I had the privilege yesterday of observing an outstanding lesson by two colleagues here at AIS-R. Sean Walmsley is our Elementary iLearning Integration teacher and yesterday he was working with Grade 1 Students in the classroom of Ms. Dema. Sean invited me to what he described as “one of the best iPad lessons I have ever done” and he did not over-sell it. Being January, Sean has had many opportunities to work with Grade 1 students and has taught them several useful iPad apps to find, save and share information. His lesson yesterday, titled “App Smash Extreme,” pulled together previous learning of 4 separate apps into a First Grade Social Studies unit on Community Helpers. Looking over the lesson materials ahead of time, I was struck by the ambitious, multi-stepped activity he had planned for the First Graders. Sean led them through the process with ease, having laid a great foundation of skills with each individual app.
As part of their unit, students, in this lesson, were asked to choose two community helpers, find images of those, add sound of their own explaining how one of them assisted in the community and share the results with everyone.
The lesson went flawlessly thanks to the students’ previous learning, a well-organized and clear whole-group presentation and the developmentally appropriate nature of the tasks. Students used voice to search, chose images to represent their ideas and recorded their own voice rather than typing what they wanted to share.
Sharing the results on Instagram was an excellent publishing tool, allowing the whole class to view each other’s results afterwards, giving the teacher access to all the products and also putting the results on the web for parents to see.
The Grade 1 students were adept with the technology tools they were using and also were able to focus on showing that they understood the big ideas of their Community Helpers unit.
Thanks again, Mr. Walmsley and Ms. Dema. Well done!