I participated in a Break Out session that used technology, critical thinking, and cooperative learning strategies combined. Through the usage of Breakout the presenter explained how we can use this with many lessons in the classroom to engage our learners.
I participated in the SAMR model of integrating technology in the classroom. The presenter explained that we must use technology and embed all levels of the model into our lessons and not try to stay in just one. She also explained that we can't always be on the higher end (deeper) all of the time.
I learned to better incorporate the usage of iPads and make sure that kids were working on various projects based on their specific needs. I realized that not all kids are on the same level with the iPad and integrating it withing their specific abilities.
I went back to my classroom and thought about how I could get my kids deeper into the SAM- R model. I decided to pull one of my reading groups that had been reading a chapter book together. I knew of a fellow teacher in Blue Valley whose kids were also reading the same book. We set up times for the kids to get on iPads and to do a Google Hangout. During the hangout, they discussed the book, how the characters were feeling, what they think it would be like a certain character in the book, what inferences they were making, and how they liked the book. Being able to have these conversations with students outside of their school really opened up their eyes. All the students were 4th graders, but the students from Blue Valley live very different lives from the students here at Westview. The Blue Valley students would see things in a way my students wouldn't and it was awesome to see and hear their reactions.
Tiffany Bottom, 4th Grade, Westview Elementary
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