One of my usual first few days activities is to have the students complete an interest inventory, which, to say the least, is not very interesting to them. This year since we have iPads, I decided to step it up a little and make it more engaging for the students. The app-tivity I created for them is called "All About My Partner". Besides getting them to use technology, I also wanted to incorporate some communication skills, since the common core is all about communicating about math.
So, day 1, I showed the students an app called Explain Everything
(love it!!). I had them try out each tool one by one in order to get familiar with this app, since we will be using it quite a bit this year. I heard many students comment about how the app was really cool! By the end of our first day, I felt everyone was comfortable enough with it to start actually using it the second day.
Day 2, I handed out their interview sheet with the questions I wanted them to ask their partner. When they had completed the interviews of each other, I gave them each an iPad to begin creating. They were to answer two questions per slide in their presentations, for a total of five slides. They had learned on the first day how to bring a photo from the camera roll into their presentation, so I wanted to see a photo to go along with each question (they could also simply draw with the pencil tool if they preferred). Once they had their five slides done, they recorded their own voices introducing their partner to the rest of the class and emailed their mp4 movie to me.
The students were highly engaged in this activity! The final products came out great, and the app-tivity accomplished what I had set out to do - learn how to use Explain Everything and communicate with each other.