Professionally we are working toward effectively using all the different technologies to showcase our students learning, our learning, and the inquiry that is happening in our classroom. We want to also build resources, as well as our own ability, to better explain to families why we are introducing technology at this age. Many parents are concerned that we are trading necessary early skills for using computers. We want to alleviate these fears by modeling what a great vehicle blogging can be for oral communication, reading, writing, and collaborating.
As this is a Kindergarten classroom we are starting with establishing expectations and routines using the technology. We want our students by the end of the year to see the ipad and our blog as a learning tool not a gaming device.
Next, we want to use our class blog to show our students that the blog is a way of using our reading, writing, and speaking skills to communicate with families and the world. This way by grade one they will understand there needs to be thought and meaning behind what they post on their own blogs.
Last, we want to start cooperatively building individual student blog as a portfolio of inquiry and learning stories.
Our learning will be visible in how the students begin to use technology to communicate their creativity, problem solving, and collaboration in our daily inquiries. It will also be visible in the better relationships with families who don’t always get to be at the school.
Team Kindergarten Creation
Some of the things I’ve been asked by my 7 year old students lately show much the effort of this project is paying off in terms of student learning:
“Miss Versteeg, when I finish my work may have some Inquiry time? I have some questions I want to learn about so I can write on my blog”;“Hey when I finish this book can I take a picture and write about it?” This shows creativity.
“Guess what? Someone in the Busy Bee class has Lego on their blog my friend! Can I share a link with them?” This shows collaboration and communication.
“Is it okay if I do this on Explain Everything instead of PicCollage because I think it is easier to add things?” This shows critical thinking.
And, in response to my incredulous reaction to a student’s knowledge about each continent “Oh, I just googled it.” That’s often my first strategy for problem solving too!
What have your students been asking to do lately?
I posted two new blogs tonight with an update about Grade 1! Thought I would quickly share on here what we have been up to since the Holiday Break!
We have began a new project in Grade 1 using the FREE website, ePals. You login and create a profile and then can easily connect with classrooms from around the world. Better yet, you can jump into projects coordinated by an ePals facilitator. Each week our facilitator posts the discussion question for us to discuss.
Our first week was about what was in our Lunches. My students created Pic Collages with labels to share with our ePals through our Blogs. This upcoming week they are to give a virtual tour of our schools, which I will be able to connect to Grade 1 Mapping. At the end of the 4 weeks, we will gather all the information we learned about our ePals and see what we have learned. Below is one example of a Lunch Pic Collage but check out our Blog link above to see more! 🙂
I downloaded the FREE app “Geoboard”. After some discovery time with the app, we created different shapes and learned how to take screen shots. They then used our 2D Geometry Anchor Charts to label their screen shots in Pic Collage and post them to their Blogs. They love the Geoboard App to create and share geometric shapes with their peers. Check out the blog post to read more about the activity.
Next, I am going to have the students create a geometric design either using Geoboard or our bucket of shapes. Then they are going to take a picture of their design and use Explain Everything to describe it using mathematical language on our anchor charts. When we are finished, I will share what they come up with.