Techno Munchkins :)

I've been thinking about all the great ways I can incorporate some more technology into the school day.  I really want students to have some independence, skills that are applicable in the real world, and I want them to have fun!  The biggest problem is the limited amount of technology available to the kiddos.  We have once computer.  Yes, you read right... ONE computer.  The past two years, I have been lucky enough to have snagged one of the two SMARTboards in our building, but I don't know if that will happen this year.  When I say limited technology, I mean it!

Rotation Station Name Cards
So... the first challenge is going to be how to set up the classroom so that the kiddos and I can share the one computer.  It's going to have to be accessible from the small group table, and in a spot where I can project onto the build in white board, just in case I don't get to hang onto the SMARTboard of Happiness. Thank heavens I still have some time to figure out the arrangement.

Now for the independence part.  I'm loving the "I Can" posters I'm seeing on Pinterest.  I want to incorporate that into a rotation station where the kids can choose from a variety of activities that will all have academic value but are not necessarily tied to a certain content area.  The reason for that is the limited technology available and the fact that I really want them to have independence and choice.

Below is a short list of incredible websites that I'm planning to incorporate.  With training, I'll add Word, Powerpoint, and some other hands-on programs that students can use to work independently.  At the beginning of the year, I will add the icons to the home screen as they are taught and children have experience with the programs.  Keeping choices to a minimum and then adding more as we go will help to keep teacher assistance minimal.

I think I'll keep a timer at the computer station along with a binder ring of children's names (click here to get the Rotation Station name cards with a-stinkin'-dorable DJ Inkers clipart)  so that they can easily take turns and manage time independently.

I have to find a way to make one computer work while meeting all those technology standards required by the state!  I hope our district can find the funds to help beef up our technology capabilities otherwise the kids will not have a fighting chance in the real world.

A Few Great Academic Websites

Starfall:  Great for early literacy skills!

ABC Mouse:  Specifically for PK & K but great for lower level learners in 1st Grade.

Fuel the Brain:  Lots of wonderful activities all across the curriculum.

Storyline Online:  Actors reading aloud for children.  Wonderful!
Magic Tree House:  20 years worth of great literature for kids come alive here.

KerPoof:  Incredible site for digital storytelling!!

America's Story:  Wonderful activities take children back in time to learn about famous American Figures.


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