October 17, 2011

Trying Out the Tablet!

I posted awhile back about the super snazzy new tablet computer that replaced my old school computer--an ancient laptop that moaned and groaned anytime I tried to do two things at once...ugh.  The tablet is awesome! I've had a lot of fun trying it out with the kids.  While it is infinitely better for day to day computer activity than the old computer, hands down the best part about it is using the tablet during math.  I used to feel chained to the overhead projector or the board when introducing math concepts.  Now, I turn on the projector and open up Word or Windows Journal.  I can write problems and take notes right on my tablet while walking around the room and checking in with kids.  The kids love writing answers on the tablet, too!
Last week, one of our lessons focused on understanding that the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees and finding the measurement of an angle given the other two angles.  Because engagement (or lack thereof...) has been something of an issue during math class lately, I gathered the kids on the carpet with their notebooks, sat on a little stool by the screen, and showed triangles and problems right there.  The kids used colored markers to copy the work into their notes (colored markers are pretty AND using color stimulates the brain!  Who knew?!), and I used different color "pens" on the tablet.  They were SO engaged, loved all of the color, and I loved that I could teach the whole lesson facing them almost at eye level without needing to turn my back to the board or hover by the overhead projector.  
I've also loved using the tablet in Writing Workshop.  Usually I do my mini-lessons on chart paper by my easel, but any time I'm planning on modeling revising or editing text, it's a BIG PAIN to write whole paragraphs on chart paper.  BLEH!  A few weeks ago, I typed up one of my students' first drafts of a narrative we're working on.  His work was GREAT, but it was all one paragraph!  I projected the typed version on the screen, and we worked together to edit it (using editing marks) on my tablet.  This week I wanted to work on basic editing, so I typed a quick letter to the kids about my weekend, and again we edited it together.  I've used transparencies in the past for editing practice, but I HATE making them, and again I reeeeally hate being chained to the overhead.
I. love. my. tablet.  I'm sure there are many more possibilities for using it in my classroom, and I can't wait to figure them out!


  1. Sounds like a great addition to the classroom! I have a Promethean, but would love a tablet to go along with it!

  2. how fun!!! you seriously sound like the most creative teacher ever. i would have loved math if it were taught to me like that! haha!

  3. Very cool! Can you teach me math? ugh seriously hate math.

  4. Cool ideas. It's got me thinking on tablets now.
    We are currently considering the options in the smart board, iPad, Mimeo debate at school. So, a well timed posting.


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