I had an amazing time attending this year’s School Leaders Advancing Technology in Education (SLATE) Conference in the Wisconsin Dells. When otherwise do you have the opportunity to see what teachers are doing with technology in their classrooms? You have an expert right there in your midst and you are free to ask questions and clarify points of interest. I especially enjoyed Naomi Harm’s presentation “Re-energize Your Classroom Practices with iPad Technologies” because I walked away with new knowledge that would help me troubleshoot something I was mulling over in my head since September.
I do morning “math stretches” that are based on the ideas in Laney Sammons’ “Guided Math” book and are aligned with state and common core standards. (ex. How did your family use math last night? (making math-to-self connections) What’s next? (ex. 11, 13, 15, __, 19, __, __, etc.) The number of the day. (How many different ways can you represent the number of the day?) ____________ reminds me of… (ex. Number lines remind me of…- math-to-math connections.) Graphing question of the day.) Traditionally, I have written the whole group activity out on a piece of construction paper and had students add their thoughts using a marker. I would then lead the group in sharing at the start of our math period. I kept asking myself “How I can I use technology to engage students more?”
The answer is “Chirp.” Naomi Harm showcased this app because she knows that not all schools currently have email set up on student iPads. Chirp is an iPhone app that will allow you to take a picture, note, or link and share it with other iPad or iPhone users that have the app installed.
I taught my students how to take a picture (screen capture) of their work and one by one we uploaded these pictures from our camera rolls and “chirped them out” to the other groups in the room. Students were able to see first hand what their peers had written and we listened in as students shared their thinking.
The important thing is that first graders were able to do it and our math time was full of excitement because of it. I am confident that students will remember today because of the innovative way we used technology.