As an educator I want to be intentional about my actions within and outside of the classroom in regards to learning. I feel that the more transparent, we, educators are about our practice, the more intentional our work becomes.
Just in the past few months I have begun to transform even more. The transformation is intentional and sometimes it just “sneaks up” on me! The technological tools available are all key and vital when it comes to any kind of transformation.
What a wonderful week I had with my Kindergarten students! This time of year is so exciting because I get to see my students become more independent and watch as they navigate using the many technologies that we have been exploring and discovering together during the year. Wow! As an educator I am seeing some amazing ah ha’s and uses of some of the tools that are a part of our Kindergarten culture. I have listed a few examples below.
1. Twitter! My students have opportunities all day to tweet about what they think is important. This past week a couple of my students told me that they were “ready” to start typing the tweets themselves. I asked ‘”How do you know?” They told me because they are reading. They also shared because they know that they have to use a period, a capital letter and leave spaces between their words. Oh yes!!! This is a reflection of the many things we explore during our reader’s and writer’s workshop time. This is amazing that my students see the connections here with not only that “they are ready” to tweet, but what they need in their tweet and that it can be shared with others.
2. Air Server! This has been a wonderful tool to explore with my students. During our number corner time the leader of the day and a few others are able to connect through our SMART board and share their mathematical ideas! Two of our Math Habits of Mind are Changing Your Thinking and Multiple Representations. By using iPads remotely my students are able to share the many different ways a number looks like! If they have a different idea or Change Their Thinking, this is valued and recognized as a habit that all mathematicians do. In order to learn we need to Change Our Thinking(make mistakes). The self confidence of all my students is high because they all want to be able to share and collaborate using the interactive tools. Interactive tools that promote deep thinking and collaboration as well as risk taking.
3. iPads! I love that I am able to have iPads available for my students. Their uses are endless, really! During a dice game a couple of my students thought that instead of writing their numbers on paper they could write on an iPad. When I spoke with them further it occurred to me that paper rips easily and it is hard to change your thinking. An iPad makes it easy to try and try again. I was also able to see how naturally my students offer to help one another too, not just writing numbers, but navigating with the iPad.
As I continue to model a variety of technological tools in a very intentional way, my students will do the same. They begin to see and discover the value they can have in regards to their learning.
These are questions I find myself asking over and over again…..
What tools are you using with students? How are you using them? What are you noticing? What are your students noticing?