Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week before Thanksgiving, several activities

We had several visitors to our classroom this week to see iPads in action. It was also the end of the trimester, and a short week (only 4 days and full of non-tech Thanksgiving activities).

I am ready for a break and on a quest for Hostess products. My own children have never had them and we had planned to get some for my brother-in-law as a Christmas joke related to a dinner we had with him back in August. I thought that would be easy! Suddenly Hostess is out of business and I can't find a Twinkie or Ho-Ho under $5 apiece. So I am off to drive around the Bay Area and hit-up more 7-11s and convenience stores.

Before I go, here are the highlights of last week with iPads.

1.  First & second grade--I asked groups of 2-3 students to think back on their first trimester of learning and choose 1 topic. I then asked them to choose an app and use the app to EXPLAIN/TEACH the concept. Before I set them off, we brainstormed a list of apps they could use to teach. They came up with Educreations, Sonic Pics, Puppet Pals, DrawingPad/Strip Design, Doodle Buddy, Skitch, and StoryBuddy. We also brainstormed topics covered in language arts, math, science and social studies.  What I really liked as I walked around the room is the variety I saw. Every app mentioned above was used by at least 1 group. Students mixed and matched apps in ways we have not done before. Something to work on for the future is that many groups, especially the first grade students, had difficulty teaching the concept. Many of them gave examples, say of facts and opinions, but did not explain the difference. Later in the day each group shared their projects with the rest of the class. Almost every group chose a language arts topic (adjectives, fact/opinion, ...) or math (addition, making a pattern, ...)

2.  First grade students independently used the magnetic ABC app to create a list of 5 ow and 5 ou words. Some of them also had time to use the Drawing Pad or Story Buddy app (their choice) to use words from the list in a sentence and illustrate.

3.  Second grade students read a short anthology selection about reading a diagram and following the directions in the diagram. There were specific skills mentioned in the selection that we discussed. I asked pairs of them to create their own directions and diagram for creating a growing pattern or for naming a fraction, 2 skills we worked on during the week. They had to use the iPad camera to create the photos for their set of directions and then use Strip Design to write directions to go with each picture. They swapped projects and discussed with each other what had been done well and what was confusing about their diagram.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful Popplet

In the past I have asked students to write on construction paper leaves what they are thankful for and we post them around the room. This year instead of write a phrase on paper they each created a Popplet of different things they were thankful for. They had to import a photo from the photo library, take a picture and import it, or draw their own illustration to match.

So glad to know he is thankful for tests (so he can show how smart he is, I was told!)

Assessment Poster of 3D Shapes

We are almost finished with our 3D unit and I want to get a sense of how well students understand the vocabulary for our 6 3D shapes prior to a summative test.

I asked pairs of students to look through the photo library and find photos of the different shapes, draw pictures of different shapes using Drawing Pad, or take a photo of a shape themselves using the iPad camera. After locating a picture of a sphere, cone, cylinder, pyramid, cube, and rectangular prism, students brought them all into a Strip Design. Finally, students labelled each shape with the number of vertices, edges, and faces as well as whether or not it rolls, slides and stacks.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Second Grade--Verb Collage

To "show what they know" I asked students to act out verbs. Using the iPad camera pairs of students photographed each other frozen in different verb poses. They imported the photos into Skitch and labelled the photo with the verb. Each pair created 6 labelled photos. They imported the photos into Pic Collage, re-sized and rotated them to their liking to create a verb poster.

No samples shown because of school district guidelines about student privacy.

Second Grade--Dictionary of Story Vocabulary

As another OxCart Man (Donald Hall and Barbara Clooney) activity transformed from paper to iPad, students created a vocabulary dictionary. Pairs of students looked through the book and determined words they thought would most likely be found in a glossary because they were difficult and unfamiliar. We put the list of the board and had about 15 words.

Pairs were asked to choose 4 of the words and create a 4 page StoryBuddy dictionary. I asked them to define and illustrate each of the words, being sure they created the pages in alphabetical order, of course!

