Sunday, September 6, 2015

Getting to Know Each Other Through Photography

For the last 3 weeks we've been doing a lot of photography with our iPads as a way to get to know each other.  Since these activities involve pictures of students, I am not including examples.  We are working on the driving question "Who are We", so all these activities support that topic.

First Day of School--  At the end of the 1st day of school students created a 1 box Strip Design or a page in My Story with a photo of themselves showing their favorite activity they had done that day.  This provided a great way to start the Seesaw eportfolio so there was immediately something for parents to see.  I also put students into groups of students who had chosen the same activity and asked them to explain to each other why they had picked that activity.

Who Are You-- The first week of school pairs of students take a picture of each other and import the photo to Popplet.  They interview each other, asking questions they come up with, or from a list of 20 questions I provide to them.  Questions include things like, what is your favorite sport, what do you like to do at lunch, what is your favorite lunch, who was your 1st grade teacher, etc.  The interviewer types in the interviewee's answers (forcing them to pay attention) in different bubbles around the center picture.  Most students have time to add 5-6 facts about their partners before we move on to sharing whole class.  When we share the interviewer presents the info about the interviewee.

Sentence types-- We are discussing telling, question, exclamatory, and command sentences.  Pairs of students take pictures of each other and bring them into a Strip Designer template with 4 boxes.  The photos are supposed to reflect what they know of each other and also provide an example of each of the types of sentences.  For example, if a student likes basketball, they might be pictured holding a ball with the command sentence, "Bring the basketball to recess."

Recess Rules-- We have 4 areas students can use during recess--tables, field, playground, and blacktop.  Students self-select which area they prefer for this assignment (I always have to cross my fingers that the groups come out fairly even, but even if they don't I can divide the larger groups into a few smaller groups).  The groups then work together to create a presentation in Strip Design, Haiku Deck or Educreations to explain the rules in that area.  I encourage them to include photographs of themselves using that area, but that is optional.  If there are 4 or fewer students I have them work as a single group, if there are more than 4 students who choose an area of the school I divide them into smaller working groups that each create a presentation.  There are several purposes to this activity-- students remind each other of appropriate behavior, the understand the rules well enough to explain them, they practice collaboration, and they review how to use an app (most used these apps in 1st grade, but some students might not have).

Personal Goal-- After a discussion about different topics that we'll cover in 2nd grade, I ask each student to create a realistic goal for themselves for the year.  It can be academic or behavioral, but it must relate to our classroom in some way.  Students use the rear facing camera, take a picture of themselves, then bring it into an app of choice (My Story, Strip Design, Educreations, Skitch) and explain their goal, or they video themselves right in the camera app.  This is something we'll be able to look back on throughout the year to reflect on progress, as well as at the end of the year.  It also helps students understand that they have a say in their education.

What are You Like?-- At the end of the 3rd week of school students have had an opportunity to work with everyone else in the class.  There is also a relatively small amount of turnover at my school, so most students have met their classmates in either K or 1st grade.  Pairs of students take a photo of each other in Skitch.  Around their partner's photo they write character traits/adjectives with a specific example.  For example, "helpful because she volunteers to carry the lunch bin"

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