Kindergarten revolves around technology

SMART boards, electronic grade books, and student remotes keep the little kids engaged throughout a long school day.

Kindergarten at the Arlington International Leadership School in Tennessee still has dress-up and nap time, but much of the academics are centered around a high-tech program to teach 5- and 6-year-olds computer skills, reports the Jackson Sun.

"I never thought I'd teach kids using PowerPoint," said kindergarten teacher Summer Ferguson, who has been teaching for three years now.

The kids start the day eating breakfast and learning handwriting on an interactive SMART Board.

"When parents sign their children up for our kindergarten program, the first thing we tell them is that this is a full-day program," Ferguson said. "They're doing something from the moment they get here until the end of the day."

As Arlington is a magnet school, it receives grant money to help purchase the technology that is a the basis of the curriculum.

"The magnet program has been amazing," said Charlotte Shivley, the school's magnet facilitator. "We've been able to enhance all the classrooms and provide interactive boards where the children are able to use technology in their everyday instruction. (The technology) helps the children stay focused, and it is such an innovative tool."

"What we use is called our CPS, or Classroom Performance System," Ferguson explained. "Everything we do in the classroom now revolves around the SMART Board. Grades are kept electronically, and students can answer questions using their remotes."

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