Ms. Coltrane's 2nd graders learned to use padlet. She'll use this tool to have the kids respond to a question, post photos, videos and other information that suits the task at hand. Padlet is a great tool for students to use since it doesn't require them to log in at all. And, the teacher can set preferences for privacy which protects students from contact with the rest of the internet world. Padlets can also be shared with other classrooms, parents and others in the community as the teacher chooses. Padlet is also a great way to create a Digital Citizenship teachable moment since everything student's type is viewed by the entire class. Ms. Coltrane projected the padlet on her white board so kids could stop by and read what others had written when they had time throughout the day.
We have also secured a skype visit with a Park ranger from Yellowstone National Park. Mystery Skype hasn't worked for us yet but this is a fantastic substitute, especially since the kids are anxiously awaiting mail from Flat Stanley visits all over the country. The ranger will present the kids with a general introduction to Yellowstone and take their questions about what they have seen. This is such a great use of technology to stretch the classroom!
Ms. Pittman's 3rd graders have a few new tools under their belt. They have learned to use padlet and Seesaw over the past few weeks. And... we are beginning to build a tech toolbox for students so they can start implementing more choice in how they present what they have learned. By the time the first PBL rolls around these kids will have a lot of tools to choose from which will make their research and presentations more engaging for both the learner and the audience. Coming soon is a unit on Democracy and Ms. Pittman will be using polls to show the kids how democracy works. We're looking for some great projects to come out of this activity so keep a close eye on third grade.
Ms. Millwood's 4th graders are also using padlet. They'll be focusing more on critical thinking skills and building inquiry skills. Everyone seems to be using padlet in different ways and this is great! Versatile technology tools are very important because we don't want the learning to be about technology, we want technology to support and transform the learning. Next week we are working on Seesaw to build a digital portfolio for Ms. Millwood's students. We're looking at tech integration in pbl units as well as doing some quick and easy assessments using plickers.
Today I talked to Ms. Dickinson about her thoughts on introducing office 365 to Abbotts students. There is always something new and exciting coming out of the Abbotts Hill Media Center.
In Ms. Coltrane's 2nd grade class, Flat Stanley is on the move. He started his travels last week and by next week they are looking forward to seeing where he has been. We set up a mystery skype today and hope for a classroom to try to stump us on their location next Tuesday afternoon. This is such a great way to expand the Flat Stanley unit, give kids a chance to communicate with others and help them travel outside the walls of their classroom. We have our fingers crossed that this works for us. If not, then we'll try again!
Check out Skype in the Classroom for some innovative, engaging activities. You already have a Skype account. Just use your FCS id and password. https://education.microsoft.com/SkypeInTheClassroom
Next week I'll be working with Ms. Coltrane's kids to teach them to padlet. We'll continue to support the geography unit as they use their padlet to share their thoughts about places they would like to visit. By then, some of Flat Stanley's friends will be inspiring our kids with postcards and letters. It's so exciting to think of where they will travel. And, everyone will be able to read about it in their padlet travel log.
Today I worked with Ms. Pelay's 1st graders and Ms. Zbikowski's kindergarteners on ipad protocal. We talked about how to use an ipad in the classroom. We went over the best rules to follow which include holding it with both hands and washing your hands before you use any device. They've already learned to scan QR codes from Ms. Dickinson in the library so they'll have easy access to lots of resources when the ipads are in their classroom. We reinforced Digital Citizenship by talking about balancing the use of technology with other non-digital activities. The book, Good Night ipad was a huge hit with these little people.
Ms. Millwood is going to use padlet to build critical thinking skills and she started by asking her students to compare and contrast two Native American tribes that they are studying. I spent a little time teaching some of her students how to use padlet and then left that group to teach the rest of their class. They did a very good job communicating with their peers and showing them what they had learned. Padlet is a great way for students collaborate since they are able to see what someone else has typed. As we move forward we'll use padlet to promote discussion about different topics. As with any social sharing tool, we did a little discussion of digital citizenship expectations before we started using the tool. The Digital Citizenship Divas in the Library and 4Cit lab have really done a great job getting Abbott's Hill students ready to live safely in the digital world. Way to go Ms. Dickinson and Ms. Rentz!
