Today’s Contributor: Mariana Martin
My name is Mariana Martin, and this is my second year teaching third-grade dual language at Fanny M. Andrews Elementary School.
As a novice teacher, I’m always trying new things to master the craft of teaching: discovering different strategies, identifying the strategies that are effective and the ones that aren’t, incorporating different types of learning in my lessons. The moment I learned about what being a Campus Innovation Coach was, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn about incorporating technology into my classroom. After attending the training I learned about a website where you can create your own activities, embed it to a BLEND assignment, and share it with your students to complete.
This website is called H5P.org. As I mentioned earlier, you can use this to create activities to have students practice the topic you are teaching them. You can create a variety of activities like timelines, audio recordings, memory games, image sequencing, and other kid-friendly activities. You can also create activities that the students are used to, like multiple choice questions, surveys, quizzes, true and false questions, and flashcards. All you have to do is create a free account and the sky’s the limit. If you have the time to do it, it is a great tool to have in the classroom.
I find that teaching a tested grade can be very stressful. We have to make sure we complete our minutes and complete our objective of the day. I find that it’s hard to introduce new and different activities into my lessons due to some schedule issues and the only time I really have to incorporate technology is when we go to the computer lab. So I decided to create the H5P “Mark the Words” activity where my students could practice finding sight words. In this activity, I included the sight words we were learning that week and some easy passages that they could read and mark the sight word. The instructions were to click on the sight word from the list provided after the student reviewed and made sure that he found all of the words, he would click the submit button. Then it will show in the texts which word the student chose correctly and incorrectly and gives them a grade. That grade goes straight to your BLEND grade book.
I’m going to be honest, it was very hard for my students to understand what they needed to do. They did not get that they had to find the words in the text, so they started clicking the words from the list that I included in the activity. It was kind of frustrating after taking the time to create the activity and seeing that my students were not being successful at it. I asked for their feedback and the main consensus was that they would’ve liked to have the list of words printed instead of on the screen where they had to scroll up and down to find the words. I will definitely try that next time. I have learned that not everything will work out perfectly the first time you try it. I’m already thinking about different activities I want to create for different topics. For example, data and graphing is coming up soon in Math and I think it would be very cool to have them take surveys and create different types of graphs.
I recommend everyone to at least try H5P. It takes time to create, but once you’re done you’re excited to try it out. I think technology keeps becoming a larger part of education and of our students’ lives, so I’m excited to incorporate more and more as I grow as a teacher.