“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” By Sydney J. Harris
This year our PTO bought each of our teachers iPads to use in the classroom. One of my jobs is to help give professional development to our teachers on how to use them in the classroom. One of my trainings was how to use the iPad to differentiate reading in the classroom using Safari and iBooks, now I can share my tips and tricks with you in my two part series blog post. Part 1 using Safari!
First you need to turn on speech selection. To do this, on your iPad, you need to go to settings, general, scroll down to accessibility, speak selection- turn on. Now Siri can read to you and we can get started!
Open Safari and go to one of my favorite sites www.dogonews.com I use. This is a great site to read current event articles for students! Once you are on the site click on an article that you want to read. Notice when you click on the article a lot of ads and social networking sharing options comes up on the sides. If you go to ‘reader’ (gray button on url) and click it, the article now becomes easier to read because all of the distractions are now taken away. In the top left corner you can change the font size to help the student. If you press and hold the first word of the story, a blue hi-light comes up with the options: copy, define, and speak. If you tap on define, the dictionary pops up and gives the student the definition of that word. If you tap on speak it will pronounce it to you. If you drag the blue hi-light, it will read the whole paragraph to you or the whole article depending on what you have hi-lighted.
Here is the best part, in a classroom you want to be able to differentiate based on level or interest etc. To do this easily you can make folders for each of your students and place articles for them to read in their folders. When they pick up the iPad they go to their folder and read the articles and complete the task you have assigned to them. I use name the folders by the students names; example Jill would do to her own folder, Jill. To do this you start by making folders.
1. Click on the open book on the tool bar (near the arrows) and bookmarks will appear.
2. Click on edit in the top right corner and then new folder in top left corner. Name it either a students name, a guided reading group name/color or name it be reading level if you do Fountas and Pinnell or leveled system similar. Then hit done.
4. Go back to the article, and click on the share button (looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it). Tap on ‘add bookmarks’; here you can rename the article if you want but the most important part is to look at the folder you are putting it in, which is indicated in the third box. If the name of the folder you want it in, doesn’t come up, then tap the folder (third box). Now all your folders appear and you can put it into the folder you want it in- the check mark indicates this for you. Hit save and it is now inside that folder for your student. If you want to delete a folder simply swipe to the left and the delete button will appear and you can delete it.
Other great feature that I want to share with you are some of the share button options and how I use them in the classroom. Tapping on the share button again, the next button is ‘Reading List’ I use this button when I do not have time to read the article but the heading looks interesting or I know that this article is good but not sure which folder to put it into yet. To read them at a later time they will be under reading list in the bookmarks. I use the ‘Add to Home Screen’ button for sites I go to everyday or I have my students go to every day, such as my wiki.
Next week I am going to share with you how I use iBooks to differentiate my reading and some tips and tricks to use in the classroom.