Technologies (computers, video games, electronic toys) should not replace hands-on, active experiences. Children learn in a multiplicity of ways, and generally, the use of technology should enhance the broad-based learning experiences of traditional primary school. Think of technology as a triple dip: students get dipped into instructional content through a teacher-guided experience, get a second dip through directed play, and get the triple dip when they use technology tools. NEVER should technology be the babysitter that replaces good learning activities.

Two kinds of experiences are particularly rich for young children: non-linguistic representation of their thinking (drawing) and reinforcement activities (often, websites).

Drawing Ideas:

Drawings allow a teacher to see into the minds of children, particularly those children who are either shy or are linguistically delayed. Since young children often cannot read and write, drawings let them express their thinking in ways that charm and surprise adults.

When drawing with a mouse, students find it easier to work with a small surface rather than a large one. So, it is often helpful to divide the drawing page into sections. The following templates can be used to tap students' creativity and thought processes:

Non-Linguistic Representation


Pictures can support all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy

Retell: Prior to this project, students had learned many safety rules. This project asked students to illustrate one safety rule they had learned.

Label: While often teachers will give students pictures with blanks for labeling, when a student has to draw a picture and label it, the teacher learns far more. The picture gives insight to what the student believes is important about the item and the labels indicate whether the child understands the essential vocabulary.

Interpret: When students have been learning a concept, their drawings of what they think they learned can prove a window to their minds.

Sequence: Asking students to illustrate and label a sequence requires even more complex thinking.

Illustrate: This water cycle requires students not only to understand the sequence of the water cycle, but to illustrate it as though one drop was a person.

Propose: After a study of nutrition, students propose a healthful lunch.

Websites:

In choosing websites, teachers need to be conscious that audio support is critical until students are skilled readers. The following annotated websites are worth exploration.

Learn to Read at Starfall -- The best reading site on the web, ranging from pre-reading through second grade.

BBC Resources for Primary Grades -- BBC has an excellent collection of activities geared for young children in every content area.

ICT Games -- Games designed in literacy and numeracy for primary school students. Excellent British site.

Up to Ten -- This French site is free to schools. The beauty is that once you've registered and logged in the first time on a computer, the log-on is automatic from then on. This site has 50 lessons, each with 3-4 games to teach computer skills from mousing over to double clicking.

Alphabet Games -- Kids will love the variety of alphabet games on this game site.

Kindergarten Math -- An annotated list of math websites for kindergarten divided by beginning of year, mid-year, and end of year

Kindergarten Sites by Learning Goal -- List of annotated sites listed by learning goal on one of the best aggregators of websites

Between the Lions -- While there are several games along the left hand side, they appeal to different age groups. ABC Watermelon lets a child practice the alphabet and tests what comes next.

Game Goo: These games are divided into three levels. They are easy for children to manage and bright and uncluttered.

Patterns with Dots (virtual manipulatives): Complete the pattern. May be advanced for some students.

Patterns with Color, Shape, and Head Covering: Repeat the pattern by creating the next bug in line. Three levels.

Patterns with Sound -- Create your own sound pattern and hear it played back.

Count Us In -- Fifteen graduated activities about counting and number sense.

Peep and the Big Wide World -- Games will appeal to preschoolers.

Kididdles - Kids songs with music and lyrics

Archytech Virtual manipulatives for cusinaire rods

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives Math manipulatives. Many are geared for older students, but they can supplement whole class instruction.

Tumblebooks: Online books for young students. You must enter through Arapahoe Public Library and scroll down the page to find Tumblebooks. In addition to online books, the games and activities section in Tumblebooks has activities for every book.

Animal Sort: Sort animals into four classes: mammal,

Miscellaneous


I created these projecte for use with kindergarten and first grade. Students work in the projects as an activity in the classroom or a lab activity. and