Saturday, April 28, 2012

Technology in the Classroom!

Well I'm not sure if you can tell (but you probably can), that I love to use technology and fun new things in my classroom!  I have been so blessed over the past year with new "techie" things to use with my kiddos!  Last school year in January, I was one of the first teachers on my campus to receive a SmartBoard.  Since then, they have installed each classroom with one, and I LOVE using them!  (They are so versatile-- I can use them with all levels of kiddos, whole group instruction, small group centers, and even during my reading intervention time!)  My document camera is also in use almost every hour, too!  (We have a neat little cord that connects the SmartBoard and the document camera, so we can intertwine and use both at the same time!)

A little shot of my grant
application.  If you would like
more details or even a copy,
feel free to contact me!
I always wear my teacher microphone that hooks up to the PA system in our room (nerdy, but useful).  I also use my 4 classroom computers EVERY day with my students.  I know it probably sounds dorky, but I want them to have as much exposure with them as possible, since they will grow up in a major "techie" world!

I'm also really excited, because our PTA has graciously (informally) accepted my grant application to purchase one iPod for use in my classroom, and hopefully, (fingers crossed), it should be approved and coming to my school pretty soon!  (I'm SO overjoyed for this one!!!)

So anyways, earlier this week, my principal asked if she could "use" me as an example at her "End of Year Principals Meeting"-- and of course, I eagerly said yes!  (Not even knowing what all it entailed!)  Well here's what it entailed:  4 different "videos" of me explaining the use of technology in my classroom and then 4 different "videos" of my students actually using certain things.  Then, I helped our wonderful librarian put it into a cute Powerpoint (along with another teacher's "videos" to give to our principal to share at her meeting.  (This meeting, I would later find out, will include ALL the district's principals, many admin members, AND ALL OF THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS!!!  No pressure there or anything...)

You can see now, my stress level has begun to rise...  Lots of thinking went in to WHAT I should have videos of...  I certainly need it to be educational (especially since all those important people are going to see it) but at the same time, I want my kiddos to be having fun and using things we normally use each week!

Well here's what I ended up with for my 4 "chunks" (each one included a little blurb of me talking first to explain by myself, then later, the video after it would show my students using it):

1. 1 "chunk" about using the SmartBoard during Math "Fluency" with 
2. 1 "chunk" about using the SmartBoard during Spelling with 1 SmartBoard lesson and 1 website game
3. 1 "chunk" about my students using the computers to incorporate for independent practice that ties directly into our textbook
4. 1 "chunk" about my students using the computers for enrichment with

Here's a quick little breakdown of how I use each one, just incase you want to go check these resources out!  They're all VERY teacher friendly!

1. is an AMAZING site that I picked up this summer during the big, week-long math conference, "CAMT" (the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teachers).  This site has a TON of great games, activities, and even some of Greg Tang's books as online versions!

2. I am constantly looking on SmartExchange for great (already created!) activities to use with my kiddos.  If it's not already there, I make my own, but why invent the wheel if someone else has already made something?!  (By the way, everything listed there is FREE once you sign up!) 

I also use other sites for games to tie into our weekly spelling rules.  This week, I used a Suffix Matching Game that I found through Google.  It worked GREAT with our SmartBoard, too!

3. ThinkCentral is a website that is from the makers of our Math Textbook (Houghton Mifflin)!  It not only has an online version of our math book, but it also has fun games, math concept readers, practice workbooks, and more!  My kiddos log in both in class and at home for extra practice.  (Your school does have to have an account for this one.)

4. is a FANTASTIC non-profit website with video lessons for students to watch and learn almost ANYTHING!  After watching a series of videos on a certain concept, students can then "practice" with timed questions.  In general, this website is geared at older students, however, it is WONDERFUL to use as an enrichment tool.  (I will tell you that I have a very specific system set up, that takes a lot of teacher time on the front end, but my students know exactly what they can watch and practice, and in what order!)

Whew!  So there's my little breakdown of this week's fun.  I can't tell you how crazy it was, everytime we were video taped!  I think my kiddos were more stressed out than I was!  (and of course, there are those little gems that need even MORE redirection while the film is rolling...)

But, all in all, it went very well.  I haven't seen the end product yet, so that will be very interesting!  I just hope there were no MAJOR boo-boos that the principals, administrators, and school board members will be laughing at next week!  Keep your fingers crossed for me that it goes well! :)


  1. Thanks for sharing these great resources! I love using technology too!


  2. Congrats on being awesome enough for your principal to want you to do that!

    My principal had her boss come in my room on Friday to observe my reading workshop model. I thought that was stressful enough! hahaha!

    Oh and I'm stopping by to let you know that you won my little mini giveaway for a Starbucks Card! Email me at! :)

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

  3. Thanks for sharing these four websites. I have enjoyed exploring each of these and now I am going to try and use them in the classroom!