-->

Theme Layout

[Leftsidebar]

Boxed or Wide or Framed

[Framed]

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

[Boxedwidth]

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

[style2][caption2]

Display Trending Posts

No

Display Author Bio

yes

Display Instagram Footer

Powered by Blogger.
Teaching Students how to "Google It" to Learn Online Research Skills

Teaching Students how to "Google It" to Learn Online Research Skills


Teaching Students how to "Google It"


Every school year I start my 4th and 5th grade classes with a unit about online research. I know there are some great "kid-friendly" search engines out there, and we do discuss them, but I think all students should know how to successfully use google. 

These units are a great opportunity to collaborate with the classroom teachers. Each class the students will need a new question to research. You could easily pull in content-area questions. If you don't work with the teachers, you can ask them to look up obscure technology words and phrases. 
Teaching Students how to Google It


My Process for Teaching Students how to Google It:


So here is how I do this. The first week that we start our online research unit, we read the book (affiliate link to the book followsI Read It on the Internet by Toni Buzzeo. Then we jump right into doing some googling. I require my students to keep what we call a google log to document their research. I put together a template of what I want included in the google log and link it to my website. Students download the template to their computers to work from. 
But I Read it on the Internet digital book companion for teaching students about finding reliable sources.


I really love that in this unit students are downloading from a website, saving to their computer, saving changes, and then having to find the file again each week and add to it - in addition to learning how to research!

In the template there is a full example (click here to see the template I use with students, and click here to see a screencast of the directions). I ask them to include name, date, question, answer, and source. As the weeks progress, we talk about finding more than one source that gives the same answer as a way of confirming the validity of the result. Eventually we include a full web page citation instead of just the URL. 
Every school year I start my 4th and 5th grade classes with a unit about online research. I know there are some great "kid-friendly" search engines out there, and we do discuss them, but I think all students should know how to successfully use google.

The first few weeks this will take more time than you plan. I give them a 20 minute deadline because they would just search forever. Google has changed over the last year or 2 in that sometimes the answer is right there on the google page. I still require them to click into a website to use as their source because they need to practice evaluating websites. 

If you're looking for learning modules that have everything set up for you and your students, check out this Research Skills Unit:
All about Online Search Copyright and Fair Use Evaluate a Website Judging Online Information Putting Info. Together Search Better Search Engines and Strategies

Or if you need something for grades 3-5, try this unit:

Or if you love Digital Breakouts (room escape challenges done paperless) then try out this set:

I hope this gives you some ideas for how to start your school year. I hope your administrators are as impressed as mine are when they see what you students are accomplishing. 

Would you like some free Technology I Can Statements? Subscribe to my newsletter to receive 21 free technology I can statement posters as well as occasional updates and freebies from me. 


Read more »
Brittany Washburn
5 Comments
What do you mean I have 50 Kindergarten Students?

What do you mean I have 50 Kindergarten Students?


If you've been reading my posts this summer then you know I found out in the spring that the funding for my technology teaching position was cut. This led to me looking for positions at other schools. I landed one after 4 interviews and I just found out my new assignment: Kindergarten and First Grade!

What do you mean I have 50 kindergarten students?
I will be teaching in a non-traditional setting, supporting homeschooling parents, so I will have 50 students assigned to me. The curriculum is already set up in a learning management system, and the parent, or "learning coach" will log in, print off the day's assignments, and work through them with his/her child. When they finish the assignments, I receive copies to assess. I will look for deficiencies and provide extra support where needed - times 50.

I am really excited about this job. I love using technology to teach, and each of my students will have access to technology daily. While we don't want 5-7 year olds on the computers for hours, as teachers we understand how engaging online interactive resources can be. The school has subscriptions for tons of websites and I am eager to dig in to these resources.

This school year will be very different for me. I will keep you up to date on how it goes. Until then, I have 50 "Welcome Calls" to make so I better get moving!
Read more »
Brittany Washburn
3 Comments
Technology Pinterest Boards to Follow

Technology Pinterest Boards to Follow


I love Pinterest. I've been known to scroll through Pinterest all evening while "watching tv" with my husband. I'm also very visual, so the layout just works for me. 

In all of the time I've been scrolling, I've found some phenomenal boards that I want to share with you. The theme will be boards for technology resources for teachers. 

1. Technology Coordinator by Julie Zacarias 
Her board is FULL of great ideas for both tech teachers and classroom teachers. 
2. Educational Technology Tips and Ideas by Bonny Skutch 
Her tips are fantastic for ANY teacher.
3. Digital Learning by Michele
This board has so many great resources for integrating technology into the content areas.
4. Technology by Laurie Phillips
This board has something for everyone. 
5. Computers by Becky Buckley
This board is a great resource for technology teachers, with everything from classroom management ideas to lesson resources. 
6. Computer Skills by Amy Carriker
Her board has lots of Pins that I haven't seen before. Great for a new technology teacher. 
7. Technology in Education by Laura Candler
I actually went to a PD session by Laura and she was so inspirational. This board is a fantastic array of tech resources for teachers. 
8. Technology by Charity Preston
Her board is full of the latest apps and websites for integrating technology in the classroom. 
9. School Technology by TeachersPayTeachers
This board is still in the works, but if I know anything about the work ethic over at TpT, it will be full of amazing stuff soon. This one is a board to watch. 
10. My Technology Lab Classroom by Brittany Washburn (Hey, that's me)
This is THE board for tech teachers at the elementary level. I try to include everything a tech teacher needs to get set up and teach awesome lessons. 

