Practicing technology imbedded centers first was the right choice

Today, students practiced all three stations. The lesson started with a brief review of each center’s expectations. Students were attentive and remembered most of the expectations. On the Promethean board, I displayed the assigned student groups and group rotations. Students wrote their group number and the rotation next to their Edmodo usernames and passwords. Next, we discussed how the Promethean board center would work. Since groups consisted of 5 to 6 students, not all students could play the math game at the same time. Half the group would be players and the other half would be spectators. We discussed the roles of the players and spectators.  I used both a combination of pictures and sentences to explain the roles. As a class, we decided that the spectators could just sit on the carpet.

Players and spectators


Roles of players and spectators


Then, I showed the students the six ActivInspire tools they would be using at the Promethean board. I created drag and drop action buttons for the select tool, notes page, pen, eraser, reset page, and turn to the next page. By creating these action buttons, it helps to remind the students to erase, write, and reset the flipchart for the next group. Students were shown how the notes action would take them to the notes browser. In the notes browser, students will find the directions to the game. Then showed the students how to play the multiplication match-up game. Students would just click on the black box to reveal a multiplication fact and then drag the correct product to the fact. Only the correct product would stay in the box. An incorrect product would bounce out the box. If the student chose the correct product, then the student would put his or her initials. If the product chosen bounced out, the student clicked on the multiplication fact for the black box to hide the fact. I choose a math skill that they have been working on throughout the year rather than introducing a new skill. This seemed helpful so students could practice working independently on the board before learning new content.

Notes browser

The only issue we had with the Promethean board center was that the first half of the group spent longer as players than spectators. To remedy this problem, I will set my timer on my iPad for 10 minutes and then players and spectators switch roles. Then I will set the timer again for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off the second time, groups will rotate to a different center.

The classroom teacher was at the teacher center so I could work with the students on the iPads. She reviewed rounding with each group. The students have struggled with this concept.

I worked with all three groups at the iPad center. It was very obvious some of the students have had some experience using the iPads or Edmodo either at Summer Connections and/or at home. However, majority of the students have no prior experience using the iPad and Edmodo. While the students understood the basic iPad functions, such has the home button and iPad screen rotation,they struggled with navigating Edmodo. I uploaded a four minute video for the students to watch and create a 10 question quiz on Edmodo.  My mistake was making sure the video link would work at school. I watched and added the video to the Edmodo library at home without any Internet filters. The wireless filtering system blocked the video. So this threw my plan completely off. I was able to regroup and guide the students but it did throw me off.

Once all three groups rotated through the stations, I had them go back to their desks and complete the following sentences.

  • One thing that was worked for me was…..
  • One thing that was difficult for me was…

Eight of the 14 students wrote that the iPad or Edmodo was difficult for them. This did not surprise me. My plan was that I would take over the teacher center for the beginning of the unit and the groups would be completely independent at the iPad and Promethean centers. However, I feel that I need to work some more with the students at the iPad center. The classroom teacher agreed and she is going to continue at the teacher center for the first two lessons. My hope is that the extra support will help the students feel more comfortable with the iPads. I do know the Learn Zillion videos are not blocked by the wireless filter because I have viewed those videos on the iPads at school. So the videos should not be a problem.

Five of the 14 students wrote that the Promethean center was difficult. I do think some of them were frustrated with the lack of time at the Promethean board. Also the spectators were suppose to be writing down the answers to the problems in their notebooks. Some of the players stood directly in front of the board, blocking the spectators’ view. By setting the timer for 10 minutes and having the players and spectators switch will ensure equal playing time. I will also have a conversation with the entire class before we begin about how players should stand so spectators can see.

If you have any other suggestions that may help with unit, feel free to leave me a message. Thanks for your input.


About dps61techcoach

I am the mother of two boys and happily married for 15 years. Currently, I am a school improvement specialist for Decatur Public Schools. Next year I will be an instructional technology coach. I am super excited about this new role.
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4 Responses to Practicing technology imbedded centers first was the right choice

  1. Chrissie says:

    Maybe let the students sit in the “stadium”– sit on a desk–so you can see over the players at the board?

    • dps61techcoach says:

      That is a good idea Chrissie. I may try that. Today, I put masking tape Xs on the carpet for the players to stand and spectators to sit. It did seem to help. However, I players that were standing in front of the board.

  2. Jgrady says:

    I like how you gave them a chance to reflect back. That is so important not just for students but for us too! I liked how you reflected on your lesson as well.

    • dps61techcoach says:

      I agree Jewel. Getting feedback from kids is so important. I really like the blog format because I can reflect on my own teaching.

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