Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1st and 2nd Grade Haikus Using Haiku Deck

After reading several books of haiku and listing the rules that haiku poems follow, students wrote their own using Haiku Deck. First grade students wrote a poem about either weather, frogs, or toads while second grade students wrote about insects (recent science topics).

First Grade Sample

Second Grade Sample

Sunday, May 26, 2013

2nd Grade Rainforest Presentation with Haiku Deck

Last year (see May 22, 2012 post) students used Drawing Pad and Strip Designer to create a "poster" of facts they had learned about the rainforest at the end of that unit. This year they used Haiku Deck to create a slide presentation which they presented to the class.


1st and 2nd Grade Comics Using Drawing Pad and Strip Designer

Last week we completed a unit about comic books. Students LOVED the chance to read comics in school. I had a wide variety of reading levels, series, and topics for students to choose from. We used Tools4Students to compare comic books to picture books as well as to list features they noticed for all the comic books.

Students then created their own comic, mapping it out on paper first. Due to time, I asked 1st grade students to create a comic with 2-4 boxes and 2nd grade students to create a comic with 4-6 boxes. I wanted to be sure they would have time to complete a finished comic within the week as we had open house and a staff day (on the iPad each student had 40 min). Then next week we move on to other topics! However, I have had students email me sequels to their comics that they created on ipads at home. It's always great when students want the learning/experience to continue.

2nd Grade Analogies

Last year students completed this assignment using Drawing Pad and Strip Designer (see May 22, 2012) post. This year I gave them a choice of using those 2 apps, or using Story Buddy. Here's a sample from Story Buddy (2 pages).

1st and 2nd Grade Thank You Letters Using Card Shop

As our year draws to a close, 1st and 2nd grade students each wrote a thank you to one of the adults at the school who do so much for them (librarian, custodian, office staff, etc.)

Last year we did this activity with Kid Card. It's a free app and had cute stickers and paper options and was easy to use...except that there were banner ads that always appeared over the toolbar, making it impossible to get to the tool bar!

This year my school bought Card Shop. The app still has an assortment of paper colors, pictures and stickers that students like. However, there seem to be some glitches that cause text boxes to disappear if the iPad is touched in just the wrong way. Also, the text boxes could not be edited. We used this app in December without these problems, so hopefully they will be fixed.

Once the cards were complete, it was easy to forward to the recipients. Since they are ecards and no physical address was necessary, students included a picture of themselves in the bottom section of the card (not shown).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

1st Grade Frog and Toad Are Friends Favorite Moment with Story Buddy or Drawing Pad/Strip Designer

First grade students continued their Arnold Lobel author study by reading Frog and Toad are Friends. Each student drew their favorite scene in Story Buddy or Drawing Pad and then added labels (a text feature we have been talking about) and an explanation of why they liked that chapter.

Students also took a picture of themselves in Puppet Pals, cut themselves out, and added themselves to the scene (not shown for privacy reasons).

2nd Grade Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs with Story Buddy or DrawingPad/Strip Designer

After reading Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett and Ronald Barrett students imagined themselves in Chewandswallow. They used Story Buddy or Drawing Pad and Strip Designer to create an image of it raining their favorite food(s). They added text to explain their picture.

Students then used Puppet Pals to photograph themselves and Pic Collage to put themselves in front of their scene (not shown for privacy reasons).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

1st and 2nd Puzzle Pop HD

Duck Duck Moose gave me a free redeem code for my class to try Puzzle Pop HD. Teachers at my school use some of their other apps and enjoy them.

Puzzle Pop is more of a "fun" app than a grammar or math app. However, there's lots of learning going on in the form of problem solving and thinking. My students played the app in pairs, so they also had to communicate with each other as they worked to solve the puzzles.

There are 27 puzzles in the app and they get increasingly more difficult. My students played for about 15 minutes total and collectively reached level 15-18. I only played the first level myself so after they played I asked them to explain to me what they had to do, what they liked, what was easy and what was challenging. It was a great conversation and I encouraged them to start their comments with "I agree with..."  or "I also thought..." or "I didn't think...", something I have been working on with them. The comments were positive and they all want to play again, so I'm sure I'll be buying some copies soon!

