Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Educreations-Writing lesson

Adding, substituting and redefining in kindergarten. I am trying to "add" something new to my arsenal of iPad usage. Today I used the app Educreations for writing. I used a prescribed writing program for the first 5 weeks. It entails 4 parts daily with direct instruction.
1.  Writing your name (obviously this can a few seconds to a minute or more depending on the ability of the students.
2.  Draw a picture. We correlate to the read aloud and theme that we are learning about. The intent is to teach "how to draw." When we draw we think how different objects are really made up of shapes. For example, a body has a circle head, small rectangle neck, rectangle or square torso, rectangle arms and legs, etc. This helps the students learn to draw and I found it eliminated the "I can't draw this. or I don't know how." that I would hear all year. A little drawing lesson seems to go along way.
3.  Label the picture. We begin the first week with one word, a noun (for example, bee). The second week is an article and noun (for example, a bee or the bee). This supports the sight word acquisition that we are also teaching. The third week is an article, adjective, noun (for example, the yellow bee). The fourth week is a simple sentence (for example, I see the bee.). The fifth week is a simple sentence with an adjective (for example, I see the yellow bee.). Each time we write a word we sound it out, phonetically. We are teaching decoding words during this time. Other skills are capitalization, punctuation, space, return sweep (if applicable).
4.  Reading our label/sentence. We talk about spacing and reading one-to-one correspondence.

Changing the old to the new. So this is how I did it. I used my iPad which is wireless. I could walk around the room, focusing on individual students, even sitting next to a student that is very distracted(!!!) and still complete the lesson, step by step. Everything that I wrote on my ipad was projected on to the screen. No more overhead. I can use the iPad and complete the whole lesson from all around the room. I did not have to run to the overhead and then run to individual students to complete each step of the lesson. I also didn't have students trying to look around me while at the overhead as I was blocking their view. Wow! I could spend the maximum amount of time with students in different locations of the room. Quickly addressing behavior if needed. Quickly addressing students needing assistance. 

Another cool aspect is that Educreations can record the whole lesson, save it, and end up with a complete file of writing lessons. If you have residents/student teachers, they can watch/listen to the whole lesson at home. Going on maternity leave, here is a complete lesson plan for your sub.

I used the iPad for writing but the possibilities are endless. What ways can you think of using this app?

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