Last week, I decided to "jump in" and try out our new mobile computer labs. At first, I thought I was a little crazy to be trying this the first week of school, let alone on the first day, but, what can I say? What an AMAZING experience it was! It was wonderful to look out into the classroom and see 30 students with laptops on their desks. Each student was hanging onto EVERY word I was saying, anxious to show me that they were responsible and ready to use this great technology.
During Tuesday's lesson, I used a Keynote presentation to teach my students about using the MacBooks appropriately. This included learning the rules for using the laptops in the classroom, identifying the parts of the MacBook (trackpad, screen, ports, etc.), and playing a game of "Simon Says" to test their knowledge! We also turned the computers on to practice using the trackpad and begin identifying parts of the desktop and dock.
By Friday, my students were once again itching to use the MacBooks, and they were excited to see that "Mobile Lab" was included on our daily schedule. Friday's lesson involved making a Wordle for the students to use on a classroom project called an "Open-Mind Portrait." Earlier in the week, the students were asked to draw a portrait of themselves and then cut out their "heads." Their task, then, on Friday was to make a Wordle with words representing them to glue on the backside of their "heads," thus, showing what was important to them. If you haven't had the opportunity to make a Wordle yet, you might try putting it on your list of tech. things to check out! (www.wordle.net) A Wordle is basically a "word cloud" made out of any text you wish to include in it. You can edit your Wordle with different colors, fonts, and layouts.
What a great opportunity this was to teach students about using the new mobile labs, to give them opportunities to practice their own computer skills, and to build our classroom community! I hope you all have a chance to check out the mobile labs in your building soon!
Posted by Julie Allerding
3rd Grade Teacher
Sandy Hill Elementary