Our first week using iPads in Foundation – mastering the basics!

I have had just over a week settling our new Foundation 2 children in to school. As well as the usual rules and routines of a new setting, I have introduced them to iPads and how they can be used at school.

Some children are more confident than others, which challenges the perception that “the kids already know how to use them” and “they will end up teaching you to use them”. Some of the children didn’t know how to turn them on and off, and most children have had to learn new vocabulary involved with using the iPads (sleep/wake button, home button, home screen). This language was introduced as we were using the iPads, as well as correct ways to hold and carry them around school; “two hands, fingers on the back, thumbs on the front”.


My first lesson with iPads went hand-in-hand with a project with the early years group of Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE). At the ADE Institute in San Diego this year we authored a book for iPad about Rancho Cuyamaca to share read with our classes. The book has several chapters, the first being ‘From Where I Stand’. We made several clips on our iPads of us walking the different terrains to show the children what it is like to stand in this place.

My technology lesson in the first week of term introduced the children to this multi-touch book and a call to action to author a book about our place. The classes we be collaborating with for this project are our audience and we will read their books too (Ireland, Italy and American- Kansas, Maine, South Carolina).


Skills that I taught included waking up the iPads, navigating to the camera app, using record and stop, navigating between the camera roll and the camera app and handling the case correctly.

By the end of the lesson most children were able to perform these skills effectively. Those who had a particular interest in using the iPads chose the extension activity for their ‘genius hour’ (I will post more about genius hour this term!).

We walked around school looking for different ground to walk on, and captured short clips of our feet walking over these. We compared these videos to those in my Rancho Cuyamaca book to make similarities and differences between the two localities. These videos will be embedded in to our From Where I Stand chapter of our multi-touch book on our place.

This week in our literacy we applied these skills when we began adapting the story Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?


We took the iPads around school again, and this time I was teaching Literacy so my objectives were around the text and adapting the story to “Children, children what do you hear?”. Children had to use their iPad to capture the photographs of places we heard something for new our story.


These will be used to illustrate their own multi-touch fiction book using MyStory app.


This is a new app to many of the children and is part of my next phase of planning for the week ahead. You can read what happened with this app here.

6 thoughts on “Our first week using iPads in Foundation – mastering the basics!

  1. Great post! I also find they don’t all know how to carry/use an iPad properly – it’s a very slow process at the beginning of the school year teaching all of these skills. I also find that photography is a major teaching point with little ones…we always have lots of photos of shoes, carpet, walls, etc. I love your idea of taking photos around the school to support photography & literacy – will have to remember this when I start with a new group of little ones!

  2. […] I introduced my ‘Genius Hour‘ group to iStopMotion the week before planning for animation and tessellation focused activities. These children got to experience the app in this pre-teach and acquired the early skills to teach others in the class in the coming weeks. The iPads and iStopMotion was available for independent play between Genius Hour and my focused group activity. Children are already confident capturing photograph and video using iPad, as we have practised these skills in the initial weeks of school. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s