Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stickman 2

Students worked in pairs using the Stickman 2 app. They followed the directions on the app and took turns drawing the pictures. They were able to email the link to their story. Next they used the Tools4Students app and completed the sequence events 1 page. These were emailed. This tied in well with a narrative format we are starting in which characters encounter and solve several problems in a row. There is also a Stickman app (same idea, different series of events) and these activities are available online at

Division Story Problems

This week I had students create a division story problem.

For example, I have 8 rubber ducks that I need to share equally with my sister. How many do we each get?

Students used the Story Patch app using the "without help" option. This was their first time with the app so I gave them some time to explore it before starting. For the division story they did not backgrounds, we kept it simple to focus on the math. They typed a division story problem and added pictures.

At that point they had 2 choices.

1.  Insert a new page, type how they solved the problem, and show how they solved the problem.
2.  Take a screenshot of their 1 page story. Open Educreations and import the story. Record themselves circling the groups and talking about how to divide them.

Both options were emailed. Unfortunately the Educreations app was crashing so I didn't get any of those projects.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Monster Creation

I read my class I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll, one of the books nominated this year for the California Young Reader Medal. We had a few minutes to spare so I had each of them use Educreations to describe and draw what kind of monster they would like hiding under their bed. I gave each of them only about 7 minutes with no pre-planning time, more as a fun activity than as a way of grading descriptive writing. They turned out really cute. It's a great book, we all enjoyed it, and in the future I would build more Educreations planning time in following this read aloud.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cake Maker Description or Sequence

Students used the free app Cake Maker to design a cake and take a screenshot. They imported the screenshot into the StoryRobe app. They had a choice to either describe the steps to decorate the cake or use their 5 senses to describe the cake. Projects were emailed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leprechaun Trap Comparison

I had a parent fail to show up for an activity today and needed something quick to fill the time. Students had just shared their leprechaun traps. I paired them up and gave each an iPad. I gave each pair 15 minutes to look at the 2 leprechaun traps and compare them using the compare/contrast part of Tools4Students. I love this app, great for last minute time filler when you don't have worksheets printed!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Logic Puzzle on Educreations

Today I gave students a puzzle to solve about a farmer, goat, wolf, and cabbage. They worked in groups of 4 to come up with a solution using Lego bricks. Once they had acted it out they shared their solution with me. The final step was to draw their solution and narrate in Educreations.

Storylines for Schools update

Hi All

Storylines for Schools has updated their app and projects will now email properly. My students areso excited, they love this app.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sugar Sync

This is not about student work, but about how to get student work to the parents...if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Up until about 6 weeks ago I (as well as my co-workers) were having students email their creations to our teacher email accounts. From my teacher email I checked the work and forwarded it to parents.  This worked pretty well but it did take 15-20 minutes per assignment to email for the whole class of 23 students.  In addition, there were a few issues. First, parents would get back to me weeks later asking if I could email the assignment again because they had lost it. Usually I had deleted it to save space. Some video files were too large to email. Some parents didn't want to receive 4+ emails a week of projects.

After consulting with Stuart Rosenberg, I decided to give Sugar Sync a try. It is very similar to Dropbox, which I love, but allows individual folders to be password protected. I created a folder for each student and move their work into their folder from my email. I invited parents to join their child's folder but out of 23 families I only had 4 take me up on the offer. The upside of Sugar Sync is that I can transfer all types of work to families easily no matter the format or size. In addition it's in the folder all year and parents can access it when they want. On the downside, I still have to transfer each project, just to the Sugar Sync folder instead of email.

It's working, but does anyone have a better solution? It needs to be private for each student?

Producer/Consumer Vocabulary

We had some visitors at school to see how iPads are being used and I had to create a lesson on the fly. Since we are nearing the end of our producer/consumer unit in social studies I decided to have them show me what they have learned about the vocabulary. They worked in pairs using Drawing Pad to draw a scene showing some of the vocabulary. I referenced a picture of a flower market complete with customers and a distributor making a delivery that we had studied from the textbook. The picture they created was saved to the photo library and imported to either Skitch or Strip Designer, their choice. In either of those apps they labelled the parts of the picture with social studies vocabulary. The results were cute but there was definitely not as much emphasis on vocabulary labeling as I had hoped. Most groups stopped after 3-4 words out of a list of about 10.


Students created a robot in the Robot app. I limited them to 5 minutes of playing around and getting the robot "just right". This was enough time since students don't actually draw their own robot, they select from pre-created part choices. They took a screenshot of their robot and imported it to Skitch. In Skitch they labelled parts of the robot, practicing adjectives. They had another 5 minutes to do this. Next they imported their robot into SonicPic and compared/contrasted the robot to themselves. They also had to give me a fact and opinion about it. Finally, each student used the problem/solution graphic organizer in Tools4Students to come up with a problem and solution for their robot.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chalk and Pic Collage Number Talk

I created a web clip of the website It is a simple blackboard with 2 colors of chalk and an eraser. My students use it for all sorts of activities, basically like using an individual whiteboard, but without the smell of 23 markers open at once. By using the screenshot option, they can save and email me their work.

As we transition to common core standards in my district, we have been discussing the importance of "number talks"--having students think of all the ways to equal a given number. I haven't done anything this until today. Today I gave them the number 16 and asked each of them to show 1 way to equal that number on their chalk screen. As a class we came up with the option of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value, skip counting, and drawing.

Each student created their "16" and took a screenshot. The 3-4 students who had used the same iPad met and imported their chalkboard screenshots into Pic Collage. They agreed on how to arrange them, created a title if they wanted, and emailed it.

Music creation

Generally I have a parent volunteer teach music. However, she has been out for a couple weeks. She provided me with music lessons in her absence.  In addition I have had my students play with an app called DoReMi 123 (thanks to the developers for providing me with a free copy). The app is geared toward younger children and/or students with less musical experience, more than 1/2 of my students take some type of instrument lesson.  However, they had a fantastic time.

Their 2 favorite activities were playing a game similar to Simon where they had to copy a pattern of notes played by the app and creating their own tunes. I had them create tunes and share them with each other. In addition I asked them to relate each tune with a particular feeling and place.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Seed to Store

Part of our social studies unit about community is learning about processors, distributors, buyers, sellers, consumers, producers, etc. As an end to this portion of the learning, groups of 3-4 students picked either a food that starts as a seed (apple, tomato, corn, bread--from wheat) or milk. They created a flowchart of how that item gets from its origin to the grocery store shelf. To demonstrate their learning I gave them a choice of paper & pencil, SimpleMind app, Educreations app, or SonicPic app. One group chose the paper & pencil method, 1 group chose Educreations, 1 group chose SonicPic, and 3 groups used SimpleMind.  All were apps they had used previously.Link to an Educreation

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Talking Tom US Symbols

We are winding down our social studies unit about US symbols. Pairs of students chose a US symbol from a list we brainstormed. They wrote a few sentences about what they had learned and use Talking Tom to share that information. I set parameters that when creating their video they could not pull Tom's tail, tickle him, etc. They were disappointed by the rules, but still had a lot of fun. The app says there's a limit of 45 seconds so they kept the presentations short.