Posts Tagged ‘Kindergarten’

I met with our kindergarten teachers earlier this week. We’ve got some changes underway for next year and we met to talk about what that looks like for kindergarten. We’re expanding the use of Chromebooks with first and second graders and dismantling our computer lab. Where does that leave the 6 kindergarten classes? Also joining us was my colleague who does a lot (most!) of the technology integration work at our preK-2 building. She provides amazing knowledge and insight.

The kindergarten team will have access to two carts of shared iPads next year. They’ve had that, but without a computer lab there will be a greater focus on using the iPads. We talked about the apps we have and what else we might potentially want. Then I remembered something that one of our first/second grade colleagues said at a recent gathering. She shared that with all of the flashy new tools, apps, and devices, she chooses to focus on one thing each year and do that one thing well.

do one thing wellWith that in mind we thought about the one thing they might choose to do well for the next school year in terms of technology integration in kindergarten.

After some great dialogue, they decided that they’d use the SeeSaw app, and other apps as well. We focus on apps that help students demonstrate learning and that work well on shared iPads. Was using SeeSaw the one thing? Maybe, but the discussion continued!

We also talked about old checklists we used to have to illustrate basic technology skills (students can log in, open an application, right click, etc.) and how that’s gone by the wayside. Instead, we took a close look at the ISTE Standards for Students. What if we focused on some of those as our one thing?

Keeping our focus on kindergarten students, we discussed the Digital Citizen, Innovative Designer, and Creative Communicator standards and they felt like a good fit. There was agreement that of course they could work on more than that, potentially adding the Global Collaborator standard to the mix. We brainstormed what that might look like for a sample unit of study about plants. Students might take photos of plants in different stages of growth, draw a diagram of a plant with labels, or record a short video explaining the life cycle of a seed, all within SeeSaw and possibly incorporating other apps for creation. Students will demonstrate learning and their work toward those standards and share with one another and parents.

It’s evolving and feeling good. The team of technology integration specialists in my school district have been developing learning targets for the ISTE Student Standards. I’ll be sharing those with our faculty when they’re complete.

These kindergarten teachers are starting with curriculum and then determining how best to integrate technology to support and enhance learning with students. SeeSaw allows them to document, share, and grow a portfolio of their work. This powerful team of kindergarten teachers is on the road to their one thing.



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Giving Thanks

Here’s a list of some things happening in our two schools in the last 2 weeks and coming up this week. I feel blessed to work with such an amazing group of teachers and students.

  1. First graders blogged about what they’re thankful for.
  2. Second graders Skyped with a class in Philadelphia to compare locations.
  3. Middle school students are adding information about their town and school on a Google map for others as a resource.
  4. Kindergarten and first/second grade classes left comments on one another’s blogs as ‘blogging buddies’.
  5. Middle school students discuss, via blog, the benefits of blogging.
  6. Teachers in our schools added their favorite places to visit on a Google map to build culture.
  7. Middle school students created a video about lures that predators might use, acting as news anchor people.
  8. Third/fourth graders used a collaborative Google doc to share ideas about being smart and safe with technology and online.
  9. Kindergarten students shared what they’re learning when using the iPad on video taken with the iPad.
  10. Middle school students took digital photos of math in nature, posted them on their own blog, then described the math featured in the photo and justified their thinking.
  11. Middle school students Skype with volcanologist in Michigan to ask questions about super-volcanoes.
  12. Kindergarten students use iPads to get to their blogs, then create posts and save.
  13. Third/fourth graders are using a Google presentation template to share knowledge about famous peacemakers.
  14. Middle school students learned about Creative Commons and Fair Use in preparation for a project where they’ll be incorporating images.

That about says it all.

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