Niagara Gazette

Communities

December 5, 2013

First-graders getting a little lesson in 'FaceTime'

TECHNOLOGY: Local first-graders learn with iPads, make nearby 'pen pals.'

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Reszczenski said the apps were chosen to integrate into what the students are learning in the classroom. While they think they're just playing games, they're reinforcing lessons learned in more traditional ways.

"With the new digital age, it's just something new and exciting we're going to be exposing the students to," she said. "While we've typically done pencil and paper, now it's done on iPad. It's a wonderful age in first grade."

Byrne agreed.

"They don't even realize the benefit of it," she said. "They don't even realize how much they're learning as they're going along."

Student Ilimdar Khasanov was no exception: He was so into the addition game he was playing that he recruited a visitor to the room to compete against him.

"I like the games," he said. "I like Spider-Man games too, but there are no Spider-Man games on here."

•••

On Wednesday, as the class of Reszczenski and Byrne met the class of teacher Molly Koelle in Lockport, the initial trepidation quickly gave way to excitement. Both groups seemed to forget the other group was sitting in a school about 30 miles away.

The classes sang songs to each other, introduced their teachers, stepped to the front to greet their individual pen-pals from the other school — and the Ohio class introduced their Elf on a Shelf doll, Junior, which led the other class to promptly bring out its "Elf on the Shelf" book.

"We've got the same book!" a child at Ohio School exclaimed, precipitating a scatter to retrieve the book and show it off, and a slew of stories about individual elves owned by students' families. (When one girl reported her family's elf was found kissing a Barbie girl, the entire group at both schools cried "Ewwwww!")

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