4 Life-Saving Apps for Graduate Primary School Teachers
If you’ve just started teaching Primary School, no doubt you are familiar with that whirlwind feeling of trying to keep up with a hundred and one things at once. Fortunately, there’s a hundred and one apps out there that are designed to make your life that little bit easier. Below are four that I believe no graduate teacher should be without:
Spotify is a music streaming service that allows you to create your own music playlists and follow the playlists of others. Free accounts throw in advertisements every couple of songs and require internet access, whereas premium accounts will not.
As a teacher, Spotify provides you with easy, instant access to a range of music that can suit any classroom scenario. If possible, ensure Spotify is installed on a computer that is connected to your classroom speakers, to improve the sound quality.
Spotify can be especially useful when students are doing quick or creative tasks. For instance, I’ll go to my “Primary School Pop Music” playlist and choose something upbeat when I want to get my students packing up quickly at the end of the day. On the flipside, when I need them to calm down after running around at lunchtime, I will play some calming, meditation music.
But it’s not all about the kids! This year is about ensuring you survive as well! There’s nothing better than having all your favourite songs at hand to play while you’re setting up for the day, or when you’re winding down in the classroom after school.
Get more ideas on how to use Spotify in my 7 Ways to Use Spotify In Your Classroom blog post!
#2 Classroom Dojos
Classroom Dojo is an app designed for classroom management. As the teacher, you can quickly set up a virtual class list, where each student is assigned a funky monster avatar. You can then award or take away points for behaviours of your choice. For example, you might award a point to a student for completing their work on time, or deduct a point for being disruptive.
The best thing about Classroom Dojos for a new teacher is that it provides effective classroom management instantly. Students love earning Dojo points. I’ve found it to be one of the quickest ways to get my students set up, packed up or on task. We’ve even created a Dojo Rewards Chart, so they have something to be working towards.
Yes, it can be more than just a platform for sharing breakfast snaps!
Instagram gives you ideas. There are countless teachers on Instagram, many of whom are professional bloggers. They use Instagram as a way of sharing ideas, tips and resources about day-to-day teaching.
For new teachers, this can be just the inspiration you need to help get your classroom organised, and to work out the best ways of teaching particular maths concepts or guided reading.
And the best thing is, you’re probably already on Instagram! So by simply adding 5 to 10 high profile teachers to your list, you’ll be receiving ideas on improving your teaching practice without even trying.
Parent communication is a vital part of Primary School teaching, and something you need to take the time to do well. No doubt your school already has policies in place for parent communication, what SeeSaw can give you though is a unique, 21st century approach to keeping parents in the loop.
SeeSaw allows you to create a Newsfeed for your class, which parents then have access to. Through the app, you can share photos, videos, documents and links with all your parents, or just a selected few. Parents can like and comment on these posts, and there’s also the option of allowing students to post directly to the Newsfeed.
This provides you with a quick, simple and instantaneous way of keeping parents up-to-date with student achievements, important school notices and individual work. Parents respond well to SeeSaw, and appreciate the time you take in sharing photos of their child’s efforts. Likewise, students love seeing their work published for their parents to see and it’s a great incentive for them to work that little bit harder!
My name is Kim Maslin, and I’m a West Australian educator who is passionate about digital technologies and developing healthy life-long learning habits. I provide a range of ICT-related seminars and workshops, as well as web design & digital marketing services. I am also a teacher and Digital Learning Coordinator. You can find out more about me here.