We have actually been in school for 4 weeks now! The 1st 2 weeks of school student used the iPad 2s from last year. Then they were taken back to be re-configured for lower grades. Our new iPad 4s arrived at the school at the end of the week so as soon as they are all unpacked, tagged, and configured we'll have iPads back in the classroom. I can't wait!
In the meantime I got rid of my classroom response system and I've been slowly switching all my questions from PowerPoint to Socrative software. Right now I'm focusing on attendance and a few questions each day to review math and language arts concepts. I was really hoping to find a polling software/app that could use the PowerPoint question and also grade them, but no such luck. When I tried students answering in Socrative but reading PowerPoint it was possible, but cumbersome.
Rather than sending home a Friday newsletter at the end of each week I am asking students to do the work. The last 10 minutes of each day 3 students are responsible for emailing class parents a list of 6 activities from the day.
I used Classdojo the last 2 years for personal record-keeping of student behavior. This year I have linked to parent email so parents get an immediate snapshot of their child's behavior. I also tied the wording of positive behaviors to the wording that will be on our new report card.
Classbadges.com are continuing to work well. This year I have ditched the homework sticker chart and created a badge for each week of completed homework (we do weekly packets).
I attended Mobile2013 in Tucson last week and had a fantastic 3 days of learning. With all the training and the knowledge that I'll be 2:1 with iPads this year I feel like I need to take a week off to re-vamp my lessons!
I don't have eSpark this year (boo hoo) but I highly recommend to anyone who has the funds for it. I will be using Showbie Premium for some simple writing activities--I'm thinking fill in the bubble, matching, drawing pictures of problem solving/logic questions, 1 and 2 word answers, and number talk. Once we get a chance to try it out I'll write about how the process is going. I'm excited that it will be smoother than open a doc in an annotate app, annotate, save and send, teacher open in an annotate app, comment, repeat above if changes need to be made.