Technology through the day...
All teachers struggle to "fit" everything into the school day. I try to use technology to increase teaching time, make transition times learning times, and cut down on extra work for me.
Here's how technology is integrated throughout my typical day:
7:45 I start up my Mimio xi so students can order their lunch on the board. An aide (I only have help from 8:18-9) enters the information into skyward for me so I can start teaching the moment the bell rings.
Kids arrive between 7:50-8:18. I may have table work, free writing, or quiet reading go on during this time. On Fun Fridays kids use math boxes (manipulatives). I may begin allowing iPad use during this time for reading or math games in January. UPDATE: I have been allowing iPads to be used on M-Th for reading books. The kids of course LOVE it (I have told them books only, no other apps or games within books and they can share the iPads when reading).
8:18-9 is generally writing time. The kids write about any topic or a writing prompt. They write in journals or on plain paper. I write up on the board using the Mimio pad- I can stand next to a table and write on the board. I also have students use the Mimio pen to write on the board too. About 9 I call the kids to the carpet and they share their work using the document camera/projector if they want.
9-9:30 is generally whole group instruction... I use the Mimio, document camera, and occasionally the iPad and laptop depending on the instruction. For example we studied panda's last week- I went to the panda cam and we watched pandas live from the zoo and looked through the photo gallery on the laptop. On the mimio I have opportunities for students to write sight words, play phonics games. ect. I may also use starfall.com or the starfall ABC app to introduce a letter sound. I also introduce new apps in the whole group. If I get a class set of iPads I would use them instead of whiteboards for writing practice and more.
10:00-11:00 I have literacy centers. The kids rotate through independent and teacher/volunteer stations. iPads have replaced the computers for the most part- the apps allow me to have kids work on specific skills and the kids don't interrupt my group because the iPads are so easy to use. They are directed to use only specific apps that focus on literacy skills.
I also use the iPads as a guided center- we do making words lessons (following Patricia Cunningham's methods but with Montessori Crossword's moveable alphabet app or Magnetic Alphabetland or Magnet ABC's instead of cards or tiles.) I have the kids do creative writing using storykit, storybuddy, or storypath apps. Again, I need more iPads as I like the iPads as an independent center but I like to use them for instruction too.
I do still use the PC laptops and/or the mobile mac laptops too depending on what I want the kids working on. I use kidpix program, starfall.com website, and a link to my tizmos page (www.tizmos.com/kgrade) primarily on the PC/Macs.
I would like to use tales2go app and books I have on my ipod too as a listening center... but again, not enough ipads to go around.
12:30 small group leveled reading- I use them with my group in similar ways as during centers. I also use several apps to work on sight word recognition and word families practice. They are also handy for when my student aid doesn't come and I am left with an extra reading group. I simply tell the group to use the __ app while I read with my group and then switch. No learning time lost.
Speaking of lost time- while I set up for the reading centers and groups I may have kids do a 2 minute session with an app. Or, I have kids use a literacy app while I listen to an individual read (use an audio note app to record the student reading and take RR notes- it works great and the kids can hear themselves read- it's a great way for them to "hear" whether they are reading fluently).
Also, when I am alone in the class and need to deal with a situation (in K it usually involves potty accidents, vomiting, or arguments between students) I go to the tumblebooks website and have the rest of the kids "listen to/read" a story on the board. Tumble books are slightly animated books read aloud with text highlighted. My students love tumblebooks and they are great fillers- the kids get a great experience with literature while I get a moment to breathe or fix issues. I do pause the reading to ask questions, discuss vocabulary, and allow for predictions when I feel it's needed.
1:05 Kids do show and tell. The Front Row voice amplification system helps the students and me to actually hear the quiet kids and those with speech difficulties or extreme shyness.
1:15-1:45 Math... when I do math centers the iPads are a center (Park Math app and 123tracing are my apps of choice) Some of my struggling learners may be pulled to use an ipad to practice counting and number writing as needed (123 counting app!)
2:-2:45 kids have free choice and iPads, mimio board, and PC's are all a choice. Rather than have a sign up list for the popular iPads, I limit the usage to the 5 kids who are helpers and have show and tell for the day. I also pick one student each day who wins the "find it/fix it" award to play the iPads even if it's not their helper day.
I do not allow kids to "watch" other kids use iPads or computers. If a student wants to have a partner they must be doing a 2 player activity (doodlebuddy app has tic tac toe and connect the dots games).
PE/Recess indoors? No problem- look up #kinderchat mixes on Symbaloo for dance/movement videos