Charlotte’s Web wall (before reading began)
Yesterday, I was asked to do an iPad demo for a few teachers from another elementary school in our district. Completely flattered, I agreed whole heartedly and began planning what I could show them. I decided to share how dynamic word study can be using the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app, which is fabulous. So the children would choose a word from our gigantic Charlotte’s Web study wall and work to define it and fully understand it with the help of the app and its many features.
So this morning, room prepped, iPads charged, children seated, I looked to the door. In comes my principal with a big smile, which flashes to an “I didn’t realize”/”So sorry!” face as 18 teachers paraded in through my classroom door followed by our technology director and assistant. 21 in all – one after the next after the next. The eyes of my students looked like 42 tea cup saucers as they prepared to perform their iPad skills for this massive audience. I quickly did the math and realized that including myself and my aide, we had more than enough adults to do one-on-one work with each of my students at the same time. Please note, that a classroom’s floor space is often, as mine is, divided into smaller areas for students to work, and therefore there was no convenient place for 21 adults to stand; so awkwardly, they lined up along the longest wall of my classroom, shoulder to shoulder, corner to corner, staring at us as we sat, frightened on the rug.
I took a deep breath, smiled at my students, and began.