Thursday, October 20, 2022

Digital Citizenship + Seesaw Lessons

If you are a Seesaw user, you have to check out the Seesaw Lesson Library. There are SO many ready-to-go lessons that are standards-aligned, engaging, and just plain fun!

My first visit to the lesson library was in search of Digital Citizenship resources, since we were heading into Digital Citizenship week. I stumbled upon the cutest little character, Bean, and his friend Mallow, who teach kids all about Digital Leadership. There are a total of nine lessons in the Digital Leadership library, and we went through the first two with second grade.

The kids loved them. I loved them. I love that the lessons are scaffolded in such a way where there is a whole class activity, an independent practice, an extension or reflection piece, and a home connection. It's all built out for you! Additionally, it's totally accessible for both English and Spanish, with audio tags throughout the pages to read everything to students.

The only suggestion I have after working with the Lesson Library is that if kids are on iPads or tablets it definitely helps to have a stylus and headphones. Well, if kids are on any device the headphones help! We ended up listening to the lesson on the Smartboard and the kids completed each page on their iPad.

There are lessons for a ton of other subjects, too, from phonics to math to science and more! The lessons are an added cost on your Seesaw license, and they always have a few free ones to try out before you buy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Keyboarding Revisited

Every year we start 3rd grade with keyboarding. I know. It seems sorta trite, considering many people learned how to type in an actual typing class. But it's still an important skill, especially when you're trying to get ideas out of your head and onto "paper" and you need your fingers to keep up with the ideas!

Anyway, 3rd grade always starts with keyboarding, and this year's group absolutely loves it. For added incentive, once they reach 100 typing stars (given by the amazing platform we use, they earn the privilege of putting stickers on their Chromebook cases.

Side note: we learned from last year that passing out stickers for every typing star became quite a commotion. Now they get their first sticker at 100 typing stars. Way more manageable!

It's amazing how adept at keyboarding those little fingers are! The kids earn stickers at 100 stars, 500 stars, 750 stars, and 1000 stars, and by the time they get to 1000 stars, most kids are typing at the expected 15 words per minute for 3rd grade!

When I'm teaching, I can quickly tell who is practicing their typing vs who has not continued once they earned their basic stars - responses in PearDeck and Seesaw come much smoother from the typers. Plus, it's a great way to start the year - low stakes tech practice while the kids are learning to navigate their new class.