Second Grade--Teaching Plural Rules with StoryBuddy or Educreations

After learning 3 plural rules (add s, add es, change y to i and add es) and practicing some examples, I asked the second graders to become teachers and teach the rules themselves. I gave them the choice of using either StoryBuddy (3 pages) or Educreations. In addition to explaining when each rule was used, I asked them to give several examples of words that used that rule.

They paired with another group and used the StoryBuddy or Educreations to teach each other. They enjoyed seeing examples of other groups as well as critiquing how accurate they were in their explanations.

Second Grade--OxCart Man Season Popplet

Each year second grade students read the book The OxCart Man by Donald Hall and Barbara Clooney. We spend quite a bit of time discussing the roles each family member plays during each season. The book does not specify what the family does during the summer, so we brainstorm what likely jobs they would have (watering plants, pulling weeds, planting some crops).

Using Popplet students created a wheel listing several jobs for each season, who completed the job, and a pencil sketch of the job. Since this assignment was pretty complex, students planned on paper before transferring their work to the iPad.

Due to technical difficulties we were having that day, none of the work has been transferred off the iPads yet.

Second Grade--EasyChart HD graphs

Last week I gave students the option of creating a graph from 1 of 6 sets of data using the app EasyChart HD. This week I asked them to use the same app but I asked them to create their own graph question and data. Also, I wanted them to compare the same data in 2 different types of graphs or charts.

First Grade--leaf poems

This week students read several poetry selections in the Houghton Mifflin 1.2 anthology. We have also been talking a lot about nouns, verbs and adjectives and leaves.

I asked each student to write a leaf poem of 7 lines. The first 3-4 lines had to be describing leaves and the last 3-4 lines had to include verbs that involved actions leaves did or things people did to interact with leaves.

They wrote and illustrated their poems in StoryBuddy.

FIrst grade--DrawingPad Comparison of Words with and without Silent E

Students brainstormed a list of words that changed, but were still actual words, when a silent e was added onto the end. For example, hug and huge.

From the list, or words they thought of on their own, students worked independently to create a DrawingPad poster illustrating the words with and without the silent e at the end and illustrating what the words meant.

In the typical 20 minute period of time allotted for creation projects, students completed 3-6 pairs. Each pair needed to be created on a separate screen. I had thought about using StoryBuddy so they could make a multi-page books, but we have used that app a lot recently and I wanted them to have more drawing options.

First Grade--Now and Then Schools and Vehicles

We are working on the "Changes Over Time" unit in social studies. We spent some time this week talking about how everyday places and objects have changed over time. I put photos of a 1900 classroom and horse-drawn wagon up on the Elmo and asked groups of students to use the StoryBuddy app on the iPad to compare a current classroom and a current vehicle to what I had displayed, using captions to make their comparisons.

First Grade--Riddles Story Buddy or Educreations

In the Houghton Mifflin anthology I asked students to read all the pages with riddles and jokes in book 1.2 (there are several short selections). We talked as a group about what makes a good joke or riddle and the format they are written in.

Groups of 3 students had to come up with 2 riddles. They could use either Educreations or StoryBuddy to tell publish them. It was pretty evenly divided as far as which app was chosen.


First grade--number talk Doodle Buddy

Previously students have made number talks in Chalk, today I asked them to use Doodle Buddy. We talked about different ways to get to a number (add, subtract, skip count, multiply, divide, coins, draw a picture) and I asked them to show me 4 different strategies to get to 50.

In addition, on a separate screen I asked students to write answers to questions we normally discuss when we do calendar. Is the number odd or even? How many hundreds, tens and ones does it have? How would you write it in words? How would you write it in expanded notation? What is one less than the number? What is one greater than the number? All the students were successful with this, but their response format tended to be messy so answers were all over the screen, I'll have to come up with a better template next time (divide screen into 6 boxes first).

First grade--Popplet Showing Story Sequence

After reading Hilda Hen's Scary Night by Mary Wormell, students used the Popplet app to sequence where Hilda Hen went in the story. Since we had talked about prepositions last week, I asked them to include prepositions in their writing. With Halloween and fire safety, it was a busy week and we had a few interruptions that cut down on time. Most students had only 10-15 minutes to work on this activity, rather than the 25 I had initially planned. However, they were all able to complete 2-3 boxes.