Thursday, April 15, 2010

spring and technology

Lucky me! I took today off as a personal day so that I could organize the spring party in my daughter's third grade class. Three other parents and I will each run a station: mine is "Happy National Poetry Month - write an acrostic name poem!", and the others are "Plant a salad garden", Tic Tac Toe Trivia, and cookie icing.

But the party is mid-day, only an hour long, and it's going to be 70 degrees outside! So.... Lucky Me!!! Tomorrow is our last day of school before spring break week. We're going to be in New York City for a few days, carefully arranged so that my husband and I will attend all 3 of the Sabres home playoff games, first series vs. Boston, starting tonight. Did I say yet? LUCKY ME!

iPad alert! Our school district technology coordinator solicits teacher tech request "wish list" every year, and last year every "wish" of mine was granted, including SmartBoard, document reader, and Flip video camera. Quite the bountiful year this was! So yesterday I submitted my request for a class set of iPads to be used by the English Language Arts department for the following intended uses:
  • writing, notetaking, and journaling in class
  • electronic books (iBooks is gorgeous AND useful, easy access to word definitions, highlight/bookmark passages)
  • reference sources (dictionary, thesaurus apps)
  • news apps for information reading/writing units, current events
  • history apps for cross-curricular reading/writing, multicultural literature study (ex. This Day in History app is free and useful, National Geographic app is inexpensive and looks promising)
  • voice recording apps, for podcasting of book talks, poetry readings
I know economic times are tough, in particular for schools, but a wish list is a wish list, and you just never know. Random technology grants do appear magically sometimes, even as districts cut staff and programs. So I listed the above not just to show off my iPad knowledge but in case you wonder how iPads may be useful in your classroom. I haven't even mentioned the many uses for any other content area: social studies, science, math, music, art, and so on. I find new and interesting apps every day - last night I found a free Alice in Wonderland app, abridged story, with lovely illustrations, and moving objects on many pages (such as a pocket watch, swinging like a pendulum).



Literacy Teacher said...

Happy Spring Break to You! Have a wonderful time in NYC!

I will be planning my character trait lessons for my 5th graders. We are reading Winn Dixie in my book club group!

I will also catch up on my sleep! LOL !

Sarah said...

Good luck! I hope your wish comes true :)

only a movie said...

What a fabulous wish. Could you write a grant for them...?
I had a grant funded this year for AlphaSmarts... I shot too low, apparently. :-)