Monday, October 22, 2012

Let Students Explore

Often times society thrusts us into a frenzied pace of getting so much accomplished in such a short time, we forget to allow time for exploration.  I know I find myself feeling that way too often.   Many great ideas come from exploration time, just see what Google has produced.

I start off this way because when we roll out new apps for students, or even iPad's for the first time with a class, it's so important to allow students the time to explore and figure out possibilities. 

One teacher from Cove, OR has recently scheduled in her first 10 minutes of the day as free iPad exploration time. Here is her blog post recapping her start of the day and what she has learned.

Let's Go Exploring!

Last year I decided to take a chance and do something a little bit out of my comfort zone...I relinquished some of my structured teaching time to my students so they could go exploring.  From 8:00-8:10 students are encouraged to explore something in the classroom.  Sometimes it is the materials for a science experiment, sometimes it is objects related to an upcoming lesson and sometimes it is technology.

This morning it was our classroom ipads...

As students arrived this morning I let them know they could explore their ipad.  I only gave one direction, "Explore the apps you have on your ipad and see what you can see?"

When Explore Time was over we gathered for our morning meeting.  I asked students to share something they had learned this morning while exploring their ipad.  This is what they shared:

"I learned how to scroll down and get stamps on Doodle Buddies."
"I learned there were a lot of different apps on my ipad."
"I learned how to scroll in on Google Earth."
"I learned how to take pictures and videos using Photo Booth."
"I learned some new countries."
"I learned how to search for different places on Google Earth."
"I learned how to do stamping on Doodle Buddies."
"I learned how to make a slide show with video and pictures on Photo Booth."

Students were teaching each other and me how to do all of this things.  We were learning and discovering together.  I know we will be able to go further with our learning because I give my students this time.  Don't be afraid...try it!  You won't be disappointed.

Please spend time reading more exciting happenings from Cove second grade at Mrs Williams Second Grade Class Blog.

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