Walk into an early education classroom and you might see children exploring sensory-focused items (blocks, sand, water), hear singing with repetitive words and lines, and you will feel the joy and wonder that these young ones experience as they discover something new. You might also see technology playing a larger role in their learning environment. From tablets and robotics to interactive displays and 3D printers, educational technology is transforming how our youngest students learn new skills.
The mission to implement educational technology in classrooms has grown substantially over the last few years. Districts are driven to invest in ed tech solutions that are comprehensive, integrate with current learning management systems (LMS), and are turnkey. While having the technology is wonderful, not using them properly or to their full potential is still a struggle. This is where the SAMR model can help teachers maximize what they can do to enhance teaching and learning.
Download a few festive activities for some end-of-year fun. Here is a small collection of classroom resources for LYNX, MimioStudio, and MimioConnect that explore Christmas Around the World, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s and more.
Growing up, flipping through family photo albums, and asking questions about each picture was part of my childhood. As I got older, I could retell the stories to visiting relatives and friends as if I were part of each event including details such as what each person said, why they were laughing or crying, even the smell of the food, flowers, or person (as applicable, of course!).
Earth Day is on April 22 and this year’s theme is "Restore Our Earth" which emphasizes natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking to help restore the world’s ecosystems. Since its inception in 1970, the intent of Earth Day is to care about the natural world through proactive preservation measures and actions. Clearly there is more work to do but there are fun and easy activities to start with in the classroom. Here are seven of our favorite, and fun, Earth Day activities:
Eons ago, when I was in elementary school, we did a unit on fossils and their importance on understanding how prehistoric plants and animals lived. I was fascinated and for a brief moment in 4th grade, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I would stare at all of the pictures of the different fossils and dream about going on a true-blue dig and discover something cool like a fossil from a mammoth or saber tooth tiger. Of course, I never did become a paleontologist instead choosing to teach because that feeling of excitement when I learned something new was one I wanted all young learners to experience. But I do wonder if my teacher had the technology to make different fossils for closer study maybe I would have chosen the paleontology path.
In February, we celebrate all of the 45 presidents we have had for the past 200+ years. It’s a great time to integrate technology, trivia, and our standards while increasing student learning about our leaders. There are interesting and funny stories to be told about each of the presidents, and each one has made decisions that defined our country.
Here are some ideas for getting students engaged and interested in American history through Presidents’ Day activities.
With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day occurring today, along with Black History Month approaching in February, now is a great time to teach your students about Dr. King. A leader in the civil rights movement, Dr. King inspired his followers with his nonviolent approach to activism. Most of us have heard his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, but there is so much more about Dr. King for you to teach your students.
When we incorporated 1:1 devices in our school, there was one issue that came up quickly that I wasn’t expecting: students using their device as an MP3 player. For those youngsters who don’t know what that is, it’s an old-fashioned music playing device—much like the CD players, tape decks, and 8-track players from yesteryear.
I guess I didn’t see a Chromebook as being the same as the types of devices students typically use to listen to music. I’m not sure why I had this blind spot, but I quickly realized that students would read books, work on math problems, and even talk to friends with their ear buds in. Why does it matter? There are a few reasons to me why this was both potentially positive and negative.