Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Using Garage Band for Math Practice

How many of you with Apple products (including iPads) have used Garage Band?  Its uses in the classroom are similar to those of Photo Booth, except it is audio ONLY.  I used Photo Booth a lot with my firsties last year, but found that they got distracted at times by seeing themselves on the screen.  I was never daring enough to try Garage Band with the little ones, but my first-grade colleague used it religiously for reading fluency.  Since I teach fourth grade now, I tried it out today to practice reading multi-digit numbers and it went really well (especially with it being my students’ first time using it). 

My students took turns reading numbers from the following handout into Garage Band, making sure to go back and listen for any mistakes they may have made.  Once everyone was finished, they traded laptops with a partner to listen and grade each other’s responses using the answer key.  If a student made a mistake, their partner circled the number so they could go back in and edit it.  One great feature of Garage Band is how easy it is to go back and make cuts/corrections.
With 28 students, it’s hard for me to give each one the one-on-one attention they deserve, and I feel that this tool really helped them recognize their own areas for improvement and fix their mistakes.  I’m so happy I gave Garage Band a try because I now plan on using it on a regular basis.  Aside from math, the possibilities are endless—fluency, site words, podcasts, etc.

I only know the very basic features of Garage Band, which I will share below.

Make sure you’re on the New Project tab and select Voice.  Save it as whatever you’d like to call it and press Create. 

Click on either Male or Female Basic at the top left.  To record, press the red record button at the very bottom.  Hit the space bar or stop button to stop your recording.

To play your recording back, drag the arrow (with the red line attached) to the beginning and press play or hit the space bar.  The space bar is also used to pause and stop.

I had my kids stop between each number so that it was easier to edit.  This way, if they made a mistake, they just deleted the specific purple section and dragged the arrow back to re-record.  This also made it easier for their partner to grade.

I look forward to sharing more ideas of how I’m using Garage Band in the classroom and would love to hear your ideas too.:)  

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  1. This is AWESOME! I can't wait to try it out!

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