Monday, May 31, 2010

The Simple Pleasures New Technology Findings Can Bring!

I love introducing a new concept or a simple new technology item to the classroom.  It is amazing as an educator to sit back and watch the wonder unfold. Children can be so easily engaged and curiously motivated to learn something new, and discover how things 'work' independently.
Sometimes the best way to accomplish this playful discovery is to just watch them explore and learn without disruption.  It is amazing how the child so often teaches the educator to sit back, enjoy, and appreciate the simple pleasures new technology findings can bring.
I found this video and it was a small but adorable reminder to do just that!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tumble Books

I don't know about you, but there was nothing more I loved, than to be read to as a child.  The same goes for the children in my class. We have had a lot of fun with some great author studies. I think that their favorite is Eric Carle so far.
Anyway, I found a neat website that allows you to choose a favorite story on line and have the author of the story read it to you.  There is nothing like a good Robert Munsch story read to you by the man himself! This is a great  activity to do on the smart board!

tumble books

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We Have Seen the Light

I have a light table in my classroom. When we had it delivered it was exciting for all! We found a place for it, plugged it in, and wow it did indeed light up.... then what?
This is where the meaningful integration of technology takes place! What could we do to really use this light table to our advantage? I wanted the children to be able to find meaning, explore and relate this activity back to their real worlds, their reality.
Many of the children in the class love animals. At center time, they want to role play animals and pets. One child is the pet owner and the other is the puppy.  They have to feed, walk, and take care of the pet. It was during this play that the "puppy" got hurt. They asked, 'where do we take the puppy if it is hurt?'
This started a whole new learning experience when I introduced the animal doctor or "the Veterinarian". They were flooded with questions about this new idea of an animal hospital. We found the answers and later that day, we read the story 'Franklin Goes to the Doctor'. In this story Franklin the turtle needs x rays for his cracked shell.  We talked about x rays and what they are. This is where the light came on! I was  able to get some x rays of a coworker's pet and we opened up shop in our classroom! We created a Veterinarian clinic using the light table to examine the x rays and the fun began! The students found any stuffed animal they could get their hands on and the checkups started!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Journey

 I have officially started my first blog and am excited about the prospects. It is interesting to me how one can go from being fearful of a new endeavor to incredibly excited about what this new endeavor has to offer. Since my initial decision to create a blog focusing on early childhood environments and how to effectively integrate meaningful technology, I have become flooded with ideas!
The first idea that comes to mind is incorporating digital cameras into a Pre Kindergarten program for the child to use. Thus the title 'our journey', because as I discover and explore the integration of technology, my students will discover along side me.  I have been using a digital camera for my own use since I began teaching Pre K. The response is always the same when I take a child's picture and that is, 'Can I see?'  The children are always so interested in the picture taking process, why not let them have a chance?
That is what I did! I let children take the camera outside to capture things of interest outside, and then bring the photos back inside to represent what they saw.
This will be an ongoing project that has just begun, but the children are fascinated, engaged, and creating their own learning journey.
They are recreating what they see in their photograph with many materials found in the classroom. They are painting dandelions and building apparatus. They are exploring color, texture, and shape.  As we continue with the project, I will continue to keep you posted!