Picture this scene. The bell has rung. Students are filing out of the classroom to head to the playground for recess. One of my students lags behind. He is one of my reluctant writers. Before heading out, he utters the words that any teacher would like to hear. He says, “Mrs. Kozak, I want you to know that I love writing. I am having fun writing about my animal.” That comment really warmed my heart.
As a teacher, I try to approach instruction with excitement and enthusiasm. Some days are better than others, if I must be honest. For the past few weeks, my students have been working on informative writing. They have been working on writing animal reports. I have had to alter my plans a bit since we do not have access to the computer lab this month. I had plans for students to type their report in the style of a news article with pictures and captions. However, the computer lab has been closed so that 3rd through 5th grade students can take the Smarter Balance Assessment. This means my 2nd graders have limited access to technology. We are unable to do any research, word process, or blog about our learning. It’s gotten to the point where I have invited my students to bring in their own devices to work around the issue of no computers. It is frustrating at times, because only a handful of my students have a device to bring in.
Tonight in one of my Twitter chatrooms, we talked about the SAMR model. It’s a way to integrate digital learning that leads to high levels of student achievement.
The basic level is substitution. The highest level is redefinition. It is difficult to get students to redefinition when you don’t have the technology to do it.
That’s why I value the comments my students make about their learning. Even with limited technological resources, we are making do. I wish I had a cart full of iPads or Chromebooks, but I don’t. Somehow, I have got to give my students a 21st century education, but I am lacking the tools to do so. I was given one iPad to use with my group of 26 students. I am still trying to figure out how to utilize it so all my students can get their hands on it. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear it.
My students are so amazing. There are so many things we could accomplish if only we had the resources. I am ready to show them how. All I need are the technology tools. In the meantime, we will keep plugging along. I will have to find other ways for my students to show their creativity. That means that I will also have to get creative! Am I up for the challenge? I hope so!