Day 7: First day of School!

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This morning was my first in 9 years of teaching where I didn’t start the day in ‘my building.’ This year I am a half time teacher, half time technology integration specialist, which means I will start my day in one of four secondary buildings. Today I started at one of our two Junior High buildings, which are grades 7-9. One of the 7th grade science teachers there, Jen, is piloting iPads, so I stopped in almost first thing to check on how she was doing. In the past Jen has started the first day with an activity where she hangs ‘science words’ over the top of her 7 lab tables, then gives students a card as they come in the room with the common term for that word. This year she added one iPad in the middle of the table but didn’t say anything about it. The words and tables are shown above, but the picture was taken before the iPads were put out.

After Jen told me about the activity I wanted to see how it played out, so we agreed I would come back to observe her 3rd hour class. Things went as planned, and then one student picked up an iPad. Another said “don’t touch the iPad!,” so the first put it back down. Too funny. A student at a different table picked one up and just started playing on it, though I couldn’t see what he was doing. After it was clear that the students had no idea which word matched with which (I only knew two of the seven, I know physics and lack in biology), the teacher said, and I quote, “There may be something in the middle of your table that will help you with this exercise…” At this point the students picked up the iPads and started looking up their terms rather than the ones on the ceiling, and I had to leave to get to a meeting with another teacher.

I thought this was a fun way for this teacher to start the year, as well as a good way to introduce the fact that she will have iPads in her classroom. I’m looking forward to working with Jen to help students learn with technology!

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