. I love that the students aren’t just clicking until they get the right answer! They have to
actually work on their activity.
I’ve been hearing whispers about Osmos the past few years, but I wasn’t sure that I had a clear
understanding of what its purpose was, and what it could do. Fast forward to this year, and I got to
see one in action. Needless to say, I was sold!
That little red piece on top of the iPad is a camera, and the Osmo can actually “see” what the child is
doing on the table. It let’s them know whether they are correct or incorrect, gives them hints, and
shows how they can adjust what they’re doing.
I also love how the numbers app builds number sense. It has the little squares that look like dice,
and they also have the squares with the numbers written on them. Students can work on number
identification, then transition to building the numbers. They can use the squares with one dot on it,
or make combinations using the squares with two or five dots on it. There are several ways that
you can differentiate to meet the needs of your students.
So last year I heard of Square Panda. A colleague of mine had gotten one for her son, and shared it
with me because she thought that it would be great for my students. Of course I dragged my feet,
and didn’t look into it until this year. Now I wish that I had gotten it earlier!
I love Square Panda because once again, the students aren’t mindlessly clicking around until they
“find” the right answer. They are actively interacting with the app, finding the letters, and learning
all about the sounds. There are also different kinds of apps within the Square Panda world so the
possibilities are endless!
These are some of the most interactive apps that I have found that work wonders in my classroom.
I’ve linked all of the things that I have discussed in my Amazon shop, at no extra cost to you. You
can find them here, or you can click on any picture. If you want to know more about how I run
centers, click the link!
Pin for later