Monday, July 25, 2016

Using Technology In Centers

I am finally finishing up this series about using technology in small groups and centers. Today's focus is all about centers and some management tips.

This wraps up my blog series on using technology in small groups and centers. I hope to share a lot more tech ideas. I got to do some training with Google Classroom this summer and hope to use it this year in my classroom. I would love to hear how you are incorporating technology into your small group and center time. Leave me a comment! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Using Technology in Small Groups: Writing

This was going to be my last installment of the series I've been working about using technology in small groups and centers but I will have one more post focusing mostly on centers.  I hope to bring you more posts about technology. It is definitely a passion of mine. I strongly believe we have to engage our 21st century learners with whatever means we can and technology is not going anywhere. This post will focus on writing activities using technology.

The first activity I want to share uses two apps, Magnetic ABC and Show Me.  I have the paid version of the magnetic ABC and I think it is worth it. There are tons of picture magnets that kids can use for writing. 
I made a video of doing the activity. I hate hearing my voice on videos but I think it is the best way to show how this activity works. 

To check out one that a student made, click here. What I loved about this activity was it gave her a chance to change what she had written. It is important when writing to teach students to go back and read their writing. By having them record themselves reading their writing, it gives them some motivation to read over the writing. I would do this in small groups before moving it out as an activity for centers.

The next writing activity uses the app Pages. You could do the same thing in google slides but you wouldn't be able to publish it. (or at least not as easily).  At the end of the year I had my students pick a picture from the folder I had made in google drive. I just uploaded all my photos from my phone into a specific folder in drive and it made finding class pictures really easy. The inserted their pictures into the app and then wrote a sentence. When we were done, I could save it as an ePub file, email it to myself and add it to my iBooks. So now the book is on the iPad and they can read it. Here's another video that explains it a little better. 

I hope you can try one of these ideas this Fall as you start back to school and are looking for ways to incorporate technology into your small groups. My last installment of the series will focus more on technology in centers. Be sure to check out parts 1, 2, and 3 to get more ideas for using tech in centers. 
How do you use technology to work on writing?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Using Technology in Small Groups: Comprehension

I didn't forget about my series on the blog. I just have been busy this week. I started off the week at a Google Apps for Education training. It was really good and gave me a lot to think about. I'll hopefully be posting about this at a later date. I'm working on creating and updating some of my resources to be Google Classroom compatible. Hopefully I'll get access to it when school starts. It would be even better if I had more technology but that doesn't mean I'm not going to work on it with what I have. Anyway, today's post is about using using tech in small groups and centers with a focus on comprehension.
The activity I'm going to share is one of my absolute favorite activities I did with my kids last year. Retelling is a big skill for kindergarten. We practice whole group using a variety of strategies. I decided to try to do it with tech twist and the iPad. It was Dr. Seuss week and we had been reading The Cat in the Hat. I took pictures of the book with my phone and then used airdrop to drop them on my iPad. Then I had the kids use the app Show Me. (It is free from Apple app store but does have a paid option.) This is an interactive white board app where students can import pictures, take pictures, record themselves, and write. I made a video off an example using this app.

You can check out the retelling show me that my kids did here. I love that I can share links with parents and they can see what their kids have been up to in class. I send my weekly newsletter home through email each week. I only have had 1-2 families that don't receive it that way. I can include this link in my newsletter and parents can see it. How would you use this app with your students?
I'll be back in a few days after the fourth to finish up this series with information about writing and more information about centers. I  hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!