Monday, January 27, 2014

iPads, Chromebooks, and ELMOs, oh my!

Principal ponderings...
Here is a five minute video clip about technology integration:
What is technology integration?  Are we integrating technology in our classrooms?  I mean we have iPad carts, Chromebook carts, ELMOs (not the fuzzy, ticklish ones!), projectors, even 2 Apple TVs, but what that really means is we have technology in the school.  We have taken the first big step, but we have a lot more baby steps to take.  Simply having all this technology means we are including it; it does not mean we are fully integrating technology.  We could certainly wheel an iPad cart into any classroom and give every single kid their own iPad to work on...but my question, is that integrating technology?  I don't think so.

I was reading a short piece on the Edutopia site titled, "Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum? The Reasons are Many."  The post stressed that effective technology integration must support the 4 key components of learning: "active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback and connection to real world experts."  It is important for us to keep these key components in mind when thinking about and planning for technology integration.  I recently came across this graphic that someone in my PLN had posted to twitter.  Perfect timing since I knew I would be writing about technology integration in my next blog post!  Take a look at the chart and think about where you fall...are you more on the left hand column?  If so, now you have some really detailed goals to strive for on the right hand column.  We all have to start on the left, but we can all get to the right; it's just going to take some time.  And if you think you have made your way to the right hand side of the chart...invite a peer into your class and show them how you are supporting the curriculum with technology!

What is your technology integration goal going to be?
Be on the lookout...Coming soon...another Technology Open House Day at Flo Ro!

Currently reading:

Thanks to Mrs. Guernsey for letting me borrow her copy of Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.  We were talking about poetry writing the other day, and she had mentioned this book which is written in free verse form, modeled after several poems.  It was also an appropriately themed book to read this weekend since as I write this blog update, here is a new friend who we adopted this weekend: (I think she would rather have me pet her than type on my laptop!)
Meet Cleo!
I also spent some time revisiting Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller.  The section that I was reading this weekend was focused on read alouds.  Here's a great piece of advice from the author about what kinds of read alouds to select: "Choose books from authors who will lead your students to more books."  At each grade level, I am sure you can all think of authors who have written several books that appeal to your students.  As soon as you read one of their books and show your enthusiasm...then you will have students begging to read other books by the same author.

Events this week:
Monday - Half day kindergarten AM and PM switch
Wednesday - 2nd grade and multi-age chorus practice @ 2:25, Budget Informational Meeting at the PAC @ 4:00
Thursday - School Committee Budget Info Night at the PAC @ 7:00

Great things I noticed last week:

  • Mrs. Morin was working with a student on the touch screen computer...a program the PTA purchased for us...RazKids

  • I managed to catch some third graders practicing with their recorders during music.  They were making sounds like the chickadees do!
  • Speaking of music, Mr. Wiesner and the 4th graders did a fabulous job last week at their school concert and their evening concert for parents.  The audiences were entertained and by the end of the night the 4th graders were letting loose and dancing to "Ease on Down the Road."  And the parents were even dancing in the aisles!
  • Mrs. Goddard was demonstrating to 1st graders how to draw a cardinal by looking and listening and using shapes and lines.
  • Mrs. Hourani was teaching kindergartners the beginning stages of coding.
  • And check out this great stash of non fiction texts that Mrs. Volpe got in the mail last week!  All of these awesome mentor texts were purchased with the help of a GDEF grant and will be located in the Shared Lit Collection.  Be sure and check them out!
Check it out:
An article that was posted last week about the how Common Core has brought about major changes to elementary math teaching:
Mr. Smith and Mr. Crowley's classes will be piloting the PARCC math test in June.  Here is a site that contains sample test items.  I encourage everyone to take a look and see what this test will look like:

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