App Interview

I work in a building of kindergarten and first grade teachers. There are nine kindergarten classrooms, and ten first grade classrooms. There are two Special Ed. Teachers and two reading specialist. I interviewed one first grade teacher, a kindergarten teacher, and reading specialist. The reading specialist has been teaching for 30+ years, the kindergarten teacher for 19 years, and first grade teacher has been teaching five years.

           I did my best to maintain notes as I interviewed each teacher. I was able to type their responses during the interview but had to go back to paraphrase what was said as my notes were broken and filled with spelling errors (not able to type as fast as they could talk). In my notes from the interview I used RT (reading teacher), K (kindergarten), and 1st (first grade).

 

How often do you use technology (iPads, computers) in your classroom?

 

RT- Since I see small groups for a short amount of time I do not feel like I have enough time to use computers or iPads. I have a limited amount of time to work with these children and I need to use my time wisely. I feel that time will be lost logging into computers, or going to get iPads.

K- I allow my students to use the computers during center time. We use computers or iPads about two or three times a week. The students use the RAZ Kids app. Students are able to listen to books, and take quizzes.

1st- I try to use technology every day. We start each morning with the SMARTboard, and then during centers, we use iPads, computers, or both. Students are able to go onto RAZ Kids or Everyday Math Online. Students practice math skills by playing a variety of math games on EDM Online. The RAZ Kids app is a literacy app that the students read leveled books. I am able to assign the students their levels, and monitor their progress. I can see how often they use the app, as well as how they do on quizzes. After each book the students take a five question quiz with vocabulary, comprehension, and sequencing questions.

What keeps you from using technology (iPads, computers) in your classroom?

 

RT- I am really concerned about the amount of time that I have the children for. I see the children in groups of 4-5 students for half an hour. During that time we have specific skills that I need to teach. As part of my position, I am in charge of RTII, and making sure that students’ DIBELS and reading levels go up…. I am not very familiar with the apps or games that are available. If I were to use technology it needs to be meaningful and reinforce the skills we are working on.

K- My biggest concern would be not knowing what they are doing on the computer or iPads. I have told them specific games that they are to play and I am not sure if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Even if they are on the right game, I don’t know if it is helping them. There is not much accountability.

1st- I don’t always know what they are doing when they are using the computers or iPads. I have assigned them tasks but I am often working with a small group or an individual student so I am not able to monitor the students…. Besides the Reading A-Z app, I have not found many apps that are relevant to what we are doing. The students have played ABC Ninja which helps practice letter recognition, and there is a sight word game that is similar to ABC Ninja, but all of the words don’t correlate to the words we teach. With the ABC Ninja and sight word game I have noticed that students are randomly swiping their finger across the screen. They are not playing the game the way it was meant to be played.

How do you communicate student progress with parents?

 

RT- As part of the DIBELS program I am able to send progress reports to all students in the building. Each student is assessed using the DIBELS program three times a year. Students are assessed in October, January, and May. After each assessment, the program gives a report for each student. The report gives a brief description of the program, and what skills the students were assessed. The students score is then given, as well as the benchmark goal. The parents are able to see what score the students should get, and where their child scored. Students that receive RTII are progress monitored every six weeks. These scores are not shared with parents, but are used to help guide instruction.

K- In October we have a Back to School Night, and a few weeks after that we have our first parent teacher conferences.. usually in November around Thanksgiving. In January we send out our first report card. In the spring we have another set of conferences with the students’ parents we would like to meet with. We do not need to meet with all parents in spring. Students will get their second and final report card in June.

1st- We are responsible for two conferences a year. There is a conference in the fall and spring. The spring conference is optional. There are two reports that are given out as well. The first report card goes out in January, and the second is at the end of the year. I do communicate with parents throughout the year as I see fit. If I notice that a student is struggling I will email, call, or set up a meeting. I tend to email or parents first before meeting with them in person. It is harder to meet with parents in person due to work.

App Interview

I work in a building of kindergarten and first grade teachers. There are nine kindergarten classrooms, and ten first grade classrooms. There are two Special Ed. Teachers and two reading specialist. I interviewed one first grade teacher, a kindergarten teacher, and reading specialist. The reading specialist has been teaching for 30+ years, the kindergarten teacher for 19 years, and first grade teacher has been teaching five years.

           I did my best to maintain notes as I interviewed each teacher. I was able to type their responses during the interview but had to go back to paraphrase what was said as my notes were broken and filled with spelling errors (not able to type as fast as they could talk). In my notes from the interview I used RT (reading teacher), K (kindergarten), and 1st (first grade).

