Kindergarten students start school by interacting with a unique multimedia presentation of five to ten slides, displayed on a whiteboard. Each daily presentation covers state-mandated curricular topics including reading, math, and science, in an interactive and entertaining way. Students watch as animated words and patterns appear, and interact through reading, questioning, and supplying information by writing on the whiteboard with dry erase markers. Designed daily, these presentations introduce and reinforce skills and concepts for every learner. As the school year progresses, the presentations increase in difficulty and students play a larger role in multimedia design and implementation.
View how a variety of student-centered assessments are used in the Multimedia Morning Mania Unit Plan. These assessments help students and teachers set goals; monitor student progress; provide feedback; assess thinking, processes, performances, and products; and reflect on learning throughout the learning cycle.
Prior to Instruction
Create a slideshow template with one slide for each element you want to address in your daily presentation. As the school year progresses, the slides can remain the same in format, even as the complexity of vocabulary and concepts increases. (See each slide in context, or view complete September slideshow and June slideshow.)
Design your show to introduce or reinforce concepts or skills you teach during other parts of the day. For example, if a lesson on New York state geography is planned for the afternoon, include a map of the United States in the morning slideshow. You might remark, "Remember when I told you I was going to visit my family in Oklahoma? This state is Oklahoma, and this one—New York—is where we live. See if you can remember our state's shape later this afternoon." Consider the group as well as individual needs as you develop your show. Periodically throughout the unit, take anecdotal notes about students as they work and use these notes to monitor progress, provide feedback, and adjust instruction. If students need more practice to learn a skill or concept introduced one day, repeat the appropriate slide in subsequent morning slide shows. If an individual is struggling with a concept or skill, you might tailor a slide specifically for that student. For example, if a child is struggling with patterns, include an extra slide that shows a simpler pattern, and invite the student and a friend to work it out together. Consider these slide topics as you get started. Compare the September and June slides to see how concept and skill development advances through the year.
Morning Greeting - Slide One
September: Compose a morning greeting slide to welcome students as they enter the class. Focus on sight words (we, and, the, red) from your adopted curriculum. Leave blanks for students' names and have students write them in the spaces on the whiteboard. This reinforces name writing and motor skills. After the spaces in the greeting are filled, use the cursor to guide the students in choral reading. View the September greeting slide.
June: By June, more students are reading, and you can highlight parts of speech in different colors. Ask students to identify words that are nouns, verbs, and modifiers (adjectives and adverbs). Include a sentence or two with blanks for sight words for children to supply. During chorale reading, have different students use the computer mouse and cursor to guide reading. View the June greeting slide. As each student "teacher" guides the cursor, watch to see how he or she is developing left to right directionality, and one-to-one correspondence.
Math - Slide Two
September: Emphasize pattern skills. Start with color patterns, add shape patterns, and then combine the two. Once students can identify and create two- to five-part patterns, delete elements of a pattern and ask students to identify which element is missing. See September math slide.
June: As the year progresses, change the focus of the math slide regularly, until by June you have included number sense, counting, writing numerals, coin value, time on the hour, horizontal and vertical addition without regrouping, horizontal and vertical subtraction without regrouping, and word problems. In the example slide for June, students circle the subtraction sentence depicted by the ducks in the picture. When the correct sentence is identified, have the group read the sentence in chorus, "Five minus four equals one." Example June math slide.
Letters and Sign Language - Slide Three
September: Each week, introduce a new letter and teach students its finger spelling. As shown on the September letter slide, include a picture of the letter and its corresponding American Sign Language finger spelling. Introduce the initial sound each particular letter makes. ("This is how you make a letter B in sign language. B makes the sound buh. Let's make the letter B and say the sound together.")
June: As you complete the alphabet in ASL, add a letter slide with digraphs and blends (sh, th, ch, bl, cl). Teach each digraph and blend as a letter sequence ("s" then "h" for sh). See the June letter slide.
Phonics, Spelling, and Vocabulary - Slides Four through Six
September: Present a series of three or more letter slides that illustrate examples of objects that begin with the letter of the week. (See the September letter slide.) Ask students to identify each image, and then click on the mouse to reveal the beginning letter in red and the rest of the word in yellow. Train the cursor under each letter as you model each sound in the word and then say the word as a whole. You might want to embed sound and video clips in these slides. In an alternate approach, offer the class a sound clue before proceeding to these slides. Encourage students to listen, repeat the letter sound, and then predict what images might appear on the slides. This draws on their own vocabulary and creative thinking. Ideally, the slide you show is a composite picture with many targeted vocabulary words. For example, for B week, show a photo of a baseball scene that includes not only a baseball, but a base, a ball, and a bat.
June: Continue the same procedures for this slide set throughout the year (see June letter slide), but change one to a descriptive writing slide. Show an image on a slide and prompt students to describe it by color, emotion, or other terms. For example, the turtle in the June slide might be described as being happy, smiling, purple, brown, funny, or silly. Ask students to write the words they supplied on the whiteboard on the lines provided.
Science Slides - Slides Seven and Eight
September and June: On this slide, make the small moon image a link to a Moon Phase Site*. Have students record the moon phase on a chart or on the classroom calendar. Ask students to predict how many days will pass before the moon reaches different primary phases (new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter). See moon science slide. On the weather slide, link the word "Weather" to your local weather report on the Weather Underground Web site*. Ask students to identify symbols representing the current weather and the forecast for the week. Establish vocabulary such as degrees, precipitation, miles per hour, prediction, forecast, north, south, east, and west. See weather science slide.
Social Skills - Slide Nine
September and June: Ask parents to send in baby pictures of your students at the start of the year. Scan these, and insert one into each presentation. See social skills slide. Encourage a game show atmosphere as you introduce this slide, saying, "It's time to play…" and the children chorus: "…who's that BABY?" After students take a few moments to look at the photo and think about their peers, take three guesses from the class. After you reveal the child's identity, lead the class in a round of applause. While this might seem like a nonsensical activity, it focuses positive attention on each child. To make it even more fun, include scanned baby pictures of yourself and other adults in the school community.
English Language Learner
Susan Ronan is a special education kindergarten teacher in Alden, New York, USA. Ronan’s classroom was featured in An Innovation Odyssey, a collection of stories of technology in the classroom, Story 131: "T" is for Technology.
Background: Odyssey Story from New York, United States
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This unit is aligned to Common Core State Standards for Language Arts and Math.