HARRISON, N.Y. -- Harrison kindergartners and first-graders are improving literary and mathematical skills by incorporating technology through the use of tablets in the classroom on a daily basis.
The use of this iPad technology is an excellent example of the district’s partnership with the Harrison Educational Foundation to foster creative learning and the building of vital skills by paying for new cutting-edge initiatives that benefit all kids. The young students are using different types of “apps” on the classroom tablets to develop and enhance skills in areas such as writing, spelling, reading, number deconstruction, and introduction to coding. While students are learning at their appropriate pace, they have the ability to demonstrate their learning to teachers and peers and to connect and share their learning throughout the classroom.
Apps are carefully researched by teachers and administrators and parents receive information to help in using these apps at home for a continuity of learning.
“Harrison’s teachers have been trained in professional development sessions to integrate this technology into their guided reading and learning centers,” said Brian Seligman, the district's chief information officer. “As a result, they are developing strategies on how to enhance their abilities to differentiate instruction with the use of iPad technology.”
Examples of specific apps used in the classroom include:
- "Show Me": An app supporting the writing and phonics curriculum. Students are able to write and draw across the genres, as well as practice spelling patterns.
- "Sight Word Ninja": An app that allows the classroom teacher to choose specific sight words for children to practice to improve automaticity based on their needs.
- "Number Bond Blaster": An app that allows the teacher to pick the level of mathematics readiness with regards to decomposing and composing numbers.
- "Light Bot": This is a coding app that allows children to have experience with beginning programming and strengthens problem solving and critical thinking skills.
“We are finding that our students are naturally drawn to technology,” said Susan Vendola, Parsons Memorial Elementary school kindergarten teacher. “The use of this technology is allowing for independent learning and is helping to build intellectual stamina through a fun and engaging way.”
The Technology Literacy and Mathematics Initiative will be expanded to second- and third-graders next year.
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