 

How often do you use technology (iPads, computers) in your classroom?

 

RT- Since I see small groups for a short amount of time I do not feel like I have enough time to use computers or iPads. I have a limited amount of time to work with these children and I need to use my time wisely. I feel that time will be lost logging into computers, or going to get iPads.

K- I allow my students to use the computers during center time. We use computers or iPads about two or three times a week. The students use the RAZ Kids app. Students are able to listen to books, and take quizzes.

1st- I try to use technology every day. We start each morning with the SMARTboard, and then during centers, we use iPads, computers, or both. Students are able to go onto RAZ Kids or Everyday Math Online. Students practice math skills by playing a variety of math games on EDM Online. The RAZ Kids app is a literacy app that the students read leveled books. I am able to assign the students their levels, and monitor their progress. I can see how often they use the app, as well as how they do on quizzes. After each book the students take a five question quiz with vocabulary, comprehension, and sequencing questions.

What keeps you from using technology (iPads, computers) in your classroom?

 

RT- I am really concerned about the amount of time that I have the children for. I see the children in groups of 4-5 students for half an hour. During that time we have specific skills that I need to teach. As part of my position, I am in charge of RTII, and making sure that students’ DIBELS and reading levels go up…. I am not very familiar with the apps or games that are available. If I were to use technology it needs to be meaningful and reinforce the skills we are working on.

K- My biggest concern would be not knowing what they are doing on the computer or iPads. I have told them specific games that they are to play and I am not sure if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Even if they are on the right game, I don’t know if it is helping them. There is not much accountability.

1st- I don’t always know what they are doing when they are using the computers or iPads. I have assigned them tasks but I am often working with a small group or an individual student so I am not able to monitor the students…. Besides the Reading A-Z app, I have not found many apps that are relevant to what we are doing. The students have played ABC Ninja which helps practice letter recognition, and there is a sight word game that is similar to ABC Ninja, but all of the words don’t correlate to the words we teach. With the ABC Ninja and sight word game I have noticed that students are randomly swiping their finger across the screen. They are not playing the game the way it was meant to be played.

How do you communicate student progress with parents?

 

RT- As part of the DIBELS program I am able to send progress reports to all students in the building. Each student is assessed using the DIBELS program three times a year. Students are assessed in October, January, and May. After each assessment, the program gives a report for each student. The report gives a brief description of the program, and what skills the students were assessed. The students score is then given, as well as the benchmark goal. The parents are able to see what score the students should get, and where their child scored. Students that receive RTII are progress monitored every six weeks. These scores are not shared with parents, but are used to help guide instruction.

K- In October we have a Back to School Night, and a few weeks after that we have our first parent teacher conferences.. usually in November around Thanksgiving. In January we send out our first report card. In the spring we have another set of conferences with the students’ parents we would like to meet with. We do not need to meet with all parents in spring. Students will get their second and final report card in June.

1st- We are responsible for two conferences a year. There is a conference in the fall and spring. The spring conference is optional. There are two reports that are given out as well. The first report card goes out in January, and the second is at the end of the year. I do communicate with parents throughout the year as I see fit. If I notice that a student is struggling I will email, call, or set up a meeting. I tend to email or parents first before meeting with them in person. It is harder to meet with parents in person due to work.

APP

My App

Word Wizard

           The app that I would like to create is literacy based and one that would work across different platforms (i.e. computers, iPads, smartphones). The reason that I would want this app to work across different programs is so that students that do not have access to computers or iPads at home would still be able to access the app from a Smartphone. With how society is today and the number of cell phones in a family, children are more likely to have access to a smartphone.

           The purpose of this app would to help students practice sight words at home or in school. This app is geared to the primary grades. While the students are practicing their sight words at home they would be able to earn stars for each game they play, and the number of minutes that they spend on the app. The stars that the students earn will be used to unlock new writing tools, backgrounds, costumes for their Word Wizard, and decorate their wizards’ home. The purpose of earning stars is to motivate that children so they can unlock these new tools, or decorate their Word Wizard as they please.

           What is different with this app versus other sight word apps is that it would be editable. The teacher will be able to assign the sight words to their students. Each class would have a log in, and every student would have their own account. The teacher will be able to select the words that they want their students to practice that week. The benefit of being able to assign sight words to your students is to differentiate your instruction. For some children, they may already know all of the required words for the year, while other children it may take longer for them to learn. Some children may move quickly through the words, while the children that struggle may practice the same words for a few weeks. Teachers can also assign a “challenge word.” A challenge word or words can be selected from a read aloud or a book that the students are reading in guided reading.

