I am working to embed multiple technologies into our Daily 5 Word Work routine to give students a more hands-on, multiple intelligence approach to learning and practicing our high frequency words and our vocabulary words.
Currently, students have several options available to them and I hope to add more as they are ready.
One of the current options is to use our SMARTboard to play various games that I have created or modified to go along with our weekly high frequency words and our Words Their Way sorts. I created a folder on my desktop that houses each of the files that my students are allowed to use at this time. When I first introduced this option, I modeled how to get into and out of each document, how to minimize what was currently on the board such as our D5 rotations documents, and how to solve little glitches that come up. My students have done a fantastic job of using this area independently. I only allow 2 kiddos on the board at a time.
Another option, or rather once a week requirement, is using our iPad to review the week's vocabulary words from our reading series. I introduce the words whole group on the SMARTboard using Prezis that I have created. Students then grab an iPad at some point during the week to review our vocab Prezi at their own pace and then write them in their vocabulary notebooks using the Prezi Viewer app which is free!
The other option that my students have is to use their iTouch to work on various sight word based apps. Currently we are using Teach Me 1st grade and Word Bingo by ABCya. I have several other great apps but am introducing things slowly so that students are comfortable problem solving and are able to work independently so that I am able to meet with my guided reading groups.
At one point, I had given each of my students a Word Work 3 In A Row card which I had laminated. It was their job to X off their choice each day and when they got three in a row, they received a small prize. I strategically place my "have-to" areas (Vocab prezis) on the chart so that they would have to do it to get 3 in a row. I have since abandoned this as it was time consuming for the kiddos to go and get their sheet and X things off prior to starting. Not to mention, it was turning into a nightmare for me to manage. We now are checking in on the SMARTboard and kiddos know that if they choose Word Work that they need to pick one of the above options.
As glad as I am to be done with the wonderful idea, I do think that it had its benefits at the beginning of the year in giving my students a visual of all their choices. Will I use these again next year? Hmmm... ask me in the fall... still pondering that one or how I can tweak it just a tad to make it more manageable.
Prezi is a free, online presentation tool that I've heard referred to as powerpoint on steroids! It's a wonderful tool that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of. A 7th grade teacher from my district did a guest post on Free Technology for Teachers which explains Prezi much better than I can. Check it out here. He has linked several of his examples for you to see as well. I'm sure much better than my beginning attempts but as I said, I'm just starting to scratch the surface... let's just say, I'm adding another item to my summer to do list... I think I may need an extended summer to complete everything on my list already and I have another month to think of more. Uuuggh!
I'm currently using Prezi as a more interactive and engaging way of introducing my weekly vocabulary words. The kids really seem to be enjoying it, especially the embeded video clips which bring concepts to life. Here's an example- keep in mind it's only my 2nd one- I still have a lot to learn, but that's life, one big learning curve!
Has anyone else used Prezi? If so, how have you brought it into your teaching/curriculum? Always looking for more ideas!!!