Monday, September 15, 2014

My New Best Friend

Oh my goodness. Today was rough as most Mondays are. If you'd ask my little friends, they'd probably tell you we had a great day which of course we did. It just took SO much effort to keep everyone engaged! Attention spans were very very short today. It took lots of dog and pony show on my end to keep everyone on track!

One thing however that went beautifully was table work this morning. When the kids come in they have a choice from 2 activities at the tables to work on until everyone arrives. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it can get a little crazy! Especially on mornings when my assistant works car line and I'm the only one in the room. If have to stand in the doorway to help a kiddo things can get rowdy.

Why did things go well this morning? Because of a little something called the Calm Counter

This thing is wonderful! I find Pre-K kids have a very hard time monitoring their volume. The concept of an inside voice difficult for students. That's where Calm Counter comes in. It works by accessing your computer's microphone to measure the noise level of the room. As the room gets louder, the arrow goes up and goes from green to red. I had this projected on my Eno board when the kids came in and it was a great way for them to self monitor their volume while also getting to play! 

It takes a little tweaking to get the microphone sensitivity right depending where the kids are in relation to the computer. Of course I did have lots of intentional loud noises just to see the needle go up at first, but they soon grew tired of that and played as normal. The best part? Because things didn't get as crazy cleanup was a lot easier! 

Please note that this site does access your webcam as well as your microphone. Since I have a laptop and didn't have time to look into turning off my webcam this morning I simply covered it with a piece of electrical tape. Keep this in mind to keep you and your students safe!

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