Friday, January 18, 2013

Technology Centers

Technology centers seem to be one of the most brilliant ideas I've ever had although I'm sure I'm not the first person to have this ingenious idea! 2nd and 5th grade seem to be my rockstar grade levels with consistency and awesome collaboration taking place!

2nd graders worked on weather centers last week and teachers walked away with FOUR science grades which as a former classroom teacher is awesome!

Center #1- Students worked in pairs to scan QR Codes with new academic vocabulary words and seasonal pictures. For 3 questions had to determine the word, 3 questions what a plant or animal was doing in the picture (hibernation, migration, dormancy) and 3 questions were identifying the season based on a picture of a tree.

Center #2 - Students went to PebbleGo and researched Extreme Weather (Blizzard, Hurricanes, Drought, Thunder and Lightning, Tornados) and record 8-10 key words. Then they created word clouds using ABCYa. Here is one example!

Center #3- Students accessed 4 graphs on the iPad in Adobe Reader (created in Word and saved as PDF) and answered 10 questions on Google Forms! If you have not used Google Forms yet they are amazing and you don't have to grade a stack of papers which is a huge bonus! The ONLY complaint I have after using them with 2nd graders is that if they bump the back button or refresh the page they loose all of their answers and have to start over. This was our first time using Google Forms in 2nd grade and it worked so great besides that little glitch and a few friends had to redo their forms! Although this was a science grade center it could also be taken as a math grade getting us up to 5 grades!

Center #4- Students watched a Brainpop video about Climate and then completed this Clicker Quiz. They love watching Brainpop videos but most of the quiz was interpreting weather maps which also integrated social studies and math. Since this could be considered a social studies map interpretation this could get us up to 6 grades! WOW- two one hour sessions and six grades which students were highly engaged! Gotta love it!

Have you tried technology centers? Share your experience! New to technology centers? I suggest starting small at first just like you would when introducing literacy centers! Introduce one center and complete it as a whole class, move on to introduce a second the same way and then do two centers, etc. We have gotten up to four centers and it is really working perfectly!

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