Monday, December 19, 2011

Story Writing in Kindergarten with iPads

Typing text into StoryKit
   Creating stories in the iPads is very engaging for kindergarteners.  I borrowed an iPad from another K teacher and was able to have 3 kids to each iPad (I had a few absent, so it worked out well!).  I was concerned about 3 students in each group as it hasn't worked well in the past.  I think with the 'threat' of removal looming in the air all were on their most cooperative behavior.  Typically, I use these fun pictures of Santa to help student extend their writing.  At this time of the year many students are capable of writing multiple sentences but it doesn't seem very appealing and frankly it's a lot of work!  So, these pictures have helped in the past.  This year, the pictures are part of a digital story.  The kids had a    blast and can't wait to share them with each other.

Check out these links to the stories some of the students created.  (Click on the speaker to hear their voices.)

Taking a picture to add to their story.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


As I reread my “Personal Theory of Learning” I completed in week 1 I am surprised that all of what I said still rings true to me.  Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:

               I feel that as society changes then we must also expect education to transform.  Our students thrive on technology and as teachers we must use it. The challenge for teachers is to find ways to use technology in meaningful learning experiences that allow students to learn for meaning and not simply learning for a test. As we become more in tuned to our students we will be able to create meaningful lessons with a purpose. Finding these ways to connect with students will lead to more students inspired just as I was in second grade.

I refer to second grade because I was lucky enough to have a teacher who taught outside of the box and truly inspired children to want to be “more”. 

This course has reminded me that there are many different theories of learning.  I have a newfound knowledge of specific technology tools to use for each theory.  As teachers we are always searching for new “tricks” to put into our arsenal of tricks to reach each and every student.  I am excited to have added many more to my repertoire. 

Through this course I have made adjustments to approach to technology integration.  I am now using technology more as a way for students to produce artifacts that can be shared with others.  I plan on using advanced organizers more for my students. They were very engaged and interested when we created examples during this course.  I was impressed with the ease at which they are able to manipulate the software.  I will also be using more virtual field trips.  My district is unable to fund field trips at this time.  The virtual field trip resources will be advantageous in creating meaningful learning experiences.

My long term goal for integrating technology into my classroom involves the use of iPads.  My goal is to create projects based on the current curriculum that allows students to create an artifact they can share with others.  I would like to include our math curriculum as I see this as a hole in our pacing chart.  Our math is not integrated into our language arts, science, and social studies.  I plan to do this by starting with small groups using the iPads to create movies that include a math concept integrated into the current reading topic, which already includes social studies and science. 
The bottom line is...I'd like to inspire my students to be "more"!