I was invited to be a “celebrity” reader in Barb Ozminkowski’s Kindergarten classroom at Mary Helen Guest Elementary School. What a fun morning! I read the Book Click Clack Moo, a fun story about cows using a typewriter to leave notes for a farmer. Of course, we had a discussion about typewriters and the class decided that the cows should use a laptop instead.
After the story, we all headed to the computer lab. These kindergarteners are bloggers! Mrs. O reviewed the process for getting to their page on the class blog. I watched as she went through several steps: Go to school website, click on Classroms, then Ozminkowski, then Blogminkowski, scroll down to click on the final link to get to the blog. BUT THERE’S MORE. They need to scroll the page to the right, click on 2008-2009, click on their name from the list, then find the login button in the upper left, enter their username and password, and click on the Enter button. They click “Articles” and then are finally ready to write a blog entry. Gulp. I didn’t think these five year olds could possibly remember all of those steps. But guess what? They did; most with very little assistance. I’ll be suggesting that a direct link to the class blog be added to Mrs. Ozminkowski’s website to make the process quicker, but I think the students do learn about web navigation as they find their way to their blog page.
The students were excited to begin writing. They could write about anything. They wrote about their pets, their family, a recent “pajama day” at school, and favorite video games. They one-figured the keys, but using the keyboard was natural for them. The students sounded out words by speaking slowly and identifying the sounds, then the letters that they thought worked best. The students were completely engaged in the process and were proud of their efforts. Some are now blogging from home!
None of this could happen without a teacher who understands the importance of children using technology. Barb is a teacher who is not afraid to try new things, is one who spends time as a learner herself, and never lets obstacles get in the way.
I sometimes hear teachers say that their students can’t do special projects because their students do not have the technology skills. I say hogwash.
If you’d like to see Mrs. O’s class blog, click here. The platform is Classblogmeister, a free tool that works great for elementary classrooms. Her students would love a few comments if you have the time. Scroll down to the section “Student Entries.”