It’s definitely been a year of growth in my use of technology, particularly as I was working with a younger group of students in my new Grade 1 position. I really appreciated the opportunity to reflect on my own professional use of technology through this Learning Leader Project, and also on the potential of my students’ use of technology.
I have benefited from the chance to read about my peers’ professional learning through this blog and Twitter this year, and it’s encouraging to see all the directions that the Learning Leader Project has taken teachers in. I am grateful that PSD has made this type of initiative possible, and that our growth as teachers is a clear priority.
While I’m possibly not destined to become a Twitter-fiend like some of my colleagues, I’ve continued to hone my teaching and discover innovative approaches to teaching through my use of Pinterest this year. Having an iPad at home to explore teaching ideas, and in the classroom to open up a world of opportunities to my students.
We’ve been fortunate to have all the staff at Millgrove sharing apps this year, and I’ve learned so much from how my colleagues are using the iPad in their classrooms. Here are some of the Apps we use at Millgrove:
Used for Social Stories with children who require pre-teaching for a fieldtrip or cultural event
Great for learning Math for example going on a shape walk in and around the school and making a movie of those things that are similar
This helps children learn the letters and build vocabulary at their own pace
This app allows students to use critical thinking, problem solving skills and cooperation
Here is an app that is open-ended and uses Base 10 beads. We use is for “How many ways?”
Students read the words, trace them and can complete a voice recording
Inspired by flannel boards, Felt Board is an app with hundreds of flannel pieces in digital form. It has enabled students to collaboratively illustrate scenes from a story, and has inspired student writing as well. It’s great for use in a literacy station where students can create a picture and then write about that picture. The illustrations can be saved to the iPad’s photo roll, and is great fodder for beginning story-writing.
Story Buddy 2
This user-friendly app enables beginning writers to publish their own polished, illustrated books. Students can include pictures from the iPad’s camera roll or from an internet search and even allows students to include an audio recording on the pages. The book can be saved as a PD and is a great way for students to showcase their writing and learning.
A-Ha Moments with Social Media
We see the value of Social Media to enhance our teaching by connecting us with fellow colleagues around the world. We also see how articles are found and conveniently retweeted. This cuts down the search time and links us directly to relevant information.
Sharing With Staff
On the November PD day, we hosted Learning Leader iPad centers. Staff was invited to explore the various apps and learn how different grade levels used this tool. This hands on, interactive session was well received and more time was requested.
In March, we hosted the Tri -School PD morning. We supported our staff from the Tri-Schools at the tables by sharing how the iPad works in our classrooms. We also shared apps that are our favorites when working with our early year students.
During PLCs throughout the year, there was consistent collaboration at each grade level. It was very helpful to have a learning learner represented from each grade to attend those meetings.