Having established a clear, concise, and obtainable GAME plan for integrating technology into the content areas enabled me to make considerable progress toward my goal of developing digital-age learning experiences in the content areas. I was especially motivated by one of the Stories From Practice in our resources last week. Janice, a second grade teacher, shares, “if I sit around and wait to purchase the latest and greatest technology system, I’m not going to get anything accomplished. I need to use everything I have to its fullest extent” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2010 p.87). That was exactly what I needed to do, use what I have more effectively. To provide as much time with digital tools as possible, I located another computer for my classroom, now I have four networked computers with Internet access. Additionally, I secured another day where I can take my students to the computer lab.
Next, I located resources for Internet activities related directly to our reading content for each week. For independent self-selected reading, my students read fiction novels all day long with Scholastic Reading Counts. Therefore I concentrate reading instruction on nonfiction genre with Scholastic News Magazine for Kids. Unfortunately like many teachers, I’m so busy trying to get through the content standards, I never explored the teacher’s edition that accompanies each issue for resources and lessons on integrating technology. What I discovered was an incredible source for ideas, lessons, and resources for real-life, critical thinking learning experiences right at my fingertips. For example, in our latest issue, Volcanoes Erupt, students explore how volcanoes form, why they erupt, and why the Ring of Fire is such a hot spot. In the resources section, there is a website to access classroom activities on plate tectonics. There is also a website where students can gain more information on volcanoes.
In this particular issue, there was also an article about the migration of whooping cranes and large decline in numbers last year. The teacher’s edition referenced a website for tracking the fall migration of the eastern whooping crane flock as an extension activity.
I now have the flexibility to offer individual, partner and small group computer time in the classroom in addition to two to three class periods a week in the computer lab. I have also found an amazing source for integrating technology into our weekly reading content. I am so excited to get started.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Scholastic News Edition 4, Oct. 19, 2009, Vol. 72 No. 5