Today is Kindergarten Day, honoring the birthday of Friedrich Froebe, who impacted education in innumerable ways after founding the first kindergarten in 1837. While Edmodo is the number one social learning platform for K-12 education, we recently met some kindergarten teachers who wondered whether it’s too advanced for their students. The answer, of course, is a resounding “No!”, so we’ve pulled together some creative ways to use Edmodo with young learners.
1. Go Global
Although they can’t type or spell many words yet, kindergartners are more than excited to use their voices to share ideas and thoughts. Edmodo can help them express themselves and give you an opportunity to reinforce social skills while teaching them first-hand what it’s like to be a kindergartner in another culture:
- Connect with a Kindergarten teacher in another school, state, or country and create a Group as co-teachers.
- Record and post a short introduction video of one student from each class once a week, until the students “get to know” all the students in the entire class.
- Share the weekly video with your class to inspire discussion and create a post together with one or two follow up questions.
- After both classes have met, turn one of your lessons into a multi-classroom lesson using videos, comments, discussions, and other collaboration features.
2. Discover App-propriate Content
You’ve heard of—and may even have—the toddler who, still unable to talk, can take a device and successfully begin learning and using an app. On Edmodo, you don’t have to worry about accidental and extraordinary app purchases; only teachers can browse the hundreds of educational apps available in the Edmodo Store, many of which are designed with your grade-level in mind:
- Handsprings uses theme-based content designed for young learners, each containing five animated/interactive components: Recipe, Crafts, Poem, Story and Interactive Whiteboard Downloads. Developed for both general and special educations students, Handsprings addresses the Common Core State Standards for traditional math.
- Heapstack helps you introduce or improve mousing and track pad skills. The app challenges students to stack all the adjacent tiles into a single square, which is more difficult than it may look! A great way to gamify lessons on basic shapes and sorting objects.
3. Connect Classrooms and Living Rooms
Encourage your students’ parents to join Edmodo to keep them informed and demonstrate its value in communicating classroom activities, events, assignments, and more. The parents of Ms. Hagler’s classroom love it!
“During our November parent-teacher conferences, every single parent commented on Edmodo,” Hagler wrote on her blog. “They commented on how appreciative they were to know what was going on in school. Most also shared [that] by knowing what was going on, they were able to facilitate more conversations with their child.”
A Friendly Reminder: Safety First
Before letting your students browse and learn, be sure to discuss the importance of online safety. Common Sense Media emphasizes five important things to tell your students about staying safe online:
- Never share names, schools, ages, phone numbers, or addresses
- Never send pictures to strangers
- Keep passwords private (except with parents)
- Never open email from strangers; it may contain viruses that can harm a computer
- Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens
With these ideas to get you started, think of Edmodo as a teacher’s aide; here to help you provide more focused attention in areas where students excel or need improvement. Kindergartners are naturally inquisitive, so let their curiosity guide lesson plans and use Edmodo to give them an advantage as they move through grade levels and start using it more often for assignments and collaboration.
How do you use Edmodo in your kindergarten class? Please share in the comments section below, or in the Edmodo Communities.