           Teachers will have access to the students’ progress and usage at home. Teachers will be able to select when and if they want progress reports. Progress reports will be sent to the teachers email address that they enter. This will Teachers can select if they want a progress report each week, biweekly, or each month. Teachers will be able to listen to the students when they complete the Listen & Repeat, and Identify to see how students are progressing. Parents will also have access to the students’ progress reports. Like the teacher, parents will be able to set how often they would like progress reports.

           To help practice their sight words the students can select from a variety of games. The games are as follows; Word Scramble, Tracing, Matching, Missing Letter, Complete the Sentence, Identify, and Listen & Repeat.

Word Scramble:

           In the word scramble game the children would view one word at a time. At the bottom of the screen would be letters that make a sight word. Above the scrambled letters would be boxes for the letters to be placed. If the word is just three letters long, then three letters would appear at the bottom of the screen and three boxes would be available to place the letters. After the word is correctly spelled, and the tiles are placed, the game would read the word aloud for the student to hear. That way, the student is seeing and hearing the word at the same time.

Tracing:

           The tracing game is exactly what it seems. A sight word would appear on the screen, the game would read the word aloud, and the students would then have to trace the letters. Before the letters are traced by the student, the game would model how to correctly write each letter (i.e. starting from the top and go down, or starting with a magic “c”). The students would be able to pick from a variety of different color markers to trace the word. As the students earn stars they will be able to unlock new writing utensils to trace the words. Some possible ideas would be writing in stars, smiley faces, rainbow colors, or changing from a marker to a paintbrush.

 

Matching:

           If it is applicable, the students would match the word to a picture. Often the sight words do not correlate to a picture. If this is the case, the words would be on the left side of the screen, and an icon on the right side. If there are four words, then four icons would appear. The icons on the right side of the screen would be an audio file. When the audio file is clicked on, a corresponding word would be read. For example, on the left side of the screen would be; I, like, the, and. On the right side of the screen there would be four icons, with those same words. The students would click on an icon on the right side, and then drag the matching word over to the icon.

Complete the Sentence:

           For complete the sentence the children would be given two or three words at the bottom of the screen. On the top part of the screen will be a simple sentence. The sentence will not be complete. One of the sight words will be needed to complete the sentence. The sight words on the bottom of the page will have audio as well. Since the sight words are words the students need to learn, they will not know all of the words. By clicking on any of the words at the bottom of the screen, the app will read the word to the students.

Listen, Repeat, Read:

           In this game the students will listen to a word, and repeat. The students will listen and repeat all of their assigned words. Once they have practiced listening, and repeating the words a few times, they will then record themselves reading. Once the students have recorded themselves reading, they can send their recording to their teacher. This way the teacher can monitor the students’ progress.

Missing Letter:

           Pretty straight forward. A sight word appears with one missing letter. At the bottom of the screen there is two or three possible letters. When the correct letter is put into place the word will be read to the students.

Identify:

           In the identify portion of the game there will be various words that the students are working on for that week. The words will be randomly placed around the screen. The game will say and word and the students must locate the report. As the students’ progress through the identify portion of the game, the game will read a short sentence to the children. After the sentence is complete, they will need to locate a word in the sentence. The students will click, or push on the word that they are required to locate.

APP

My App

Word Wizard

           The app that I would like to create is literacy based and one that would work across different platforms (i.e. computers, iPads, smartphones). The reason that I would want this app to work across different programs is so that students that do not have access to computers or iPads at home would still be able to access the app from a Smartphone. With how society is today and the number of cell phones in a family, children are more likely to have access to a smartphone.

           The purpose of this app would to help students practice sight words at home or in school. This app is geared to the primary grades. While the students are practicing their sight words at home they would be able to earn stars for each game they play, and the number of minutes that they spend on the app. The stars that the students earn will be used to unlock new writing tools, backgrounds, costumes for their Word Wizard, and decorate their wizards’ home. The purpose of earning stars is to motivate that children so they can unlock these new tools, or decorate their Word Wizard as they please.

           What is different with this app versus other sight word apps is that it would be editable. The teacher will be able to assign the sight words to their students. Each class would have a log in, and every student would have their own account. The teacher will be able to select the words that they want their students to practice that week. The benefit of being able to assign sight words to your students is to differentiate your instruction. For some children, they may already know all of the required words for the year, while other children it may take longer for them to learn. Some children may move quickly through the words, while the children that struggle may practice the same words for a few weeks. Teachers can also assign a “challenge word.” A challenge word or words can be selected from a read aloud or a book that the students are reading in guided reading.

