Hi there! My name is Nicki from The Sprinkle Topped Teacher. I’m here to share some tips and tricks on how to easily use one of my most favorite classroom tools, the Amazon Echo! The Echo is a voice controlled device (no hands needed!) that uses Alexa to do things like play music, provide info, and set alarms (read more about Alexa here). Do you have Alexa for your classroom? Are you thinking about getting one? Check out these tips and tricks to help you smoothly integrate this piece of technology into your daily routine.
- Designate a “speaker object” so only ONE student speaks to Alexa at a time!
Alexa is a great way to get your students to practice their speaking and listening skills, but Alexa can only understand one student at a time! Help your students by designating an object as the “speaker object.” Use a ball, stuffed animal, or anything that can easily be passed from student to student. Make sure to communicate with your students that only the person holding the object is allowed to speak. Check out this selection of fun, foam squeeze toys on Amazon!
- Have a set of questions for students to read when talking to Alexa!
Alexa can help your students with a variety of tasks from how to spell a word to presenting your students with a comprehension story and a set of response questions. However, if you don’t use specific phrases, she might not be able to help. Be sure to have a set of questions and phrases posted near Alexa so students know exactly what kind of help they can get from her. Looking for a set of premade questions and skills to download? Click here.
- Use Alexa’s teacher tools to help keep your sanity!
Alexa is not only a tool for students, she can also help teachers! Ask Alexa to set timers for classroom activities, reminders for little tasks, alarms for IEP meetings, and more alarms for students who need to grab medicine in the nurse or head to speech. Oh, and my personal favorite is “Alexa help me relax.” She will play noises like a babbling brook or a relaxing crackling fire. Such a great way to unwind while you finish tasks at the end of the day.
- Set clear expectations for how to use Alexa by posting class rules!
Students need to know when and how to use Alexa so she is viewed as a tool rather than a toy. Be sure to include the appropriate times to use Alexa. For example, you may want students asking her how to spell words rather than coming up to you. Consider adding a limit on questions they can ask per day. Set up clear expectations for what types of questions can be asked so that it stays appropriate. By creating this list of rules together, students will better understand how to use her as a tool.
- Use Alexa to get your students laughing and engaged again!
Alexa is full of funny tricks and jokes for when your class has earned a brain break. She can play rock paper scissors, play a game of would you rather, or make wild animal noises. My students love to tell jokes! After they tell one we ask Alexa to “open laugh box” which will send Alexa into a hilarious laughing fit.
PIN FOR LATER!
Alexa is a great tool that can help you stay organized, on time, and relaxed while at school. No pencil or pen is needed, just give her a shout out and your reminders are set! Be sure to have clear expectations for how to use her as a tool by creating class rules, grabbing a speaker object, and having specific questions posted for students to use. Are you already using Alexa? What are your favorite tips and tricks?
***This post may contain affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using this link, we will receive a small commission on your purchase.