By Kerry Woods
Most people think teachers spend their summers living the life of luxury; sleeping in, sitting by the pool, eating bon bons while binge watching Netflix. While that is partly true, the whole truth is that our brains are always thinking about school. It seems that summer is the perfect time to plan and process ideas without all the clutter and distraction of the typical school year multi-tasking. I’m hoping this article will spark some ideas and ways you can start the school year off with a bang implementing the use of PicCollage as a product tool option.
Where do I begin you ask??
We all know you can’t teach something you don’t know, so play with PicCollage while you eat those bon bons and lounge by the pool! Create family collages of a trip, cute pics of your pets, whatever it is, enjoy and have fun with it as you learn the ins and outs. That’s truly where I began with it.
It’s all about the MODEL!
The name of the game for scaffolding and teaching the use of any technology tool to your students is always MODEL … MODEL … MODEL !!!
Model ??? How you ask ???
I find the best way to model the use of PicCollage is to airplay from my iPad and project it for my kids to see and watch as I create PicCollages for classroom use. Go step by step, while you do a think aloud from beginning to end. As you do this more and more with different projects, you can start pausing and asking them what do I do next. I guarantee you’ll be amazed at how much they have picked up from watching your PicCollage models.
Beginning of the year PicCollage Modeling Ideas
Classroom Routines – pictures of what your expectations are for lining up, sitting at the carpet, walking down the hallway.
Class pictures and name collages – take a picture of each student and put their name under their picture so their friends in the classroom can refer to them to learn their names or to as a tool to write about them in their journal.
Important people in our school collage – taking pictures of important people in your school like the principal, nurse, secretary, specials teachers, and creating a collage with their names to leave up for kids to refer to. This is also great for new kids to school and for Kindergarten classes.
Science safety collages – using the science safety rules set for your campus.
Cafeteria expectation collages – pictures showing your cafeteria expectations for kids to have a visual to refer to all year.
Drills – make collages of what it should look like or what your class should do in a fire drill, tornado drill, lockdown drill, etc.
Then what ??
As with any good scaffolding experience, you then start the release and give your kids a chance to create something on their own, in a group, or with a partner.
Kerry Woods is a Multiage K/1 educator from Texas who fervently believes that little learners can do big things. Her classroom reflects that philosophy daily with integration and innovation in technology across the subject areas. Kerry and her teammate Dina Estes have been presenters at the TCEA Convention and Tots and Technology Convention sharing their love of K-2 technology integration while highlighting how little learners can be technology producers not just consumers. Kerry is a PicCollage Ambassador. You can follow her on Twitter @woodsmultiage.