           Teachers will have access to the students’ progress and usage at home. Teachers will be able to select when and if they want progress reports. Progress reports will be sent to the teachers email address that they enter. This will Teachers can select if they want a progress report each week, biweekly, or each month. Teachers will be able to listen to the students when they complete the Listen & Repeat, and Identify to see how students are progressing. Parents will also have access to the students’ progress reports. Like the teacher, parents will be able to set how often they would like progress reports.

           To help practice their sight words the students can select from a variety of games. The games are as follows; Word Scramble, Tracing, Matching, Missing Letter, Complete the Sentence, Identify, and Listen & Repeat.

Word Scramble:

           In the word scramble game the children would view one word at a time. At the bottom of the screen would be letters that make a sight word. Above the scrambled letters would be boxes for the letters to be placed. If the word is just three letters long, then three letters would appear at the bottom of the screen and three boxes would be available to place the letters. After the word is correctly spelled, and the tiles are placed, the game would read the word aloud for the student to hear. That way, the student is seeing and hearing the word at the same time.

Tracing:

           The tracing game is exactly what it seems. A sight word would appear on the screen, the game would read the word aloud, and the students would then have to trace the letters. Before the letters are traced by the student, the game would model how to correctly write each letter (i.e. starting from the top and go down, or starting with a magic “c”). The students would be able to pick from a variety of different color markers to trace the word. As the students earn stars they will be able to unlock new writing utensils to trace the words. Some possible ideas would be writing in stars, smiley faces, rainbow colors, or changing from a marker to a paintbrush.

 

Matching:

           If it is applicable, the students would match the word to a picture. Often the sight words do not correlate to a picture. If this is the case, the words would be on the left side of the screen, and an icon on the right side. If there are four words, then four icons would appear. The icons on the right side of the screen would be an audio file. When the audio file is clicked on, a corresponding word would be read. For example, on the left side of the screen would be; I, like, the, and. On the right side of the screen there would be four icons, with those same words. The students would click on an icon on the right side, and then drag the matching word over to the icon.

Complete the Sentence:

           For complete the sentence the children would be given two or three words at the bottom of the screen. On the top part of the screen will be a simple sentence. The sentence will not be complete. One of the sight words will be needed to complete the sentence. The sight words on the bottom of the page will have audio as well. Since the sight words are words the students need to learn, they will not know all of the words. By clicking on any of the words at the bottom of the screen, the app will read the word to the students.

Listen, Repeat, Read:

           In this game the students will listen to a word, and repeat. The students will listen and repeat all of their assigned words. Once they have practiced listening, and repeating the words a few times, they will then record themselves reading. Once the students have recorded themselves reading, they can send their recording to their teacher. This way the teacher can monitor the students’ progress.

Missing Letter:

           Pretty straight forward. A sight word appears with one missing letter. At the bottom of the screen there is two or three possible letters. When the correct letter is put into place the word will be read to the students.

Identify:

           In the identify portion of the game there will be various words that the students are working on for that week. The words will be randomly placed around the screen. The game will say and word and the students must locate the report. As the students’ progress through the identify portion of the game, the game will read a short sentence to the children. After the sentence is complete, they will need to locate a word in the sentence. The students will click, or push on the word that they are required to locate.

