Thursday, April 26, 2007

Learning to write - Writing to learn

The students at Runkle have been very busy using technology this week. Kindergartners just completed their Ocean unit and each child drew a picture, wrote about something they learned and then recorded their voice sharing one thing they learned about ocean life. I put the pictures together into a movie which you can watch below. The thing I love about this project is the combination of visual, written and oral expression. For students who are not quite ready to write full sentences, recording their voice provides them with the opportunity to show what they have learned. If you would like to download a copy of the video, right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) this link.

It has been so interesting for me to watch the growth of our Kindergartners this year. I have worked with primarily with middle school students for most of my career as a teacher. Working at Runkle has allowed me the privilege to work with students in the primary grades. As I've observed our Kindergarten students in the lab over the course of this year, they have grown in both their technical ability and their literacy skills. When they first started coming to the lab, many of the students couldn't find the letters for their name on the keyboard, let alone write a full sentence. And, when they began writing words and then sentences, they rarely included vowels or spaces between their words.

As this year comes to a close, I am thrilled to see these 5 and 6 year-olds using vowels (even if they aren't always the right ones), including spaces, and easily reading their own writing (even when we can't). This growth has been fascinating and thrilling for me. I want to thank Runkle's Kindergarten teachers and paraprofessionals for all they do. They really are amazing teachers.

This is just one of the amazing ways that Runkle students are using technology. I'll be sharing more projects in future blog posts.
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