Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2nd Grade--Creating Graphs About School

Last week I read Graphing the Desert by Jennifer Roy and we spent some time discussing/comparing/contrasting the 4 types of graphs used in the book. I provided each group of 2-3 students with a rubric for each of the 4 graph types (bar, line, pie, and pictograph) and asked them to create graphs relating to our school. They had to complete the pictograph using either paper or Doodle Buddy and the other 3 types of graphs I gave them the option of using paper or Easy Chart HD. When everyone was finished they shared graphs with other groups and asked/answered questions about them.

Here a few samples of their graphs.

Jan Brett-inspired Stories

My 2nd graders are starting to do projects I blogged about last year so I'm not going to repeat writing about those.

Here is one we did again but this year I gave them the option of Story Buddy, Educreations or Sonic Pic instead of just Sonic Pic.  Sampesl of pages 1 and 5 of the story written this year by a pair of students using Story Buddy (page 1 person loses container, pages 2-4 3 different animals find a reason to enter the container, page 5 an animal enters the container and causes all animals to leave, page 6 the person gets the container back).

2nd Grade--Writing in a Style Similar to The Napping House by Audrey Wood

After students read The Napping House by Audrey Wood I gave them a cloze outline with prepositions and adjectives missing. It basically listed the characters of The Napping House. I also assigned each group of 3 students an adjective, such as happy, sad, excited, laughing, etc. The group had to use synonyms of the word I assigned them to describe each of the characters on the paper, except they used an antonym for the flea. Finally, they had to use different prepositions to describe the position of each character in relation to the previously mentioned character.

Once I checked their work they created a scene in Drawing Pad showing all the characters in the positions they mentioned. They could then either import the drawing to Story Buddy or Educreations or Sonic Pic. In Story Buddy they typed the cloze writing and in the other 2 apps they recorded themselves reading it. I asked them to draw in Drawing Pad because it provides more color and medium options than either Story Buddy or Educreations.

2nd Grade Prepositions with Strip Design

The 2nd graders spent a fair amount of time practicing prepositions. Once activity I asked them to do was to photograph an object in several locations and describe its position relative to another object. I had a handful of small party favor-type things and each pair chose one. Items included dinosaurs, spiders, springs, balls, and bugs. Pairs photographed the object of their choice in 4 locations around the classroom. The imported the photos into a 4 box Strip Design and wrote captions that included a preposition.

Monday, February 18, 2013

1st Grade--Post Laura Numeroff activities

Last week pairs of first grade students read 5 different If You... books by Laura Numeroff. I had a selection of 7 choices for them. The choice of reading 5 of 7 books had to do with timing and number of copies of each book as well as extension activities they had time to complete.

To wrap-up the reading I asked each student to create a party plan for one of the book characters. I gave them a  party planning guide to start. It asked them to think about the character's personality and likes, citing specific examples from the character appeared in. Based on that information they had to come up with a party theme, food and activities.

Then they moved to the iPad. The first step was to create an invitation to the party. They used the Card Shop app for that activity. I had used Kid Card app for activities in the past (it's free, Card Shop is not). However, the Kid Card app had ads that often appeared on top of the buttons students needed to use in order to design their card. Also, the app crashed frequently.

Once they finished the invitation students made a shopping list for themselves using Doodle Buddy. I told them they could use a combination of writing, typing, and stickers, whatever worked for them. Most chose to write with their fingers.

Finally, they used Drawing Pad to create a "photo" of one scene from the party. We spent a lot of time talking about color and detail that would appear in an actual photo. I have some student who prefer to use the very basic 2 or 3 color stick figure approach to drawing.

1st Grade--"I Like" Strip Design

First graders spent a lot of last week working on Valentine's activities. One activity was to find photos of things they like and import them into a 4 box Strip Design template. They added a complete sentence caption to each, explaining why they liked the item. Explaining why is a skill we've been working on.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

1st and 2nd Graders Respond to "Kid President" video

I showed the Kid President to my students twice. We had a fantastic discussion about the video and brainstormed some of the key words and phrases. Groups of 2 students then created an Educreations video responding to Kid President. I must not have explained the directions well, or students felt they had done the work in the discussion already, because in the Educreations video most of them simply re-stated the phrases they found the most relevant from the video. It will be good to think about if I share next year and make sure students understand I really want them to tell some the key phrases and explain what those phrases mean to them.

Link to Kid President video

Link to sample Educreations video

2nd Grade--Response to Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza

After reading Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza groups of 2-3 students created 2 contrasting panels in the Strip Design app.  As in the book, they had to choose 1 location, such as a beach or a ski slope. In 1 panel they drew a positive picture of what could happen in that location and in the other panel they drew a picture that showed a negative experience in the same place. Students added a caption to each.