Ms. Rhodes Pittman's class is starting to share their work with Seesaw. They can record video, annotate photos and drawing with both text and audio and they can even type their writing. Seesaw is a great way to keep a record of student work so they can look back and easily see improvements. It is also a unique tool for communicating with parents and allowing them to see what their child is working. Parents can even comment on the work or ask the teacher a question about it. Ms. Rhodes Pittman's students were most excited to hear that they will be taking what they learned today and sharing it with the rest of 3rd grade. Creating student mentors is such a powerful, grass roots, way to spread the meaningful use of technology.
K- Ms. Zbikowski’s class is going to start with a lesson about how to handle an iPad. We’ve scheduled this for 8/30. We’ll go over basic rules and basic skills along with reinforcing what they have learned about Digital Citizenship. We’ve also started talking about the first PBL for this year and ways we can build independence and inquiry skills using technology tools. (popplet for brainstorming, youtube kids for teacher curated, ad free videos) We are looking at using qr codes to give students easy access to digital materials like tumble books.
1-Ms. Pelay’s class is also going to start with a lesson on how to handle an iPad, scheduled for 8/30. Then, we’re going to work on reducing the amount of paperwork that goes home by teaching her students to use seesaw. They’ve already begun this process by introducing the tool to parents but the students need some skill building to be able to use all the functions. She already has the qr link to give students easy access to the site. I’ll plan to work with students at a seesaw station on 9/6. We're also going to set up the advance ELA group with a Seesaw Blog to showcase their writing and enable them to share it with their parents and other students.
2-Ms. Coltrane’s class is going to start with a weekly reflection padlet. She has already created the first padlet and linked it to a qr code to make it easy for students to access. I’ll go to her classroom 8/30 to run a station teaching students how to post to padlet. Ms. Coltrane will be able to share the student’s reflections with their parents after things are up and running. We talked about offering more choice for demonstrating learning with the PBL that is coming up. We’re going to work together on coming up with some options and using them with the kids over the next few weeks so they are building a technology toolbox. We’ll do some other fun stuff soon like mystery Skype and Kahoot!
3-Ms. Rhodes Pittman has an animal PBL coming up in October. We’re going to work on a choice board for the students to be able to have a say in how they demonstrate what they have learned. To add some choice and voice to the project students will choose what they are going to study about as long as it fits in the parameters of requirements for the project. We're going to look for some more ways to add technology that transforms this project. On 8/30 I’m planning to go in and run a station to teach the kids to use Seesaw to build a portfolio.
4-MS. Millwood’s class is working on critical thinking skills so we’re going to start with a reflection activity on Padlet. She will post a question or discussion topic related to what students are learning and students will post their response. Students will also be encouraged to post responses to their classmates. I’m going to work with her students next week to show them how to use Padlet. We also talked about using Skype or even email to connect students to students who live in the areas that they are studying.
Tools we are using and some ways you can use them:
Seesaw- app and web based Student portfolio: sharing student work with others, blogging, recording messages for parents, reducing the paperwork that goes home
Padlet- App and web based Social Bulletin Board : Promote communication among students, build critical thinking skills, share student work, promote digital citizenship
You Tube Kids App- Video for kids Ad free, excludes inappropriate content, Students can safely search for their topic or teacher can search quickly and then leave students to explore content.
Kaywa-web based QR Creator- used to create qr codes that link students easily to content.
Popplet- App and web based Mind Mapping tool- Simple tool to brainstorm a topic, builds inquiry skills, builds critical thinking skills
Kahoot- web based Gamified learning software: engaging way to review content, collect data, measure understanding
Skype- Video Conferencing: Connect students to experts on a topic, connect students to authors, introduce students to new cultures and ideas, Mystery Skype is an engaging way to connect students to other classrooms all over the world.
Technology tools can be powerful. They can help build communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity in the classroom. Technology doesn’t have to create solitary citizens, it can help create global citizens who learn to work together for global solutions.