Peer Learning

Peer learning is when students are learning from one another. Whether they do it through conversation, or by simply observing. The children that I work with, kindergarten, are at a very impressionable age. They are easily influenced by their peers and myself.
The students at this age do learn from their peers, as well do I. I have noticed that a lot of this learning goes on, at least in my room, when we are in a large group on the rug. We meet on the rug for many reasons. We may have class discussions to solve social issues, read a book, a phonics lesson, or many other reasons. When we all meet on the rug, everyone is working together. The best part of having everyone together is the questions and conversations that arise from those questions.
Just this week we have been studying the Amazon Rainforest for our trip around the world. During our trip to the rainforest we discovered the sloth! We read an Eric Carle book, as well as several nonfiction text about sloths. During and after our readings we keep track of the interesting facts that we have learned. One interesting fact, probably the only thing they will take away with them this year is that a sloth will climb down a tree once a week to poop at the base of the tree. The rest of the time the sloth lives in the trees. Anyway, while reading one our nonfiction text we learned that sloths are excellent climbers and part of the reason is because of their long tails and claws. One boy in the class raised his hand and said that it has a prehensile tail. I was shocked! Of course, this comment brings on the question of what is a prehensile tail. The boy was able to stand up in front of the class and in his own words explain what a prehensile tail is. This morning, after reading a nonfiction text about howler monkeys, one of the children was able to identify that howler monkeys have a prehensile tail. There has been many times that my class has met on the rug and had discussions in which the students learn from their peers.
The peer to peer learning is pretty limited in kindergarten. I have used apps like Chatterpix or Aurasma as a fun way to share information. Each student selected an animal to research depending on where we are during our trip around the world. After researching their animal and writing three facts, they recorded themselves saying their three facts. We then used Chatterpix to choose an image of each animal, and make it look like the animal is moving. The images were displayed in the hallway, and using Aurasma the children could scan the images to learn facts about each animal. I have noticed that the children are very good at helping each other when they are struggling. Each day I use iPads, laptops, or both during centers. I have noticed that during this time the children are assisting each other navigate their way. The children are constantly learning from each other how to use the technology.
One thing that I have noticed about peer to peer learning is how important the classroom environment is for this process to be successful. For students to teach or learn from each other, they are putting themselves in unfamiliar situations, taking risks and this isn’t possible unless they feel comfortable to do so. We can’t expect our students to take risks when they are not comfortable to do so. Conversations won’t occur if there is no questions, and questions won’t be asked if the students aren’t comfortable. To ask a question in front of your peers can be scary because the other children may laugh.
Throughout this class we have been learning from our peers, at least I have. Like I said earlier, I think a lot of this is due to the environment that was created. I know that I feel comfortable taking risks, and at times I am very confused but still try the tasks assigned. I am not worried about what my peers are going to say, or how they are going to judge me. I really enjoying that during this class we have our F5F. I really enjoy reading through the other blogs and seeing what my peers have to say. I have found myself on a classmates blog, and clicking on one link they have shared, and then I click on another link and so on. One blog, opens the gates to many other blogs. I also like going on Twitter when I have a moment to see what my peers, as well as other people I am following have to say. Prior to this class I was not a member of Twitter. I didn’t see a purpose for Twitter in education. I really saw it as a social media tool in which people went on and shared too much information. I have enjoyed Twitter because I have found myself following people that were recommended or people that I was already following were following. (if you can follow that.) Twitter has connected me to other people that I normally would not have been in contact with, or been able to learn from. I think that this, and the blogs have helped me, and can help achieve equity in education. It is a way to open doors and communicate with other educators. This connected learning will not end or solve the equity problem but it is a way to help solve the problem. You are able to learn from peers that may be going through a similar situation and learn how they are solving a problem or what strategies they use in their classroom.

Peer Learning

Peer learning is when students are learning from one another. Whether they do it through conversation, or by simply observing. The children that I work with, kindergarten, are at a very impressionable age. They are easily influenced by their peers and myself.
The students at this age do learn from their peers, as well do I. I have noticed that a lot of this learning goes on, at least in my room, when we are in a large group on the rug. We meet on the rug for many reasons. We may have class discussions to solve social issues, read a book, a phonics lesson, or many other reasons. When we all meet on the rug, everyone is working together. The best part of having everyone together is the questions and conversations that arise from those questions.
Just this week we have been studying the Amazon Rainforest for our trip around the world. During our trip to the rainforest we discovered the sloth! We read an Eric Carle book, as well as several nonfiction text about sloths. During and after our readings we keep track of the interesting facts that we have learned. One interesting fact, probably the only thing they will take away with them this year is that a sloth will climb down a tree once a week to poop at the base of the tree. The rest of the time the sloth lives in the trees. Anyway, while reading one our nonfiction text we learned that sloths are excellent climbers and part of the reason is because of their long tails and claws. One boy in the class raised his hand and said that it has a prehensile tail. I was shocked! Of course, this comment brings on the question of what is a prehensile tail. The boy was able to stand up in front of the class and in his own words explain what a prehensile tail is. This morning, after reading a nonfiction text about howler monkeys, one of the children was able to identify that howler monkeys have a prehensile tail. There has been many times that my class has met on the rug and had discussions in which the students learn from their peers.
The peer to peer learning is pretty limited in kindergarten. I have used apps like Chatterpix or Aurasma as a fun way to share information. Each student selected an animal to research depending on where we are during our trip around the world. After researching their animal and writing three facts, they recorded themselves saying their three facts. We then used Chatterpix to choose an image of each animal, and make it look like the animal is moving. The images were displayed in the hallway, and using Aurasma the children could scan the images to learn facts about each animal. I have noticed that the children are very good at helping each other when they are struggling. Each day I use iPads, laptops, or both during centers. I have noticed that during this time the children are assisting each other navigate their way. The children are constantly learning from each other how to use the technology.
One thing that I have noticed about peer to peer learning is how important the classroom environment is for this process to be successful. For students to teach or learn from each other, they are putting themselves in unfamiliar situations, taking risks and this isn’t possible unless they feel comfortable to do so. We can’t expect our students to take risks when they are not comfortable to do so. Conversations won’t occur if there is no questions, and questions won’t be asked if the students aren’t comfortable. To ask a question in front of your peers can be scary because the other children may laugh.
Throughout this class we have been learning from our peers, at least I have. Like I said earlier, I think a lot of this is due to the environment that was created. I know that I feel comfortable taking risks, and at times I am very confused but still try the tasks assigned. I am not worried about what my peers are going to say, or how they are going to judge me. I really enjoying that during this class we have our F5F. I really enjoy reading through the other blogs and seeing what my peers have to say. I have found myself on a classmates blog, and clicking on one link they have shared, and then I click on another link and so on. One blog, opens the gates to many other blogs. I also like going on Twitter when I have a moment to see what my peers, as well as other people I am following have to say. Prior to this class I was not a member of Twitter. I didn’t see a purpose for Twitter in education. I really saw it as a social media tool in which people went on and shared too much information. I have enjoyed Twitter because I have found myself following people that were recommended or people that I was already following were following. (if you can follow that.) Twitter has connected me to other people that I normally would not have been in contact with, or been able to learn from. I think that this, and the blogs have helped me, and can help achieve equity in education. It is a way to open doors and communicate with other educators. This connected learning will not end or solve the equity problem but it is a way to help solve the problem. You are able to learn from peers that may be going through a similar situation and learn how they are solving a problem or what strategies they use in their classroom.

