As a first grade teacher I enjoyed seeing my students discover themselves as readers. I have to mention this first because it was the reason I became a teacher, the reason I love first grade, and the reason I will always be a first grade teacher at my core. It's truly incredible to witness students enter first grade experimenting with letters, words, and sentences, followed by determination, struggle, and perseverance, and then celebrating the success of becoming a reader. What a gift! As a first grade teacher I've had the pleasure of watching my students analyze different texts, evaluate math problems, solve problems with flexibility and a variety of strategies, and become "makers." My students loved making and designing their own science experiments. They loved story boarding and writing their original pieces of writing. They loved creating iMovie projects and sharing their expressive voices on GarageBand enhanced podcasts.
K-2 can too.
Now as an instructional coach I am always advocating for our youngest learners. This includes Math Talks (or Number Talks), Open-Ended Problem Stems, deep academic discourse during interactive read alouds, and integrating Educational Technology in their work through apps like iMovie, Google Apps, SeeSaw, Swivl, and more. I love sharing design challenges and going through the design thinking process with students in grades K-2.
Recently, I learned of a few Breakout EDU games for students in kindergarten, first and second grades and was excited to try them. Ann Kozma, a TOSA for #fsdlearns, shared a Thanksgiving-themed Breakout EDU game back in November that I can't wait to try with the classes, teachers, and students I support. [It's incredible how your professional learning network, PLN, shares! The #TOSAchat community is indeed an amazing tribe!] Susan Stewart, an Ed Tech consultant, from Fresno, CA, shared a Dr. Seuss-themed Breakout EDU game that I was able to facilitate with three classes (a kindergarten and two first grade classes) at Escondido Elementary School this past week. It was definitely such a great experience for everyone involved. The teachers were all initially nervous about how it would be considering their students hadn't experienced a whole-class collaborative game like Breakout EDU games before. I could tell that a couple of teachers nervously watched their students work out the clues and puzzles. At the end of each game, the student cheered excitedly as they opened the box, the teacher felt an incredible sense of pride at how the students worked out the problems, and everyone wanted to have another Breakout EDU game. At the end of each game I closed the activity by asking the Kindergarten and first grade students what they learned about Dr. Seuss and what they learned about themselves. The answers to the second question was definitely examples of how #K2CanToo.
"I learned that I'm good at solving puzzles."
"I learners that we can break into the box when we all work together."
"I learned that we can keep trying if we don't get it open the first time."
"I learned that it's better to work as a team than by yourself."