The Innovation Journey
Posted Thursday, November 17, 2016
Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. - Andy Rooney
Grow our Tigers - at every building in our district that is what the Tiger Staff strives to do. Especially at an early age we push ourselves to ensure students flourish in their development. This takes careful planning and setting the bar high but at an achievable spot. As we begin to look toward our growth in innovation and development of technology curriculum, our younger students have begun their journey up the mountain.
“Students in grades 1-2 have worked hard to learn basics in the labs at Loveland Early Childhood Center (LECC) and Loveland Primary School (LPS),” said Innovative Instructional Coach Susan Craig. “This work lays the foundation for future goals and for grades to come. Students are learning how to log in, practicing valuable keyboarding skills, and learning to read digitally. While these skills seem simple to our older students, they are essential to the development of our young Tigers.
“Moving forward, students in grades 1-2 will learn other Google G-Suite apps that will be incorporated into the content areas. The idea is that kids learn the basics so they can explore content and show what they know.”
“I have been able to try new teaching techniques with tablets and explore different ways of teaching with my students because of the availability of technology and the freedom to try things like QR codes and videos for students,” said LPS Second-Grade Teacher Scott Koehler. “This has also allowed me to differentiate my instruction. The work in lab will also help us to scaffold their way through use of technology in the future.”
At Loveland Elementary School (LES), students are a little further in their journey. If you venture into the LES classrooms you will see students doing research using the internet. You will see students working independently on projects showcasing their gained knowledge in science and social studies. In some classrooms, you will see teachers working with small groups while other students are finishing up reading assignments on Chromebooks.
“The work that we started last year with students in regards to the basics has begun to take a new form in the elementary building,” said Craig. “Teachers are able to start earlier with projects that involve creativity and innovation with their third and fourth grade students.”
“The work being done in the earlier grade levels with regards to technology and innovation has given me the chance to allow students to create projects or assignments that I never had the opportunity to work on growing up,” said LES Fourth-Grade Teacher Jordan Pauley. “Having access to technology in the classroom, you can push students' thinking in so many ways, while teaching them how to simply click, drag and manipulate a computer. In language arts for example, students can combine cross-curricular content through exploration with any of the Google features (Google Drawing, Google Slides, etc.). In science and using Discovery Education Techbooks on the Chromebooks, teachers can use guided instruction, while giving students a more interactive approach to learning. The kids love it, it tests their thinking and allows teachers to more efficiently assess their students. Innovation and technology has allowed me to watch my students grow and push the boundaries of learning in the most exciting way possible.”
“As an innovative instructional coach, it has been a fun journey learning what is developmentally appropriate for first and second graders when it comes to technology use,” said Craig. “It has also shown me just how differently a first or second grade teacher must work with students. It has been an exciting journey for all of us.”
Photo caption: Loveland Elementary School fourth-grade students use Discovery Ed to learn about science.