Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sending out an S. O. S. with Discovery Education

When I first started writing this post last week I didn't know just how fitting the title and the life ring would be to my beautiful community. After a crazy day Tuesday with early dismissal and another day of dealing with the unreal amount of flooding and flood damage, I have never been so grateful to be back to school, sitting at my desk writing (finishing) this post.  I have read reports of an estimated two day rain total of  26 inches and dozen of sinkholes in our area. There are still families dealing with water and closed roads. Please keep all of those affected not only down here on the Gulf Coast but also out west in your thoughts and prayers.

There is no good segue from talking about the horrific flooding in our area to talking about education so:

I am excited to share with you Discovery Education’s Spotlight on Strategies (S.O.S.). S.O.S.  is a series DE posted here to provide some tips and tricks for implementing technology in the classroom.

This week I want to share a couple of teacher tested S.O.S. that I have used in my own classroom with my kinders!

The first strategy I would like to tell you about is Figure it Out Together. This is something a lot of teachers probably do already but with a tech twist! The post of the DE blog uses figurative language to teach this strategy but it can be used for many different lessons. In fact, we used this during one of our very first projects. In Figure it Out Together, students work together to come up the answer. When my class was learning about sharks, they worked together to find 3 facts about sharks using DE Board Builder.

We also used Figure it Out Together to create different boards about the different insects we have discussed last week. Each group of three used DE  Board Builder to share video clips and pictures of the insect of their choice.  This week we will share our boards and use them to write informational text about insects.

Another S.O.S. we have used this year is Sound Check. Again this is something I have done before in my Kindergarten class but it now has a name. In Sound Check, students listen to different sounds as a review to what you have been teaching and identify the sounds or where they come from.

Back in the fall, we read a story about baby animals in grasslands. We discussed the different types of animals and their babies (i.e.: Kangaroo / Joey). At the end of the unit, I played sounds of the different animals and my kiddos told me the parent and child that belong to that sound. They loved hearing the sounds and it made what could have been a boring assessment a lot more fun.

These are just two of the great S.O.S. you can read about on the DE Blog. There is so much information on there. On my journey to becoming a DEN STAR I have been amazed and the shear amount of resources DE has to offer. I have now spent a year and a half intensely learning about DE and continue to find new and amazing resources. 

Do you use Discovery Education in your classroom? What type of strategies do you use?

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