Marcellus Central School District
K.C. Heffernan Elementary School
First Grade Teacher
Congratulations to Melissa Delaney, our May 2019 Featured Teacher! Melissa has 16 years of experience teaching elementary students in the Marcellus Central School District.
How has Melissa helped integrate technology at K.C. Heffernan Elementary School?
Melissa has been incorporating technology into her first grade classroom in many exciting ways. She supports her readers by using programs such as Reading A to Z, and Raz Kids, which allow students to listen to a variety of books while they read along. Melissa also uses education.com to explore different learning concepts and reinforce math skills.
Creating a school-to-home connection for students to share their work digitally is hugely important in Melissa’s class. Seesaw is being utilized as a way for students to show and share what they have accomplished in their classroom, and Melissa has utilized the program across all subject areas as a way for students to organize and share their best work. She also utilizes additional applications such as Doodle Buddy and Pic Collage, through which students can create and upload projects into Seesaw as part of their digital portfolio.
Melissa also sees coding as a necessary, lifelong skill, and has embraced it in her classroom by allowing her students to practice it frequently. She started out using code.org to help give her students a basic understanding of block coding. Melissa’s class then progressed to using Spheros (spherical robots that can be controlled via coding) and the Sphero EDU app. She uses the Spheros to help her students understand and identify shapes. For one activity, students will split into pairs, and each team needs to figure out the best way to program the Sphero to follow a predetermined shape made out of tape on the floor. Alongside Sphero and code.org, Melissa also uses the Scratch Jr. app in her classroom. Students are able to use the Scratch Jr. app to code math lessons and identify numbers. English language arts lessons often see students creating stories through coding.
How have students benefited from Melissa’s technology integration initiatives?
Melissa can clearly see how technology is changing education. She has a weekly session set up with an instructional technology integration specialist from the CNYRIC to come in and co-teach a variety of technology-infused lessons. Students are able to work at their own pace, and activities are easily differentiated so that every student can experience success. Seesaw gives students an avenue through which to express their knowledge, ideas, and strategies, alongside the ability to share them with others. Melissa’s students are invested in their learning, driven to do their best, and are very proud to be able to show their families the projects they have completed.
Coding allows students to become creators instead of consumers as they learn, and through the use of technology, they are completely engaged in their work. Students get really excited when they know they will get to use one of the iPad applications, participate in a coding activity, or have Spheros roll in for a visit. When using said Spheros, students are communicating, collaborating, problem-solving, testing, failing, and persevering. The next steps for Melissa’s class will be to continue and expand what students can create on Scratch Jr., as well as incorporating the Spheros into more project-based lessons.
Melissa's students have been creating stories, successfully coding, and have become experts on Seesaw. The applications that they use in the classroom are great for providing additional resources to supplement the skills being taught. Children are having fun and learning at the same time!
Is This You?
Are you the type of teacher who thinks about technology integration and new ways to enhance instruction, engage students, and make learning fun? Know someone who fits the profile? Recommend a "Featured Teacher" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of instructional technology!