Friday, October 24, 2014

Ten Reasons a 1:1 Classroom is Best for our Students

After teaching for almost 30 years, becoming a 1:1 classroom was the biggest game-changer in my career and for the students I have the privilege of teaching.  As all veteran teachers know, the pendulum swings back and forth when it comes to teaching the basic curriculum.  What we did twenty years ago in reading/language arts or other curricular areas somehow surfaces back into our classroom years later. No matter what curriculum is implemented in a district, having 1:1 classroom can make the instruction happen at its best!



Last February, I had the privilege of becoming a 1:1 iPad classroom, and I have never been more excited to teach.  I have always had a passion for teaching and like most educators our lives revolve around our students and our work day never ends.  Yes, we want what is best for each student who counts on us on a daily basis. Having a 1:1 classroom is making that a possibility.  Having access to technology in our classroom on a daily basis is such a powerful learning tool.



As we know, the most important component of a successful school year is establishing a relationship with each student in our classroom.  To most educators this is a given.

Rita Pierson


Why has becoming a 1:1 classroom become 
such a game-changer for my students and me?


21st Century Learners 

 John Dewey sums it up perfectly, "If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." 
Our students need to be 21st century learners to thrive in our world today. 



Individualization and Differentiation

As educators, we know that all students in our classroom learn differently, and they have different academic needs.  This is the first time in my teaching career that I know I can truly differentiate and individualize instruction.  In the past, I would hand out an enrichment worksheet in math or reading, or assign an additional project. Now, it doesn't matter what subject area, there are so many ways to differentiate and enrich the curriculum in a 1:1.  Being 1:1 gives me more time during the school day to work with students individually and in small groups.
















Creativity 

Creativity happens daily in a 1:1 classroom.  Learning is possible at each child's fingertips.  When students have opportunities to be creative they are problem-solving, questioning, discovering new ideas, and taking ownership of their learning.

Ken Robinson




Global Connections
 
Our students are 21st century learners and it is important that we connect outside the four walls of our classroom.   These learning opportunities are not only important, but it truly makes learning relevant for our students.  From Mystery Skype's,  having a global audience through blogging, meeting authors, or taking a virtual field trip, these are just a few examples of how our students can connect globally.


 My fourth graders LOVE to write.  We use Kidblog to share what we are learning in the curriculum.  The comments they receive from all over the country and world keep my students motivated! 
Our Kidblog Site is Mrs. Evon's Fourth Grade 

 Movie Trailers are created by my students for each of our Mystery Skypes.
Mr. Wigmore's Class from Ontario, Canada



One of our first Mystery Skype's


Connecting with Mrs. Dowling's Class from California for the Global Read Aloud created by +Pernille Ripp



















Students have a Voice and Choice 
Why do we all have to show what we learned in the same way?  
“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J. K Rowling
When Students are given a Choice....Learning becomes Relevant

Jerry Blumengarten


Students Show their Learning 

What did you ever learn and remember from completing a worksheet?  When students have the ability to show and explain their learning, it becomes relevant.  It is learning at its BEST!

Angelique and Jaxon summarizing their reading selection for the week.

Brie's ThingLink for our Social Studies Essential Objective 
Middle West

Robert John Meehan
 

Collaboration 

Collaboration and Teamwork happen on a daily basis.  Planning, organizing, teamwork, and presenting are such important life-long skills that students carry with them throughout their life.


Jerry Blumengarten


Our Students are the Best Teachers

My fourth graders teach each other on a daily basis.  They airplay tips, suggestions, and how to use the apps; as well as share their work and projects when working on district curriculum. Students become the teacher, and ownership of their learning happens when they are in charge. Students teach each other, their parents, and staff.



Students sharing what they learned in health.


Student Engagement

This is the first year in my teaching career that I don't have a specific behavior plan in place.  For years I have used a credit and debit banking system.  Prior to that, I have tried many other behavior management plans.  This year-NOTHING!  Behaviors seldom need to be addressed, because students are truly 100% engaged in their learning.




Test Scores

Unfortunately, this is an area that haunts educators on a daily basis!  We know the learning that takes place in our classroom each day is most important.  Unfortunately, this is not enough for people making the educational decisions.   We need to look at individual growth as many students come to us not on grade level or even above.  With having technology as a learning tool, all students have the opportunity for remediation, enhanced, individualized, and differentiated instruction.  With students who have the opportunity of a 1:1 classroom, district and state test scores will only continue to rise. This will definitely be an area that I continue to monitor and a great topic for a future post.

MAP Testing



Okay....Actually Eleven Reasons 
Students are excited to come to school and on most days they don't want to see the day end.  They are passionate and enthusiastic about learning. Yes, at times we are even late for our specials and recess.


21st Century Learning at its Best
Students are creating, collaborating, and connecting globally! Students are enhancing and enriching their learning of district curriculum and objectives through the use of technology on a daily basis!

Jane Goodall