1st Grade--Response to Lost! by David McPhail

After the class read Lost! by David McPhail they used the app Drawing Pad to create a picture of their own house. They imported their drawing to Strip Design and wrote details about the exterior of their house in complete sentences. I asked them to include details that would help them identify their house if they were lost.

1st Grade--Example of Student Rights at School

In social studies we studied rights and citizenship this week. Pairs of students each worked together to create an Educreations video about 1 specific right they have at school. Topics students chose to talk about were a place to eat lunch, a quiet work environment, everyone included in games at recess, and a chance to share their learning.

We were having trouble with Educreations--none of the drawing or import picture features were working. Students had gone around the school and taken a photo of the place(s) their "right" talked about and they had also storyboarded at least 1 illustration. It threw them when they weren't able to use either. We could have switched to SonicPic, but there was a sub at the time and she had them just record their audio.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Creating a story like A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle

This week I read A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle to the class. We spent a lot of time brainstorming synonyms for "said" as well as listing adverbs used to describe how the hermit crab picked ocean animals and plants.  Finally we talked about how the different additions helped hermit crab. I asked students to write a story of their own based upon Eric Carle's model. They needed to start with an animal looking for a new home and then that animal had to find help from 3 other plants or animals. They did this on paper and then shared with a critical friend, who asked questions to help with clarification of story events.

Students used Drawing Pad to create a single picture (we were pressed for time this week). They imported it to Educreations or SonicPics, their choice. Finally they recorded themselves reading their story.


2nd Grade Hero Strip Design

The second grade students each gave an oral report about a hero this week.  As a class we created a timeline so we could visualize when each person made a contribution and who else might have been living at the same time. I am still looking for a basic app to use for this purpose. My high school son uses several timeline apps for history, but none of them seem as visually helpful for 2nd graders as a big butcher paper line around the room.

On the iPad students did pair up and teach their partner about their hero. The listening/learning partner then created a Strip Design about the hero. I had each listener/learner start by asking the teacher 3 questions (we went over information that students were likely to know about their hero, such as "Where did they live?" rather than "What was their favorite color?") and then after that the teacher shared additional information.

I asked students not to write the name of the hero in the Strip Design. The last part of the activity was for pairs of students to swap iPads.  The pair worked together to see if they could remember back to the oral reports they had listened to and match the clues on the Strip Design created by classmates with the correct hero name.

100th Day Sharing

We celebrated the 100th day of school this week. Each student brought 100 of some item to class. Students spent time sharing what they chose to bring and why, and grouping by 2s, 5s, and 10s to skip count. In groups of 3 they created a Story Buddy book. Person A drew a picture of the item brought by person C and person B then wrote a sentence about person C's items, making a positive comment about the objects. This process was repeated for each of the 3 pages.

1st Grade Skip Counting in Doodle Buddy

We reviewed skip counting this week with a Doodle Buddy activity. Students created 3 screens showing count by 2s, 5s, and 10s. Since they had a time limit I told them up front that they had to use the face stamps and the small size, thus limiting how long they spent choosing their stamps.

I asked them to stamp and label the different counting and determine how high they should go with each number. The first grade team had determined counting by 2s to 30, by 5s to 50 and by 10s to 100 would be good targets, but I ended up leaving it open-ended. Every student did count by 10s to 100 and explained that it "made sense" as well as being the amount that would fit on the screen. Most of them counted by 5s to 50. Common reasoning for that was half of 100, which they had used for 10s. The results for 2s were all over the place ranging from 20 as the highest number (because it was 10 times) to 80 (because that filled the screen).

1st Grade Diagrams

This week students read a selection in the anthology about diagrams and how to read them. They each created a drawing in Drawing Pad of a penguin or polar bear (2 animals we studied a lot recently) and then imported it to Skitch and labelled body parts. Our iPad 1s are slowly malfunctioning--Drawing Pad will no longer save on them (but on iPad 2s there's no problem) so we are using screenshots. After all students finished their diagrams they pair-shared 4 times and each time took turns teaching their diagram and asking questions about the other student's diagram. Finally, they each had to finished the stem "I liked your diagram because..." and give a specific reason, which had to be different every time.

1st Grade Haiku Deck Clouds

My first graders have finished their air and weather science unit. To demonstrate understanding of different cloud types they used Haiku Deck. On each of 3 screens they posted a picture of the cloud type (cirrus, stratus, and cumulus) that they found by searching for "clouds" in the deck. Last they added words to describe that particular type of cloud.