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Thursday, August 9, 2012

5 Ways the iPhone Makes a Teacher's Life Easier

 I work in a low income charter school and our access to technology is VERY limited. (I'm talking overhead projector and VCR limited!) In my own little room my access to technology is limited to one Dell laptop and my iPhone. My iPhone really is my BFF and I use it a million times each and every day. Here are just a few ways I use my iPhone in the classroom. 

1)  Running records
I use the voice recording device to record my students reading aloud. This is helpful for a couple of different reasons. A) I can replay their reading and make sure that I have accurately recorded their work. B) The students can hear their own reading!!! This is the biggest plus!

Most of my students love to hear themselves read and they are able to observe their strengths and weaknesses in reading aloud. For example, J is a smarty and can read very well but whenever he reads aloud in class he reads so fast we can barely understand him. I had been asking him to slow down for weeks to no avail. After one time of hearing himself read on the iPhone recording and he identified and fixed the problem on his own.

2) Video
My students LOVE to be in the spotlight! I use the video to capture “Author’s Chair”, a time each week that the students can read their writing aloud to share with the class. My students also used  my phone to record book projects last year as well.  They loved it! It also gave me some great videos to share with parents at Open House. 

3) Google it! (Teachable Moments) 
Picture this…we are sitting on the carpet during read aloud. I am reading a Native American legend about a buffalo hunt.  The students are all interested and listening intently and asking lots of questions. Soon it becomes clear that they are REALLY confused about what a buffalo actually is. (We don’t have a lot of buffalo roaming around this California inner-city- Go figure!) Anyway, iPhone to the rescue! I googled a picture of a buffalo and passed the phone around the circle. We were even able to find a sound clip of the buffalo stampeding. It made a HUGE difference in their understanding of the story!  

4) Timer/ Stopwatch
I use the timer CONSTANTLY! I start the timer at the start of most of my lessons. My students love all of the silly sounds on the phone that signal the end of a lesson. The stop watch is great for timing math facts tests and other timed tests.

5) Music
Love the ipod feature! I use it all the time in class. I always have quiet music playing when students come back from lunch. I also download content relevant songs from itunes which the children learn to help with memorization. They love the Anemaniac’s state capitals song! If you haven’t heard it check out the youtube video below. My students learn the capitals sooo quickly with this song playing everyday before we leave!

Those are just a few of the ways that I use my phone to make my daily life easier. All of these things could be accomplished using other tools but this is what works best for me. I’m sure that these things could also be accomplished on another phone like a Droid I just happen to have an iPhone. 

One more tip, whenever I hand over my phone to my kids (i.e. when we pass around the phone to look at pictures) I switch my phone to airplane mode. This way I won’t get any texts or calls while my kiddos have their phone in their hands.

I hope that it gave you a couple ideas to use in your own room! 


  1. Hi Julia! I just love your new blog! Glad to have you in blogger club! I did not see a place to follow you and I would like to! Us latte gals have to stick together! You left a comment in my firstgradegallery blog. I've moved!


    1. Aww, thanks! Your so sweet! I just added the follower button. See, I am NEW to this whole much to learn! I will definitely be heading over to your blog. :)

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  3. Hi lady! I DEFINITELY agree about how much the iPhone helps anyone, especially a teacher. There's so many different uses that it's perfect for the classroom in those teachable moments. Thanks for coming by my blog, as I'm now following you :)

    Miss V's Busy Bees

  4. Great ideas! I'll have to check out that State Capitals video. I also use my iPhone all the time in class - in fact I had to cut back since I got charged with extra data fees - oops!

    Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

  5. These are all wonderful ideas! I have never thought to use my phone for running records...that is an awesome idea! =)

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  6. Great ideas! I love my iPhone, and it's great that you've gotten so creative about how to make due w/little technology in your school!

    Teach On.


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