Saturday, February 22, 2014

1st and 2nd Grade Used Apollo (formally Liveslide)

Right before we went on February break my students had a chance to use Apollo.

The most difficult part was getting each student logged in. Their typing skills are still at the beginning level and getting their email and password entered correctly definitely took some time.

Once everyone was into the lesson it was fantastic. I also use Nearpod as a teaching tool and I think Apollo fills a tandem niche. There are times I want to immediately add something and Apollo made that easy. It was helpful to be able to draw on the screen as students watched. The absolutely LOVED having control and drawing for their peers. They especially liked looking at their screen to see the tool bar pop up and know it was their turn and I didn't even have to tell them I was giving them control.

I have a Mimio interactive whiteboard, but it's a challenge if I'm using it for a 1st grade lesson because many 2nd grade students are distracted and want to watch the lesson rather than complete their seat/partner work and vice versa. Teaching on a device that students hold on their laps using Nearpod and now Liveslide solves this problem.

I'm looking forward to using Liveslide more when we return to school!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2nd Grade Newspaper Article Response

After reading a newspaper article (old editions of a children's newspaper from San Diego) students used iDiary to write 3 facts, 2 connects (text to self, text to text, or text to world), and 1 question.

1st Grade Sequence a Play

After returning from a local production of "The Frog Prince" I asked students to use My Story or Popplet (they all chose My Story) to sequence 3 events from the play. I also asked them to give their opinion of the performance.

1st Grade Explain Math Thinking

This week pairs of 1st graders played a game on the 100 chart. They took turns thinking of a mystery number and asking questions to guess. After playing I asked them to write or speak in an app about the strategies and types of questions they used when trying to determine the mystery number. Now that their typing skills are better and they are confident with recording apps I will have them do this type of assignment on a more frequent basis.

1st and 2nd Grade Actual Size Skitch Picture

In math we've been talking about different sizes of items and comparing/contrasting them to each other. I read Actual Size by Steve Jenkins to the students. Then each student took a picture of their hand (or had a classmate help with this step) using Skitch. They drew an animal on their hand, showing about how big they though it would be, and wrote a fact about it.

2nd Grade What If You Had Animal Teeth?

Pairs of 2nd grade students read What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle and Howard McWilliam. They chose the type of animal teeth they would most like to have and explained to me, giving 3 reasons for their opnion, in a format of their choice. Students chose iDiary, Sonic Pics, Popplet, and Educreations.


2nd Grade Book Review

We are working on summarizing what we read. I asked each student to create a Chatterpix Kids video of a book they enjoy. In the allotted 30 seconds I asked them to summarize the book and explain why they think others would enjoy reading it. I find that students have a difficult time with the time limit. They tend to say too little or speak really fast because they don't want to be cut off, but then they end up only using 15 seconds or so of their time. I guess that gives us a new skill to work on!

book summary

2nd Grade Puppet Pals Heroes

Heroes and Their Character Traits

We finished our hero social studies unit this week with a group Puppet Pals activity. From all the heroes we studied in the last 5 weeks groups (3 students) had to choose 3. They had to name a character trait exhibited by that hero and explain what the person did that exemplified the character trait. After planning groups created a Puppet Pals HD video. While we have the All Access pass with all the different puppet sets, most of my students chose to find a Creative Commons photo, cut it (I think they really loved that part) and use that instead.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

1st Grade Labelling Diagrams

We focused on diagrams as a text feature this week. After looking at books, Scholastic News magazines, and a Houghton Mifflin short article in the reader about diagrams, I asked students to make and label a diagram of their own. I asked them to create a drawing that would be a little hard to understand without the labels and include the labels, discussing with a partner how the labels made the diagram easier to understand.

1st Grade Shares 100 Objects

Similar to last year's 100 day activity each 1st grader brought 100 of an item to school. In pairs they counted by 2s, 5s and 10s. They love Educreations so using Educreations they interviewed each other, asking "Why did you choose to bring 100 of ____?", "Do you like counting by 5s or 10s more and why?" and then the interviewer made a positive comment about the item. We're working a lot on opinion and backing up opinion with reasons.


1st Grade Plant Parts

Students teach each other what they know and understand about plant parts.


2nd Graders Respond to Wild Tracks by Jim Arnosky

This week students read several books about animal tracks. For several of the books they completed graphic organizers on Tools4Students or video taped each other answering comprehension questions. The activity for Wild Tracks by Jim Arnosky was to choose their favorite animal track and explain why they liked it. I wanted students to get in some authentic typing practice since many of our other activities this week involved speaking so I only gave them the choice of DrawingPad photo imported to Strip Design, My Story, or iDiary and everyone chose iDiary.

2nd Graders Tell a Quilt Story

For the past 8 years or so a docent from the San Jose Quilt Museum has come to our school for a quilt presentation. It has always been a fun day for students. They learned the history and method of quilt making along with quilt vocabulary, they each created a quilt square using fabric markers, and heard the docent tell a story using well known quilt patterns as the "illustrations" for the story.

Unfortunately the program is no longer being offered. Luckily, one of my co-workers had photographed the different quilt patterns. After learning the name of each quilt pattern my students chose their favorite 3 and used 30 Hands or Sonic Pics to create a quilt story of their own.

2nd Graders Recall Abe Lincoln Facts

We finished off our hero unit with presentations by each student of a hero of their choice. Before that, students used several sources to learn about Abe Lincoln. I asked pairs to work together to share their favorite 4 facts with me. I left the format choice up to them, all 7 groups chose either Popplet or ChatterPix Kids (app malfunction--mouth doesn't seem to be moving).

Abe Lincoln ChatterPix Kids

Remember to Use the Camera!

So many times during the day students will be doing something and I'll think "I wish I could share that moment with parents." Sometimes I forgot about all the cameras we have in the room on the iPads conveniently linked to email and Posthaven. The students are getting in the habit now of asking/suggesting that they take a picture to post to their eportfolio. So, remember to use the camera! Here a student documents a pentominoes challenge he succeeded in solving.