Saturday, November 14, 2015

Let's Talk Teacher Technology (and get some FREEBIES!)


Hey y'all!  Let me say...I am the first to admit that I am not that tech-y.  Most of the time I really feel like I'm learning on the fly...this year though I made a teacher goal of using and incorporating more technology in my classroom for instruction.  We have an online component with our math curriculum that I use daily and I am feeling pretty confident there.  However, I really wanted to start utilizing our building's class set of iPads.  We are blessed with a cart of 30 iPads that a teacher can check out for a block of time every day.  Last year, I avoided this cart like the plague....I was unsure how to use them for instruction as opposed to just something to 'play with'.  With the help of a colleague (my daughter's teacher actually!) I'm learning a few new tricks of trade and have begun to feel comfortable enough to try a few things here and there.  One of my absolute favorite apps to do with my kids is Nearpod.  Have you heard about it?


Nearpod is a FREE website/app that allows teachers to create and download interactive multimedia lessons.  There are several lessons already created by educators for free or to purchase that cover a wide variety of skills.  Once a lesson is downloaded on the teacher's computer, laptop or iPad, teachers can "start a live session".  When this happens a teacher is given a code like the one below.


Students then open the app on their iPad, enter the code given to them by the teacher and type in their name.  This part takes a little time for kindergartners to do, but with every lesson we are getting faster!


Once students are logged in the lesson shows up on their device.  The best part?  THEY CANNOT SWIPE THEIR SCREEN TO MOVE ON.  You have to change the slide on your device for students to move on.  They only see the slide you want them to.  No, "I'm on the wrong page!"  Whew! 


Depending on the lesson, there are a variety of different interactive features.  Students can write on their screen, select from multiple choice answers or match objects.  After they are finished answering whatever questions are asked, they can submit their answers to the teacher.  They do this by simply hitting send (the box at the bottom) and confirming yes.  


The teacher's screen then looks like this.  Each child who is logged in is displayed on the screen.  While they complete their work their personal box says 'awaiting drawing'.  (I was testing this with my Madi which is why there is only one name.  Normally I would have 22.)


Once a student sends me their work, I can see exactly how they did on my screen and give instant feedback.  HOW.  COOL.  IS.  THAT?


Madi's work....


Now it's on my screen...


My students love Nearpod and my daughter is CONSTANTLY asking to do it at home.  I can use it as a formative to see how students are progressing on a skill, while giving instant feedback, and it's fun!  One thing I noticed was lacking when searching lessons, were kindergarten friendly, CUTE, skills based activities.  So...I made one!  This Thanksgiving themed sight word activity targets 12 sight words where students practice reading the word, finding it, and writing it.  I haven't created a seller's account yet...I'm dipping my toe in the Nearpod water...but I would love to share what I created with you all!  If you would like to try out Nearpod, or if you already use it and need a fun free lesson for this week, click on the picture below to check out this one!  I really hope you enjoy it!



If you aren't totally on the technology bandwagon yet, you still deserve a freebie!  I whipped these handwriting sheets up for my kiddos to use in the handwriting center this week.  THEY LOVE THEM.  I print them on card stock and stick then in dry/erase pockets and add a dry/erase marker - instantly handwriting is more fun!  I included all capital and lowercase letters, numbers 1-10, Thanksgiving themed words and sentences, and a spot to practice their name.  Click on the picture below to download!





13 comments:

  1. Hi Racheal - I am even less likely to use technology than you were! While I do not have a tablet I love this and could maybe use with my kids on the projector. How would I "save" this or send to my school email? Thanks - I'd love to see more like this - it's awesome!!
    (PS - and I'll have to look into getting a few tablets, maybe 3, as a start!!)

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    1. Thank you! What is your school email? I can send you a direct link! :)

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  2. Is there anyway to get the Nearpod you created? This is amazing! I've been trying to incorporate more technology in my Kinder classroom! I would love to see more like this or learn how to make them! Do you have a TpT store?

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    1. What's your email? I can you send you a link! I do have a TPT store!

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  3. My kids have loved doing this since I saw your post last week! It's a great way to take little assessments without them thinking they're being assessed. Do you have any more that you have created?

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  4. I'm so glad you all enjoyed it! I am actually working on creating a few right now! I'll be sharing a Christmas addition one very soon!

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  6. Hi Racheal, I have just signed up to Nearpod - am teaching Prep(Kindergarten) in Australia for the first time next year. Your Christmas and Turkey Nearpod files look great - but I can't find them on your TPT store to download. Is there another way to download them please.

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    1. Julie,

      Send me an email at rachealbohnert@gmail.com and I can send you a direct link. From there you can add the lessons to your Nearpod library! Thanks!

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  7. I am very interested in sharing these with my K teachers but the links to the Nearpod files are saying that the code isn't valid. My email is jessica.ische@glendale.k12.wi.us. If you are willing to email me the links, I would love to show them how you have used Nearpod in K. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Good evening! I sent you links to the three that I've made so far!!! Let me know if they don't work!

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  8. Thank you for creating a blog based on nearpod! I am interested in implementing this app. with my kindergarten students next school year. How did you create your nearpod lesson? Could you create it using powerpoint? If possible, could you email me the Thanksgiving nearpod lesson you did with your kids? My e-mail is jtakano@shafter.k12.hi.us Thanks :)

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    1. Hello! Yes, I created my lesson in Powerpoint, saved the slides as images then uploaded them using the Draw It feature. I sent you a link to add my Thanksgiving lesson to your Nearpod library. Enjoy! :)

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