Wednesday, August 24, 2011

21st Century Learners

The post below is part of a presentation that I will be giving to new teachers in my district showing some of the ways in which I integrate technology and 21st century learning skills into my classroom and how it enhances teaching and learning.

"If a child can't learn the way we teach,
maybe we should teach the way they learn." ~Ignacio Estrada

21st century learning skills and technology enhance teaching and learning in even the youngest of learners!!


SMARTboards are  WONDERFUL tools! 
Students are:
- Independent
- Collaborative
-Problem solving
-Critical thinking

The sky's the limit...
Photo from Jessica Meacham's website

* Math lessons
* Word Sorts/ spelling activities
* Attendance/lunch
* Daily 5 check-in
* Calendar Activities
* Handwriting practice
* Student-led conferences 

Great for substitute teachers- lessons can be preplanned

Click here for more SMARTboard files from Jessica Meacham

It's not all about the tools~
you can implement 21st century learning into your rooms with little to no technology.

Learning about life cycles we experienced
real-time integration!

Last year, my students only had access to a SMARTboard, my teacher workstation and my personal iPod touch. We also had access twice a week to our school's computer lab. 

Students used my iPod touch for fluency checks.

* Active learning
* Student-centered
* Media used for learning and assessment
* Self assessment- Huge!!!
* Able to address student diversity



Click image to find out more about how we integrated
technology into our groundhog study

Click image to see how we used this picture
to practice our paragraph format.

Our classroom blog has made our classroom walls transparent for parents but has also been a wonderful tool to integrate 21st century skills into the curriculum with not a whole lot of technology!

Click on image to find out more about our animal research

Our animal research was a fantastic culmination to our year!

It promoted:
* Collaboration
* Information and media literacy
* Creativity
* Active learning
* Student centered learning
* Problem Solving

There are TONS of wonderful, FREE
web 2.0 tools to use

This was part of a project-based writing unit.
Students used the writing process to create their paragraph and then used Microsoft Word to publish their piece. We learned how to change the size, font and color of our writing in addition to printing and saving.

We used digital cameras to take pictures of each other and our projects and made a slideshow to show which we embedded onto our class blog for our family and friends to view.

We also embedded a Wallwisher board (an online board maker) to have others share with us what they would do if they had a shiny red nose like Rudolph's. (*UPDATE- Wallwisher is now Padlet
This project utilized the following skills:
* Collaboration
* Effective communication
* Information and media literacy
* Globally connected
* Authentic writing/ audience

Click here for more ideas on how to use Wallwisher in the classroom.  

Wordle/ Abcya Word Clouds

Skype is another fantastic tool!
We have had buddy classes from Virginia, Iowa, and Kansas. We connected once a month or so and shared information about our cities, our interests, what we were learning at school (both classes used Everyday Math), read books together, shared our research projects and more.

It was a fantastic experience which helped both classes to become:
* effective communicators and collaborators
* globally connected to areas and issues

To find out more about how to connect with a class click go to or the Skype in Schools wiki.

To find out more about this project click on the image
Digital Cameras

We used the cameras after our study of 3D shapes. Students went on a 3D shape hunt with a partner. The pictures were used as part of my assessement of their learning.

To find out more click the image

We also gave our Read Across America door decorating contest a technology twist by using the digital cameras.

Check with your LMS to see what else is available to you on a checkout basis. We were able to check out digital cameras, COWS (computers on wheels), webcams, and microphones to make other project-based learning come to life.

Remember- you have a lot on your plates for this year... choose one thing to start with~ explore and have fun with what you choose!

'There is no risk-less way to the future, we must choose which set of risks we wish to run.'
~Jay Ogilvy

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