F5F Week 10!!

1. This week for our find five we are honoring those interests of the ones that we serve… our students. It seems that a large portion of my class has played, or is currently playing Minecraft. I found Minecraft Edu which allows schools, and teachers to buy the Minecraft game for the classroom. Teachers are able to create worlds and activities for the children to complete. There is also the sandbox feature that just allows students to create whatever they want. I attached a video that explains this better than I can. I can only imagine my children’s faces when you tell them that they will be playing Minecraft in the classroom. You would instantly have the children hooked and ready to complete the tasks you assign them in Minecraft.

https://minecraftedu.com/about#videos_and_photos

2. Over the past month or so my class, and many of the other classes in my building have been participating in STEM activities. We had a full March Maker Madness in which all of the students participated in. We collected a lot of cardboard boxes, and there challenge was to create buildings, vehicles, or anything else you would see in a city. In our kindergarten classrooms we used newspapers to create a tower of some sort that could hold a basketball for at least 20 seconds (played along with the March Madness bball tournament). I found this website with a lot of STEM activities for younger children that I am going to investigate and use in my room. I am interested in the one in which the children turn their names into crystals, or maybe the exploding rockets (a lot of M&M’s would have to be eaten first!)

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/stem-activities-for-kids/

3. I know I have shared it before and many of us use these social media tools so it is nothing new, but I want to use Instagram or Twitter in my classroom to celebrate my students! Parents aren’t able to be in the classroom, and far too often they don’t hear much about the day. I always have my phone in my pocket and it would be so easy to snap a picture and share it on one of these social media tools. I am currently in the process of trying to get one of these tools approved for me to use. I post videos, and images from time to time on my website but it would be much easier for me to snap the picture and post it on Instagram. In the meantime I have set up a student Wall of Fame outside of my classroom. I snap pictures of student work, students working together, or someone being good and hang it on the wall. It is just one way to celebrate their successes and get them excited. I found this blog about how a teacher uses a wall of fame in her classroom. If I were teaching an older class I would use the compliment cards.

http://headoverheelsforteaching.blogspot.com/2015/10/spark-student-motivation-student-wall.html

4. One thing that we read about and talked about is giving the students choices. We are still teaching the curriculum but we are allowing them to choose their activities in which they demonstrate their understanding. One thing that some of the first grade teachers do in my building is the Daily 5. In the Daily 5 the students are making their own goals, make reading and writing choices, so that the teacher can work with small groups. It is a management system that teachers use during their reading instruction so that they can complete guided reading. The children are still reading and writing, but they are able to set their own goals, and what to read. The second link that I attached is a Youtube video that demonstrates the Daily 5 being used in a classroom.

https://www.thedailycafe.com/daily-5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDXeUhf_eqc

5. This week we are making a badge on P2PU and read about badges being awarded. I was looking for some ways to incorporate this into my classroom because I can see my students being really excited and proud when they earn a badge. I came across this blog that has a list of five websites that allows teachers to create and share badges. With many of these you would have to set up a class list and student logins but each are free. On Credly you can go crazy creating a badge with thousands of images to choose from, and the ability to change the image colors.

http://www.shakeuplearning.com/blog/5-awesome-resources-for-badges-in-the-classroom/

F5F Week 10!!

