Technology in the Classroom II
Here is Part II of III of quick tech ideas that I have completed with my 1st graders over the past several years. Many of the PDF examples I am sharing with you were done in Kid Pix. We now have Pixie in our computer lab, so a few of the ideas will have come from that program. In many ways the two programs are very similar, so you should have no trouble adapting the ideas! Hopefully you will find something here that you can use with your own students or maybe these lessons will inspire an idea of your own!
Our first grade math program has my students working a lot with the number ten. Having that strong foundation helps students as they move into counting on, kip counting, ten frames and more. I have my students use stamps to show different ways to add to the number ten. You can use holiday stamps, themed stamps, shape stamps etc. Afterwards, we talk about the many different ways you can add to ten and tally the ways that students found the most. We also learn that 4+6=10 and so is 6+4. The fact that addition is friendly and that even if the numbers are switched, the end result stays the same.
By October, we are working hard on ending, middle and blend sounds. Having students stamp a favorite object and then label each one, gives you a great formative assessment on their sound spelling strengths and weaknesses. I love doing Halloween stamps because some words are very simple and some incredibly complicated, and there are silent letters and blends as well. Besides it makes a fun learning display for read-around-the-room center if you have one.
In science we can work on simple sentence writing by making sure we use a capital letter at the beginning of our sentence and punctuation at the end and that our sentence shares a fact about something we have learned. Using the “draw” tool allows students to add illustrations to match what they wrote. Austin happens to be home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, so I often teach a unit about bats in October in hopes to educate my students on this wonderful treasure of our city and to dispel any “scary” thoughts my students may associate with bats.
I love creative writing assignments that encourage my students to use their imagination. One of my favorite holiday writing activities asks students to answer the question “How Do Reindeer Fly?” Students type their answer and then decorate with a holiday boarder. Finally students create an illustration to math their answer and both are hung in the hallways so everyone can get a chuckle out of the cute answers my six and seven year old students come up with.
I like to give my students many different types of opportunities to use the draw program in Pixie. When completing out unit of Solids and Liquids, I have students choose three of the solids we had been working with and to label them with two different properties that describe each solid. Since my students are “scientists” when completing science activities, they are instructed to be sure to illustrate exactly what they see to the best of their ability. So each solid drawn is colored accordingly, and texture can be added as well, to make their drawings look as realistic as possible. We also have a tower building contest with the solids we have been working with; here is a photo of our 1st and 2nd place winner for the tallest tower!
We still work with pattern blocks and shapes in my 1st grade class. It is creative, great for spatial reasoning, a good introduction to the concepts of fractions etc. I always have a free explore activity day, where students can create their own pattern block picture on the computer that we print in color for them to save. They have to title the piece and explain it to the class. A student explanation can take what looks to be a pretty simple picture, into an interesting and inspired place. I always like to glue their work on construction paper and laminate it so they have it to save forever.
“Oh, he is like the Time Man in the Will of All (Wizard of Oz)” Eliah Ms. Atkinson’s Class 2008-2009