Monday, September 8, 2014

A Chromebook Classroom

So these first two weeks of school have really flown by quickly!  I can't believe it's been so long since my last post.  We've spent a lot of time these first couple of weeks working on our daily routines, learning about the Daily Five, and getting comfortable with our class set of Chromebooks.  It's been a lot of work, and a lot of fun.  The kiddos amaze me daily with how much they can do on those Chromebooks!

We started out by learning how to carry the Chromebooks.  This may sound silly, but it's really helped to get us off on the right foot.  We used this video from YouTube posted by Chromebook Classroom.  It's informative AND fun!  This channel is filled with lots of great information for Chromebook users, teachers, and even administrators.

Our district requires an internet user's policy to be filled out every year before students can even get on the computers.  By the third day of school I had all of these turned in and the kids were anxious to get on their Chromebooks.

Our first Friday of school we had the fun job of actually logging into our Chromebooks.  With a class full of third graders, this task seemed rather daunting at first, I won't lie.  I was more than a little concerned that the fun was about to end.  Luckily, I had taken about 15 minutes a day or two before school started and logged all of my kiddos into Google to test out their passwords.  I had two that I needed contact our technology guru about, but that 15 minutes had saved me a lot of time and aggravation later.  I used the Promethean board to show the students the pattern for their email accounts and of course their password.  Google requires a complicated password nowadays, and my kiddos didn't even know how to make a capital letter on the computer!  I'm proud to say, they do now!  We didn't do much more that first day, other than tour the keyboard and the screen images, but it was a start.

Now, only one week later, my class starts everyday by coming into the room, logging into their computers, and checking their email.  They always have a morning message from me.  Sometimes it's an assignment for them to reply to me by email, other times it's a site for them to bookmark and practice a skill on before morning announcements.  They are already excellent at managing their time, and know that when an assignment is completed, they may get on Reflex Math for fluency practice or any of our other sites they've bookmarked.  It has become an integral part of our school day.  We take tests on them, listen to reading on them, watch instructional videos, play skill-based games, respond to emails, and do some basic word processing - all in one, short week.  I can only imagine what these kids will be capable of by the end of third grade, not to mention the end of high school!