1. This week for our find five we are honoring those interests of the ones that we serve… our students. It seems that a large portion of my class has played, or is currently playing Minecraft. I found Minecraft Edu which allows schools, and teachers to buy the Minecraft game for the classroom. Teachers are able to create worlds and activities for the children to complete. There is also the sandbox feature that just allows students to create whatever they want. I attached a video that explains this better than I can. I can only imagine my children’s faces when you tell them that they will be playing Minecraft in the classroom. You would instantly have the children hooked and ready to complete the tasks you assign them in Minecraft.

https://minecraftedu.com/about#videos_and_photos

2. Over the past month or so my class, and many of the other classes in my building have been participating in STEM activities. We had a full March Maker Madness in which all of the students participated in. We collected a lot of cardboard boxes, and there challenge was to create buildings, vehicles, or anything else you would see in a city. In our kindergarten classrooms we used newspapers to create a tower of some sort that could hold a basketball for at least 20 seconds (played along with the March Madness bball tournament). I found this website with a lot of STEM activities for younger children that I am going to investigate and use in my room. I am interested in the one in which the children turn their names into crystals, or maybe the exploding rockets (a lot of M&M’s would have to be eaten first!)

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/stem-activities-for-kids/

3. I know I have shared it before and many of us use these social media tools so it is nothing new, but I want to use Instagram or Twitter in my classroom to celebrate my students! Parents aren’t able to be in the classroom, and far too often they don’t hear much about the day. I always have my phone in my pocket and it would be so easy to snap a picture and share it on one of these social media tools. I am currently in the process of trying to get one of these tools approved for me to use. I post videos, and images from time to time on my website but it would be much easier for me to snap the picture and post it on Instagram. In the meantime I have set up a student Wall of Fame outside of my classroom. I snap pictures of student work, students working together, or someone being good and hang it on the wall. It is just one way to celebrate their successes and get them excited. I found this blog about how a teacher uses a wall of fame in her classroom. If I were teaching an older class I would use the compliment cards.

http://headoverheelsforteaching.blogspot.com/2015/10/spark-student-motivation-student-wall.html

4. One thing that we read about and talked about is giving the students choices. We are still teaching the curriculum but we are allowing them to choose their activities in which they demonstrate their understanding. One thing that some of the first grade teachers do in my building is the Daily 5. In the Daily 5 the students are making their own goals, make reading and writing choices, so that the teacher can work with small groups. It is a management system that teachers use during their reading instruction so that they can complete guided reading. The children are still reading and writing, but they are able to set their own goals, and what to read. The second link that I attached is a Youtube video that demonstrates the Daily 5 being used in a classroom.

https://www.thedailycafe.com/daily-5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDXeUhf_eqc

5. This week we are making a badge on P2PU and read about badges being awarded. I was looking for some ways to incorporate this into my classroom because I can see my students being really excited and proud when they earn a badge. I came across this blog that has a list of five websites that allows teachers to create and share badges. With many of these you would have to set up a class list and student logins but each are free. On Credly you can go crazy creating a badge with thousands of images to choose from, and the ability to change the image colors.

http://www.shakeuplearning.com/blog/5-awesome-resources-for-badges-in-the-classroom/

Unpacking Interest

This week for the make challenge I made a badge for those teachers that are incorporating play into their classrooms. I have talked about the importance of play in the classroom and how I feel it is diminishing from classrooms. It is important for children of all ages to be able to get up and move around. We can’t expect the children to sit and listen for long periods of time. Yes, the curriculum and standards are changing. That is just one more challenge for us educators to overcome. There are ways to incorporate play into the classroom and still teach the curriculum. My badge is for those teachers that are able to successfully incorporate play into their classroom to teach the curriculum. There are many great social media websites that blogs to share your own experiences.

It is important that we use our own interests, as well as the students’ interest involved and part of the classroom. Students are more engaged in the lessons when they are having fun, and don’t have that feeling of being in school. They are active members of the classroom, and they feel valued.

