Saturday, April 25, 2015

Update of Motion Project from May 2013

About 2 years ago students created projects at the end of our motion unit to show me what they had learned. We did similar projects this year but students included 6 types of motion (push, pull, vibrate, magnetic force, spin, roll) rather than 4 and they needed to include a connection giving an example of where they use this type of motion in their own life.

All groups chose either Haiku Deck, Educreations, or My Story.

Educreations sample

Students Interview Book Characters

I'm not sure if written about this before, but about once a month I have students take on the role of interviewer and book character.  Usually they work in groups of 3 with 1 person acting as an interviewer and 2 other students acting as main characters. The interviewer asks each character 2 questions. We discuss higher level thinking questions and model these a lot at the beginning of the year so that students aren't asking "find it directly in the text" questions. Students use the camera app to record their interviews (so no samples included). I enjoy discovering the questions and answers they think up and for the most part they do a fantastic job of staying in character rather than answering as themselves. Seeing what prop they use to serve as a microphone is also entertaining...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Osmo Tangram and Osmo Masterpiece Combined

Here's a new lesson we did to use Masterpiece in a more academic sense.

My students have played Tangram frequently and are very familiar with the idea of combining the shapes to make pictures. This is important, I think, for this activity to be successful.

Pairs of students used the Osmo Tangram pieces to create an object on the table without accessing the Tangram app. I encouraged them to create something of their own rather than just recreating something they recalled from the app. However, there were a couple of pairs that struggled with creating their own picture and they did "copy" something they remembered from the app.

The pairs then accessed the Masterpiece app and took a photo of their Tangram picture. They drew the outline only of their picture so they ended up with something like the black challenges from the Tangram app in which the location of the individual pieces is hidden.

Pairs traded papers and used the physical tangram pieces to "solve" where the other group had put each piece to create the picture. They traced the pieces as they put them down and then conferred with the creating group to see if they had done it correctly.

Some pairs who had additional time created a 2nd copy of the tangram outline using Masterpiece and then colored in the drawing they made to make it look more like the real object (ie put feathers and eyes on a bird, etc.)

Close Reading of Video Using Zaption

In the last 6 weeks I've introduced close reading of video to my students. We've used the Zaption app for this skill.

I've chosen videos that are short, 1-7 minutes, for my 2nd graders.

Depending on the video students either watch on Zaption for the 1st viewing and whole class for the 2nd viewing or we watch whole class for the 1st viewing and on Zaption for the 2nd viewing. Here's a breakdown of how each of those options work.

Process 1--
1.  Students watch independently on their iPads with headphones and answer questions as they proceed through the video. The great thing about Zaption for those who haven't used it, is that I embed questions, comments, photos at different points in the video. The video pauses for these embedded items to be processed by the student before they continue. Questions I often include revolve around comprehension of the topic and making connections.
2.  We watch the video whole class. Students then pair-share deeper level questions and then share whole class and we also use this time to evaluate the video and clarify anything that confuses students.

Process 2--
1.  I use this flow for videos that I think will be more difficult for students. We watch the video whole class first and discuss the topic.
2.  Students watch independently using Zaption and as above answer embedded questions.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Flat Stanley Thinglink

All our Flat Mes came back from their trips around the US. As part of our culminating project and class discussion about how similar and different the United States can be, we created a class Thinglink.

Each student created a video or photo project summarizing the city/town their Flat Me visited. Their project had to include at least 1 photo and at least 3 facts. Most students included much more, but some were limited by the amount of information returned by the people they had sent the Flat Me to.

I created a Thinglink with a US map as the background. Each student accessed the map from their iPad and added a link to their project. We were then able to air play the map and share whole class (and via email with parents) our new knowledge about different areas of the United States.

Choosito for Research

It is always a challenge to have 2nd graders research on the Internet. Either they will find inappropriate material, or the websites with the right information are written at a reading level that is too challenging.  To avoid these problems I usually take the time to find websites ahead of time and create tiles on Symbaloo for my students to access.

A few days ago white reading the Technology Tidbits: Thoughts of a Cyber Hero blog, I learned about Choosito. Students can search a topic in this website and then filter their search by reading level, content area, and even sites approved by educators.