BVEF Spotlight Series: Kindergarten teacher Debbie Brax
In November 2012, the Bay Village Education Foundation awarded grants to several innovative educators in the district. Full-day kindergarten teacher Debbie Brax was awarded $2,900 for six iPads for use within her classroom and the two other full-day kindergarten classrooms. The following is what Mrs. Brax shared regarding the new technology:
“These iPads have created some very exciting changes in my classroom. There are some very cool handwriting games for iPads, and my students are always eager to practice writing letters and numbers using apps like Letter School and Pocket Phonics, which help to reinforce not only proper letter formation, but also letter naming, sound association and initial sound fluency.
"With an app called Story Buddy, students are taking pictures and telling a story about their picture while practicing keyboarding skills. Word Wizard is an app that allows students to move letter tiles to form words, an extension of a skill that they practice in our Fundations Reading Program. An app called Sight Words presents a sight word, and when the student taps the word, the word is heard. Then, students can record themselves reading the word and listen to it play back. Finally, they are prompted to spell the word! Wow! This has been so instrumental in building their sight word fluency!
"One of our latest downloads is called Story Wheel, which allows my students to create and record their very own story with the visual prompts that are provided. I love listening to their imaginations run wild and know that this is helping to develop their expressive language skills! The iPads are a key element in our daily center rotations, and the iPad Center is always the center of choice.
"Aside from the academic benefits, I should mention that my students have gained socially and emotionally. They work collaboratively on activities and are practicing important social skills like sharing and taking turns.
"We share the iPads we received through the Bay Village Educational Foundation with other kindergarten classrooms, and as they circulate and make their rounds, teachers often collaborate, searching for those excellent apps that will help to enhance student achievement.
"I knew it would be great having iPads in the classroom, but this has far exceeded my expectations. We are very grateful to the Bay Ed Foundation for their commitment to our students.”
Bay Village Education Foundation trustee