I'm wondering what technology other educators use, as such word, PowerPoint, digital camera use, flip videos, etc., in a K-3 environment. What one thing works for you best given little hands and short attention spans?
I'm K-4 guy at an independent K12 in Nashville, Tennessee, and I blog weekly about what's going on in the computer lab. I see each of the 20 classrooms of <18 kids once a week for a half hour to 45 minutes. That's not a great deal of time, and I also use the model Rachel does, of a brief intro on the rug at the projector screen before diving into work at computers.
This year I picked up some great carpet number squares and I'm pleased with no longer having to replace Sharpie-numbered colored tape for where the kids sit, plus being able to move them around so the 6 on the back row aren't on the back row for the entire year.
We use a safe-start browser page for our Firefox, our Webliographer. Much like del.icio.us or Diigo (but preceding either by a year or two in its creation), it's a collection of online bookmarks. While theoretically anyone with an account can add links, I do all the link adding and maintenance, and it's pushing a thousand URLs at the mo', all alphabetized by topic name and easily revisable or deletable.
For our youngest, I love UpToTen.com's Boowa and Kwala Premium@School site, at http://uptoten.com. Years ago I helped its creator, Jason Bernard, work out a scaffolded series of computer interface skills that has evolved into "MyFirstClicks" at the site. The free site has MyFirstClicks but sports a sidebar ad banner and the at school site is free with confirmation that you're a teacher. All this may change as the result of some ongoing legal battles between Jason and his partner, so stay tuned.
My 4th graders do Keyboarding for Kids early in the year and then move into Quest Atlantis; and I'm really looking forward to our second year, as QA has undergone a complete remodelling. The social commitments underpinning is fantastic, and the chance to be inworld with my students, and to reply to their Quest submission writings in character as a Council Member on Atlantis, is a highlight of my year.
I'm looking seriously this year at compiling Scope and Sequence for all 4 grade levels
aligned with NETS and other standards suggestions, so also stay tooned for all that. I'm likely to share.
I felt like a kid in a technology candy store! What a wonderful collection of resources. Our school does Type to Learn for keyboarding instruction, but it's only available in our computer lab (one a week). The BBC site is perfect for putting on my TeacherWeb page so the kids can practice in the classroom and at home!
checkout DreamBox Learning (http://www.dreambox.com/). A web-based math development site for K-2. Well thoughout and engaging. Parents can assist at home as well. My understanding is they were doing some programs to offer to schools. It is a small, Seattle-based company.
If you collaborate with your teachers feel free to use my resources page and link to it in your lab. I have bookmarked hundreds of interactive and informational sites sorted by subject and topic. All the links are graphical which makes it easy for "little hands" to use. Here is the link:
For the K-3 (their primary goal: reading, vocabulary and spelling), please try www.readinglogs.com.
It is a site that lets kids create reading logs and vocabulary cards online and submit to their teachers
for review. Good luck
I really liked the link and I'm wondering how my student's parents would feel about it. I have in the past used Spelling City, but for some reason, only a few students took advantage - I guess it's in the way I present it. How do you get the word out to parents that resources like this are available?
Hi - my experience has been that parents live the online feature of the readinglogs website. The reading logs or the vocabulary cards do not get lost. If children forget to bring the spelling lists, parents do not have to drive to a friend's house, etc.
The site is free, so parents seem to like the convenience. If I remember correctly, there are letters for parents, so you can print and send them home with the kids.
I have seen clickers in action in the 7th and 8th grade classroom. I can only imagine how much younger children would enjoy using the interactive clickers to share their answers. Classroom response systems (clickers) allow the student to respond to questions asked about a particular topic and gives instant feedback for the teacher. For example, introducing about the subject of space using clickers would show the teacher what areas of the unit to focus on and which areas the students are already familiar with. It is an excellent technology tool to show results immediately in graph form and by percentages.
I agree that clickers would be motivational - I'd like to see them at the faculty meetings too ;) I think my interactive whiteboard manufacturer has them for sale (I feel another grant coming on).
Thanks for the suggestion,