Tips For Using Digital Resources In The Primary Classroom
Digital resources are such a valuable tool for the primary classroom. There are so many wonderful ways you can use digital resources to enhance your lessons and help your students get more out of your teaching. With all the options out there, do you ever wonder about the best way to use digital resources? If so, you’re in luck! Today I’ll be covering all my best tips on using digital resources in the primary classroom!
BENEFITS OF DIGITAL RESOURCES
First off, why should we use digital resources in the primary classroom? You might be wondering if there is any benefit to using digital activities with your students. I’m happy to say there are many! If you’re on the fence about whether or not to include digital resources in your teaching, here are a few reasons that will help make that decision a little easier.
- Low-Prep: Most digital resources require little to no prep! This can be such a huge time-saver for you. Using a blend of printable activities as well as no-prep, digital resources is a great way to get a handle on your planning and prep time each week.
- High Student Engagement: Kids love using technology! Incorporating some digital resources into your daily lessons is a great way to break up your day and keep students engaged in learning.
- Differentiated Learning: Digital resources allow you to customize the learning experience for each child. You can assign different activities to children based on their level in each subject area.
- Simple Review & Homework Options: Digital resources are a super simple and effective way to review previously taught material. Assigning these activities for centers, homework, and independent learning stations is a great way to see how much your students remember from what they have learned. Digital resources also come in handy if you have a student that’s out sick for a while- simply assign their work and you’re good to go!
Overall, using digital resources will enrich your lessons, heighten student interest, and help you create a more well-rounded curriculum. Pretty great, right?! So, now that you know all the benefits of using digital resources, let’s dive into how to use them!
USING DIGITAL RESOURCES IN MULTIPLE WAYS
There are so many great ways to use digital learning activities in your classroom. I have found that using a variety of different digital activities is a great way to keep your lessons feeling fresh and your students excited about learning!
DIGITAL ACTIVITIES TO START THE DAY
One great option is to start your day with digital morning work. If you’re in a classroom environment that has tablets or computers available for all the students, this could be the perfect way to start your mornings and save on paper.
Alternatively, you could also use the paper version for students to complete and then go over the digital version as a class, so students can correct their work. This will allow you to incorporate both paper and digital resources into your morning routine.
MAKE THE MORNING MEETING DIGITAL
Do you use a calendar in your morning meeting? Why not try digital calendar math? Simply project the slides on your screen and you’ll have a no-fuss way to spiral through a variety of key skills each day. Calendar math goes far beyond a basic calendar and will help students broaden number sense skills, days of the week, weather, money, and more! Using digital calendar math is a great way to build dedicated review time into your morning routine.
DIGITAL CENTER ACTIVITIES
Center time is a great way to utilize digital activities. I love to focus on digital games and activities that will serve as a review for a previously taught subject. As with anything assigned during centers, the more familiar your students are with the concept, the more opportunity there is for them to be independent!
Some great digital options for center time include games like this one for learning to tell time. This activity has audio directions, making it perfect for students to work on independently. Children will click on the speaker to hear the instructions and then carry out the activity. The addition of audio is perfect for firsties since they are still fine-tuning their reading skills.
Task cards are another great, digital option for center time. These math task cards are similar to “Scoot” and include a digital recording sheet. For this activity, students will practice skip counting by identifying the missing numbers on each card and then filling out their recording sheet. Quick and simple digital activities like these provide lots of extra practice without boring your kiddos!
DIGITAL RESOURCES FOR SMALL GROUP LESSONS
Small group settings are my favorite time to use digital resources. Since students are working closely with the teacher, this is a great time to try activities that you’d like to assess your students on. I recommend trying some digital phonics activities during small groups like the ones in this Blends & Digraphs Word Work Bundle.
Start these activities by working on the introductory focus sound slides. These digital slides highlight a specific sound and offer examples. There is audio included to help foster independence. Next, use the targeted practice pages so that students can work on reading and finding words with each specific sound. These can be done as a group or individually and are a great way to strengthen phonemic awareness in your young readers.
Afterward, move on to mixed practice activities to put their new knowledge into action! These digital word work activities are perfect for small groups and classrooms with varied skill levels. For a customized experience, each child can be assigned an activity that best fits their skill level and teachers can offer support as students work with new sounds and blends.
DIGITAL ACTIVITIES FOR WHOLE GROUP SETTINGS
Finally, don’t forget to use digital resources when addressing your whole classroom! When I was in the classroom, I loved to use digital presentations to introduce social studies topics like famous historical figures. The use of a digital slideshow is a great way to teach students new information and provide a visual.
Many of the digital presentations I used also included follow-up activities. For our historical figures lessons, I liked to include a digital timeline and graphic organizers that we completed as a class after the instructional slideshow. I always found that making this an active, group activity where all the students are invited to participate was a great way to promote retention of what we had discussed.
After completing the review activities together, I would often assign digital sorting activities, writing prompts, and other fun, digital worksheets to students during center time. Activities like these are great for students to work on in pairs and will help bring your social studies lessons full circle!
MANAGING DIGITAL LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM
Once you introduce digital activities into the classroom, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place for managing your resources. In first grade, it can take a bit of getting used to, but once students get the hang of the expectations, I find that thecanto work independently on digital activities. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Make sure the rules are clear. This is a big one, but if you teach in the primary grades- I’m sure it comes as no surprise. Students are very familiar with technology in this day and age, but that doesn’t mean they always know how technology should be treated. Be sure to go over your own classroom rules before sending students off to independent centers.
- Keep usage time short. The best way I’ve found to make sure students stay engaged in digital learning activities is by making sure we don’t overuse them. For this reason, I advise setting timers for your digital learning activities. This helps make sure your students get a balance of digital, printable, and hands-on learning activities each day.
- Make sure students understand the activity. Digital resources work best when your kiddos know the material and understand what they are expected to do to complete it. In the beginning, this might mean a little more intervention on your part to ensure your students understand. For best results, stick with topics that are review for your kiddos!
GET STARTED WITH DIGITAL RESOURCES
Ready to try some digital learning in your classroom? I hope so! Sprinkling some digital resources throughout your day is the perfect way to offer new and engaging opportunities for learning to your students. If you’re looking to try out some digital learning in your room, I have a few goodies just for you!
Grab this set of FREE morning work pages and digital slides. Don’t forget you can assign the digital slides directly to students. Or, use them as a way to review after your students complete the printable pages on their own. Either way is a great way to include some digital learning in your morning routine.
Also, try out these FREE digital, math task cards during centers or small groups! Students will love these interactive “Scoot Cards” to practice representing numbers up to 120. This freebie is a great way to test out digital resources with your students. This will help you see how they work best in your room. Have fun with these digital resources, teacher-friend!
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