Last week I received the Luna camera from Learning Resources. I wasn’t sure to make of this document camera… it is billed as easy enough for anyone to use – even children. Coming off of Spring Break, I let it sit in the box for most of the week. Finally on Friday, while the kids were at Library, I broke open the box and decided to set it up.
According to the directions, you simply plug it into your computer (via USB) and insert the included CD. Well, for me, plugging it in was the hard part. At my school, teachers have large desktop computers. In my room, because of limited space, we keep our desktop on the floor. The cord from the camera to the computer is very short, maybe two feet. Was I going to have to sit the camera on the floor?
After a little finagling, I was able to just get the camera on the desk, but barely. I already went ahead and ordred an inexpensive USB extension cord which should allow more flexibility with placement. From there, it was simple. I just popped the CD in and within a minute or two, the camera was working.
For our first read aloud, we used Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed. Within moments, the allure of the Luna was evident. Every child, even those sitting in the very back, could see the smallest details in the illustrations as it was projected onto our giant Smart Board. The fact that my hands were somewhat visible as I turned the pages just added to the ‘wow’ factor.
As we finished the book, we took out a tiny Sight Word Reader – something you could never read to a large group, and did an impromptu lesson. As the image was made enormous on the screen, I took my finger and pointed under each word as we read. Suddenly, what could only be done one on one or at best with a small group, was being done whole group. What a way to introduce a concept or lesson?
Of course, with our Ocean Unit coming up, visions of holding shells and fossils under the camera for all to see danced in my head. But if you used the Luna for nothing else but increasing the visibility of your read alouds, it would be worth the price of admission.
I can’t wait to use it more and share the smallest details with my sprouts.
The contest begins today (4/29) and will run through next Monday (5/7/12). You must live in the U.S. to enter (for shipping purposes). Good luck to all!
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Please visit the following links for more information about the Luna and Learning Resources: