This is a quote that is reflected in my classroom. Students have many different learning styles and I must embrace all these styles to be the most effective teacher I can be. By utilizing technology in the classroom, I can employ many resources and methods within a lesson, rather than teaching the information in one manner to all students.
Understanding Bloom's Taxonomy, as children move through the hierarchy of learning, students' studies should progressively move towards developing higher level thinking skills, which leads to positive outcomes in student achievement. Technology can facilitate this process when integrated within an existing math curriculum.
In my classroom, the children arrive and have to complete a math activity first thing in the morning. Using the interactive 100 chart, the SMART Board, and/or the Number SPLAT computer game, the children can solve a number pattern activity, complete greater than and less than problems, and complete addition/subtraction facts using these hands-on, attention-grabbing tools. My students can’t wait to solve the morning math activity of the day!
These interactive charts makes learning these concepts more enjoyable for my students and has inspired their learning. They are better able to grasp how the numbers increase and decrease (I use different colors for counts of 2’s, 5’s and 10’s), and they are able to interact with the patterns of numbers on the white board. If a child needs more review, I utilize the two computers in my classroom as a math center and have the children work on the concepts a bit more. I also use the classroom computers for students who are ready for the next challenge, while I review a lesson with the rest of the class.
I have created addition/subtraction story problems for each day of the school year for students to solve on the SMART notebook. The children "see" the math problem come to life as we manipulate the pictures on the SMART Board together. They assess and analyze information, not merely memorize facts. I also ask them to "tell" a number story using addition/subtraction. I can insert a picture using the notebook gallery and we focus on techniques of problem solving. By saving their math stories on the computer, I have them solve each other’s math problems on a later day for review.
Recognizing and counting money is another Grade 1 concept. To bring this concept to life for students, I have created a story, "Once Upon a Time in the Life of the Coin Presidents." I project the coins on the white board, and each coin is linked to a website that highlights that specific president. Through the integration of technology, children are learning American history by traveling through cyberspace. My students make connections with the presidents and are better able to distinguish among the coins. Technology allows teachers to expand the four walls of the traditional classroom and explore the world in which we live.
I also have an Elmo in my room. This amazing tool has given me the capability of having the students explain their lessons and how they obtained an answer. The students love being the teacher! This activity has enhanced students' understanding of many math concepts by learning from their peers.
Incorporating technology in all aspects of curriculum has allowed me to meet the different learning styles of my students. I know it's working as I watch my students continue to develop higher level thinking skills each day in my classroom.
This post was written by Kelly Gary, a Grade 1 teacher at Sewickley Academy.