Saturday, January 31, 2015

Study of Animal Tracks

In addition to activities I have assigned to students in past years for our animal tracks study, this year I added a compare/contrast component.  See February 1, 2014 post for more information about other activities related to this unit.

For the compare/contrast activity partners chose 2 animal tracks they had researched. They drew them and then wrote captions explaining a similarity and a difference. Strip Design and My Story were the most commonly chosen apps for this activity, although 1 pair created a Popplet.

Pairs then shared their work with another set of students for proofreading and critical friend purposes (always a good thing as the sample here shows that the illustrations were mislabeled on 1 page).

Termite Terrorists Math

I found a great problem solving/critical thinking activity from As a class my students and I went through the rules of Termite Terrorists and discussed several samples that are solved on the website.

I created a few simple formats myself for my students to work on before they move on to the more complex problems on the website. They worked on these in pairs to create at least 3 solutions for a puzzle, along with explaining their thinking about why they thought they were the best solutions. Then each partner of the pair worked with a new partner to compare solutions and discuss further. Finally, each student worked with a 4th partner to create a product showing their work. Most students chose the My Story app, although 1 pair worked on paper and a couple used Drawing Pad.

Students then imported their work to iMovie to explain their thinking (not shown for privacy reasons).

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Typing Practice While Adding Detail to a Sentence

I am always looking for activities that allow my students to practice their typing skills in an authentic way, while accomplishing another task. This week I gave them a sentence of mixed-up words. First, they had to organize the words to make a sentence that made sense. Next, they needed to add 2 details. Finally, they needed to add either a "but" or "because" phrase. This also provided a great opportunity for some students to show their peers about the copy/paste function available in many apps. Here's a sample from Pages. All students chose either Pages, Notes, or My Story for this activity.

Comparing a Modern and Historic Hero Using WeMap+

We are busy with our social studies unit about heroes.

Last week pairs of students used WeMap+ to compare a modern hero (anyone still alive after my students were born) and a historic hero (anyone who had died prior to 2006). I asked them to focus on the many character trait words we've talked about as well as specific actions of the heroes.

Students used the web as an outline for a paragraph they wrote comparing/contrasting the heroes (completed on paper since parents still want their students to practice handwriting).

Haiku Deck of Ready for Anything Reader Response

Update from February 9, 2013 activity...

As with the lesson 2 years ago, we read Ready for Anything by Keiko Kaska and discussed the positive and negative outlooks of duck and raccoon.  Many students completed their own positive/negative situation pair using My Story or Strip Design, but this year some students also chose Haiku Deck. Here's a sample of one of those projects.

When I asked students why they chose Haiku Deck, all 3 who did responded that they didn't want to draw their own pictures and they liked choosing photos. I liked the critical thinking necessary to find 2 photos from a similar setting that conveyed opposite emotions.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

WeSketch+ Comparison of 2 books

In addition to our Leo Lionni author study I read students Three Pebbles and a Song by Eileen Spinelli. Pairs of students then drew a scene from each book with the purpose of highlighting a similarity between Three Pebbles and a Song and Frederick.

Reasons We Like/Don't Like Winter Better, in WeWrite+

I asked my students to self-select whether they think winter is the best season or not. Within that breakdown I then put students into groups of 3-4. Each group created a WeWrite+ and wrote reasons supporting their viewpoint that winter either is or is not the best season.

Martin Luther King Jr. study

Friday we focused a lot on Martin Luther King Jr.

We started with the Scholastic News grade 2 magazine (on our iPads), including viewing the videos and completing the back page in Skitch. I followed that with a read aloud of A Picture Book of Martin Luther King Jr by David A. Adler and My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris. Students were then put in pairs and given a block of time to read and research. I had a few sites bookmarked on Symbaloo for them to access as well as biographies in the Epic app and some paper books.

Following all this research pairs of students (different partner from the research phase) created a Haiku Deck presentation with facts they had learned. Here are a few slides from their presentations. I required all students to have a title slide and 1 fact per other slide, but outside of that I gave them free reign.

Later in the day, following a discussion of the "I Have a Dream" speech, students created a presentation about what they dreamed about for our classroom, their neighborhood, our country, and the world. I left the app choice up to them and also gave them the option of working on paper.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Freckle Juice unit

This week we read Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. At the end of each chapter students completed an iPad activity, in addition to comprehension questions and connections.

chapter 1--Using Tools4Students pairs of students wrote about 2 cause/effect pairs. Independently they illustrated and wrote a caption for a 3rd cause/effect pair using an app of choice (Strip Design and My Story were popular choices).

chapter 2--Pairs created a timeline of 5 events from the chapter using Tools4Students, Popplet, WeMap, or Timeline by ReadWriteThink. Here Timeline was the favorite (8 pairs), possibly because we've only used it once before so it still has the novelty factor.

chapter 3--Students each created a "poster" advertising a product they invented. First we had a few lessons about advertising and marketing strategies. Students could use any iPad app, everyone chose either My Story or Drawing Pad.

chapter 4--Pairs of students created a Trading Card about Andrew.

chapter 5--Using any recording app (Educreations, Chatterpix Kids, and Tellagami were the ones picked), completed 2 sentence stems--"Freckle Juice was about..." and "I liked/didn't like it because...".

Educreations recording