One of the things I really enjoy about being a Kindergarten teacher is teaching my students how to read. Really, learning to read is a very complicated process, but with rich literature, explicit teaching, meaningful use and integration of technology, connections and opportunities for conversations between students begin to develop. Students not only develop the skills they need to read, but learn how to use what they have learned, to help them continue on their journey.
This month we are exploring the world of Dr. Seuss. My students had an awesome opportunity to connect with other students in Wisconsin via a Google Hangout as part of Read Across America. It was wonderful. Our friends in Wisconsin did an awesome job doing book talks about a few books written by Theodore Seuss. My students were able to ask questions and give feedback about what they saw and heard. This was a great way to begin to excite my students about our new author study. I asked my students what they noticed. My students shared that they noticed that the students read with expression, their voices changed when they read, they read well, they were also taking breaths. As a teacher this was wonderful because their responses reflected many of the skills and literacy experiences we have created and explored together.
Later we used AirServer to share another Dr. Seuss story on our SMARTboard. Wow! My students all had wonderful smiles and were making connections through conversation as we watched and listened to the story. I so enjoy the expressions my students make when they are connecting and engaging with books.
Afterwards we had another opportunity to have a conversation about the story. When I asked my students what they noticed this is what they had to say:
*the voice paused at commas
*we heard rhyming words
*it had lots of digraphs
*every word has a vowel
*we saw important words and sight words
*we use iPads to read books
*AirServer helps us read books
I am so inspired about how AirServer and iPads can capture and enhance the essence of what my students understand. Their observations give me immediate feedback about what they understand and through the connections they make, I learn what has resonated with them in regards to their learning. It is also wonderful at how young children can connect with a variety of text and make meaningful connections through rich, interactive, literacy experiences. The technology gives voice and highlights many of the skills we explore during our reader’s workshop time.
The technological tools that I used were AirServer, SMARTboard, Google Hangout and iPads to enrich a read aloud. Even if you had 1 of these tools, your students experience with a text will be enriched.
AirServer is really a wonderful tool because you can remotely access what is on your iPad. This helps demonstrate what is possible.
Google Hangout is available through Google Plus. This is an awesome way to connect your students with others to have conversations. You will be surprised at the connections they make. Google Hangouts through video can have up to 10 people at one time, so the possibilities are endless here when it comes to audience.
Learning to read is magical. I really enjoy the endless expressions my students make when they begin to realize they are reading words and interpreting illustrations. This is where I can really help enhance what my students discover. Learning is for everyone. Technology gives all my students a voice.
Sharon thank you for your intense energy in teaching our kids the best practice. You are amazing.
My pleasure! I really, really enjoy teaching. Kindergarten is a really amazing place. Thanks for all your support!
Sharon, Thanks for sharing what you do so well. I know from visiting your classroom what wonderful (carefully chosen word) work you do with all of your students. I’d like to post this current post on my blog–starting out with the final paragraph: I’ll wait for you o.k.
“Learning to read is magical. I really enjoy the endless expressions my students make when they begin to realize they are reading words and interpreting illustrations. This is where I can really help enhance what my students discover. Learning is for everyone. Technology gives all my students a voice.”
Yes, of course feel free to share. Looking forward to our collaboration!!
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Sharon, this is a fantastic blog post! I truly enjoy reading about the resources you use in your classroom and I know that your students enjoy learning this way. I recently wrote a blog post about different resources that are useful in the classroom, and I should have added Google Hangouts and AirServer. I have never heard of these resources before, but I am anxious to learn more about them now that I have learned about your success with them. Also, I recently worked with a group to develop a Project Based Learning plan centered around the use of technology, and coincidentally, we chose to create our month long plan using Dr. Seuss. He is a fantastic author and students can learn important character lessons from his works. If you are interested in chacking that website out, the address in sites.google.com/site/pblpans. Please feel free to check it out and let me know what you think! Thanks for your enlightening post!
*Correction- The website is sites.google.com/site/pblplans.
Thanks so very much for your thoughtful response and connecting. I look forward to looking at your Google site. Thanks so much for sharing! Best, Sharon
Hi Mrs. Davison my name is Allison Sells and I am a student in EDM510 at the University of South Alabama. Our class is focused on using technology in the classroom and we have all had to create and blog every week. Here is a link to my blog. I was assigned to comment on your blog this week. I think that it is wonderful that you are bringing technology into your kindergarten classroom. It is important that students of this age learn what is available to them. Even more important is being able to connect them to a global community of learners. When I was in school all we had was our teacher in the classroom. Now teachers are able to connect with other teachers and join classrooms across the globe to enhance the learning experience for their students. Children are curious explorers and I believe they learn so much more when they can share it with new groups of people. You are doing a great job preparing your students for their future as global learners.
Thanks so much for your post! I am so honored that you took time to reflect on what I am doing. Can you please share your link again? Thanks so much. Looking forward to connecting. Best, Sharon
Hi Alison, just found your blog!!! I will look at and get back to you. Thanks Again, Sharon
This was a great Blog Post to read. I am currently a student at The University of South Alabama studying Secondary Education/ History. It is very exciting to read about how you are using technology to help your students learn to read. It sounds like your students are very enthusiastic about the stories they are reading. I also find it amazing that you are connecting your classroom to others around the country. This is something i hope to do when i become an educator. My mom was actually a Kindergarten teacher and I have witnessed first hand how hard it can be to teach some kids how to read and be excited about reading. I will have to tell her about the many ways you are using technology in your classroom to keep your students excited about reading. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for posting! Technology is really amazing and can offer so much. For me I try to focus on how the technology is a part of our learning and culture. This way it becomes part of what we are experiencing and exploring, not separate. Kindergarten is a great place to start and begin how to use technology with both students and their families in safe, kind, responsible ways.