Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Techie Teachers

In the summer of 2012, I had the pleasure of co-teaching a mixed classroom. Our class consisted of kindergarteners and 1st graders for summer school with a wonderful teacher, Sara Norman. During this time, we had daily access to five iPods. Both Sara and I are supporters of small group instruction and each day we ran literacy and math stations. One of our stations, for both math and literacy, involved using the five iPods. We had a variety of activities planned for this time.

Some of their work was content specific. We matched apps to standards and with the use of pictos, we created, we were able to connect each student with the skill work needed. The first time an app was introduced, it was done so with either Sara or I. We felt it was important to teach students the most affective way to use the devices and get the most of the apps we had assigned.

We also felt the devices gave them the chance to create and share in ways not possible before. Using certain apps we guided students to record themselves reading. They were able to play their reading back and listen to their fluency. They were also able to use these recordings during "Read to Self" time.

One of their favorite content specific apps was Fetch! Lunch Rush.
With the use of Fetch! Lunch Rush, an Augmented Reality app,  students were up out of their seats on a scavenger hunt. Yes, we allowed kindergarteners to walk around with an iPod. We were nervous about it at first, but with one partner responsible for the iPod and the other responsible for recording, two hands were always on the device.  If you are interested in learning more about lessons please visit our blog posts App Review Retch! Lunch Rush  and for the materials visit Fetch! Lunch Rush

As colleagues heard of what we were doing, they encouraged us to share with others. We started our Blog
and began leading workshops and presenting at schools. We decided to share the materials we made on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Sara, is currently teaching kindergarten and I am the technology integrationist for our district. While I am not longer in the classroom, I am in close contact with classroom teachers and co-plan lessons as much as possible. Both of us enjoy collaborating and working with other teachers. Our goal is to make technology that is available to teachers and students impactful and not just a busy time activity.

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