Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Madness: Spotlight on A. Vaughn

Anita integrates technology with her daily message.

   What causes a "veteran" teacher to embrace the use of technology in the classroom? Of course, today's digital students thrive on instruction supported by technology, but how does a teacher make this shift? This was my question as I visited Anita Vaughn's classroom first grade classroom at Holly Hill Elementary.

   According to Anita, a 25 year veteran, it started with curiosity. She heard about SMART Boards while completing her master's program, but didn't know much about them. Then opportunity knocked. When Nancy Parks, Holly Hill principal, asked Anita to become a member of the district's SMART Board pilot team it was game on!

   Anita began integrating the SMART Board in her math class. She discovered many interactive activites and images that were helpful in viualizing math concepts. She began using dice for addition practice, base ten blocks, clocks, calculators, graphing, measurement, sorting, etc. Even students walking down the hall would wander in to check out the interactive math lesson!

   Once Anita saw how the use of technology increased student motivation and learning, she began to explore other ways to integrate technology and instruction. She now uses technology to project virtual dice with short vowel letter chunks for skills group, projects decodable books from websites, shows author interviews and has students interact with the SMART Board during daily message.

   "At first I was frustrated with some of the technical aspects of the SMART Board, but once I got it up and running, I used it regularly. Now everytime I explore I find something new I can use in the classroom. I find new uses everyday," stated Anita. 

SMART Board... SMART Teacher!


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