Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Poetry

Ms. Ruse and Ms. Doyle of Rome City got their class into the holiday spirit by having their first graders at Rome City Elementary create poems. Last week I setup accounts on Pic Collage for both teachers, logged each iPod into the accounts, and downloaded all the holiday themed backgrounds and stickers that were available for free this month. (I will explain the advantages of creating a class account in the near future.)

This week we took the poems they created in Pic Collage, and imported them into Shadow Puppet. (Shadow Puppet also has advantages to creating class accounts.) Each student not only titled their Shadow Puppet by their first name, but they also included a "selfie." This helped them quickly identify their work if they happened to forget to include their name in the title. (It also helps the teacher find it on their device.) This is a great way to share writing and work on their speaking skills.

Here is a fun example:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Samples, Samples, Samples

I love to take time out to post the fun and cool ideas my fellow teachers are doing in their classrooms. It is always a great way to inspire and encourage one another as East Noble Staff. Please comment if you have other ideas or are inspired by these samples.

Mrs. Erexson
Second grade teacher at Wayne Center, Mrs. Erexson, has been really excited about the possibilities that her iPads hold for gathering information about her students' learning. Through her classroom set of iPads, she's able to essentially able to meet with every student because she gets to see their responses all from the convenience of her iPad and PC.
Using 30 Hands, her student was able to take a picture and report a quick summary about the book. This allows Mrs. Erexson to conference with more students than ever before. Does she have to listen to every video? That's probably not even necessary, but it allows her to do quick and regular checks with students. This activity of taking a picture of the text and recording responses is becoming a regular part of Mrs. Erexson's day, not a special occasion.

Here her students utilized Pic Collage to report about their reading. Here the student took a picture of her book and recorded the strategy of asking questions on her Pic Collage. The students then emailed their responses to her. Using Pic Collage to record reading strategies is a simple and fast way that students can make the connection between their reading and transferring it over to a digital project. 

Geoboard is what I consider the saver of headaches! I can't recall how many times I told students to quit flipping rubber-bands with real geoboards. Mrs. Erexson gave the students the direction to create line segments. She was more curious to see what students would create. The results were pleasantly surprising! 

Mrs. McKibben
Over the weekend, I created a video and a sample on using Chatterpix Kids. I applaud Mrs. McKibben, Fourth grade teacher at Rome City, for jumping right in and being my pioneer with this app. The students were studying Indiana history. Specifically, they were studying the Fench and Indian War. The students had to speak from the perspective of Native Americans or the French. With only 30 seconds to speak, the students had to think quickly and pack as much information in as they could. I would say that they were able to provide a wealth of information about how much they learned to Mrs. McKibben. Also, they had a lot of fun doing it as I just happened to be walking by her classroom  as they were finishing up. They were extremely excited!

Mrs. Yoder
Mrs. Yoder, first grade teacher at Avilla Elementary, also jumped in and tried Chatterpix Kids on her class set of iPod Touches. Her students tried the same author's purpose example that I came up with over the weekend. She also reported that her students had a lot of fun and that the whole process did not take a large amount of time.

Mr. Yoder
I also wanted to take some time to report about how Kindergarten is going at Rome City as I'm meeting with them every week. We continued our work using Story on the iPod Touch. I sent the students more pictures for action words. They were able to successfully download them to their devices and add to their Story project from last week. We had a lot of fun! 

(Does not work on Chrome)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ChatterPix Kids

I'm extremely excited about the potential ChatterPix Kids holds for students as they can use it to respond to learning in a quick and engaging way. Here is the basic process for ChatterPix Kids:
  1. Take a picture
  2. Draw a line for the mouth on the object
  3. Record your voice for up to 30 seconds
  4. Add stickers if necessary
  5. Save to the camera roll
In reality, we are looking at a project that shouldn't take much more than five minutes to complete. I bet the kids will enjoy using it! 

Here is an overview of the whole app: :

Here is the final product using the app to report the author's purpose for Tough Cookie:

There are lots of ways this application could be used, but here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Take a picture of an object an add adjectives to describe it.
  • Take a picture of geometric shape and have the shape give its attributes.
  • Take a picture of a character in a book and have them introduce him/herself. 
  • Take a picture of book and give a recommendation.
  • Get a picture of the author of book and have the author share the author's message.
  • Take a picture of a book and share the genre of the book and why.
  • Make figurative language come to life. Use a picture to share personification/idioms/similies/metaphors as if they were taking literally.
Let me know your ideas here on this blog! I'd love to have some comments so that all can benefit from your thoughts. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pic Collage and the Holiday Season!!!

Alert, alert, alert! You may want to go and update pic collage on your student iOS devices. If you update now, you get some free holiday backgrounds as well as some sticker packs! This would be espcially fun with Christmas break rapidly approaching.

Some sticker packs require that you create an account. If you really want your students to have those stickers, we can create a teacher account, log each device into it and have the students download the stickers. Once they are downloaded, we can then have the students log out of the account so that you do not have to worry about the students posting collages under your name to the entire world. The stickers are still usable even once logged out of the account. 

First Grade Shadow Puppet and Kindergarten Story

The first graders at Rome City took a field trip to the Gingerbread Festival today! They were able to take pictures of gingerbread houses and were looking for patterns at the same time. As the first graders were on their trip, Ms. Ruse contacted me over email asking if we could come up with a project on Shadow Puppets to talk about the patterns they saw while on their trip. Here is a small sample of what they created.

Using Shadow Puppets is easy. However, we have run into a few issues with it. For example, by having all students signed into the same account, I didn't realize that when a student created a video that it would go to the entire class set of iPods. That was quite a surprise last week. Instead of dismissing it, we trained the students to make sure that they always put their first name in the title and that it was vitally important that they did not change or delete another student's video. This is going to take some practice and quite a few reminders. 

Ms. Doyle of Rome City did use this feature for good this week. She was able to make a math instructional video by taking pictures and explaining how to solve the problem. Once she uploaded it to Shadow Puppet, it was all the students' devices! Thanks Ms. Doyle for making good use of that feature!


Today, I also worked with Mrs. Cole's Kindergarten. we continued our work with Story, but this time discussing action words. I started by helping them import a few pictures and adding text. After that, I cut them loose and let them continue the process by themselves. In the period of time, a large chunk of the students were able to independently put in pictures and text for all the action words I gave them. Here are a couple of examples: (Please remember that it does not play using Google Chrome.) 

 (This student figured out how to add music by himself.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Highlights Kids

Highlights Kids is a resource that was recently brought to my attention. It is a free resource and can be used in multiple ways for teachers and students. 

The "play it" section has quite a few learning games and digital art activities that would work extremely well on an interactive whiteboard. Students could create their own silly stories, do puzzles, unscramble words, along with many other fun activities. 

The "read it" section has quite a few short stories and articles that can be accessed on any device. What especially nice is that it will read the text aloud and highlight the words as it reads. The first grade teachers at Wayne Center Elementary are sending specific articles to students through email that they will utilize for vocabulary instruction throughout the whole week. The fact that it also reads the text aloud allows struggling readers to participate as well.