Saturday, December 15, 2012

Second Grade--Family Heritage Unit Vocabulary

My class is finishing up the Scott Foresman social studies unit about family heritage. They are working on a big collage project related specifically to their personal family heritage, but I also wanted them to demonstrate knowledge of key vocabulary from the unit.

I wrote a list of vocabulary on the board and asked each student to use an app to explain the definition of at least 4 of the words.  I limited the number of vocabulary words because I only gave students 15 minutes to complete the work. I asked them to use either Sonic Pics or Educreations. However, 1 student had lost his voice so he completed the assignment in Popplet.

First and Second Grade--"It's Okay to Be Different" by Todd Parr

It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr is one of my favorite books. It has a fantastic message with bright, cheerful illustrations and compliments Project Cornerstone, an anti-bully program used at our school.

Following a read-aloud of the book, all students created their own page in Story Buddy. Story Buddy will allow for a maximum of 15 pages in a book, so we created part 1 and part 2. As a class we brainstormed about 35 ways that people could be different. Each student chose what they wanted to write and draw about so there wouldn't be duplicates. We followed Todd's page format so there were only a few words on each page, with very colorful illustrations. The students had fun making people with purple faces, orange hands, etc.

I haven't included page samples because students wrote their names and included an author photo in the corner of their page.

First Grade--Peer Interviews Using Sonic Pics

First grade students have been working on the common core standards of asking and answering questions. This week they wrote 5 interview questions that could be asked of any peer. They were randomly paired. On the iPads they took a picture of each other, imported the photo into Sonic Pics, and then conducted their interview. They each asked and answered the 5 questions with the photo of the interviewee showing (therefore I am not posting samples).

I was pleased with the fact that I could hear all of them since I have 3 students who talk very quietly and are difficult to hear face to face. I did not proof their questions ahead of time, I asked them to proof each others' questions prior to the start of the interview. When I listened to the final products I discovered that all questions were appropriate, but they did tend to start with the stem "What is your favorite...". This gives us a clear next talking point...what other types of questions could you ask?

Oh, the Downside of iPad Work

It's hard to believe I could write a post with such a title, but sometimes work on the Ipads has its problems. Our school had a loss of Internet service at the beginning of the week for a WHOLE DAY. Boy did that seem like forever! Even though service was restored Tuesday morning things haven't been quite right this week. I'm sure it's not related, but 2 of my 9 iPads are giving me a "no service" message and the work of several students isn't getting emailed, although I can't tie the problem to a specific iPad or even 2 or 3.

So, I love my iPads, but it is a little frustrating when I want to grade student work from their Posterous accounts and it's not there...gotta drive over to school to check the iPads themselves. Luckily this hasn't been a problem until now this year.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Grade Math Problem Solving

Students spent a lot of time this week on skill practice apps and not as much time on creating. They are also working on a creation project that is spanning 3 weeks, so look for that before our December break. One project they did email on to their Posterous accounts was math problem solving. They were given a word problem describing a situation in which they needed to add 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Students had their choice of apps (Educreations, Chalk, DrawingPad). I am pleased to say they all showed work and they all reached the same correct answer. Here is the most colorful sample, using DrawingPad.

First Grade Book of Food Groups

We spent a lot of time this week using skill practice apps, not as much time with creating. One activity we did do was to create a Story Buddy book of the 5 food groups. This is the science unit we are wrapping up. Students created a page in the book for each of the 5 food groups. They drew (DrawingPad) or inserted from the photo library a photo of a food from each food group, so their books had 5 pages. The caption on each page included an adjective describing the food, the food, and the food group.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

1st & 2nd Grade Super Sentences--Educreations

Today students created a collaborative Educreations video using super sentences. Each student wrote a sentence about a stuffed animal doing something in our classroom. First grade students added an adjective and either a where or a when to their sentence. Second grade students added an adjective, adverb, where, when, and why to their sentence. Students photographed their stuffed animals in action and put the photos together into an Educreations video. They each read their sentence while showing their photo.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2nd Grade--Strega Nona by Tomie Depaola

While the first graders devoted a lot of their week to Wild Things activities, 2nd graders focused on Strega Nona. They each read the first book as well as Strega Nona's Harvest.

1.  Students individually completed a book report on one of the 2 books using the app Book Report.

2.  They completed a variety of graphic organizers using the Tools4Students app.

3. We practiced quotes this week, learning about where quotation marks and other punctuation marks belong when characters are talking. Students created a short conversation between Strega Nona and Big Anthony using Strip Design.

4.  After reading the 2 books we talked about character traits of Strega Nona and Big Anthony. Students used Popplet to highlight 4 character traits of 1 of the 2 as well as an example from the book that demonstrated that character trait.

5.  We alternate practicing retell and summary. This week students used the iDiary app to summarize one of the 2 books. Generally I leave their use of iDiary open-ended, but occasionally I give them a specific topic to write and draw about.

1st & 2nd Grade--Shopping Cart and Educreations

Our current science unit is nutrition. After learning about the 5 food groups as well as extras, I set the students loose with the app Lil' Kitten Shopping Cart.

First mixed grade level pairs took a screenshot of the shopping list (5 items). They followed the game, finding and purchasing all the items on their list. They took a shot at the end, showing their shopping total. They brought both these screenshots into Educreations. While showing the first slide students explained what food group each item belonged to. On the 2nd slide they talked about how they determined which item to purchase. For example, the game has several types of ice cream and they are sold at different prices. Some students purchased the cheaper items to save money while other groups decided to purchase pricier items because they figured it was higher quality or a larger quantity or a more well-known brand. These were all concepts we had talked about prior to the activity. Finally students had to show work to determine what types of bills and/or coins they could have received back as change.

Unfortunately we ran into some technical difficulties with our Internet and these projects still haven't come off the iPads. However, the activity worked well.

1st Grade-- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

This week was heavily focused on Where the Wild Things Are activities. One activity involved students creating their own Wild Thing and describing what it looked like as well as its likes and dislikes. After planning on paper, they used either Sonic Pic or Educreations (all chose Educreations) to share their information.

1st Grade--iDiary Farm Entry

As part of our social studies unit the 1st graders have been discussing now and then. In their iDiary I asked them to draw and write about a farm now and then. iDiary is a great app where students can record daily thoughts. Most of the time I leave their use of it open-ended, sometimes, like this week, I ask them to write and draw on a particular topic.