Wednesday, January 23, 2013

App that Changed my World! :)

So last week our school was visited by a Saxon Phonics Guru who observed our classrooms (eek) and gave us some very positive feedback on how to continue improving the way we are teaching and learning with the program.  She was fabulous and it was so nice to be bombarded with positive feedback rather than the "I gotcha!" I was afraid of. 

While she was giving us all this wonderful feedback, she told us about an app called "PickMe!" available in the iTunes store for $1.99 for both iPhone & iPad.  I know, I know.... a lot of people won't touch paid apps, but I promise you this is worth it!!  It completely changed the way my classroom works.  It has saved time and eased frustration both for me and for the munchkins.  But, it has also increased the equity in my classroom!  For 2 bucks, I'm all in!  There are similar free apps out there but I promise you this is the one to get.
This is the app that changed my life.  I think it's $1.99 right now and well worth it!
What it does is end the "raise your hands" issue during instruction, whether it be whole group or small group.  You input your class.  Snap a quick picture of your kiddos (optional).  Then, click "start a session" and you simply ask your question directly to the kiddo who's picture pops up.  If they get it right, you click the thumbs up and it automatically takes you to the next student.  Same thing if they get respond incorrectly.  Click the thumbs down button and it tracks the correct/incorrect response & moves right on along to the next student.

There is even an option to take kiddos out of the loop if they have responded correctly.  Thereby allowing you to focus on the kiddos who are having difficulty and giving them a chance to respond again once they get the concept.

Changed my life!!

One of the neato frito things about this app is that it tracks the data for you & you can email it to yourself and print it off and stick it in those pretty little RTI binders and use it when you talk to your administrators about how much your muchkins rock!  How's that for a long but exciting sentence?!  
You add your classes & this is what they look like once you've used the app for a bit.  Add your kids to each class & take a picture of each munchkin if you like.  It makes using the spinner a lot more fun if you take a quick snapshot of each child.  On the right side of this pic, you can see their responses.  5/9 means they answered 5 out of 9 questions correctly!  See that little bitty picture of an envelope in the bottom left corner?  Click that and send yourself an email of compiled student data shown on this screen.
When you click "start a session" this is what comes up.  That little toggle button at the button will remove a child from the spinner if they respond correctly.  You can turn this on or off.  You can also choose to simply spin the wheel rather than track responses if you like, but why would you?! :)

When you go back to your classes and click on a particular student, you can add detailed information for each one.  This is where you find data, email it to yourself, and print it out for those lovely RTI binders!  You can choose two email addresses to send it to and even send to parents if you desire.  Add notes about the day or detailed student responses for better RTI data.

This is a screenshot of a compiled list of student responses I can email to myself or to anyone, but for confidentiality purposes I will only send it to myself!  You can see it has student names (which I blurred out) and the number of correct/incorrect responses. 


If you absotively posilutely will not pay 2 bucks to change your life, download the free App Tracker app from the App Store & track the Pick Me! app.  If it goes on sale while you're tracking it in this app, you can head on over and try it out.  You won't be sorry!  I promise! :)

Oh, and a little snippet one of the administrators mentioned today:  It is perfect for showing equity in the classroom which is monitored on our PDAS!  Yippee for the iPad of Happiness changing my world! :)

Have fun!! 

♥Jen 

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2 comments:

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