From Student to Teacher

Hi! My name is Brittany May, and I am an Elementary Education major at the College of William and Mary. This blog is all about my journey through education... the questions I have and the answers I find, as well as lessons learned along the way, in this never-ending learning process of being a student and becoming a teacher. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Teaching With Technology

Right before the Thanksgiving break, I taught my technology lesson for my Implementation Project. I was really excited about this one because I knew it would be fun! I worked with my classmate, Emily, in developing the lesson, under the guidance of our cooperating teachers. The actual planning of the lesson proved to be somewhat difficult at first. After developing our first lesson, we quickly realized we had grossly overestimated the computer skills of most first-graders. Because I haven't had much experience teaching with technology (and unfortunately don't see it too often in the classrooms), I really didn't know what the students were capable of. Our cooperating teachers, as well as the computer teacher, advised us and really helped us develop a lesson that would both meet objectives of the curriculum and engage the students at an independent level.

We found a book called, "A Plump and Perky Turkey" by Teresa Bateman, and used it for the literature portion of the lesson. Our cooperating teachers had previously taught a unit on the different components of a story (i.e.- characters, setting, etc.), so this served as a review for them. They had not yet learned about the plot, or sequence of important events of a story, so this was the primary focus of our lesson. We developed a Kidspiration activity that would assess the students' comprehension of the material taught and which involved the students classifying the characters, different settings of the story, and the sequence of important events into their respective categories from a picture bank. This matched several first grade Technology and Language Arts standards (according to Virginia's Standards of Learning).

Overall, I think the lesson went very well! The students loved the story (as did their teachers!), and they seemed to grasp the concepts we taught. Some students had difficulty putting the events of the plot in order, but this was their first experience in doing anything like this. Most of them caught on quickly. What made me smile was how excited they were to be going to the computer lab for a language arts lesson!

This experience taught me that technology can be easily incorporated into "regular", conventional subjects. Before having this experience of planning a lesson with technology and actually teaching it, I thought using technology was a wonderful way of making lessons more interesting and I wanted to use it, but I sort of assumed that it would require a tremendous deal of effort and could only be applied to limited topics or subjects that catered to creativity and ingenuity. While some pieces of this may be true to a degree, I now truly see how technology can facilitate the learning of a concept even better than more conventional methods for a subject. Something as "normal" as a story in language arts can use technology and it didn't require a "computer geek" or "Teacher of the Year" to come up with it! I've been encouraged, and eagerly look forward to future opportunities to use technology in the classroom!

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