Holly K's EdTech Playground

November 2014 Edition

What can you add to your lesson this month?

Okay, so maybe this isn't quite what your classroom looks like... but consider, what is your vision for the ideal 21st century classroom?

I know, October is always crazy.  But it's also almost over.  As we prepare ourselves for the luxury of a week-long Thanksgiving Break, I challenge you to find a new way to involve technology in your students' learning!  Here are some ideas to play with...

Scroll down to find your grade level, or browse them all.  :)  -- Holly

Kindergarten Science

In Kinder science, you have a unit coming up about describing location.  I love the Shadow Puppet app for this!  It's easy to use and will give students an opportunity to practice using vocabulary and speaking clearly.  Take a class photo and have students create a video where they describe the location of their peers in the photo.  Here's a sample with a picture you may recognize from earlier this year...

1st Grade Language Arts

Let's talk about how cool the internet is.  When I discovered that 1st grade has an ELA unit on "Favorite Authors", I got excited because...

You can talk to EVERYONE on the internet!!!

If you use Twitter, I suggest that you find an author to communicate with.  You'd be surprised how willing "famous people" are to communicate with classrooms.  Use your teacher account to tweet out a question from the class about a recently read book, and see if you can get a response!

2nd Grade Language Arts

As you explore the awesome unit on Fairy Tales and Fables that's coming up in the 2nd grade ELA curriculum, consider using a cool tech tool to have students process a story.  I have included an example of a ThingLink.  You could create a ThingLink as a class (and share it on your webpage or via Twitter with parents!), or students could create individual ThingLinks.

3rd Grade Social Studies

Landforms, Human Processes, and Physical Processes are great topics for incorporating digital search strategies.  Consider searching for images that represent landforms or changes to the environment and compiling the images in an app, like PicCollage.

Alternatively, a great app for any unit involving vocabulary is the Trading Cards app from ReadWriteThink.

Rather have students work on a computer?  KidPix is a great option, too!  Students can also use KidPix to illustrate examples of human vs physical properties.  Their illustrations could even be combined to create a class video or photo-collage!

4th Grade Science

As you explore force and motion concepts with your students during science, consider how writing conclusions and comparisons in a science journal could be done in a digital environment.  I know I've already worked with some fourth grade teachers to get their students started in Gaggle, but if you haven't already, I invite you to try blogging with your students this month.

The "bobsled" activity your students will do is a great topic for blogging-- have students blog about their predictions, comment on their peers' predictions, and then blog about what really happened in this experiment. They can include pictures and videos, too, if you're up for it!

5th Grade Language Arts

Processing expository texts can be a challenge.  As you engage students in exploring the features of expository writing and help them develop strategies for understanding nonfiction texts, consider a tech-based activity as a means of formative assessment.  I love Pic Collage for expository reading activities-- you could have students summarize an article using a relevant picture and 2-4 main ideas from a passage (see the example).  This would also allow for a visual comparison between the passage itself and a short summary (which is important for those of us who learn visually...).

Alternatively, have students record a summary using an app like Shadow Puppet to create a mini movie.  To help them understand the importance of main ideas, it might be good to impose a time limit on their narration-- "You have 30 seconds to explain the most important ideas from our article on ostriches", or something along those lines.

Before you go...

I have been hearing a lot of conversations about engagement lately, and how it doesn't always look the way we think it should.  I thought I'd leave you with this Pinterest treat...

Time for some feedback!

Have a great idea?  Need some help?  Send me a message!

Also, feel free to leave a note in the comments if there's a subject/grade level you'd like me to focus on next!