Educational Technology…Not so hard, and so worth the reward…


I know that many educators out there look upon educational technology as just another thing they have to learn and do. It seems like just another one of the many “extras” expected of teachers these days. In leading inservice days and networking with other educators, often I get that message loud and clear. Why would they want just another task to take on, when what they have been doing is working? Well I don’t always have the right words to answer this question with, but this week I decided that the right way to answer was through showing a day in my classroom.  It was a normal day for us in 3rd grade, and looked a little like this..

Morning Start- Kids came in and worked on a Pumpkin Graphing page during morning announcements. Upon finishing I projected the page, got out my SMART Slate and using Aver Media I can write with my smart pens on the page from the back of the room 🙂 Sure does let me walk and teach… observe and assess, all at the same time 🙂

Math- Oh here we go starting Multiplication- So I had a nice free app downloaded on my IPad (Thanks to TCEA) called Multiplication Rap x2 HD– So I attached my ipad to my projector, and we jammed to a x2 rap! It taught skip counting, and in the rap you actually sing along to 2×1 is 2, 2×2 is 4… the kids loved it. (So they suckered me into buying the others 🙂 We did the mini quiz at the end and they were stoked!  I followed up with a practice page on arrays (as we just learned days prior)- so YES I do believe in balance.

Prime Time (Small Group) – Circles and Stars SMART Board lesson – we rotated from there to the computers for FAST Math, and also through a facts practice center with fact tests in clear sleeves- perfect to write on with dry erase markers! ( Again— Balance)

Reading- As we were finishing up our Pumpkin unit and comparing and contrasting skill, I used a You Tube clip of  “Spookley The Square Pumpkin”  which was 4 minutes long. It was a cold rainy day outside, so no recess, and with us showing the movie of Spookley within the hour, it allowed me to wrap up how much more in depth characters and settings would be, as well as how much more we would understand about the conflict of the story in the 45 minute movie compared to the 4 minute short.

Social Studies- BrainPop Jr- Communities– It was  great topic starter for us to start talking about rural, suburban, and urban communities.  We took the online quiz as a class, and brainstormed how we could illustrate each community in our spirals.

Science- Force and Motion using Study Jams by Scholastic. They love this site, and in this case the soccer video helped them when we moved to our push and pull sort that we cut and glued in our science spirals.

Wrapping it up– Once my kids have cleaned and packed up, I let them play Sheppard Software math games on the SMART board until the bell rings… 

So now… what in this day took hard work? Finding the material- YES… but we do that anyway when planning a lesson. Instead of going to get your book to copy pages, look online first. Find sites that work for you and use them…  Try a new site once a grading period and don’t overwhelm yourself, but at least give it a try! I promise that the reward you see will make you want to keep looking for ways to inspire and motivate your students!

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