8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 24, 2013 7:55 AM by lwenske

    Technology in the Primary Classroom


      Hi, Everyone,

      As a 1st grade teacher, technology provides us so many learning tools and possibilities--from projected and shared videos, simulations, models and audio recordings, to document cameras projecting everything imaginable (showing how to cut, how to write; sharing students work...) and online learning systems.


      Can anyone share their suggestions for technology use in the 1st grade or primary classroom?


      What have you seen that works well?

      Do most people utilize websites and online learning, wiki's, blogs, computer labs, iPads, laptops...?


      My classroom has 6 available computer stations (one that projects onto a large screen, one laptop,and 4 desktops); we also have access to 6 iPod touches and 2 iPads...a computer lab and ASUS netbooks on rolling carts.  We use the computer lab to work on class projects, addressing our state Technology Standards (including adding learning to our classroom wiki).  We use the netbooks for the same.  We use desktops and iItems for work on primary app's and sites...


      I know I could be doing more, but sometimes, it's tough to fit everything in...

      Are there other primary teachers who have figured this all out (i.e., how to integrate technology in truly authentic, meaningful ways)?

      How do you use technology in the classroom (primary or other)...?

      Any project-based, ideas?  I know I've asked this before, and Tom was kind enough to share a link to several PBL ideas.


      Thanks for letting me ask some primary questions... 


        • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom

          I have used a class blog in kindergarten and first grade. I will ask students a question about what they think about a particular text, or how to explain a math problem, and students will answer the question when they get a chance at the computer (usually during literacy centers or in the morning). I typically only had 2 computers in my classroom, so sometimes I would have them all answer a question on the blog during their computer lab time. This way they are working on writing a response, working on typing skills, and utilizing technology all at the same time. They also have something they can show their family that they worked on at home (and some families could even add comments at home if the wished). This was a great tool to communicate with parents as well.


          This takes a lot of guided practice in the beginning, but as students get more comfortable with it, they become independent and want to write their own blog posts!

            • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom

              thanks, crystal!!  i do use a similar way of teaching (technology, communication, and reading/writing skills) with my students:  we have a class wiki that has individual pages for each student.  but, then, i also have content pages on the wiki, so that students can comment or share their learning on those pages (the pages are either science, lang. arts, math or social studies related).  however, i really like the idea of utilizing a blog, and i just haven't yet!    thank YOU!


              and, yes, i, too, love that the online items can be shared with parents---that's HUGE!

            • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom

              Lisa, when I was in the classroom, I had a different approach with my K and 1st grade students.  I started my Kindergartners on Mousing Around: Mousercise! to get them using the mouse.  It was a lot of fun for them.  We started slow, but in the long run it was beneficial.  After that, I worked with the students on opening a document, typing their first name and then changing the font size, color and style.  For the first grade, I simply expanded this idea and then we started formatting pictures. 


              Now, after we had worked the basics, as a music teacher we would go to a site such as the New York Philharmonic and "play" with the site.  Most of the tech time I spent in the classroom was geared toward what I did in the upper grades.  But, I was the tech and music teacher, so for me it was easier.  The rest of the time was a traditional music classroom. 



                • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom

                  thanks, neil!!  i had not heard of mousercise, but i'm, now, going to look into it!  thanks for the ideas.


                  i, too, use the format you've mentioned---students, in my class, do learn to open a document, type their name, learn how to make upper and lower case letters, learn to modify font/font size/color, copy and paste, etc.  they also learn to save, exit---all that good stuff.  i do the same with browsers---learning to open pages, go back, close windows, etc.


                  i have found that our class wiki is really great, b/c it opens up all sorts of discussion and learning with/about:  how to save a file from within an application to the server; how to upload a file to the class wiki (after navigating to the wiki from my class website and logging in); how to edit an individual wiki page and embed items, as well as how to comment.  it is always a great experience.


                  i really appreciate your input!!!--always gives me ideas!   thank YOU! 

                • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom



                  You are already doing plenty with technology in your classroom. You might try a simple webquest so the students get "controlled" use of the web while gathering info and producing something (a wiki page/a booklet/whatever).

                    • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom

                      thank you, eric, i appreciate it!  i have used a small webquest in the past...but with time, items that i used in that webquest became "obsolete" or just unsupported by our district---like hyperstudio.  of course, i could have redone it, and still could, but i have not.  i think we need more time allotted in our schedules to create or find great webquests--that would help.  many (that i find) are often geared for older students; though i have found some very promising ones at our recent g/t trainings.


                      still, i have, yet, to utilize them.  i do appreciate the encouragement though.  i need to keep going!!

                      do you use any webquests with your class?


                      oh, and i really like the idea of adding their found information (from the webquests) to the class wiki...nice!

                    • Re: Technology in the Primary Classroom

                      Hi Lisa,

                      There are getting to be more and more resources for early childhood students. Here are a few:

                      PBS Kids - tons of wonderful resources here

                      Storyline -  Screen Actors Guild members read stories

                      Teach Your Monster To Read - fun way to play and practice reading skills

                      Shidonni - Kids create digital  stories

                      Robert Munsch's website - My first graders LOVED to listen to him read his stories

                      101 Questions - get those 1st graders starting to think ad ask questions

                      Estimation 180 - start developing student's number sense through estimation

                      NRich - tons of math activities

                      Hooda Math - great games to let the kids explore, then bring together to share what they learned

                      Illuminations - AWESOME math activites for all age levels


                      Can't beat Jen Wagner for online projects to tackle with your students. Sign up fast though, they fill quickly!


                      eThemes - GREAT tool for searching for resources; search by grade level to weed out the extras you don't want.


                      Hope this helps!