This twelfth featured post in A Series of Classroom Connections comes to us from the English Language Arts classroom of Jodi Stevens at Grosse Pointe South High School.
The Apple TV has been a wonderful tool that is helping to enhance learning in the classroom in a variety of ways. Using mobile apps for vocabulary building, reading comprehension, and fluency, students can develop and improve their reading skills.
Getting Going With Mobile Learning
The Freshmen English class at Grosse Pointe South High School has been using the Apple TV along with mobile devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, to create interactive mobile learning opportunities.
This workflow is convenient in the classroom since students in the course are still developing readers who need to increase their skills, including comprehension levels.
One way to achieve better comprehension is through vocabulary growth, as research indicates that vocabulary deficiencies directly impact comprehension in negative ways.
Source: Pearson, 2001; Harris, 2005; Florio-Ruane, 2010
The Vocabulary Build iOS App
The free app they used is called Vocabulary Build for iOS. Students can get the app on their mobile device and the teacher can use it on the classroom iPad.
The app lets students individually practice vocabulary terms in context, but with the Apple TV and AirPlay mirroring, students can collaboratively practice and enhance their vocabulary in class.
This app has a variety of word-building exercises, so we can begin to grow students’ lexicon and, therefore, reading success, at a variety of appropriate levels for individual students. Students can choose vocabulary words ranging from grades 6 – 11.
Students can also practice content-specific words, such as terms from science or algebra.
Here is how we use the app in class together with the Apple TV:
- We divided the class into two teams to create a competitive yet friendly game
- The app gives synonyms for four word choices
- The synonyms appear at the top of the screen in white and the word choices are beneath
- When a word choice is tapped, if correct, it turns green; if not, it is marked incorrect.
- The score is kept in the white rectangle at the bottom of the screen
- Highest scoring team wins
There are also vocabulary activities for AP biology and English syntax and diction. Students can press various buttons and review and practice using flashcards, choose specific words, self-quiz or play vocabulary-building games against each other. Students can track their growth with the stat button which provides immediate feedback and creates an instant goal for the next time.
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