Using technology in a meaningful way is the key to success in the classroom. As a former kindergarten teacher and the current reading specialist, it is so very important to use technology in an authentic way that meets the needs of students and their learning targets.
In our book, Now Classroom: K-2, we lay out how to move from basic coding with online apps and websites (such as Code.org), to unplugged coding (without a device), and then coding with coding toys such as Bee-bots, Ozo-bots, Sphero or Puzzlets. These toys allow for coding through play.
Recently, our school librarian and resident technology specialist, Sandy Kampman, had the students retell a story using the . She had been working with the first grade students on a unit about Robert Munsch. She had read and introduced many books by Robert Munsch. The culminating activity was coding Bee-bots to land on parts of the story and retell it as the Bee-bots moved.
Working in small collaborative groups, different stories were given to each group to retell. Students had to work collaboratively to determine the proper coding sequence to make the Bee-bot move appropriately. Then the students had to also retell the story as the Bee-bot moved. What a powerful retelling lesson! Mrs. Kampman seamlessly taught coding through the use of authentic text that was meaningful to the students.
Activities such as this example create a powerful lesson for the students. Lessons such as this help them to internalize both literacy and technology. I hope you will take some time to try this lesson with your students! Please share anything you do with us at #nowclassrooms on Twitter so we can see how you are integrating technology with learning in your classroom.
Author Now Classrooms K-2