April 2018 – Della Larsen's Class

How to use Bee Bots to teach literacy and math in your classroom.

April 20, 2018

Things that beep and flash and go forward and backwards and turn are fun. Imagine combining all that fun with education? Bee Bots do just that. A Bee Bot is a small, rechargeable, programmable robot. Bee Bots are less than $100 — which makes them perfect for a Donors Choose Grant. And the DIY Mats are less than $5 each. Best of all — they’re simple to use. With each push of a button, the Bee Bot moves a specific distance — either forward, backward, right or left. Used with one of my mats, which are designed with an array of squares, the students program the Bee Bot to move through the squares to get to a desired spot. Along the way, they learn a lesson. They might not even notice that it is a lesson — because they’re having so much fun! I use Bee Bots to teach vocabulary, life cycles, sight words — as well as simple addition and subtraction. You can watch my video to see how I get started with Bee Bots. The best part is that your students will learn to think creatively in order to program the robot. There is no one way...

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How to take advantage of Google Classroom – it’s as easy as it is exciting!

April 17, 2018

It’s obvious that we’re in a digital age. It’s a new age of reason — taken to what would have been seen as unimaginable heights just a few years ago! Everyone wants digital resources. Superintendents, principals, parents, students — and, of course, teachers. So, how do you go about it? If you give it a shot, I’m confident that Goggle Classroom will become your go-to source for incorporating technology with education. It’s not hard. I have been teaching for over 30 years. I’ve seen trends come and go – technology is here to stay! I still teach the same skills, I still track my students’ progress, and I still try to engage them in exciting ways so that they will look forward to school. The difference is that I do it easier, quicker, and better — with Google Classroom. Getting back to the physical classroom — we’ve gone from chalk and chalkboards, to colored markers and white boards, to smart boards with video capabilities. We’ve gone from mimeograph to Xerox copies. From collating and stapling by hand to letting the machine do our work for us. There’s no question that new technology can be daunting. It can also be...

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A Digital Classroom, a Google Classroom, an Engaged Classroom – Your Classroom!

April 15, 2018

We may be uncertain about educational technology — but our students aren’t! Our students are coming to us having already mastered digital devices. Next time you are in the grocery store or out to dinner notice how many children are using tablets.  It’s our job to provide technology that is hands on, engaging, and empowering to children. We need to choose digital resources that enhance our children’s cognitive and social abilities. They’re going to use it – but we can control it. Technology and Google Classroom is an effective tool to excite students, to engage them, to keep their interest—and it’s a powerful and easy way to differentiate their levels. Learn more with my Getting Started with Google Classroom Guide. Here’s a quick example. You could use a hundred worksheets — but think of the time you spend during lunch making copies.  Not to mention everyone in your class is working on the same skill. I don’t know about you, but in 30 years, I’ve never had a class where everyone is working on the same level.  Technology makes it easy to differentiate. Have you tried Boom Cards? They are self-correcting, and Boom tracks your student’s results and shows...

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