More than Just Games and Gimmicks- Making Technology Meaningful in the Classroom
By Julie Hartley, First Grade Teacher
Screen Time: two words that can provoke very different reactions in kids and parents. Kids can’t seem to get enough of it and parents wonder how to limit it. Add to the mix the use of screens in the classroom and we may wonder how to maintain balance while integrating technology. Technology is something that we must embrace and adapt to if we are to fully prepare our students for the jobs of the future, and the iPads are an exciting tool that can be used to enrich our students’ educational experience. However, here at Hope we are mindful that we don’t lose sight of traditional instructional strategies that are tried-and-true. It is truly about making technology meaningful, and incorporating it when it can enhance instruction. The iPads will never replace the hands-on learning that is done with math manipulatives, science experiments, paper and pencil writing tasks, or reading actual books. All of these are essential parts of learning in our classrooms. However, there are some exciting ways that iPads can enhance learning by changing and enriching how kids gather information, practice skills, explore ideas, apply knowledge and inspire creativity.
Our middle school students have had individual iPads since last year, but this is the first year we have sets of 4 iPads in our K-5 classrooms. In our first grade class, they are primarily used in Daily 5 literacy centers and also during math stations. The technology center is always something the kids can’t wait to get to! In our class we use iPads to enhance a lesson by adding information or follow-up activities. For science and social studies, there are fantastic Brainpop videos and interactive activities to extend learning. For reading, kids each have their own Raz-Kids account where they can read books at their “just-right level” and even record themselves reading to practice fluency. In math there are basic fact practice apps, such as Xtra Math, as well as many others that reinforce concepts through fun games. Kids can also practice handwriting skills with Little Writer or reinforce phonics sounds through Starfall. IPads can be an extremely valuable tool for providing differentiation for our students. Students can be assigned to work with specific apps that are tailored to their individual needs, whether they are ready for more challenge or need some extra skills practice. In all subject areas, from handwriting, to phonics, to math, to art, music, and science, there is an astounding array of technology enrichment available.
As we incorporate more technology into our classrooms, we are excited about the possibilities. The addition of iPads to our arsenal of teaching tools provides another level of engagement to reach learners who may need a little extra practice or another way of interacting with new concepts or information. They are a unique teaching tool that can simultaneously engage visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. We are blessed to have such an amazing resource at our students’ fingertips. Suddenly “Screen Time” doesn’t sound so bad, after all!
Calendar of Events – Click Here
Wed. 2/3: 8:40 AM Chapel led by Grade 8
Wed. 2/10: NO PTH Meeting – General Meeting Re-Scheduled to the 17th
Thurs. 2/4 to Wed. 2/10: Spirit Week – Go Eagles!
Mon. 2/8: 5:30 PM LEST Fine Arts Review – Commons
Wed. 2/10: 8:40 AM Chapel led by Mr. Kopecky – Ash Wednesday
Feb. 11 & 12: No School – LEST Break / ESC & ESC EXTRA Open
Feb. 15 & 16: No School – Presidents’ Day & Midwinter Break / ESC Closed
Sports Events Calendar – Click Here
Hot Lunch Order Deadline This Friday – Feb. 5
Just a quick reminder that this Friday, February 5th is the last day to submit your order forms for Teriyaki/Gyoza Mondays and Pizza Fridays. Proceeds from these meals help support the 7th and 8th grade Washington DC trip. Due to scheduling issues, we will not be able to accept any late order forms. Order form is available on the Hope website. Remember one form per child but all orders can be paid for with one check. If you need any additional information or clarification, please contact Kevin McFeely at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 206.715.2072.
LEST Calendar of Events – Click Here
LEST Spirit Days – February 4 – 10
All students in preschool through 8th grade are invited to join us in spirit days as we gear up for LEST!
- Thursday, Feb 4 – Wacky Tacky Day – just use your imagination on this one
- Friday, Feb 5 – Wish I was in Hawaii – Mahalo! Break out that Hawaiian shirt and grass skirt and practice that hula dance
- Monday, Feb 8 – Pajama Day – roll out of bed and come in your PJ’s
- Tuesday, Feb 9 – Support your Favorite College – or your parents
- Wednesday, Feb 10 – Blue and Gold Day – wear our school colors, show your school pride! (Hair and face painting OK this day.)
With the exception of Friday, Feb. 5th, these are optional spirit days and students not participating will need to come in school uniforms as usual.
Get Your Spirit Gear!
LEST (Lutheran Elementary Schools Tournament) is just around the corner! This week and next week we’ll have spirit days to send off our 5 -8 graders to Portland. Everyone is encouraged to get their Hope gear! We have Hope umbrellas for our rainy NW days ($12), Hope Car Flags ($5), Slap bands ($1), Bag tags ($2), and extra t-shirts (limited sizes) plus tattoos and car stickers! Purchase in the school office.
Lutheran Elementary School Tournament (LEST) Fine Arts Review – Monday, Feb. 8!
February brings our annual LEST down at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. Hope 5th through 8th grade students will compete in a variety of events including basketball, drama, spelling bee, math, and music. On Monday, February 8, you are invited to join us for our “LEST Review” beginning at 5:30 PM in our Commons. This event provides an opportunity for our fine arts LEST competitors to perform in front of a live audience before LEST, and gives a chance for family and friends who are not traveling down to Portland and our church members to preview our events. The audience will hear our Glee Club directed by Sara Kunkel, pianists and vocalists directed by Thad Franklin, and our Drama team will perform “”After Hours” by Kevin Stone: All is quiet on the storefront as the owner of a small clothes shop locks up for the night. Little does she know that when the lights go out, activity in her store really picks up! directed by Sandra Scragg and Mary Norton. This is a “fun for the whole family” event so feel free to bring a friend. Hope to see you there!
67 Days until the Great Gatsby Gala!
Thank you to the many businesses and Hope families that have volunteered their time and donated to the auction! We are so grateful and excited about this upcoming gala. Invites will be coming out late February, so be thinking about who you would like to invite and sit with at this ritzy evening. If you need PIP hours, Sarah and Sally still need help in the following areas: Table Captains, desserts, set up, clean up, cashiering, procurement, and childcare. Click here to sign up with signupgenius.
Other PIP Opportunities – Click Here
Auction Help – ongoing
PTH Mid-Winter Dance – http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0545ada823aafa7-midwinter
Check out PTH’s page and search by the general PTH email address (email@example.com) for other opportunities.
Afterschool Activities – Click Here
Auction News & Opportunities – Click Here
Parent Involvement Program Opportunities – Click Here
Save the date! Hope Church Vacation Bible School (VBS) is July 18-22.
Online registration will open in April
Hope 101 – New Membership Class – April 6
This 8 week class will start April 6 and run through June 1st. Contact Patra Mueller, Hope Church Family Life Minister, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 206-937-9330 for information and to sign up.