Kindergarten Teacher

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Presentation: Sharing Learning with Tech

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The video below is from a webinar with Region 10 where I discuss sharing learning with technology. This is one topic in a series of hangouts I will be doing with Region 10. You can see the full schedule here and register for FREE (required for CPE credit.) I hope you enjoy the presentation and will check out the topics on the schedule.
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Presentation slides here and links mentioned in the presentation below…

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App for Documenting the Weather in the Class

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I have written about how we use this app in my class to document and share our weather (see here) but I wanted to remind everyone about this great app and share the new options available. The one I am the most excited about (seen above) displays the weather on a thermometer with both Fahrenheit and Celsius. This is very valuable for us because we share our weather with classes around the world using Twitter. Other options I am excited about are shown below. The kids love helping to take the picture and keeping track of how the weather changes during the seasons.

** I always blur out the part of the image that shows our location using the Skitch app because I don’t like to share our exact location on twitter.

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Getting To Know My Students: All About Me Project

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The first week of school I am going to make a picture (see above) with each student during teacher table time. My goal is to get to know them more while also providing a display that can be used for writing in our classroom. After I make a picture of every student I am going to hang them around the room. This will be a fun way for the kids to get to know each other better while also giving them some great words to write in their journal when we start our journal the second week. Since I teach Kindergarten many of the kids can’t write much more than their names and I always encourage them to copy words from the wall as practice while we are learning how to write. My hope is these pictures will give them words they like as well as a resource of words that are important to their friends.

To make this picture I used the app Explain Everything (more info here). There are many storytelling apps that could do the same thing. Skitch is an option if you want to make one with just words (see here.) This could also easily be done with Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.

What activities or games do you do with your students the first week of school? Would appreciate you adding your ideas here -> First Week Activities 

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Augmented Reality ABC Flashcards App for Young Kids

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This FREE app is so much fun. All you have to do is download the free flashcards, print them in color and then use the free app. When you open the app press “get started” and it opens a camera viewer. Place one or more of the cards in view of the camera and watch the magic happen. When you touch the screen on top of the animal or card it also tells you the letter name and animal. I know we are always looking for interesting ways to get kids to learn letters and I think this could be a great addition to the bag of tricks. Check out the video below if you need to see the app in action.

I also love that it will recognize more than one card at a time. I am going to have my class use this app to spell their name and practice spelling sight words.

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Technology Ideas for the First Day of School: Video Walk and More

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I am passionate about integrating tech into the classroom and feel that should start day one. Here are my goals for the first day…

– Show parents/kids that tech will be a big part of our learning

– Allow kids to be part of the tech process.

– Show the kids that it is their learning and tech gives them a voice

– Begin to build the home/school connection by giving parents a “window” into our day

These are the three things I plan to do on the first day…

#1- First day of Kindergarten picture (seen above.) I did this last year and the parents loved it! The key part is getting the image to the parents during the first day. Pictures are priceless and I think it set the tone for our year. Parents knew I cared about sharing our day and learning as well as understood I plan to use tech daily. I got all their emails during open house and told them to expect a fun picture the first day.

#2- Video walk: We will take a walk to meet some of the important people in our school (librarian, principal, custodian, nurse, office manager) and ask them about their most important job in the school.  The kids will help ask the question and take the video. Then that video will be our first post on our classroom blog. This will give them something to talk about with their parents and show that the blog will be as pace to share their learning. I use the iMovie app to take all the videos and combine them into one video.  Sample video at the bottom of this post.

#3- Pictures, pictures, pictures: My class has access to a digital camera every day (see here) and that will start day one. I will take the pictures taken by the class along with the ones I take of the first day and share those on our classroom blog. It is a quick and easy way to share our day with parents. Don’t have a blog or not allowed to blog. I wasn’t either until last year so I emailed all the pictures to my parents each day. I know that sounds crazy but it was fast and simple with Microsoft word. Check out this image to see the quick way to do this, the only difference is you would save the file as a PDF instead of printing it. Then email the file to parents. It would take me about 5 minutes at the end of each day.

How do you plan to integrate tech the first day?

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This Continues To Be My Favorite Tech Tool

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This is an edit of a post from a while back…

My favorite technology tool in the class is the digital camera. My kids have access to it all day. They are allowed to get it anytime to take pictures of things they want to document or share. We constantly use the images to review our learning and also share that learning with parents and friends around the world.

A few things I love about the digital camera (when kids are given control)…

– it is a way for the students to share learning (gives them a voice)

– we get to see things from their perspective

– it is a review of their learning

– they are practicing how to capture a thought with an image

– the students learn how to use a camera

The next step is of course sharing these images. I have a post coming soon that will describe the ways that we share pictures from our class using a class blog.

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