Kindergarten is really an amazing place. I am in my 5th year of teaching Kindergarten and I continue to be amazed at what 5 and 6 year old children can do. Last week was filled with ah ha’s and clear reasons why it’s important to be transparent in my teaching practice and how technology can help with this.
During our “Echo Time” the leader of the day is responsible for building words using the SMART board while others use their “tapping hand” to tap out the sounds they hear, then create on their iPad. The students check their understanding with what has been built in the word box. Then the leader calls on someone to come up to identify the pattern. This is a great opportunity here also for young reader’s to represent their idea using SMART tools and then they have an opportunity to justify their reasons behind their thinking.
Through the use of these tools my students make authentic mistakes and then “change their thinking”. They’re not afraid to make mistakes because the technological tools make it easy for them to “change their thinking”. This is modeled and of course we all know that through our mistakes is where the learning takes place.
Later in the week we shared our “How To” stories with the help of our SMART board and document camera. Both of these tools together give my students opportunities to interact with what they have created, become a leader and build confidence through asking for questions and comments about their work. When students come to the board to interact with the writing all students make connections and observations. Now when it’s time to write, the students have a new perspective about what they might change or add.
Just by having a variety of technological tools available, modeling how they can be used and what they can do, my students begin to feel confident about using them because it is just what we do in Kindergarten.
In the photographs above you see the way in which we practice reading each day. I use a variety of tools that support the reading and writing strategies that we learn in Kindergarten. The variety of tools give all students an opportunity to use visual, auditory and kinesthetic ways to interact with print. ** An important point here is to note that as an educator I do want to and do monitor the face time my students have using electronic devices.**
We also tweet what we are learning as well as what we are discovering. I leave our class twitter account open all day. This way when my students wish to ‘tweet” something to share with others, they can. Just through this social site we are able to connect and collaborate with others just like us!
Air Server has been a wonderful addition to our number corner time. My students can remotely connect through our iPads and share their ideas on our SMART board. After I introduced how Air Server works and what we could do, my students immediately began to explore, problem solve and share through this technology. Many times I am not always clear about how the technology may or may not work, but through modeling my students begin to see and become flexible in their thinking. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. Through these experiences as a class, we begin to collaborate and work together to solve a problem.