Type: Seating Chart, Grade Book, Personal Organizer
Teacher Kit is a very useful little app despite a few flaws that can at times make it clumsy. I installed Teacher Kit because I was looking for a seating chart app and this is what teacher kit does best. It also allows you to make behavior notes on each student, take attendance within the app, keep track of grades, and even send parents an email from within the app! It allows you to separate classes if you are a secondary teacher or have just one if you want. It is the best seating chart and student info app I have been able to find. The main reasons this app does not receive a 5 star rating is because it has a couple quirks that make it a bit clumsy and it doesn’t support exporting or any kind of syncing of attendance, grades, or notes.
This app’s main feature for me is the seating chart. It takes seconds to move a student or two around and you can make a whole class seating change in under 5 minutes. It is so much nicer than paper seating charts or sticky notes in a sheet protector. From within the seating chart you can tap a student and make a note, take attendance, or enter grades. Not too bad!
Setting up the seating chart takes some time, but worth it because then it’s all done and everything from there is pretty quick. First you create a class, with a name and a description. Then you have to tap the plus button. It gives you an option to add a new student, add from contacts, face detection, or add from other classes. I haven’t used the face detection thing, and who keeps their students contacts in their Ipad contacts? That’s odd. Anyway I use add student. When you do this you have add their name first and last, you can also add a student email, a parent email a parent phone number and a parent name. only first and last name are required but I highly recommend adding contact information. You’ll learn why later. You can also add a photo. I like to just a photo from within the app, it’s quick the kids freak out buy I promise them I am only going to use it in the app. (Well actually I tell them I’m gonna draw a mustache on it and post it on Facebook, joking of course, they laugh and feel better and let me take their picture.) The annoying thing is that when you add students to the seating chart it stacks them on top of each other for some reason. It’s kind of clumsy so you have to add a student, tap their desk icon and drag it off the previous one. If you don’t do this every time it is easy to lose track of a student because they will be hiding under the previous one you added.
When you finally get all your students added, you can drag them around and put them in any configuration you want. You can move them freely and are not bound by any preset classroom arrangement, that way you can mirror where you students are actually sitting no matter how weirdly your room is arranged. That’s very nice because a lot of apps only let you arrange students in rows. It also has some alignment guides which don’t work perfectly but help to put the desk icons in straight lines if you want to. From there changing your arrangement is is easy as tapping and dragging and takes no time at all.
The next best thing about this app is that you can make behavior notes right from you seating chart. Just tap on the behavior tab, tap on the student and fill out the form. Nothing to it. No more writing it down on your sheet protector then transferring it to your notebook. No more stickies or spreadsheets. You can keep track of student behavior quickly in the moment and not have to fuss with it after class. You can quickly make a note, either positive, negative, or neutral and keep track of things like poor behavior, behavior referrals, tardies, positive behavior, and anything else you might want to make a note of. It saves it for you so when your principal, the counselor, or a parent ask you “how has Johnny’s behavior been?” you can pull out your Ipad and recount their entire behavior history for your class. Very, very handy! very cool!
Another very handy thing about this app that almost makes it amazing is the attendance feature. All you do is tap the attendance tab at the top of you seating chart and tap a students name to mark them present or absent. If they all of a sudden show up you can tap again and mark them present. Easy, except… it doesn’t allow you to mark them tardy, and it doesn’t sync to PowerSchool, Aeries or any other school attendance program. You still have to go over to your computer and mark them present or absent it whatever program your school uses. Which of course I always forget to do and then I get that phone call. It would totally make attendance easy if they had the sync feature but unfortunately they don’t. It’s still easier than marking the attendance on a sheet protector or sticky note, and it also save it for you in case you really forget and need to enter a couple days worth :-).
Teacher Kit also has a grade book that lest you create assignments, set the points value and a weight. I really don’t use it as an actual grade book because it does not have the robust features that a teacher really needs, and it won’t sync to PowerSchool or Aeries etc. What I use it for is quick entry. So lets say I want to go around and look at students work and give them points as opposed to collecting and grading. I just quickly create an assignment and as i go around the room enter each students score. It is the saved for quick entry into my regular grade book on my computer. Because the students can be organized in the grade book by last name it’s a pretty quick data entry transfer. A lot easier than writing them on the sheet protector like I used to do. I suppose you could use a remote desktop app like doceri, Log-Me_In or Splashtop to enter them directly but using teacher kit is easier for me for some reason.
In spite of some little flaws and unfortunate limitations, Teacher Kit is great app. As I said earlier it is the most functional and best seating chart app on the App store and best of all it’s Free! The ability to move students around with ease, see their smiling faces on the chart and keep track of behavior makes it another app that I use all day everyday. Teacher Kit is another Must Have App for the teacher’s Ipad. I don’t know what I would do without it!