Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 4: Let's Get Organized! Organizing your iPad centers!

Hi there!

My name is Kate Peila and I am a second grade teacher in Montana. I blog about technology integration in the classroom over at my blog, Purely Paperless.

Purely Paperless

A few years ago, a parent graciously donated an iPad to our classroom. I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with new instructional tools and applications in my classroom. With one iPad and 22 eager, little second graders, I have worked very hard to find ways to provide my kiddos with a unique learning experience in a single iPad classroom.

One area of my day in which I use my iPad regularly is Center Time. Much like any other center, if you do not provide clear expectations- you will get crummy outcomes.

Today I am going to share a few ways that I keep my iPad Center organized.


Each iPad comes with a standard dock at the bottom of the screen. You can customize your dock with any apps that you’d like. You can add up to six. To make my center time run smoothly, I include a flash-enabled browser, the Safari browser, and a QR Code scanner. I like RedLaser, but there are many, many more.

A flash-enabled browser is really important. Many educational games require the use of Adobe Flashplayer which is not supported on the iPad. By using an enabled browser- like Puffin- your students can access many of the games, videos, and ebooks that were previously unavailable.


Folders are basically collections of similar iPad applications. To create a folder on your iPad, simply select an app that you would like to move and hold it down until all of the apps appear to shake. At this point, you can drag the icon for the app and set it on top of another. In doing so, you have created your first folder.

A quick note:

Decide early on how you are going to organize your apps and keep the system maintained. Every time that you purchase or download an app, organize it right away… that way it’s not such a pain!

I have organized my apps into content area folders, so I have: Place Value Games,
Addition Games, Subtraction Games, and so on. I have also created a folder for each unit that I teach in science and social studies. As I come across apps, I simply download them and add them to the correct folder.

Create an “App” Icon

Many times I come across websites with awesome activities and resources for my students. If it is a site that I want my students to access regularly, I simply create an “app” icon for it. Once you've created the icon, simply file it away in the correct folder.

To do this, simply follow the directions below:

QR Codes

Many times I want to extend my students’ learning using multimedia tools. I love to incorporate YouTube videos and other presentations in my classroom. One way that I do this is through the use of QR codes.

At my iPad Center, I simply create a “task list” with an embedded QR code.

When my students arrive at the center, they know to scan the QR code and complete the embedded activities and directions. It makes my life SO much easier! If the activity specifically correlates with something in my curriculum, I simply run the card through the laminator and save it for the following year. Easy peasy!

Thanks for allowing me to share with all of you! For more tips on integrating technology into the primary classroom and increasing your personal productivity and classroom management, please stop by and follow my blog at

Stay connected,


  1. I never knew you could add websites to your home screen as app icons! Thanks so much for sharing these fabulous tips!


  2. What a fabulous post!! Thanks for the great tips, especially the one about the flash enabled

  3. Oh my goodness Kate what an incredible post! I'm heading straight over to your blog now to follow along and I'll be sitting down at lunchtime to work my way through this post properly (the bell has just rung so I'm about to be over-run with children :)

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

  4. great ideas! Thanks for sharing for us teachers that have only 1 IPAD in classroom. I let them use my mobile phone for the QR code scanning - they are first graders and have done very well handling it.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your IPAD ideas for a one pad classroom - very helpful. I also let my first graders use my mobile phone for the QR Scanner - they have been taught to be very cautious and they do a great job.



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