Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Slow and Steady

Slow and Steady, steady and slow, that is the way we always go!

First grade is tough. The kids learn how to be students. Then as students they learn! A lot! Patience is needed each day when something as simple as a child blowing his nose can cause an entire classroom frenzy in fear of germs. Upon entering my fourth year, I feel like a new teacher all over again. I don't know if it's the new batch of kids, the accessible technology or the new certificate. Whatever it is, I hope it stays for a long time!

Slow and steady, steady and slow is the way I'm taking my students this year. Slowly students are getting introduced to technology. First it was how to treat our technology, then a few SmartBoard activities, a United Streaming video introducing addition and tomorrow…our first blog entry! The goals I have committed myself to include: improving students’ blogs, experimenting with webquests and increasing and enhancing SmartBoard lessons.

Blog - Tonight my job is to update our 2008-2009 class blog and put in each students name and color choice. Tomorrow my students will produce their first blog entry. A blog is still a far away concept for my students, but they sure are excited about their colors! Keep a lookout Thursday afternoon for exciting news from a first grader's perspective!

SmartBoard - I'm not as far along as I'd like to be with my SmartBoard lessons. Again, slow and steady...So each day we have a math warm-up using our SmartBoard. They include counting activities that must be taught per the GLET's, but often take all year to learn.

Webquests - So I've noticed some teachers have been doing these since 1995. I'm curious to know if anyone out there has made or completed these in the past and what your thoughts are on these. Is there another catch-phrase for these that I have missed? My search continues to look for ideal examples. Perhaps with collaboration, some great ones can be created!


Joseph Miller said...


I listened to your post (readthewords), because I was too lazy to read. Are you using readthewords with your students?

I hear you contrasting what you are doing this year with how you introduced students to technology last year. What did you learn last year that made you change your approach? What works? What do you think the students need to do more of to be successful?

Christine Mac said...

I have done a webquest that was already made with students before. I think we called them internet scavenger hunts when I was in college. I have not made one myself, but I think it would be cool to try in the future.

Dave Tarwater said...


I like your mantra, "slow and easy". For webquests you may want to look at This site was first developed by the father of webquests, Bernie Dodge, professor at the University of San Diego. On the portal you can search webquests by grade level and content.

Jon Fisher said...

Kelly, I'm interested in webquests and would love to collaborate with you. I'm taking a class right that will involve creating a webquest and I'll likely do one around one of our science GLETs maybe in conjunction with a FOSS unit. Right now I'm putting together an internet workshop for kids and I'd be happy to share that with you.
On the slow and easy front, I feel the same. This year I have 28 students and it seems overwhelming to get started. It takes an hour just to get them all a turn at showing tens and ones for math problems (GLET 1.2c:[d]Groups numbers by 10s & 1s and give value in any two-digit number).
Anyway, I saw a cool video call feature on Skype and wanted to see if you wanted to try it out between our classrooms.

Kelly Berry said...

Thank you everyone for the comments.

Joe - I have not used read the words with my students yet. What I am looking at is completing a weather wiki so students can begin their first "research" project (similar to the plant project they complete at the end of the year). I'm really excited for them to report about weather in different areas of the world...More on this in a future post.

Thank you for the ideas and encouragement on the webquests. I'm going to continue to search them out and perhaps make my own version using a the First Grade Explorations Site.