Students both liked and were frustrated by some of the interactive features that appear as the levels get more difficult. For example, the characters move from 1 puzzle piece to another as students re-arrange them. Also, the screen goes dark at some points so all the player can see is the eyes of the characters in the puzzle. Since I haven't played myself (I did peek over shoulders) I can't comment directly, but these extra goodies sound like fantastic and creative ways to add challenge to a puzzle beyond just adding more pieces.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

1st Grade Solids and Liquids Educreations

First grade students are also finishing their science unit (solids and liquids). They independently created an Educreations about solids and another one about liquids. The goal was to name some properties that made the 2 different.


2nd Grade Show What You Know Balance, Spin, Rotate, Vibrate

As the year winds down we finished our balance and motion science unit. Groups of 2-3 students used any app of their choice to review the main concepts of balance, spin, rotate and vibrate (our sub units). Educreations, Haiku Deck, Sonic Pics, 30 hands, Story Buddy, Popplet and Strip Designer were popular choices.

Here are a couple samples.


2nd Grade Buy My Invention Strip Designer & DrawingPad

We are working on persuasion. Students created an invention (lots of invisible pills & powders and do your homework machines) and determined their target audience. Then they created a magazine ad (Drawing Pad and Strip Designer) that would give viewers specific reasons to buy the product.

The theme for our teacher appreciation week this year was Superheroes. My students were asked by the PTO to create a super hero name, logo and gadget for me. Many of them did this at home on paper and in class I gave them time as well to create an ad for my super hero persona.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

2nd Grade Life Cycle Narratives

This past week 2nd grade students listened to a read aloud of both The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and Seahorse Reef by Sally M. Walker and Steven James Petruccio. We discussed how these books were both stories, but contained factual information.

Groups of 2-3 students chose a specific plant or animal or their choice (but not a sunflower or a seahorse) and they storyboarded their own life cycle narrative. This was challenging for some of the groups--they wanted to write the steps in the life cycle and be done with it. We had to go back to the 2 books above and talk about how they would have been different if they had been just a series of steps in the life cycle.

Once the storyboard was complete the groups chose an app to create their story. Most used Educreations, but others chose StoryBuddy, Scribble Press, Strip Design/Drawing Pad, and Sonic Pics/Drawing Pad.

1st & 2nd Grade Quick Pic Communities

As we head toward the end of the year and open house, one activity we do is create a community (after we spend a lot of time learning about them). Students are divided into groups and they choose a type of community (urban, rural, desert, mountain, jungle, and beach). To start they brainstorm what they would see in their given community. I give them categories such as homes, other buildings, animals, fun places, and plants.

In the past students within a given community group have simply talked about the categories and written notes if they wanted to, the goal being to all have the same mindset about the community before they create anything. This year I gave each student an iTouch or an iPad and assigned them to 1 of the categories above. They had 5 minutes to draw a quick picture of what the home/building/animals, etc. in their community would look like. Then, within their community group they shared their drawing and talked about it with the rest of their group.

Here's a house drawing from the rural group (made of wood, nothing else around it, plain and not decorated).

1st & 2nd Grade Write About This App

My students enjoyed a new app today, Write About This. We tried the free version, but I love it so much I think we'll buy the paid version. Next year I can see alternating this app one day a week with free writing in response to a Wonderopolis topic. There are enough pictures in Write About This to last a year, I would just vary the writing format.

Students selected a topic of interest to them and then chose a prompt. I appreciate the 3 levels of prompts (going up Bloom's Taxonomy) and I encouraged all my students to start with the level 3 prompt and only go down to level 2 or 1 if they didn't understand the prompt or were unsure of what to write. Of my 24 students only 2 opted to write about a prompt that wasn't at level 3.

The level 3 prompts did require a more detailed response. Most of my students didn't have time in their 20 min block to fully answer all parts of the question (oh I wish they could type faster).  Allowing them 30 min would have been a better time frame, too bad we had to move on to state testing.

1st Grade Solids in Water Educreations

First grade students had a great time putting various solids (raisins, rice, sugar, cookie, cloth, popsicle stick, chalk, beans, plastic cube, and salt) into containers of water. The recorded results after 5 minutes on paper and then 24 hours later they divided the solids into groups using Tools4Students based on whether the solid dissolved, became mushy but still visible, or stayed in the original solid form (noting changes that did occur such as looking darker). In addition, students each picked a solid and created an Educreations explaining what had happened to their solid.


Students removed as much of the water as possible from each solid and graphed on the whiteboard how many days it took for all the water to evaporate from the different solids.