In the morning after all of her 1/3 sized people arrived in her class and took off their coats, Ms. Grube announced that Mr. Weinberg was coming to their class. She announced that he would be bringing something.
Mr. Weinberg brought a whole tub of digital cameras. In a semi-circle the students gathered around Mr. Weinberg as he explained how the digital camera worked. Students listened intently and worked hard to control their excitement.
Ms. Grube and I went over how to use the camera, how to take good pictures and a couple rules. The rules were designed to keep the cameras and the children safe. After the brief explanation, Ms. Grube paired up the students and Mr. Weinberg handed out cameras to the pairs. Then Ms. Grube gave students little prompts for them to follow. “Take a picture of something red,” she would state. Or “Take a picture of something that represents spring,” she explained. Students followed directions.This was the first day, what we called an introduction day, of a project that requires students to work together and use digital cameras. On Wednesday March 7th, 2012, students were given a clipboard, check list and a digital camera. In pairs students participated in a “letter sound scavenger hunt.” A few students got “hung up” on taking pictures of the letters instead of taking pictures of objects that start with the letter sound. After a couple corrections students understood the difference. Students alternated taking pictures of objects that represented each letter and its corresponding sound in the alphabet. The student not taking the picture had the responsibility of checking off the letter on a piece of paper on a clipboard.
In 2003, 87% of all jobs involved using a computer in some way. The percentages of jobs using computers most-likely has not decreased. Exposure to technology at an early age is a great way to get students ready for their lives after school here at Cattaraugus Little Valley.
Using a digital camera is a simple way to help emerging readers learn phonics in a different way while exposing them to technology. Students were also required to be responsible with the cameras and to get along with their peers. These skills are important for all of us but is especially important learning for kindergartners.