Friday, December 28, 2012

Technology Centers

I am absolutely LOVING technology centers which I have worked collaboratively on with MOST grade levels (1st - 8th) ! Initially it took some extra work on my part to get the "buy in" because it can be time consuming and there is a lot of preparation up front. Once I convinced them that it wasn't "something else" to do or more time away from instruction and it could be their science lesson (or whatever subject) with a ton of integration of content and technology they were in! I have worked the centers a little differently with each grade level and experimented with setup! One thing that is kind of fun about teaching the same lesson three times is that by the third class you have worked out all of the "glitches"!

The 2nd grade team has fallen in love with centers and they now come to me asking to schedule time together which is a-w-e-so-m-e! This was our first round of centers (above) to help them prepare for a unit ia (interactive achievement) test and to begin researching ecosystems.

Laptop/Clicker Center:

At the Laptop/Clicker Center students watched the Solid Shape BrainPopJr  and then took a 10 question Clicker Quiz to review the areas they were having trouble with! Our school has had "Clickers" (SMART Response LE System) for years and have been taking whole group assessments but this allows for students to work at their own pace, read the quiz on their own and refer back to the video for help. It was also a great opportunity for the teacher and myself to help anyone who was struggling. All of the data was nicely collected as usual and made an easy grade for the teacher!!! The SMART Notebook file was housed on the computer lab page which made for an easy download.

Laptop Center:

At the second laptop center students accessed PebbleGo which is a phenomenal resource where students began researching an ecosystem of their choice (looking for three living things, three nonliving things and three interesting facts). If you are not familiar with PebbleGo it is a website that has leveled nonfiction/content text and will read out loud. It is a bit pricey but the students love it and it seems to be a favorite new site for my kiddos in 1st and 2nd grade! I love that it is bright, colorful, easy to read, easy to use, has great pictures and graphics, highlights academic vocabulary words and provides definitions, etc. Check out one of the demos.

iPad Center:

The third center was the iPad center where students used an app called Ecosystem HD to continue finding out information about their chosen ecosystem. The app is paid but it is well worth the $1.99 as it will read to the students and has awesome facts, pictures and videos.

At a later session we used the ecosystem research from the app and PebbleGo to create a Prezi! Since this was 2nd graders first time with Prezi they worked in pairs. First they watched a screencast I made using Screenr (I am also in love with this tool). Then they got to work! Check out a few Prezi's that they created and aren't they so much better than a POSTER?!

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