Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tune Into Technology: Using Tech with Reading

It's baaaaaaack!
Aylin, Amanda, and Kristin have decided to bring back their Tune into Technology linky party. I am oh so greatful beacuse I am in need of a little technology inspiration or pinspiration if you will. 

So...last year I blogged about how I use Fotobabble with my students to make book recommendations, you can read about that HERE.

I'm fortunate enough to have had an entire set of iPads in my classroom for the past two years. We've been able to learn and create a lot with these wonderful tools!  I work closely with a fellow third grade teacher and my District's Techonogy Director to collaborate new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom.  My Director is a big proponent of using technology because it offers something better for my students, not just for the sake of using technology. 


I was SO thankful when she introduced me to Doctopus.  Doctopus is an app that helps make sharing documents with your students easier through Google Drive. The initial set-up was a tad time consuming my first time around, but I was able to speed-up once I got the hang of things!

The first thing I needed to do was create a master roster of all of my students' names and school e-mail accounts. Once I had all of this info in, I can just make a copy of the roster for the individual assignments, like my Animal Report above.
This project was a graphic organzier for my students to use while researching for their animal reports.  Initially I wanted to create the organzier with boxes, but Google Drive wouldn't allow that. 
:( Hopefully they'll update that!
Instead I have lines separating the different topics.  My students had learned a few different ways to take notes, but at the end of the day I always have them choose what's easiest for them to read and decipher. 

My favorite part of using Doctopus is from a teacher management position.  Whether I'm at my teacher table or home I am just a click away from seeing any of my students' progress on the daily assignment. 
To keep students focused on the task and motivated I'd also occassionaly pull up someone's work on our Smart Board for the class to admire. The kids LOVED this and would busily continue working in the hopes that they'd be the next featured writer.
I also loved leaving my kiddies little comments about their work during the day or in the evening.  It was always something exciting...who doesn't like getting a little note?!?
The comment feature is also great for the workshop model in my classroom.  It's inveitable in my classroom that there is almost always a student hovering by my desk...or blankly staring at their notebook because they have a question while I'm doing a one-to-one writing conference with another student. 
My kiddies, like Nick above, love to send me their questions while they're working.  That way they don't have to 'hold it in' and have a fear of forgetting it. 

After comleting their research my kids expanded their writing into paragraphs on these fun flip charts.  They loved the compacted space and their teacher LOVED that they were full of great information!
If you're interested in a full tutorial, I found one HERE that seems to be great!

Be sure to check out all of the other great tech ideas every Tuesday in July at Learning to the Core and I Teach 1:1!


  1. Any tech tool that is helpful with management is a good one in my book! I love that you pull it up on the SmartBoard for extra motivation for students! Thanks so much for linking up!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

  2. I've heard a lot of good things about Doctopus but have never used it. Sounds like a great management tool in a 1:1 classroom. Is this the main way you shared documents with your students or do you use anything else? Do you think second graders would do okay with it? I'm sure I will annoy you tons next year with questions about the iPads!;) Thanks for linking up!

    iTeach 1:1

  3. I've never heard of Doctopus, thanks for sharing! We will be getting a few ipads in our classrooms this year and I'm scouring the net to find great and useful apps.

    Fifth Grade Wit and

  4. I've heard a lot about Doctopus as well, I really need to look into it more. Trying to manage all the docs on Google Docs is always a struggle, so that is a huge selling point!

    Teaching In Stride

  5. Ooooh la la...I just pinned this. I am definitely going to check this out and now I know who I can text upon if I need help! XO
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. I just found out about the Doc a few months ago. I love that you're using it with the little kids! The instant feedback and questions are pretty great!

    Thanks Erin