Just as I have experienced in this class, it is important to give our students choices. We have had many assignments throughout this course and have been able to pick and choose how we want to demonstrate our learning. Far too often we have experienced, or even assigned students work that they must complete a certain way. I think about reading and how throughout my educational career I received a list of books to choose from and given an assignment. I did not have any choice, or say in what I was going to do. As a reader, I struggled in my early years. It wasn’t because I couldn’t read but because I didn’t have the passion for it. Children need to feel passionate about the lesson and school so they are willing to take chances. When I was a student I was told I couldn’t read. I was sent to the reading room and even tested. Long story short, I could read. I just hated it!! I was a boy, and all I wanted to do was play in the mud, or play sports. It wasn’t until I was in the third grade that I had a passionate teacher, a teacher that took interest in each individual student and learned what we were passionate about. She took our interests and brought it into the classroom. This teacher knew I was all about sports. She took my passion and adapted all of her lessons for me. Instead of reading a book from a list, she allowed me to pick a book of my own. I was able to pick a sports book! I couldn’t believe it. I was reading just like all of the other kids, and completing assignments just like everyone else, except my book was different. Instead of trying to make me conform, she worked with me.

This is the type of passion that is needed in classroom to get our students involved, interested, and having fun. Another way to bring fun into the classroom is badges and gamification. I like how Matthew Farber is taking gamification and bringing it into his classroom to get the students engaged. I also like the idea of badges. I have seen similar reward systems in other classrooms. In my buddy class, the children earn different colored belts when they have mastered multiplication facts. In the music class at our other elementary school the children earn belts when they master a particular song.

To me, it all begins with the teacher and getting to know their students in a person way. Far too often we are pushing test scores, and reading levels, that the students turn into an ID number or a statistic. Just being able to take time to talk to the children about what they did on the weekend or what they like to do can go a long way. We can find out what their interests are and use that in our teaching.

Unpacking Interest

This week for the make challenge I made a badge for those teachers that are incorporating play into their classrooms. I have talked about the importance of play in the classroom and how I feel it is diminishing from classrooms. It is important for children of all ages to be able to get up and move around. We can’t expect the children to sit and listen for long periods of time. Yes, the curriculum and standards are changing. That is just one more challenge for us educators to overcome. There are ways to incorporate play into the classroom and still teach the curriculum. My badge is for those teachers that are able to successfully incorporate play into their classroom to teach the curriculum. There are many great social media websites that blogs to share your own experiences.

It is important that we use our own interests, as well as the students’ interest involved and part of the classroom. Students are more engaged in the lessons when they are having fun, and don’t have that feeling of being in school. They are active members of the classroom, and they feel valued.

Just as I have experienced in this class, it is important to give our students choices. We have had many assignments throughout this course and have been able to pick and choose how we want to demonstrate our learning. Far too often we have experienced, or even assigned students work that they must complete a certain way. I think about reading and how throughout my educational career I received a list of books to choose from and given an assignment. I did not have any choice, or say in what I was going to do. As a reader, I struggled in my early years. It wasn’t because I couldn’t read but because I didn’t have the passion for it. Children need to feel passionate about the lesson and school so they are willing to take chances. When I was a student I was told I couldn’t read. I was sent to the reading room and even tested. Long story short, I could read. I just hated it!! I was a boy, and all I wanted to do was play in the mud, or play sports. It wasn’t until I was in the third grade that I had a passionate teacher, a teacher that took interest in each individual student and learned what we were passionate about. She took our interests and brought it into the classroom. This teacher knew I was all about sports. She took my passion and adapted all of her lessons for me. Instead of reading a book from a list, she allowed me to pick a book of my own. I was able to pick a sports book! I couldn’t believe it. I was reading just like all of the other kids, and completing assignments just like everyone else, except my book was different. Instead of trying to make me conform, she worked with me.

This is the type of passion that is needed in classroom to get our students involved, interested, and having fun. Another way to bring fun into the classroom is badges and gamification. I like how Matthew Farber is taking gamification and bringing it into his classroom to get the students engaged. I also like the idea of badges. I have seen similar reward systems in other classrooms. In my buddy class, the children earn different colored belts when they have mastered multiplication facts. In the music class at our other elementary school the children earn belts when they master a particular song.

To me, it all begins with the teacher and getting to know their students in a person way. Far too often we are pushing test scores, and reading levels, that the students turn into an ID number or a statistic. Just being able to take time to talk to the children about what they did on the weekend or what they like to do can go a long way. We can find out what their interests are and use that in our teaching.