Friday, March 9, 2012

Lincoln Elementry

I went to Lincoln Elementary School today, I was able to observe a 1st grade classroom and watch students practice math interactively. Interactively, it is kinda funny how much that word has changed over the years. Since my time as a kinder-gardener I had these computer games that would say right on the front cover"computer interactive" which is completely different than what I saw today. Today these 1st graders were learning math interactively using a smart board. From my observation, there was one student who was the leader this class period, he would fill in blank marks which were the starting point for other students to figure out the answers. Each student had a worksheet that matched with the computer slideshow so each student could follow along. There also must have been a rotation order among the students because without any direction from the teacher, a student would go up to solve the problem in front of the class. This was a perfect example of Children Learning Interactively and Independently. There was a teacher present that would suggest or give advise when needed but this process seemed routine and easy for the 1st grade class.

After I observed the kinder garden class, we headed upstairs to the junior high, 6th grade classroom. This classroom was creating bridges or houses using wooden popsicle sticks. The students had to create a rough sketch of their product, then using lots of glue and popsicle sticks to create their structure. The students must also keep a running tally of the number of popsicle sticks.    

Lincoln Elementary School in Cedar Falls is in my opinion very well structured as well as well organized. This school is equipped with many different types of technology. I was able to see this school's library with a Promethium Smart Board. I really liked the school's Library, look to the left is a picture. I really liked the half circle reading structure. I can just picture "story time" with a Teacher or Librarian with children scattered about the circle. It seems like so much Fun!

Our class was able to talk to the school's librarian assistant and technology head. She explained how the different classes use the Promethium Smart Board and some of the other technologies and when they are introduced to collected technologies. We learned that Google Documents accounts are introduced in the 3rd grade. I was just introduced to Google Docs just this year at school. Google Docs are a great tool for collaborative learning, and learning these things earlier may help when they have to do group projects.
The new computer programs implemented into classrooms are quite interesting not just for kids but for teachers. Programs and websites like Today I was introduced to Blabberize, to blab is to talk so in this program students are allowed to add audio to pictures and videos. The newest gadget being used in classroom is called the Memo Pad; a pad that is wireless and connected to computer screens. That way the teacher can move freely throughout the classroom and still interact on the smart board.  I was able to witness a Memo Pad in action when I went to the ITEC: Technology Education Connection Conference. The session I went to was given by two Waterloo Teachers who showed us by using the Memo Pad. They showed us how easy it was to include audio and video recording into the classroom. Simple exercises like recording directions for the lessons and such. There were many interesting technologies being used in classrooms today, I just can't wait until I become a teacher and learn about more programs that will be produced so our students can learn interactively.