Friday afternoon I had the craziest, funniest hour ever with a bunch of first graders. They came bounding into the computer lab with such energy I was taken aback for a moment. I need to let you in on a few things about what I believe led to this buzz of excitement. It was the day of our school's Springtacular (spring carnival) and at lunch there was a tootsie roll raffle where they kids buy tootsie rolls by the handful to try and win a prize. So these kids were hyped up on sugar and overflowing with bottled up anxiousness for the evening event. And...it was their first time coming to the computer lab.
We started off by learning how to log onto the computer using their student account information. Boring stuff, but necessary. Then we got to the good part. Exploring! The students and I discussed what it meant to explore. "Try it out" and "Find new things" were some of their answers. So I set them loose to explore the application we were working with, Pixie.
You should have heard their shrieks and squeals when they discovered what different buttons could do! You would hear someone scream "Oh Wow Cool!" and then about 5 kids would jump out of their seats and race over to the kid that shouted it out to see what they had discovered. Then those 5 kids would speed back to their computer and try to recreate what they had seen. This level of screeching, cheering and running around went on for about 20 minutes. Then I gave the students an opportunity to share with everyone what they have uncovered during their exploration time.
This is what I love about my job. Students excitement about using technology! Yes, it got loud. VERY LOUD! But, I didn't mind because I knew it was because they were engaged in what we were doing!