I am currently on maternity leave, enjoying every little second of the gift I have received. This time has flown by, and has been a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of work. However, I sometimes use some of my “free” time to read about educational technology (a passion) and many times ideas bloom in my mind.
Last September I received an email announcing a contest for CTJ teachers, where we should think of innovative ways to teach using iPads. As I read the email, I knew I wanted to participate, not only because of the chance of winning a really nice prize, but also as a chance to put into practice new ideas. Since I have no books at home at this moment, I had the idea to plan a lesson for my kid’s class (so I could refer to his book to plan the lesson). I called dear colleague Carol Godoy (my kid’s teacher) and proposed her to pair up with me in this journey, so she would be the one to test the ideas with her students.
It all worked out really fine. The students were engaged, motivated and most importantly, learning in different and meaningful ways!
So, here’s what we’ve done:
Students were studying about animals and superlatives and then we used the app Tiny Tap where it is possible to create personalized games. It is indeed a chance to spot students difficulties with the content they have been exposed to while they are having fun. I created the slides on a PowerPoint slideshow and imported them into the app, where I recorded my voice and set up the tasks.
As a follow up, students were supposed to use their knowledge to create a collaborative poster using the app Popplet, a well-known educational tool. So, students paired up and wrote sentences using the superlatives and images to come up with a beautiful poster. The final product could also be printed and become part of the students’ portfolios to be sent to parents by the end of the semester.
This was a nice and rewarding experience. Looking forward to test more apps and contribute to students learning next semester!
Tiny Tap and Popplet - slideshows
-------> Now read Carol's version of this tech journey! :)
My name is Carolina Godoy and I'm a teacher at CTJ. Last semester I had two TPK classes and Lilian's son, Gabriel, was one of my TPK students. For this reason, Lilian invited me to participate in this project, and I'm really glad I accepted her invitation. To take part in this project wasn't a last minute decision, but we certainly did not have a lot of time to plan its execution. As Lilian previously explained, the project required us to use iPads in the classroom, so it was necessary to book them in advance. Since other teachers were also engaged in the project, it wasn't easy to have the number of iPads we needed when we needed them. However, I'm glad to report that everything went really well.
Lilian did all the planning, whereas I was responsible for putting her ideas into practice. She designed two activities for the children. The first one was a multiple-choice exercise that included interesting and motivating pictures and sounds. The second activity required the students to take a more active role in the learning process and was, therefore, a bit more challenging.
The students responded very well to both activities and seemed extremely engaged and motivated. When I told them that we were going to use iPads in the classroom, they got really excited and literally couldn't wait to touch the screens with their little fingers.
I believe that the use of technology in this particular class enhanced their ability to learn and boosted their confidence as students in this new technological era. In addition, students at this age are used to following a routine in the classroom, and this project was a very creative and useful way for us to take a break from more ordinary activities.
I would like to thank Lilian for this great opportunity. It was a pleasure to work with her and to be her son's teacher this semester. I really hope we can develop more projects like this in the near future and learn a lot from each other while having lots of fun.