Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yes We Can Collage

I read the book Yes We Can by Scholastic to the class. Students drew a picture in DrawingPad related to one of the topics, such as vote, recycle, help each other, cooperate, etc. They imported the picture to StripDesign and wrote a caption.  Instead of emailing the StripDesign, they saved it to the photo library.  When everyone had had a turn, all students gathered that used the same iPad. They imported all their pictures from the photo roll (in most cases 4 of them) into an app called PicCollage. In PicCollage they moved their pictures around and resized them. They added a title and emailed the finish poster to me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Jan Brett inspired story in SonicPic and DrawingPad

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The class read and compared/contrasted The Mitten and The Umbrella, both by Jan Brett. Groups of 3-4 students created a story map and then a story describing a container of their own that becomes a home to 3 animals. Following the pattern, they lose their home at the end. Students created 3 illustrations in DrawingPad and imported them to SonicPic and then read their story.  The largest file size that can be emailed in SonicPic is 10 MB. A couple groups were very descriptive in their stories and their finished products were slightly larger so they had to go back and read a little faster so I could share with their families. I know YouTube and other sharing methods are available, but for the moment email is the preference for the majority of the parents.

Three Branches of Government in Educreations

At the end of our study of the 3 branches of government, groups of 3-4 students worked together to show what they have learned about the role of each branch in creating a law. Students created 3 pictures in DrawingPad, 1 for each branch of the government. They imported these into Educreations and had a great time giving their presentation. The directions were to create a new law for our school and tell the role each branch would play in regard to that law.

This was the first time students used Educreations. The fun of annotating as they talked took priority for some groups over explaining the process of government. This is one of those times I should have let them play first!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

PlayHome Lite and Prepositions

I was turned-on to the PlayHome Lite app by Lisa Johnson and Yolanda Barker. My students absolutely loved it, they thought some of the interactions were hilarious. After playing for awhile they formed pairs and created a scene, either in the kitchen or family room. The only requirement I gave was that it had to be a scene that they could write prepositional phrases for (easy). They took a screenshot of their scene and imported it to Skitch. Students labelled their prepositional phrases and emailed me their creations.

Napping House-like Prepositional Phrases


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Even though the text is on the easy side, my students ready The Napping House by Audrey Wood in preparation for a discussion about prepositions and synonyms. It's a great book for both and generates a lot of laughter. After a quick lesson, groups of 3-4 students were given a cloze form with blanks for the preposition and adjectives describing the characters. I gave each group a different adjective, such as silly, laughing, and angry.  Groups filled in the form with prepositions describing positions of each character and a different synonym for the adjective I provided (antonym for the flea). In DrawingPad they created a scene to match what they had written. They imported this to SonicPic and recorded themselves reading the form.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Message Tree

The app StoryLines for School is like a digital version of telephone in that a written and illustrated message is passed around to a group of students one at a time. The app is set up to be used by different multipes of students in a group. My class formed groups of 5.

Person 1 types a word or phrase in the app. The app gives some ideas that relate to vocabulary words, I had my students think of a word related to Valentine's Day. Popular words were heart, love, and candy.

The iPad is passed to person 2 who draws a picture to match the word. The drawing is all black line only, no colors or different thicknesses of ink. This keeps it simple with the focus on the message not the art.

The iPad is passed to person 3, who sees only the drawing made by person 2 and gives it a title. In a 3 person group this would be the end of the process and the 3 steps would be put together. The group could then comment on how the illustration went with the original word and then how the illustration was interpreted by the person titling it.

The iPad is passed to person 4, who sees only the title written by person 3, and draws a new picture to match.

Then person 5 sees only that 2nd picture and gives it a title.

As with the 3 person group when the process is complete they can talk about their parts and how they relate to the work done by the others in the group. Since each person's part is fairly quick I am going to limit them to about 2 min each to keep it moving.  These can be emailed. Email worked for me last week when I was experimenting with the app. However, when my students used it the email function was down. I have contacted the developer and hopefully will get this resolved. The students had a blast.

Valentine's Day StripDesign


This assignment was left pretty open to allow students the chance to express themselves. They created a StripDesign with any number of boxes they wanted, most chose 2-4. From the photo albums on the iPads they selected photos of things they liked or photos of objects in nature that were in the shape of a heart. After importing the photos they wrote whatever captions they wanted.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Comparing the Good and the Bad

I read my class Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza and we compared Duck and Raccoon's outlook on a picnic. Pairs of students chose a place that  could be visited, such as a swimming pool, the woods, or a playground. They created 2 pictures in DrawingPad, one showing the positives of visiting that place and the other showing the negatives of visiting that place, following Duck and Raccoon's "what if" format. They imported the pictures into StripDesigner and wrote a caption for each. After about 100 days of school and bi-monthly projects combining DrawingPad and StripDesigner, all 23 of my students can complete the steps on their own and feel comfortable using both apps.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rainforest Assembly Collage

Following a school-wide assembly about the rainforest, students drew a picture in DrawingPad, imported it to StripDesign and added a caption explaining some facts they learned. Groups of students worked together to create a collage of their StripDesign products using the app Pic Collage.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hero Reports with StripDesign

We just finished our unit about heroes. As a culminating project each student chose a hero we had not studied as a class, learned about them, and gave an oral presentation. It is always fun since some students dress in costume and bring props. We work as a class to complete a brief chart about each person, but I always end the oral presentations wondering how much each student recalled from their classmates' talks.

This year after all the presentations I paired students so they could work together to create a project showing what they had learned about their partner's hero.

In the first session student 1 described their hero to student 2 and student 2 created a StripDesign project in 20 minutes. In the second session they traded roles. They were encouraged to add as many facts as time allowed and I was pleasantly surprised by how much some of them were able to type. As usual the projects were emailed.

Story Writing with Drawing Pad and SonicPics

I read House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle aloud. We talked about the use of adverbs to describe how the hermit crab picked up each animal. We also talked about how he marked the passage of time (months) and the use of synonyms for "said". Finally we discussed the repeating pattern of the book and its circle story format.

Students wrote their own story. They chose a main character animal and 3 animals that would help the main character improve its home. Writing was done on paper and we did not spend time editing because we were rushed--that has been the theme this whole week! I just read through the stories to be sure they made sense and had the students share them with each other.  In 20 minutes students worked on their own and created 3 DrawingPad illustrations on the iPad, 1 for each animal that came to the main character's aid. They imported the photos to SonicPics and recorded themselves reading their story. The final product was shared by email.

Since this was only their 2nd time using SonicPics and they had to create 3 pages of artwork, it would have been better to give them more.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Giving back

I have had iPads in my classroom for a little over a year now and thought it was time to share what my class is creating. Last year I had 3 iPads for 1/3 of the week for 20 students. This year I had 3 iPads full-time for 24 students for the first half of the year and have recently been granted 3 additional iPads. I am so excited that 1/4 of my students can now use iPads at the same time!

I love following the tweets and blogs of other educators and I decided it was finally time to give back and share iPad projects I am using with my students. Some of the activities they do are actually ideas I have thought of, but many of them are borrowed from other sources. I am especially thankful for the ideas, comments and musings of Kelly Tenkely, Lisa Johnson, Yolanda Barker, and all the folks at EdReach.  Check them out, they are so inspirational!

So, as my class creates, I'll be posting a photo sample and quick overview of what we did. Almost all our projects are done in 20 minute blocks.