This 2nd grade teacher has spent 4 years watching 7 and 8-year-old students grow in their knowledge and understanding of the world. (Well, I suppose 5 years… but when you are 7 and 8 yourself, some of the wonder and mystery is lost on you.)
Through a TEC21 workshop series, I was able to expand and refine the use of technology in my classroom. In this blog I list out ways I have used technology to ENHANCE learning. Yes, I intended caps lock to attack that word. Technology should only be used to enhance, inspire, excite and unlock learning for students. It is not a babysitter, a replacement for physical activity or cooperative learning. Know that I carefully choose times and ways technology is used to give my students the best education I can offer.
Please explore other blog posts if you want to know more about one of these options or know about how technology is/will be used in my new adventure: pre-kindergarten.
2nd Grade Tested Technology Tools for the Alliteration lovers:
In my classroom I had available a Promethean Board, 12 laptop computers and two computers I used. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE ALL OF THIS to accomplish these things. Please read and see what you can glean. Then, explore a specific blog post on a topic for further ideas or details.
-Minecraft Day (Reward or Celebration of Learning Day)
This day included a time learning about computer coding (math: sequencing & geometry)
as well as building worlds and characters that lent to creative writing and art.
Minecraft is more than LEGOs could ever boast because while it offers unlimited creative
building similar, it forces learning of elements, compounds and processes of real life
– Prodigy FREE (you do set up an account)
An online Common Core or State Standard aligned math adventure game that goes at the individual student’s pace of learning.
– FunFortheBrain.com Subtraction, Addition, Multiplication games FREE
Paired with a math fact practice system, Rocket Math, students were able to use their free time to work on the facts they struggled with through MANY options of hilarious games on level.
– Skype FREE
Many classes have interviewed history majors and people from Brazil – even with thousands of miles in between! This is an unreal tool to connect students around the world!
– Meditation Music FREE
Using CDs or Tape Players can only play music you own. Use what is FREE if you can. YouTube has hours of meditation music that I play on out-of-routine days and mornings that I know students need a calming environment. I have had some children with serious emotional struggles and this was really a blessing.
– StorylineOnline FREE
This website is WONDERFUL for Daily 5 applications. During the child’s free time to roam through the literacy areas, Listening to Reading can be done by famous actors! While I meat with a group on one reading level, Betty White can be reading Harry the Dirty Dog to another child while they page through the book with her! ***NOTE*** This does NOT replace my read aloud time to students.
– E-mail the teacher (student e-mail accounts required)
At my previous school, our technology director has worked very hard to implement technology at all levels. In addition to work towards 12 laptops in the classroom, he has set up a school e-mail account for each student. My students e-mail me spelling words for practice time (yay! Save paper!), rough drafts or final drafts of stories or reports, private messages about feelings or problems and prayer requests. Because they ate google accounts, google docs has also provided opportunity for group reports. …but be ready for the freak out when they all type on the same page.
– kahoot.com FREE (you do set up an account)
This website provides wonderful and fun quiz time for students. Some preparation is required.
– Doulingo (Google App) FREE (you do need a google account)
When your school lacks a foreign language program, this Google application allows students to practice a language at their own challenge level. I also have used it with whole class instruction to reinforce a concept.
I hope I inspired YOU to have a new avenue of technology usage for your children or students. I highly encourage limiting time for any of these things. There is so much available that it can overwhelm if you are not careful.