Increased Engagement with Thinkboards and iPads

After nearly one and a half years with a 1:1 iPad class, it still amazes me seeing how much more quickly students are able to grasp concepts when practised on an iPad as opposed to some more traditional methods of teaching. In our work with numbers we have been using Thinkboards on the iPads to show different representations of two digit numbers. While the Thinkboard is not a new concept, I have found that using them on the iPad where students can use various different apps to make concrete, pictorial and written representations of numbers has helped my students form firm understandings of two digit numbers much faster than when I used them in the past on paper. I could go on and on about how the iPads bring higher levels of student engagement, but the proof is in my students’ work. Today I watched one of my less confident ‘mathematicians’ breeze through the Thinkboard Apptivity, navigating her way through no less than three apps with confidence and ease. Not to mention, how quickly she was able to complete the task by comparison to the amount of time spent handing out materials to complete a paper version. In addition, the “make it” section becomes a permanent assessment record of the student’s use of concrete materials as the blocks don’t need to be ‘packed up’ at the end of the exercise.

Partitioning the 2 Digit Number
Partitioning the 2 Digit Number
Making a Picture Representation of the Number
Making a Picture Representation of the Number
Using Materials to make the Number
Using Materials to make the Number
Inserting the Images and Writing the Number
Inserting the Images and Writing the Number

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About the author

My name is Martina Blake-Beveridge. I have taught in a primary school context for twelve years. For three of those years I taught in lower school classrooms in a BYO iPad school. In 2016 I was appointed to the role of ICT Teacher and Coach, working with students and teachers from Prep to Year Six.

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