Today we had the pleasure of visiting Lauren Jolly who teaches 1st grade at La Tercera. Lauren and her students were working on Reader’s Workshop. Students were seated on the carpet learning a reading strategy. Lauren read a big book, and collectively they looked for words in which they could “crash sounds together” to read. Students identified words such as “peanut,” and Lauren used TPR (Total Physical Response) to teach them how to take apart the word.


Students loved this strategy, and when she was finished reading, she dismissed students to get to work in various spaces around the room.


One thing to note about Lauren’s room is that she highly values student choice of seating. She provides flexible seating opportunities for students, and students frequently choose options such as sitting on a big ball, the floor, or a raised table with stools from which to do their work. Lauren’s students use technology on a daily basis individually, in partners and for accessing reading materials or watching a lesson mirrored via the television. Even at 1st grade, these students are tech savvy!


Lauren responded to two questions that we asked her regarding her use of technology in the classroom:


1. 21st Century Learning includes using technology as an integral part of instruction to increase student engagement and enhance learning. In what ways are you integrating technology into your curriculum/pedagogy?


I work hard to make the use of technology in the classroom as seamless as possible. I want students to understand that technology is a tool for their learning that they can interact with, create on and make meaning with. Students may gain new information on a science topic by participating in a digital read aloud using a video or book on Epic or kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/ while stopping to draw an important part. They might also read a new text at their reading level using RazKids and give a partner a book talk about it using ChatterPix. Additionally, students collaborate to co-author a story using their own drawings and voice using Educreations or record something they are proud of in their digital portfolio for their whole learning community to see using Seesaw. Even a digital whiteboard sometimes raises engagement and efficiency of a small group lesson. I try to allow for as much student choice a possible with the tools they use.


2. What goals do you have to enhance 21st Century Learning in your classroom?


I would also like to integrate more digital texts into my mini-lessons so that students have a more seamless transition to the devices. I would also like to find and participate in more virtual field trips using Google Cardboard or the National Geographic ViewMaster to bring students into new environments. Lastly, I would also like to engage more with Coding.


Lauren’s classroom clearly exemplifies 21st Century Learning! We look forward to seeing more of the great things she is doing in her classroom this year! Thanks for letting us visit!


Your Technology and Curriculum Directors plan to visit classrooms across the district and ask these same questions in an effort to gauge where you are on the 21st Century Learning continuum and what needs you may have going forward. We are here to support you!


If you want to be our next spotlight teacher, reach out and let us know! Otherwise, we will come and find you! ;-)

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