So that's my list. I hope you can find some awesome resources from these boards. Let me know in the comments if you've found (or made) a great tech board that I didn't list here. 


Read more »
Brittany Washburn
0 Comments
Teaching Vocabulary and Technology Skills

Teaching Vocabulary and Technology Skills


I have this winning combination I use for teaching every technology lesson. I start with an essential question, then I talk about the I Can statement and vocabulary for the lesson, then I dive into the directions all without actually teaching them anything yet.

Do you have a word wall in your technology classroom? My first year teaching I didn't, and every time I asked my students to write about what they were learning I had to spell EVERYTHING for them. Obnoxious, right? We want our students to use the vocabulary words we are teaching them, so why not put them all up on the walls to help our students see the word and make a connection to the spelling? That is exactly what I've done from my second year and on.

Let's face it, when you're the only one at your school teaching technology you can feel totally alone in planning and curriculum development. Even if you meet with a professional learning team, you're not at the same school working with the same students. You're on your own. This may seem like a big obstacle, but it actually has an upside - no one can tell you how to pace your lessons!

If you're like me, you NEED a few weeks to establish procedures and expectations. I would hate to feel rushed, like most classroom teachers do, to start teaching content within days of beginning school. After I have shown my students how to enter the classroom, how to begin working, where the supplies are, how they may use the supplies, how to log off, and how to line up, then I'm ready to start teaching vocabulary and skills.

I have this winning combination I use for teaching every technology lesson. I start with an essential question, then I talk about the I Can statement and vocabulary for the lesson, then I dive into the directions all without actually teaching them anything yet. When my students log into their computers and access the lesson page on my class website, that is when instruction and independent practice finally takes place. You see, I have a semi-flipped classroom. I LOVE to use screencasts to give the actual instruction for a lesson. I will detail the steps required and give them directions for how to complete the independent practice part. For an example screencast showing students how to insert, move, and resize photos, check this out:



My students learn the answers to essential questions, vocabulary, and a declaration for the I Can Statement from hands on practice.



These posters are what I have on my whiteboard. I change them out for each class if each class is learning something different that day (but sometimes I like to teach in units and these posters can apply to several classes, the content for the lesson is just a bit different). After we have learned a vocabulary word, I put the word wall version up in the classroom. 

Prior to the start of school I printed, cut, and laminated all of the word wall cards and I keep them in a binder until I'm ready to use them. 

Now, my students do not simple complete a set of practice questions on the computer and call it a day, we have interactive notebooks for our lessons. I use interactive notebooks for everything, from digital citizenship, (check out this blog post to learn about it) to how to do specific skills in PowerPoint. 

Using an interactive notebook means my students are held responsible for the content. Any time they ask me how to do something we've already learned, I direct them back to the correct page in their notebook and they look up the details themselves. In my technology classroom I introduce PPT as early as second grade, but each year I find that I have to re-teach skills like how to change the font and how to insert and resize a picture. This was frustrating to both the students and to me. That's why I decided to create an interactive notebook for these skills, so that students can look back and see the details for how to complete each skill and why we need that skill (all included in the guided notes and activities of my PPT Skills Complete Unit). If you teach multiple grade levels like I do, you may choose to split the instruction of these 14 lessons between 3 years (start in 3rd grade with the basics, do a few more lessons in 4th grade and finish with the trickiest skills in 5th grade) or something similar.

I’ve had the most success teaching this complete unit in 4th grade along with a research project. I worked with the teachers and chose to research Idioms (you can find the guided research project here if you’re interested). We spent weeks learning the PPT skills and then implemented them into a cohesive, and amazing, presentation for each student. Their work was middle school quality after learning all of these skills. 

One thing I've noticed since implementing interactive notebooks is that the vocabulary comprehension has increased significantly. Students love to learn with their hands, and having them cut, color, write, and think about the topic in a creative way, means they are engaged in the learning process. 

By the way, I plan all of this using a combination of the ISTE NETS-S and the I Can Statements I've created. I have them all compiled into a Technology Teacher Binder that I use to plan and track data for my students, though my 3rd-5th grade students track their own data in a packet that you can find in that binder. This was developed after spending 2 school years frustrated at the lack of resources provided for technology teachers, and it has been the perfect solution. 

I hope that reading through this post has given you some ideas for how to meet the technology standards for all of your students. With a little planning and preparation, you can have a smooth-running classroom and your students will barely need you! What other components of a technology classroom would you like to learn about? Let me know in the comments and I will write a post about it. 
I have this winning combination I use for teaching every technology lesson. I start with an essential question, then I talk about the I Can statement and vocabulary for the lesson, then I dive into the directions all without actually teaching them anything yet.


