Thursday, January 24, 2013

Using Garage Band to Differentiate Spelling Lists

GarageBand has been an incredible application to use with my first graders on a weekly basis.  I typically use it on our laptops but it can also be used on the iPads.  There are countless uses for GarageBand including fluency practice for both reading and math.  To see more ways I use this program with my first graders as well as a more detailed description on how to get started using the program please check out this post at Learning to the Core.

My newest use for GarageBand is spelling tests!  Each week myself or one of my first grade teammates records the spelling words and sentences into GarageBand.  Currently I have two completely different spelling lists in my classrooms and at the beginning of the year I had three. I want my kids to be working at their own level so it is important for me to have multiple spelling lists in order for kids to be successful.  On Fridays, when students take their spelling tests they simply click on their test (I save the different tests under specific group names so students know where to click) and start listening!

Fridays used to be a day where I was not able to see my guided reading groups because that time was spent giving several spelling tests.  Now, instead of having students take out a pencil and paper at the same exact time and me giving a whole group test kids simply take it independently at a reading center.  

Students take their spelling test while listening to each word read from GarageBand.   I do not have to spend time during the school day to give multiple spelling tests.  Students simply take their tests independently.  The Tier 3 students as well as the English Language Learners have been extremely successful using this program because they can listen to a word/sentence as many times as they need without having to raise their hand to ask for the word to be repeated.  

Another benefit of using GarageBand for spelling tests: I do not have to repeat sentences five times because ONE student is not listening!!  Children can listen to words and sentences as many times as they want/need which is really helpful.  Also, for the quicker students their is no wait time because they can move at their own pace.      

Taking his spelling test in GarageBand at an independent reading center (which easily allows for multiple lists in a single classroom.)


For more technology ideas please check out our blog Learning to the Core!

Learning to the Core


Amanda
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