Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Supporting Emerging Writers with Technology


Our first graders have had one month of school under their belt and we are eager to support their academic curriculum in our technology classes. An important skill to learn in first grade is reading and writing sentences. To create an engaging, motivating lesson in this skill, we developed an "All About Me" lesson using Power Point and clip art.

To promote both reading and writing skills, we made sentence starter cards for the students to use. These cards focused on about six sentences structured different ways. For example, one card might say "My favorite animal is _______."; while another card might say "_________ is my favorite animal." Student choice was a very large factor of our lesson as they not only chose which sentence to use, but also in what order they would like to put the sentences in their Power Point. Additionally, all of this provided movement around the room.

They were taught the basic skills of completing a title slide, inserting a new slide and inserting clip art. Because clip art searches only work with accurately spelled words, we provided picture dictionaries for the students to use when completing their sentence. This also provided movement around the room, and student choice of which clip art picture to use.

The students were so enthused to be able to pick their own sentences, and were very motivated to write a sentence because they could then find clip art to go with it. Once they had four slides completed, we printed them out in handout format. The lesson lasted two days and the engagement lasted right down to printing the slides and taking them with them, definitely a success!

This lesson supports the 21st Century Skills of creating a product, problem solving the use of Power Point and clip art, allowing for student choice, and collaboration by asking their neighbors for help. It helped support emerging readers and writers in an engaging way.

"Laptop" by lmorowski 5/2010

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