Read more »
Brittany Washburn
3 Comments
The Best Computer Lab I've Ever Seen

The Best Computer Lab I've Ever Seen


How I Set up My Computer Lab

How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn

My first year teaching technology to grades K-5 I didn't even put up vocabulary words! I know, I can't believe it either. I've grown so much as a teacher and I'm constantly inspired by the styles and layouts of grade level classrooms, so I made myself adorable, stylish, and functional classroom decor. 



Are you a brand new tech teacher and feeling totally alone? Join the Tech Teacher Tribe Facebook Group!

First, this is what a computer station looks like in my classroom: 



How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn

I have a velcro name tag on top of the monitor. Students use a dry erase marker to write their name. I have them do this while their computer is logging in. I have a laminated "hand" that they put up if they have a question. My thought process here is that they can still work on their computer with both hands while they wait for me to come to them. 


Next, I made I Can Statements for the Technology Standards 

My principal loves seeing them and my students benefit from knowing the goal for the day/lesson. I made a set that I put on a ring at each computer station, and full-page posters for the front of the classroom. I give directions on the carpet by my interactive whiteboard before I send students to the computers, so I need my essential questions, I Can statements, and vocabulary words up there. 
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn

How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn

As you can expect, I have another board for grades 3-5 in another section of the classroom. I LOVE the clip art on these, from Whimsy Clips that I custom ordered. It makes these posters so much more inviting than a black and white version. 
Click on any of the images in this blog post to learn more.
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn
These vocabulary posters have been instrumental in my students taking responsibility for using the correct terminology in the lab. We focus on one or two words each week and I add them to this display. 
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn

How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn
These 2 pictures are my Daily Messages. I display them through the projector so my students can see them, but also create a common board with everything for that weeks' lessons for each grade level.
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn

 I love my shortcut posters and refer to them often. Students can refer to the bulletin board instead of asking over and over again how to do a shortcut.
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn
 The ABC display is colorful and teaches students about new types of technology. The kindergarten students particularly love them. 
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn
 A display for the lab expectations is a must! 
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn
 Organizing my lesson plans and I can statements in binders has been a huge time saver. I just grab what I need and go. Heading to the 3rd grade PLC meeting? Grab the 3rd grade binder so we can talk about cross-curricular activities!
How I set up my computer lab Brittany Washburn
 I was trying to figure out what to do with the space below the board. This "I am a digital age learner" set is perfect!

Would you like to try my K-5 Technology Curriculum for 30 days to see if it is a good fit for your students? Click here and use the code TRYK5TECH1 at checkout to get the first 30 days for just $1!


Interested in BONUS content? Check out my free email course for technology teachers, where I walk you through everything I do to map out, plan, and assess my students. And because I want to help as much as possible, just for signing up you will receive a free printable template of my daily lesson and reflection planner (and of course some free tips). 

Read more »
Brittany Washburn
1 Comments
Technology Essential Questions

Technology Essential Questions


A few months ago I had the opportunity to take a class on project based learning and inspiring it by creating the perfect essential questions.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to take a class on project based learning and inspiring it by creating the perfect essential questions. I took this information and created a set of Technology Essential Questions based on the International Society for Technology in Education Standards (ISTE) for Students. 

There are 6 basic standards and each standard has 4 sub-standards. I created an essential question for all 24 sub-standards. In this blog post I am going to explain how one of these essential questions can be use AT ANY GRADE LEVEL to inspire a project. 


Primary:
Young students need to practice this skill early and often. Here are a few ideas.
Intermediate/Middle:
I grouped these students together because they are using very similar technology tools. Here are a few ideas:
Secondary:
This age group is all about college and career readiness. Here are some ideas:
Hopefully this gave you and idea about how one technology essential question can be used across the grade levels. The things that change are the technology tools used and the project it leads into. The academic content area can be anything you can possibly imagine. I'm all about integrating technology into the content areas and these posters are a great way to get students talking and thinking about using technology to learn. 

Thanks for reading!


Email Newsletter Sign Up

* indicates required
Email Format


A few months ago I had the opportunity to take a class on project based learning and inspiring it by creating the perfect essential questions.

Read more »
Brittany Washburn
0 Comments
Technology Task Cards for Primary Students

Technology Task Cards for Primary Students


I've had this product in my store for ages, and I've recently made some updates to it. These aren't just any set of task cards. Each card has a prompt to complete a  task and an open ended question to guide the learning. The activities are designed to help the students practice using a technology tool, communicate technology concepts, and review or practice a common core standard. 

In addition to the task cards, there are worksheets to help students complete the activities. This means that you can use these task cards even if you don't have access to the technology devices that are suggested. 

Check out the examples below to see if this is something you could use in your classroom. 
 
















There are 9 task cards included in this file. They were written for the kindergarten common core standards, but could definitely apply to first and second grade. Some of the words might be hard for a kindergarten student to understand. I recommend introducing each task card and technology tool to the whole group before a student is expected to be able to complete the task independently. 

I hope you and your students enjoy these activities. 


Email Newsletter Sign Up

* indicates required
Email Format
Read more »
Brittany Washburn
0 Comments

Follow @brittanywashburntech