At Saratoga Elementary in Morris, Illinois, we believe that incorporating tech tools into our daily lessons is a great way to connect our small school with the world around us. This is especially true when it comes to my kindergarteners.
Kindergarten is where the fun is! I love teaching it, because every day brings a new and exciting experience. I’m lucky enough to teach in the same school as my wife, and we get the amazing opportunity to watch our two kids grow in education as they attend our school as well! Besides teaching my students, I also teach teachers through my YouTube channel, Teachers Learn Too.
I started this video channel as a way to provide fun, free professional development for teachers year-round, so I’ve grown familiar with sharing the methods and technology that I find most useful. The tech tools we provide our students offer an enhanced, differentiated learning style, with devices and software that many of our students don’t have at home. Here are four of my “must-have” tech tools that I use on a daily basis in my classroom.
A Kindergarten Teacher’s Tech Essentials
1. Letters alive Plus from Alive Studios is augmented reality at its best! With this amazing software, I can offer my kids a supplemental reading tool that breaks away from the ordinary, everyday scripted curriculum.
Using the included document camera and a variety of cards that come in the kit, my students can see animals come to life on our classroom TV or computer. Letters alive Plus assists me in teaching letter identification, letter sounds, sight-word recognition, phonetic word building, sentence structure, and more. You will love the smiles, laughter, and engagement this software brings to your students!
2. Osmo uses an iPad and its own apps to bring learning beyond the screen. Children learn through play on a daily basis in my classroom, and Osmo is an awesome tech tool that assists me in allowing that type of learning to happen. Osmo uses a unique base to hold an iPad upright and a special reflector on top of the device to mirror the camera to the desk or table it’s sitting on. With their multitude of apps, my students can build words, solve simple math problems, complete tangram puzzles, watch their drawings come to life, and more. The best part is that it’s all hands-on. Using the reflector, students do everything off the screen, while watching their work come to life on the screen!