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Showing posts from December, 2014

Elementary ELL Apps

It is the middle of the school year and you get the message from your school secretary that you have a new student. Your adrenaline starts to rush at this point as you have a mix of emotions with a million questions running through your mind. So much is unknown at the mention of a new student. When the secretary announces that the student does not know English, it adds a whole new element into the mix. This isn't a bad thing by any means, but it is merely a challenge that happens to every teacher from time to time.

Being the technology coach in a 1:1 district (iPads or PC laptops for each student), I frequently am near the top of the list of people the teacher emails about what to do in this scenario. I by no means am an expert, but I've found a few free tools that might be of help on the iPad to help get the student acquainted with the language.

These apps were selected because they are free and not loaded down with advertisements that can be distracting to students.

ABC Ninj…

The Hour of Code 2014: Wayne Center Elementary and Rome City Elementary

The Hour of Code 2014 has come to a close for my elementary schools (Wayne Center and Rome City). I enjoyed receiving emails of pictures and invitations to see Kodable, Lightbot, or Scratch in action. The Hour of Code has certainly come with a polar divide of reviews from students and teachers. It was either well loved or well loathed. Through this experience, I learned a few things:

Not all individuals are geared to enjoy coding. Within seconds of entering a classroom I could tell who has the knack for it just by glancing at the vast array of facial expressions and body language. Educating students about computer science is essential. Students need to know that it is a profession and start working toward it now. Most students I talked to didn't realize how much writing code was intertwined within their daily lives. I'm excited as students have really started to dig into their activities. I had several teachers that contacted me because they wanted the apps to stay on their iP…

Kindergarten Padlets

Last week, I attended a workshop with Kristin Ziemke on "Connecting Comprehension & Technology." It was great to hear exactly what I attempt to reiterate with my teachers. Some of the key points include:

Get students to be creative with their devices to express their learning.Use a few apps that students can use to meet a wide variety of skills.Technology is going to fail you from time to time; it is okay.  This week, I proposed one of her ideas to Mrs. Kuehnert (Kindergarten teacher at Wayne Center Elementary). Since the students have been using Hello! Crayons, it made a perfect opportunity for students to draw illustrations and label new things they learn while Mrs. Kuehnert read a non-fiction text aloud. The students were extremely engaged in the activity and were able to demonstrate clearly to Mrs. Kuehnert something they learned. After the students saved their work, the students submitted their work to a Padlet using QR Reader by Scan. (Click here if you are unfamil…

1st Grade Poetry Project - Crayola Photo Mix & Mash

How to Use Crayola Photo Mix & Mash I love Crayola Photo Mix & Mash. It gives students the ability to add photos, text, and draw on a canvas. This turns out to be a great place for students to express their learning.

The first graders at Rome City Elementary have been studying and creating poetry for the last week. They've talked about different forms and aspects of poetry. This includes the purposes of capitalization, punctuation, and line breaks.

 After discussing poetry and revisiting a few examples they read throughout the week, I shared a poem that I wrote (I'm quite proud of it too). Through the publishing of this poem, the students were able to see some of the quirks that the app has. For example: capital letters when returning to a new line, changing of  text format when re-sizing text boxes, and getting new text boxes changes the text format. One tip for this app that I highly recommend passing on to students is to break text into chunks. That way the autho…

The Hour of Code and Kidblog

The Hour of Code at Wayne Center Elementary has begun! I've been working with Mrs. Jackson's third graders on getting Kidblog launched in her classroom as she loves to give the students the opportunity to practice writing online in a safe community. I hated to interrupt the flow of things with Kidblog too much, but this week is the Hour of Code. So what better way do both than to have kids blog a little bit about coding? 

I kicked things off with a little discussion of what coding was and how it is involved with their daily lives. Sure I talked about the Internet, Kidblog, and the iPad setting in front of them. (Some even claimed they had coded their own website.) However, nothing caught their attention more than when I asked the question if anyone had ever wanted to make their own video game; the hands shot up at this point! That's when I knew I had their attention. Very few students actually knew that you could get a degree to learn how to make a video game. (Hence the w…