Friday, May 30, 2014

Free Friday: Popplet

Thinking maps, graphic organizers, lists, diagrams....these are all tools we utilize on a daily basis to help our students organize their thoughts, knowledge, and questions. Most teachers commonly use paper copies of these structures or hand draw them on the board, but Popplet is a tool that expands possibilities in the realm of brainstorming, sequencing, and mapping with young learners.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Teachable Moments: Printing

Have you ever gotten to the end of computer lab time and asked your students to press the print button only to watch all of their hands go up multiple times as they walk their way through the series of print screens? Take a moment to check your students knowledge of how the printing process works and provide them with a foundation for how machines communicate with one another!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Free Friday: Google Doc Story

One of my students greatest challenges in our second grade writing curriculum was the concept of dialogue - how to read it, how to write it, and when it was appropriate to use it! When I discovered Google Doc Story Builder, the concept easily clicked for them. Not to mention, it motivated some of my reluctant writers to beg to be able to use this resource in the computer lab.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Digital City of Stories: Part One

As my second grade team begins to wrap up a unique project-based learning experience with our students, I wanted to bring an in-depth look at the process behind the product to you. Stay tuned for a posting all about the final product in early June.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Teachable Moments: The Mouse/Touch Screen

So, I have a pretty good feeling that most early childhood educators are probably raising an eyebrow and going "huh?" over the mention of trying to teach young learners about the different clicks on a mouse or gestures on a touch screen. However, if you teach the basics about the tools your students use to operate a computer their ability to troubleshoot in the computer will greatly increase!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Free Friday: Wonderopolis

Have you ever wondered what's in a Wonderball? Well, if you didn't grow up in the 90's you probably haven't. But, I bet you or your students have wondered about a wide variety of other things! This week's featured resource is Wonderopolis.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reaching Outside the Classroom Walls

As I continue to serve as the site manager for a brand new school website launch, I am constantly reminded of all the amazing  and free resources that are available to our parents and students. However, I know many of my families are not fully aware of or knowledgeable about how to access these resources despite the reminders and instructions sent home. It's as if there is an invisible forcefield within the walls of my classroom that erases my students' knowledge of all the computer or iPad activities they beg to do during the school day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Teachable Moments: The URL

Has a student ever asked a question during class that has caused you to stop and "Google it?" This is an almost daily occurrence in my classroom especially when we are reading any sort of text (especially non-fiction) or observing a special holiday. If you left it up to your students to choose the best result to find the answer to their question, would they make a good choice?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Free Friday: Interactive Sites Weebly

Whether you are familiar with an interactive whiteboard, or not, the site Interactive Sites for Education, created and maintained by Karen Ogren is an invaluable resource in the elementary classroom. Karen has graciously compiled a multitude of online games and activities based on their subject matter for use by teachers and students.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teachable Moments: The Password

Every Monday I will be highlighting a small moment during the school day that could be easily used for teaching educational technology skills and content with minimal interruption to your scheduled lesson plan. These teachable moments are valuable opportunities to help your young learners become digitally literate! I will also be including some ideas to transform these moments into stand alone lessons, as well.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Free Friday: Online Typing Programs

I am going to feature some of the free technology tools and resources I use regularly in my classroom every Friday. On occasion there will also be a free printable or lesson resource produced by me included! Be sure to check back next Friday for the next featured tool/resource! If you are looking for a resource for a particular purpose or content area, I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Teachable Moments: The Computer Lab Trap

My school district has no formal digital literacy curriculum so time in the computer lab is often spent on STAR Reading and Math assessments, reading and playing games on Starfall, on CoolMath4Kids, etc. While I do not discount these activities and recognize their potential in providing valuable reinforcement of essential skills (there is never enough instructional time), I believe we are doing a disservice to our students by using websites in isolation. Our approach to computer lab time should be a comprehensive one.

New Google Drive Apps

In doing my own daily blog reading, I discovered that new Google Drive Apps are available that isolate Google Docs and Sheets. I'll leave the details on this change to the Pros at Google until I have a chance to spend some quality time with the new apps myself! I'll post my own thoughts then.

In the meantime, see what the Google Drive Blog has to say about it.