Thursday, August 7, 2008

Back-to-School Tech Ideas for K-5

I'm headed back to school next week, and my three kids start back the following week. Let's just say that getting to school by 7:30 a.m. is going to be a challenge for us for a couple of weeks. When my husband and I asked our kids at the dinner table tonight, "Who's excited about returning to school" only one of our three kids replied, "I am." The other two complained that school's "too boring." Our kids (11, 12, & 15) are typical digital kids who have many of the latest gizmos and gadgets but return to school to "sit and get," do busywork, and prepare for THE TEST (TAKS). In my opinion, a must see video for all teachers before the school year starts is

We're all aware that we're in a time of rapid change and that we are still losing too many kids and wasting too much talent. With that in mind, I'd like to suggest and gather ideas from others on back-to-school integration ideas for teachers that will hopefully start the year off right by stimulating and actively engaging their elementary students the first month of school.

Another idea from Tammy Worcester's book is created acrostic poems with their names using Word Art and text boxes.

  • Have students create a newspaper clipping that summarizes their first week of school to share with parents.
  • Have students get in pairs or trios and create a two or three circle Venn comparing and contrasting each other. Have students do a gallery walk to share completed graphic organizers.
  • Let K-1 kids create self-portraits in TuxPaint (requires a free download) or Kerpoof's Super Doodle

    • Use or Kidspiration for brainstorming.
    • Use digital camera to take full-face and profile photos (mug shots) of each student. Students then create Wanted Posters using a blank PowerPoint slide (portrait view) that includes the student's name, description, interests, dislikes, reward, etc. This idea comes from the book PowerPoint Magic by Pamela Lewis.
    • Students could interview each other and create podcasts.
    • Use Google Earth or Google maps to find the distance from their home to school.
    • Have students create speaking avatars with Voki and embed in your class blog.
    • Create a student interest survey in SurveyMonkey for kids to complete online.
    • Many K-2 literacy resources can be found at Carl's Corner.

    I'd love to hear other back-to-school tech integration ideas.


    Nicole said...

    Love the ideas!

    Nedra said...

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I plan on using Wordle before school even starts. I'm going to make one with the names of students from each class and hang them on the door of my lab. I'm also going to make one saying either welcome or hello in many languages and hang that on the door as well.

    I'm thinking of having the 5th graders work with partners and make a Wordle about lab procedures/behaviors. I'm also going to show it to the classroom teachers and give them some examples of how they could use it in the classroom.

    I'm just starting a blog of my teachers. I will put a link back to your post suggesting they check it out for some easy ways they can integrate tech early in the year.

    CLong said...

    Love your Wordle ideas and can't wait to share them with teachers. Thanks!

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