Saturday, October 25, 2014
Texting in the Classroom
Anyway, we have been struggling with ways to take anecdotal notes in Writing, Reading and Math and even Behavior with two teachers and a Special Education teacher all servicing the same students. We've used lots of systems over the years - notebook (it's too inconvenient to keep one notebook for several teachers), sticky notes (they fall off over time and they still go into one notebook so you can't see the last note that was written), individual notebooks for each student at their desks (they get so ratty by the end of the year and there's really not enough room at their tables), stickers (they aren't big enough for everything I want to write), and on and on and on. Nothing has really been very efficient... until... we found an app!
Although we can't get a signal on our iphones in much of our building, we are able to get a signal in our classroom because our room is on an outside wall, so one piece of technology that I can use is my iphone (although technically, I am not suppose to use personal devices). For two years we have been using an app called Confer (we have had some recent syncing problems, but it was flawless for the first year, and I'm sure it will be again). It was developed by a Nationally Board Certified Teacher - imagine that?! A teacher with a solution! This app allows each of us to take notes during the day and then to sync at the end of the day and get each other's notes. So, if I'm working with a child tomorrow, I will know that my co-teacher worked on conventions today during a writing conference or that the ESE teacher worked through a total melt down with a child yesterday in her room so I need to reinforce a specific behavior today. We have very little time in our packed schedule to actually talk to each other about all the little conversations we have with children or all our noticings or wondering about specific children but this is a way we can keep in touch and keep a record of the progress students are making.
I never really thought to explain to the kids what I was doing while I was taking notes, so today one of the children asked me who I texted all day on my phone! I wonder how many adults or other teachers have wondered through my class and asked the same question?! I quickly pulled up my notes on this particular child so he could see what I was doing, but for anyone that has peeked into the classroom and seen us "texting," we really are taking notes!
Stop by. I'd love to share what we are doing! LOL!