This is the time of year that teachers do a lot of dreaming. We reflect on the successes and failures of the past year and begin building a year that will, hopefully, be just a bit better. It is in this spirit that I would like to share some thoughts about my year ahead. I learned a lot last year and am hoping to make better use of the technology I have in the classroom. Eventually, some time in the middle of the year, I'll take time to reflect on the progress I have made and let you know how things have gone.
Going Deeper with Kindle Fires
A Kahoot a Week
I love Kahoot! The level of student engagement Kahoots inspire is difficult to replicate. Now that I have one device for every two children in my room, I have no reason not to Kahoot more often. I think the best course of action would be to sit down and start collecting Kahoots for each content area so that they are ready to go when I need them. I think a goal of one Kahoot a week is realistic. We'll see. For more information on Kahoot, you can read my blog post here.
Last year we coded by the seat of our pants and crammed into the end of May all that we could. While I still see myself teaching coding in the 2nd semester, I'd like to slow down and do it better. I'm looking forward to taking advantage of some of the Code.org resources and maybe taking a few trips to the computer lab for some 1 to 1 exploration. For more information on coding, you can read my blog post here.
Despite the fact that my students had Kindle Fires for months, we never really utilized the cameras as much as I had hoped. I'd love to find ways to have students record their work or collect images as a part of classroom instruction. This increases student engagement and ownership in learning. For more information on taking pictures and video with Kindle Fires, you can read my blog post here.
Make the Most of My Chromecast
I've tried Apple TV. I've tried Kindle Fire Stick. I've chosen to go with Chromecast for the year ahead. I'd like to make the most of this device by:
-Using some Chromecast apps like Math Duel with the class. Hopefully there will be more to come.
-Projecting my classroom to the board instead of using the actual devices and having the kids lean in and squint.
-Watching videos and listening to music without the Chromecast stuttering like my Apple TV often did.
For more information on how to use a Chromecast in the classroom, you can read my blog post here.
Despite my best efforts, there are a few things I'm struggling to find solutions for. If you have any insights or suggestions you could share, please let me know.
Photo Sharing- I'm still trying to find a way to easily share classroom pictures with parents. I've tried Google Photos, Flickr, Cluster, and Weebly and I'm not 100% happy with any of them. I'd love to hear what free or cheap options you might suggest that I use.
Typing Software- I'm still looking for some kind of typing app to use with students. I'm not really concerned with them leaving 2nd grade as master typers, but instead am hoping to develop a better sense of keyboard letter placement as they head into 3rd grade. I'm happy to try a website or an app for Amazon or Android.
Spell Checking Software- I'd love to know if anyone has a kid-friendly spell checking app. I want to empower the kids to check their own spelling during writing without having to search through hundreds of dictionary pages or bother others.
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Common Sense Media
Helping Parents & Teachers Navigate a Digital World
A Mid-Year Checkup:
Tech Goals I've Met, Missed or Abandoned Completely
Shelf Reflection: What my classroom library says about the world and what I can do about it.
Looking Ahead, Blogging Forward
Teacher Approved Gifts for Kids
The Best Apps for Your Kid's New Device
Do Good with Great Deals
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Navigating the Election with Your Kids
Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Apptoberfest: Google Photos
Apptoberfest: The Bible for Kids by YouVersion
Apptoberfest: IXL Math
Apptoberfest: Teach You Monster to Read
I Tried...I Failed...& You Can Too!
Let Go and Let Them
Oh the Place You'll Go: Using Green Screens in the Classroom
The Kindle Fire HD 8 - The iPad's Days are Numbered
A Fresh Start: Changes for the Year Ahead
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 2: Getting the Lowest Price
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 1 : Finding the Best Stuff
Stop Everything and Kahoot!
Coding in 2nd Grade with No Prep and $0
Kindles in the Classroom: A Year In Review