For this blog post we got the opportunity to look into Kathy Cassidy's First Grade Class and how she teaches. For the past ten years she has been implementing technology in her class room. It all began when she was given five computers for her classroom. I think Mrs. Cassidy's approach to technology in the classroom is great. She was given the opportunity to have technology and she ran with it. Both her students and herself are a fan of blogs over pencils and paper. They have an audience! Also, they can read comments from people all over the world. To a first grader, this is so uplifting. Parents are also a fan because they can look at their child's work at anytime from anywhere. Mrs. Cassidy has had support from her school administration and fellow educators. It seems as if she has been very successful in her efforts for her classroom.
Before if you told me that first graders were blogging and using technology, I would not have believed you. I would have thought the highest level of technology in the first grade classroom would be lessons on the interactive white board. In Mrs. Cassidy's video I did see them using an interactive whiteboard. But her class was doing far more than that. The students in her video are so well versed in blogging and rules of the internet. I was very impressed with how the children knew how to stay safe. They know to not use their last name and to go to only to sites they are supposed to. Mrs. Cassidy is so right when she says it is our job to TEACH the students what is safe.
Internet etiquette is very important and Mrs. Cassidy has done a great job teaching her students this. Her students know to write only positive comments and to encourage the writer of the blog. With children, there will be mistakes and she explained how she would sit her class down and talk about why what they did is wrong. Kids can sometimes be unkind and I think this would be a great opportunity to teach about character, manners, and why we should be nice to one another.
I would like to implement many of her ideas into my classroom. I am wanting to teach anywhere from Kindergarten to 3rd grade and before I would have only thought the 3rd graders would be able to use technology widely. I now want to start blogging with my students in 1st grade and at least have a class blog for my kindergarten students. I like that she sends home a letter for the parents in the beginning of the school year to let them know what will be happening and to get their approval. I think that is definitely a good idea. Blogging would provide so many opportunities for learning. My class could learn about technology while also improving their spelling and sentence forming. When problems arise it would always bring another opportunity for learning.