Technology in the Classroom I
Recently, your team of Teacher Advisors put together a collection of ideas on how they integrate technology in their own classroom to make the ordinary extraordinary. In addition to those clever ideas, I have some additional quick tech ideas to share with you that I have completed with my 1st graders over the past several years.
Students need technology skills to explore, research, organize and evaluate information in order to function well in a technology-literate society. With this goal in mind, here are some engaging and fun ways to improve learning, productivity and performance using a variety of computer and digital media tools.
Action Painting on a SMARTboard by Alexandra Savvas and Naomi Randolph: Alex and Naomi's Kindergartners review Jackson Pollock's work and discover how to make their own action paintings on a Smartboard.
Make a Novel Movie! by Patty Blome: Watch students develop comprehension and increase learning while researching characters, storyboarding plots and learning the art of film-making by translating a novel into a Hollywood-style digital movie.
Travel Pals: A Journey For Learning by Jennifer Atkinson: Jennifer's students make real-world connections to places and people around the U.S. by tracking the adventures of a class stuffed animal, or Travel Pal.
Many of the PDF examples I am sharing with you below were done in Kid Pix. We now have Pixie in our computer lab, so a few of the ideas will have been from that program. In many ways they are very similar, so you should have no trouble adapting the ideas!
One of the first computer activities I have my students complete in the computer lab is to draw a picture of themselves and then add picture stamps around their picture of things that they can use to talk about themselves to the class. This simple activity allows me to asses how comfortable each of my new students are using a computer keyboard, mouse and a computer program they should have been introduced to in Pre-K and Kindergarten. The kids always love sharing the picture stamps they choose with the class and what the connection is to themselves.
We always spend a few weeks reviewing information taught (and hopefully learned!) in Kindergarten. To reinforce beginning sounds, I have students stamp out their name in letter blocks and then find picture stamps that begin the same way. This activity always becomes a fun crazy scavenger hunt to find elusive pictures for vowels and uncommon letters such as J- hence the jack-o-lantern in the PDF.
I love to teach my students the song "My Favorite Things" from the movie the Sound of Music. In fact, this movie is filled with many wonderful songs to teach your students and I watch a shortened version of it over the first two weeks of school with my class every year. The kids absolutely love the story and the children in the movie and I love exposing them to a cinema classic that many of them have never seen. We complete several fun learning activities that correspond with the movie, one of which is to have the students find stamps of their favorite things and to label each one. This gives me great insight to where each of my students are with their spelling strategies and makes for a lovely display!
One of our science unit that comes early in the year is to learn about our five senses and how we use those senses when we are conducting science experiments and exploration. One of the assessments I use is to have the student illustrate and label their five senses on the computer.
Next week I will post some more technology ideas for you to use, so stay tuned!
"Can I still sing that song when I grow up?" Jonathan A. to Ms. Atkinson after singing, with his entire class, an on your feet, arms spread wide rendering of "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music. You better believe I told him that he could sing it for the rest of his life!