Today's post is by Sharon (@kkidsinvt), a kindergarten teacher in Vermont.
Last week I was at our iPad cart picking up iPads for my exploration time. One of my colleagues was there too. She asked me what I was doing on the iPads with my Kindergarten students. I shared how we were using Doodle Buddy to create different patterns. I was explaining how this was a great app because it gives the children a great opportunity to show how they are thinking, and of course when I ask them to explain how they know they created a pattern, they naturally begin to justify their thinking. I then offered a couple of my students to come into her kindergarten class and mentor her students. Hurray! This was easy to organize and the idea came from a simple question, "What are you doing these days with the iPads?"
So through a brief conversation by the iPad cart kindergarten students are able to be mentors to other students about their understanding of not just patterns, but how an iPad can be used to develop and reflect their understanding as well. Now my students will have a weekly opportunity to share what they are learning about with other students. Through this sharing my students are able to reflect and make a difference for others. The students we are mentoring will have the same opportunities that we are having, get excited, deepen their understanding of patterns, make new relationships and experience how an iPad can enhance their understanding of what they are learning.
Some comments I heard while watching were; "Let me show you", "nice job", "Is it a pattern?", "How do you know?", "You did it!", "That is great!" As a teacher this is so powerful because it gives me an opportunity to connect and collaborate with another colleague and of course I am modeling this for my students as well.
Look for opportunities to collaborate and make meaningful connections. The most amazing things can happen and the results benefit everyone!
Tomorrow: @mattbgomez writes about how everything really is his fault...