It's always fun spending a morning with Kindergarteners! Ms. Evans has been using the Kids Doodle app with her 5 and 6 year olds to practice their word families and I was hearing great results about it so I went to check it out.
Kids Doodle records the drawing as they create, allowing them to replay their drawing. In this activity, students are practicing their word family words for the day and drawing an image for that word. For the teacher it allows for her to have conversations about letter formation as she circulates and they are sharing their videos with her. Students are saving their image in the built in gallery, though the app does have the ability to save as a movie to the camera roll on the ipod or to send images via email.
Ms. Evans uses the free version of the app, note that it does contain banner ads across the top of the screen. App free is available for $0.99.
As with any behavior in the classroom by utilizing repetitive practice, clear expectations and consequences, the ads cause few issues. She manages her iPod time by having pictures of the apps on her chart by the rug, this way students know which app they need to go to and what it looks like. It also will show any apps they are allowed to go to after they are finished. With kindergarten, it's also important to use picture prompts for students to learn which buttons they need to push in the app.
The engagement and creativity of this app activity and the ability to watch their drawing allows for Ms. Evans to take a worksheet activity and make it more interactive and along with giving her feedback on their letter formation. Students revisiting their old movies in the gallery were reviewing past lists and practicing their word families. Additional skills from this activity that students were practicing include letter formation, cvc word families, relating words to everyday objects, and following multi-step directions. And they did great!