One Giant Leap for Fifth Grade!

Technology Advancement at Gaines Elementary School

Hello Parents!

We are very excited to announce that this fall we will be making big changes in our fifth grade classrooms. We have decided to implement the use of technology into the daily curriculum for our students. We know that this is a big change for your children, but we believe that it will be very beneficial-so stay with us until the end of this letter! We will walk you through the steps, benefits, and future activities of educational technology. Your child's classroom will look a lot different than the classroom's you grew up in, but we believe that this change is crucial for today's education.

Educational Technology Overview

If some of you are a little lost and think we will be encouraging students to tweet, Facebook, Instagram, and play games in class, here is a little background on educational technology. Educational technology is the use of appropriate technology in the learning experience to improve performance and enhance the learning environment. This is a very well developed plan that has come from years of research and shows favorable outcomes. In your child's classroom, we plan to provide this technology using the 1:1 program meaning we would provide the appropriate technology devices for your child. If you would like to know more about educational technology or 1:1 classrooms, click on the links below. (We encourage you to explore these websites with your 5th grader before school starts)

Educational Technology:

1:1 Classrooms:

We also encourage you to watch this video about Educational Technology with your 5th grade student to prepare them for the opportunities that await them next year.
Technology in Education

The Benefits of Educational Technology

Here is a quick list of some benefits to educational technology and the reasons why we so strongly believe that this will help your student's learning.

  • Access to Information: the answers to your child's curiosity is right at their fingertips! We are hoping that technology will encourage students to think critically and outside of the box because they have the means to answer their questions right in front of them. This gives your student more power in their classroom because they are able to explore information on their own instead of just through the teacher.
  • Multiple ways of presenting information: Here at Gaines Elementary, we strongly believe in giving your child a voice in their learning environment. We follow the Universal Design for Learning principles to ensure that each student is given opportunities to learn in the way that best suits them. Part of this policy is to present the class material to students in a variety of ways. Technology offers various means of delivering information to a classroom.
  • Makes education more enjoyable: We all know that children have few problems paying attention to their technology devices, and the good news is that this is true in classrooms as well! Using technology makes the class material more interactive and interesting. By using technology appropriately in our classrooms, we are hoping to give our students a chance to learn authentically. We hope that the material they learn in class will be applied to real world situations outside of class.

What Does This Look Like For My Child?

We know that this is a big change from the typical classroom setting and adjusting might be a little uneasy. To help with this process, we wanted to share some ideas for classroom activities involving technology that we might be using in the fall. One idea we have thought about is using a "online quiz" accessible through mobile devices (provided by the school). There are different apps, such as PollEverywhere, where teachers can create multiple choice quizzes and students can select their answer anonymously. We hope that this might motivate them to pay attention, but it is also not an extrinsic motivator because the students will not be graded on their responses. Another idea for next year would be to teach the students how to create visual notes by using an app such as SmartBook Mobile. Visual note taking will keep the students focused on the material covered, but is also a great way for a student to show their creative side. We are hoping that with this new technology, students will be more encouraged to be "learners" and explore topics that excite them.

If you would like to provide feedback on our activities we would be very appreciative. If you or your 5th grader have any comments on the activities listed or suggestions about other activities we could do please email me. We would love to have student and parent input while we make this transition together.

Summer Homework- WHAT?!

We know students don't want to do homework over the summer, but here are a few activities they can do at home on a rainy summer day. Hopefully these activities will give both you and your child an idea of what is coming this fall. We are very excited and hope you are too!