Second Graders?

Light BulbStephen from Indianapolis, Indiana writes:

I have admired your Planet 5th website and now the Learning in Hand site for many years. My question is this: I have had the Palm 130's for three years while I was a 5th grade teacher, but now for the 05-06 school year, I will be teaching 2nd grade. A 5th grade colleague and I want to do "Palm Buddies" similar to intermediate and primary "Book Buddies". The problem is this: what would you suggest we do! We are not real sure what programs would be best for our 5th graders to teach our 2nd graders or what they would be capable of doing? Maybe just math facts? or e-books? Any advice or research out there for 7 year olds using palms with their older classmates would be extremely beneficial.
I've used handhelds with students in grades K-5. There are by far many more activities and applications to use with the upper grades. However, there are still many things second graders can do. Here are some activities second graders at my school have done:
  • MathAce for addition and subtraction practice.
  • MathTreeHouse for addition practice.
  • Note Pad for drawing or beaming spelling words.
  • Sketchy for making drawings and animations to review a concept.
  • Quizzler for quizzes about a topic or unit of study.
  • MatchWho to make a character to write about.
  • SpellIT's Word Jumble mode for practicing spelling words.
  • Coconut Fern to play a game of Connect Four against the computer or against a friend.
And if they have a fifth grade buddy helping them, there's even more possibilities. Let me list some buddy ideas that come to mind:
  • Fifth graders make GoneMad! story templates and then help the seconds grader fill it out and read it. They could even then write a story template together to share with other pairs of buddies.
  • Fifth graders could help second graders create a Quizzler quiz over something they have learned.
  • Fifth graders and second graders could write a What-If Builder story together.
  • Fifth graders could teach a second grader how to play some of the simpler games from this page.
  • Fifth graders use Dictate with second graders to practice spelling words.
There are certainly plenty more way to use handhelds with second graders. Please leave a comment with your ideas for Stephen!