A few days ago, I read a piece about Lino It on SOL (I think it was by Diana?). I had not heard of that site before. Once I closed out of TWT, I had to pay a visit. Lino It is a virtual bulletin board upon which one can post stickies. As I was perusing the site, I wondered how I could incorporate something like that into my first graders world, knowing they would love to play with the stickies. I came up with a plan. I decided to have them use Lino It to take notes about the animal they choose for a pond unit of study. There are multi colored stickies so the students can color code their notes (looks like, lives, eats, enemies, etc.) They can also draw and import pictures to add to their bulletin board.
Yesterday, I showed them a video of me using the program. The video demonstrated how to find the site from our classroom wiki, how to log in with their username/password and how to get started using this application. We went to the computer lab after lunch to give Lino It a try. Some students watched my video a second time before beginning, others jumped right onto our wiki and found the application. You could have heard a pin drop in the lab. They were fully engaged in this new activity. Since it was their first time, I let them have a free write. On each of their boards I had posted my picture with a note asking them a question. I encouraged them to answer me and then to write anything they wanted on as many stickies as they could cover. They loved choosing the many colored stickies and ink colors. Lino It has a small collection of icons to add to the stickies and those were a hit as well.
The kids experimented with peeling off stickies, editing stickies, moving them around, pinning them, and tilting them. They wrote to each other. They laughed and read what they wrote to me.. About three quarters of the way through, I had them get up and walk around the lab to view what their neighbors had done. They ooh-ed and aah-ed and then quickly returned to their seats eager to continue. These six and seven year olds wrote for an hour
|One of my student's free writes|
Next week, I will teach them how to create a drawing (in Tux Paint or Paint), save it to the desktop and then upload it onto their Lino It bulletin board. By then, they will be experts at this virtual bulletin board. My frontloading will pay off when we do our pond animal reports.