I recently worked with members of the Adel Elementary technology cadre on the use of some of the advanced features of MimioTeach, and I was excited to see some of the things that we talked about during that session brought to life in Sarah Herrick’s 1st Grade classroom. The day’s session was focused on odd and even number identification.
Technology equipment present in Ms. Herrick’s room included a MimioTeach interactive whiteboard device, a MimioView document camera, a mounted short-throw projector and speakers, a set of iPads (3), and a MacBook Air laptop.
The lesson began with a warmup activity that didn’t utilize technology. I always like to see the mix of high and low technology in a lesson; there is no problem with using technology, of course, but I think that sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing one lesson as a “technology lesson”, to the exclusion of other types of delivery. As I’ve emphasized in other blog posts, I think that technology should be a more-or-less invisible tool, used one moment and perhaps not the next, depending upon the best way to engage students in the classroom.
Prior to beginning the lesson, Ms. Herrick had connected her laptop video/audio to the projector, and queued up the MimioStudio lesson that she would be using, so the transition from the introduction to the MimioStudio lesson would be seamless. The activity that Ms. Herrick created in MimioStudio was a table with a large area for odd numbers and a large area for even numbers. In an area at the bottom of the table was a set (enough for each student in the class, and then some) of numbers, where some were odd and some were even. To complete the activity, students came up one at a time to select a number from the set at the bottom of the screen and drag it – using the MimioTeach pen – into the proper area in the table. Upon doing so, students in the class would indicate that they either agreed or disagreed with the choice, and a student in the class would explain how the student at the front had concluded that the number was either odd or even.
I was happy to see that these first graders had no problems using the MimioTeach pen, as there were really no issues with dragging numbers on the board, and the whiteboards at the elementary are low enough for students to reach the projected image. Further, the integration of an explanation component where a member of the class would explain how to reason whether the specific number chosen was odd or even kept the entire class engaged, rather than all of the focus being on the student at the front of the room.
Thanks to Ms. Herrick and her students for welcoming me into their classroom!