Sunday, January 27, 2013

Teaching Academic Vocabulary

I am so excited to be writing my first post on this amazing site! My name is Jennifer Kimbrell and my blog is called Tech with Jen.


My job is to coach K-5 teachers in the integration of technology in the classroom. I have had the great fortune to work with some fabulous teachers this year in implementing 1-to-1 classrooms using iPads. Although most of the topics I discuss deal with iPads and/or SMART Boards, I do try to provide alternatives for those of you who do not have these wonderful tools! Of course, that is what I think of technology in the classroom...tools. I do not believe we should use technology for technology sake. However, I do find that technology provides teachers and students the ability to do things not possible with paper and pencil.

With that being said, I wanted my first post to give you some ideas for teaching academic vocabulary to students using a free app called Pic Collage. Now if you have read my blog you may have heard me mention this app before. I love this app for many reasons; one you can use this wonderful tool for FREE...this is always a plus! We all love free apps! Two it is available for both iPad AND Android! Lastly, it is so simple and can be used with or without wireless connection. Although having wireless provides you with more options.

If you have read Marzano's work on teaching academic vocabulary you know that it is important to teach vocabulary in context, not in isolation! It is also important to provide students with nonlinguistic representations of the words. Using the pic collage app allows students to find pictures on the web, take their own pictures, and even pull in their own drawings that have been saved to their photo library. Students can add words, stickers, and change the background to create a collage that students can be proud of and then share their work in a variety of ways. I have used this app many times with students and have found the app to be easy and very useful! Here is an example of how students have used the app in the classroom:

If you would like to learn more ways in which you can use the pic collage app in your classroom, you may be interested in my new series of apptivities I am writing. The first in the series is called "Teaching Academic Vocabulary through Pictures". Even if you do not have access to tablets, there are ideas for doing the same activities in the computer lab or without technology. Handouts have been created for those without the available technology. Hope you find this helpful! I would love to hear your thoughts!






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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making me aware of the great features in Pic Collage. Now our students have been using it - here are some examples of their projects:

    http://blogs.southfieldchristian.org/pixelsandpaintbrushes/2013/02/23/pic-collage-projects/

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