I had a great week! One day in particular that was amazing was Wednesday. Our school had group touring our school seeing how we use technology and innovation at school and in the classrooms. My first grade classroom was on the tour this time! I was so excited! For years we have had cutting edge things going on in our school. Many groups coming through checking it all out in the upper grades. Many people simply write off the little guys. I have always been a proponent for "these guys can do fantastic things too and really benefit from technology"! I am happy people are starting to take notice.
(Last year I was lucky enough to get our counties Digital Media Teacher of the Year award and $2,000 tech dollars to spend in my classroom! This was awesome because I got to pick exactly what I wanted and needed in my classroom to work with my class, grade level and teaching style. In the past it has been "here is some technology, now see how you can use in your class.")
OK so back on topic... On this particular day I had my Super 6 Differentiated Centers "tech'ed out" a little more than normal. (I normally have 2-3 of the centers with tech, but this day I had 5 with different tech tools to aid their learning and practice.) Technology makes it so easy to differentiate for everyone. The best part is, I think my kiddos are finally learning to self-select what they need to challenge themselves on their own. (I know, I'm off on a tangent again. Here is what I was my kiddos were doing that day!)
At this center student's are publishing their writing about their holiday break. First, students completed a graphic organizer listing 3 things they did over break, 2 presents they got and 1 person the enjoyed spending time with. They are now preparing Keynote presentations to share with the class.
Literacy Plugged In
This center involves technology everyday. Today students are playing one of the Lakeshore Interactive Games. (This year is the first time I have tried these games and I LOVE them! I hope they turn them into apps soon.) Students are able to pick the game they want to play. I have the sound turned down low so it doesn't distract too much. The kids love it! My only problem is that the group next to them is suppose to be reading on their own and they are easily distracted by this. I think once the novelty is warn off, this won't really be an issue.
Read to Yourself
Obviously the kids are reading in this center. Once they finish a book they can choose to take a Reading Counts test on a laptop. This student is also filling out a book recommendation form to post on our door.
This center isn't "tech'ed out", but is a student favorite! Students pick a piece of popcorn (words of the week focusing on the phonics skill mixed with sight words). They then have to read the word to keep it. They record the word on their word sort sheet. This week we were sorting long vowel words.
This center was QR Task Cards today. Students use the mini-iPads to scan one of the 12 QR codes. A colorful question pops up (today was number detective word problem riddles) they then record their answer on the recording sheet. When they are done they take their answer sheet to my desk and scan the "Check It Code." They use a red pen to mark the ones they have wrong and go back to try the problems again. They love QR Task Cards. I love them too, fun colorful centers without all of the costly printing. (I'm working on more of these.)
Here the students are working together with the Puppet Pals. We are working on planning out the story elements. Students work together to plan their setting, characters, problem and solution. I try to limit then to about 1 minute. Their favorite part is getting to screen their movies for their class. (I am trying something new with Puppet Pals this week, so keep an eye out for this post coming soon!)
I know this looks like a lot of work to set up... It really isn't now. It takes time introducing these things, but once you get it started, it is super easy. All of the students are engaged and learning. Sometimes I just walk around and monitor or join them at a center, or I will use this time to pull those kids for intensive intervention.
I hope you enjoyed peeking in my classroom and maybe even got an idea or two. I would love if you would share with me how your kiddos are using tech in your classroom!