Here’s the scene: You’re in a K-2 environment. There are a limited number of tablet devices on your campus (or no devices – period). Getting those tablets in your students’ hands can be a challenge. You have a handful of student computers in your room, but what can you really do with three or four desktop computers?
The answer: Lots.
Fear not, O ye of little faith. You have the perfect setup for doing technology-based lessons – especially if learning centers are already part of your teaching repertoire.
Many K-2 teachers use from three to five classroom computers as a stop on a learning-center rotation. Some educators filter students through Accelerated Reader. Others have students watch a video or engage a drag-and-drop vocabulary activity.
However, K-2 students have a creative flare, and there are tools and apps that allow younger students to show what they know.
First, try embedding your learning-center activities inside Google Classroom. It’s the perfect place to place a video, a Google Doc, a Google Slide presentation, a Google Sheet, a Google Drawing, a hyperlink, and more in any combination.
Don’t have time to explain website buttons, bells, and whistles to students? No sweat. Snag the Screencastify extension from the Chrome Web Store. Create a short video of your directions. (You can set Screencastify to save 10-minute videos to your Google Drive automatically.) When you’re done, pop your motion picture in your learning center and go. No mess. No fuss.
Next, consider tossing a Hyperdoc to your learners.
Or, let them recreate a story setting using Google Draw. Afterward, showcase the drawings on a classroom website (with parental permission, of course). Students can also create and print QR codes for their drawings. Codes can be posted on a classroom wall, a bulletin board, or school wall for visitors to scan. (Think Parent Night).
In addition, several Accomplished and Distinguished categories in T-TESS dimensions require teachers to differentiate assignments. Learning centers can help.