With all the changes in PreK this year, life has been a little stressful. We have a completely new assessment system as well as the introduction of I-station (which I am completely excited about!). Even with testing going on, I really wanted to focus from the get-go on the driving goal at our campus this year, which is "Are our students doing all they can do independently?" Many times, people see 4-year-olds and think that they need help with everything. Their ability to learn and understand complex ideas are often times underestimated.
With this in mind, I think my biggest challenge this school year so far has been time. There is just not enough time... CIRCLE testing has taken 5 weeks to complete, and I am just now beginning a full day teaching cycle. There are so many ideas that I learned about in the summer that I want to try out this year, but right now I am just focusing on trying to get Seesaw up and running by mid-semester. I currently have my students inputted and am working on adding their pictures as icons. I have started working with them on documenting their learning with pictures and videos, which they have been practicing during centers.
One of my biggest successes so far this year has been with letting go the reigns a bit sooner and allowing students to take control of the technology in the classroom. At the beginning of the year, we learned about school and the people who worked there. People came to talk to our class about their jobs (principal, assistant principal, nurse, counselor, speech teacher, etc). As a conclusion to the project, students collectively wrote a thank you letter to each person. They also made a video (which I added captioning to in Camtasia) in which they talked about what they had learned about that person. We turned that into a QR code.
I also enlisted the help of a "QR code expert", who taught the recipient of the letter what a QR code was and how it worked.
Now my students have taken to finding whatever QR codes they can around the room and scanning them. They also make their own video about their name that I attach to a QR code for them. They love it.
My next challenge is to get Seesaw up and running and start exploring some of the other apps, like Book Creator, which students can eventually use and submit to Seesaw. I have a feeling that this year is just going to fly right by!