Well, today was our first day with our Clams! The kids were so excited and I have to admit, I was a bit nervous.
We began with the basics like how to carry them, how to open them, how to start them up, and then… it was like a rocket took off! I don’t know why I thought they might have trouble with the smaller screen size, or why I thought they’d struggle with the mouse pad with divided mouse buttons! It was as if they had held these little gems in their hands all their lives!
Remembering all the advice of my PLN, I just let them PLAY! They tried out Google Earth to see how it would look on their little screens. “Cool – look there’s my house!” They took an AR test sitting at their own seat – wow what a luxury (not something I would have picked during “play” time, but who am I to say what’s fun?!). They got on Funbrain and headed straight for Poptropica (Great mouse pad practice I tried to convince myself!). Some went straight to their Home folders on the school server to work more on a Powerpoint they had started in computer lab. “Awesome, we can work on it here when we have extra time!”
A whole new world opened up! Then, my happiest moment! We tried our first Google Form! We had just finished reading Sign of the Beaver last Friday, and I decided to create a Google form with some open response assessment questions. I embedded the “test” on our class website, showed them where it was, and they were off! They typed and typed and typed! I had to finally put a time limit on the task, or they’d still be here adding more! And then, gasp!, when I told them that when they hit the “submit” button their answers would go straight to my computer? “Cool, Mrs. C! Wait until you read my answers!” Not something I typically heard when they were finishing up paper and pencil assessments.
Math class was wonderful! I had created a Smartboard lesson (on our website in the math section) to introduce and go over the coordinate grid and ordered pairs. The kids had fun coming up to move “Little Sally” around the grid, naming the coordinates as we went. Then, without a second of delay, they opened their Clams, went to our class site (which will be the hub of all of our activities) and practiced using their new coordinate grid knowledge to play “Whack the Mole”, and “Billy Bug and his Grub”. Was it fun? You bet! Were they learning? Absolutely! Did they know it was math class? I doubt it!