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I remember my first day of teaching technology to kindergartners, sweat formed on my brow as I tried my best to see technology through the eyes of students that are so young. I struggled with this age group for years until I came across the drawing program Pixie by Tech4Learning.
You see, I am adamantly opposed to letting young students just play games — I want to teach tech skills. I tried everything before finally stumbling across Pixie. At first I avoided drawing programs because I am NOT an artist. Besides, have you ever tried to draw anything with a mouse?
So this is how I use Pixie with kindergarteners:
The first thing you need to do is to buy these two books; Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Animals, and Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Drawing Faces. The thing about these books is that they show you step by step how to draw, your students just follow along with you.
I draw two pictures with each kindergarten class. The first drawing I make, say a tiger, we draw together step by step. Then I have the students sit on their hands as I draw another picture, this time a fire truck and then I say, “Ready, set, draw!” Then they try to draw the same thing, trying to remember each step. The kids love this.
Now about Pixie: Let me just start by saying that I have tried many different drawing programs and Pixie is head and shoulders above any of these other ones. My students love to use it, and not just my kindergarteners, all of my K-5 students use Pixie in one way or another through out the school year. The older students use Pixie to illustrate ideas for projects, like how a plant cell looks. Pixie has all of the basic functions that you would expect in a drawing program; brushes, eraser, paint bucket etc. But where it really excels is in it’s extras; stickers, clip-art, text, etc.
Here are some photos of my students using Pixie…
- Brad Flickinger, Bethke Elementary School
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