Monday, June 16, 2014

Chapter One & Two Teaching in the Digital Age

I have had this book on my shelf for several years and not cracked it open.  I decided to read it for a couple of reasons:  1.  My new principal is all about technology and what classroom teachers can do on their own with it.  2.  Our computer teacher/support person has taken a principal position at a new school and will no longer be there to bail me out.  (And I don’t think we are getting a new computer teacher and I may have to teach my own computer classes.)
3.  Yes, I did write down improving my knowledge of technology for my professional goal and now I have to do it.
So it is time to read this book.  I have to admit I found several good ideas to incorporate into my first grade classroom right away at the beginning of the year. 

Chapter One is a lot of information about the importance of using technology in Early Childhood Education the author provides lots of quotes and evidence that give pros and cons.

The author, Brian Puerling, provides a lot of forms that you can use to assess your knowledge of the technology in your room.  The form I liked the best was the form about how to implement technology through the school year. It is a basic chart that anyone can make on word. 










 Chapter Two has a lot of great ideas of how to use photographs in your daily lessons. 

Idea 1:  Use photographs to help student develop schema.  I thought this was a great idea, in fact I have done this in the past with some of my own photographs from vacation.  However you could google a photograph and use it as an opener. 
google image
One idea I had was the ducklings in Boston’s Public Garden.  I was telling the boys and girls I went there however I could not find my photo.  Several days later one of my students brought in a picture of when he was three and he was sitting on the mama duck.  This was a great way to connect to the book, Make Way For Ducklings.

This year I showed my students for photographs I had from my visit last summer to Laura Ingalls Wilders Schoolhouse.  We used this as a stepping-stone to compare and contract our classroom with schoolrooms of the past.  I projected the pictures on the smartboard so that all the students could see them.  I gave them some time to observe and process the photographs.  Brian Puerling writes that “when children are given time to observe, think and reflect, they are giving the time they need to build background knowledge necessary for a unit of study.  It was interesting to talk about why they needed buckets in the classroom.

Idea 2:  Use Photographs to Facilitate Conversation in the classroom.  As the students look at the photographs they will be able to “share connections and pose questions.”  As I read this part I thought, wouldn’t this be a great way to introduce the expectations of “Read to Yourself.”  I have photographs of my first graders reading and I thought I could put them together in a slideshow and show my new students some good readers and we could discuss what it means to be a good reader. 

Idea 3:  Put together a slideshow of the students for different purposes.
I thought this would be a good idea for several things:
·      Our First Day of School (Post on Website)
·      For Parent Night (Pictures of their kids in action on some of the things I am discussing.)
·      Open House (Something for new families)
·      Grandparents Day

Idea 4:  Have each student bring a photograph of their family.  This photo can be used for several lessons, getting to know each other, recognizing similarities and differences in families, have the students speak about their families..common core.  I generally have the students hang up the pictures in their lockers however we could make a class book out of them.

Idea 5:  This is one of my own ideas I did in kindergarten but I want to do it again in first grade.  At my school we have church/reading buddies.  The first graders buddy up with the fourth graders.  We get together twice a week, once we sit together for Mass, and second is reading or whatever you want to plan with your buddies. 

In kindergarten I made a book with the pictures of their buddies and their names to help them remember the names.  I also used the sight words, I am, to re-enforced reading.  I am going to do something similar however expand the sentence. 
Idea 6:  Use photographs to learn about Authors.  This is on my areas to improve for next year..Author/Illustrator studies.  By showing photographs of the people who write and illustrate books you make them because real people.  You can find pictures on their websites or google.  

 Next week I'll let you know about Chapters 3 & 4.  

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