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.
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.