Monday, October 22, 2018

"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" Chromebooks in Kindergarten Classrooms

A told B and B told C that “Kindergarteners using Chromebooks is something you should see!”  NISD’s technology department opened the door to endless possibilities when they transformed the login process for our youngest learners.  Kindergarten and first grade students are now able to quickly log into Chromebooks by simply scanning a district issued QR code that connects to their credentials. Kindergarten teachers at Roanoke Elementary with the support of their Library Media Specialist, Kelley Valdez, were eager to take advantage of this opportunity and voluntarily piloted integrating Chromebooks during the 2018 Spring semester.  

When first implementing Chromebooks with Kindergarten students last year, Library Media Specialist, Kelley Valdez, was focused on two main goals. Her first goal was to show that Kindergarten students truly were able to handle utilizing the Chromebooks and the Google Suite apps as long as the task were developmentally appropriate.  Her second goal was to model for teachers how to use Google Classroom and a variety of other tools by integrating them with the curriculum. Kindergarten teachers worked closely with Mrs. Valdez and continued to implement Chromebooks to amplify the learning experiences currently happening in Kindergarten classrooms.

The Kindergarten teachers at Roanoke Elementary were amazed at the progress their students made in such a short amount of time during the spring.  Not only were their students engaging in innovative learning experiences they were also developing foundational keyboarding and mouse skills as they gained exposure to the device they will be using in the upper grades.  By the end of the school year Kindergarten learners were able to:

  1. Login to the Chromebook using the Rapid Identity QR code.
  2. Join a Google Classroom and learn to locate activities and turn them in.
  3. Click on the Google Chrome icon, "rainbow eyeball", and then tap on the red flag icon for the NISD portal. 
  4. Practice keyboarding and mouse skills - through games and Google Slides activities that supported learning goals.
  5. Log out of the Chromebook using a simple 6 step process:  Touch your icon, touch Sign Out, Touch your name, Touch the arrow pointing down, Touch the Blue words, Touch the Red Words.

Mrs. DiBenedetto says one of her favorite things about the Chromebook is the QR code option for signing in efficiently.  She believes this is a big help for her students to meet their learning goals. Mrs.  Valdez said Google Classroom was one of her favorite tools she used because she could easily assign activities and monitor work in progress and completed work.  She also created Master Slide templates in Google Slides to build exactly what she needed to support learning goals. The Chromebooks were labeled with colored stickers on the left side to help with locating keys (red, yellow, green, blue).  Round stickers in the top left and right corners with L and R These are just a few helpful tips adapted from Christine Pinto to help students navigate the Chromebook with success. Mrs. DiBenedetto helps her students stay organized by keeping their login QR code in a baggie in their book box. This makes it very easy for them to get their login cards quickly and get started using the Chromebook independently.

As the 2017-2018 school year came to an end Mrs. Valdez created a Google Apps for Littles book study course for the summer.  This book is an excellent resource for any PK-2 educators looking for ways to ease their way into the Chromebook and Google World.  Skip scat scoodle doot. Flip flop flee. Everybody is saying a Chromebook might be the key.

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