Friday, June 29, 2012

Three Easy Web Tools and Ideas!

Well, hey everyone! I'm Sarah from Miss A's Kindergarten. I'm thrilled to be sharing some of my ideas with you, and I'm so thankful to Kinder-Craze for this opportunity! I hope that this blog post helps you and gives you some new ideas as well. So here we go!

All three boys I babysit had video games!
Ages 1, 3, and 6! They love their electronics.

I have always been a bit obsessed with technology. When I was 14, I was writing HTML script to make my Xanga page pretty. I know that, for many of you wonderful teachers, there have been students in your classrooms just like I was. Those students need you. They want you to understand tech as much as they do and be willing to allow them to use it in the classroom. Even kindergarten students need to be allowed to use technology. It's what surrounds them every day! The three year old that I babysit can operate an iPad with no difficulties.


Here's my question though:

How can we reach these sweet, techie children?

I am a strong believer in the positive uses of Web 2.0 tools! If you aren't sure what those are, here's a quick description. Usually, they are website platforms where people can design, create, explore, and collaborate. Many are useful for educators because they allow us to create fun presentations for our sweet kiddos. It helps students practice their collaboration skills. Mainly, it allows the students to branch out and try new things with the computer, which is what they L-O-V-E!

Here are my top three favorite web 2.0 tools to use (that are easy as pie!) along with some teaching ideas:

1. Beeclip
 

I believe that Beeclip is SO versatile and easy to use that your students will have no problem with it. If you've ever made a scrapbook before, you will be able to use this program. It's great for your visual, spatial, and creative learners. If you want to learn to use this tool, click to watch this video!

Ways to Integrate This Tool!
  • Have the students create a digital poster
  • Write a class mini-book based on content (metamorphosis, life cycles of a plant, etc!)
  • Collage a concept. (I did my example of this on color words.)
  • Make an end of the school year scrapbook of all your fabulous memories!
  • SO MUCH MORE! Use your imagination. :)

2. Prezi














I love making presentations on Prezi! It's easy to use once you get the gist of it, and it allows you to ZOOM in and out. Kids love to watch the presentations in action. It's a new way of presenting information in place of PowerPoint, and it's so easy to do. If you want to learn how to use Prezi, click this link!

Ways to Integrate This Tool!
  • Use it as a hook for new content matter (math lesson, ELA lesson, just a new unit of study!)
  • Have the students help you create a Prezi by brainstorming good pictures and words to use. (SIDENOTE: You would have to be the one that makes it, as children under 18 aren't allowed to have their own account.)
  • Create a fun Prezi that tells your parents of your expectations for the new school year at Open House. They will think you're amazing because you were so creative!

3. Wordle


Wordle is a tool that allows you to gather all sorts of words together in one big word cloud! It allows you to show the children that multiple words can fit into one category with tons of subcategories. For example: If the United States is the main topic, you can have the names of all the states as the subtopics. Then you can add the symbols of the country, memorials, or...whatever you want!

Ways to Integrate This Tool!
  • For younger grades, create a whole class Wordle to summarize/begin your new unit of study!
  • For your writers/GT students, allow them to create their own Wordle of their background knowledge.
  • Have each student make a personal Wordle that includes words that describe his own life.
  • Introduce yourself to your new class with all the words about YOU!

Since you made it all the way down to here, I thought I'd throw in a FREEBIE! :) This is my colors Beeclip that I made for my kindergarten unit in an educational technology graduate course. I hope that it helps you introduce all the color words and sparks some fun discussions about what color objects are! Just click the purple picture below for the download.

Of course, I picked the purple slide! It's my favorite color of all!

What are some ways you integrate technology in your class?
I especially want to thank Maria for allowing me to guest blog here! I'm truly honored and blessed by her! My blog, Miss A's Kindergarten, was started just this May. I love to post about all types of technology, including video tutorials on web tools. I hope that you stop by and see all the fun posts I already have on technology, life, and my first year of teaching!

6 comments:

  1. I love these ideas incorporating technology in the classroom! I've used Wordle & Prezi before, but haven't heard about Beeclip, which sounds really neat to use. Thanks for sharing!
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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    1. I'm glad I could introduce you to a new tool! Beeclip updated and added new features recently, too! It's fun to use. You're welcome! :) I appreciate your sweet comment!

      Sarah

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  2. When I click on the purple picture above, it takes me to a Google Drive page.

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    1. It should work now! Go ahead and try again. Sorry to inconvenience you!

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  3. I also use Wordle. This past year a used Wordle to make Teacher Appreciation gifts for my children's teachers. I typed the name of the teacher, the year, the grade, and then all of the students in their classes. I then framed them in inexpensive frames. They LOVED them. They were such a hit, I made them for all of the teachers in my grade level as an end of year gift.

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    1. I LOVE this idea! I'll have to remember that for when I need to give out a cute gift! :) Thanks for the tip!

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