Fifth-grade classes finished their Hyperstudio Tour of their Life project today. When students were done, they went around the room and left comments for other students about their projects. They left both complements and suggestions of things that could be improved. It was a great way to learn and grow from their peers.
The first-graders recently finished these snowman stories created in KidPix. Last week we recorded the audio portion of each story in the Book Creator. app. Our snowman book will be available soon for download and we are planning to publish it to iTunes.
The third-grade classes have begun their first lessons in keyboarding using the Type to Learn program. They are off to a good start using the home row position on the keyboard. Please remind students to use the home row when they do any typing at school or at home.
Today the PreK students used 2 apps. We did the Preschool Memory Match game (currently $0.99 US) which is the best matching app I have found. Love that it uses pictures, text, and audio and helps to stretch students’ vocabulary as they play. The sound effects are realistic, and there are fun little touch widgets in between each game that students can touch and manipulate.
We also played the Toca House app (currently $2.99 US) which is a touch and explore game. I like how students just have use some problem solving skills to get the various elements to work by touching, swiping, and dragging. Good fun as the help clean the virtual house!
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The third graders recently finished their Minecraft Animal Habitats. They took screenshots of their habitats and then used the Explain Everything app to record a report where they told about their habitat. This was the students’ first time using Explain Everything, and unfortunately we ran into some issues with the audio recording with technical errors, being too soft, or having lots of background noise. Therefore I selected a few of the reports to publish as examples of the students’ work in this project.
This was a long project with many parts, but I am very proud of the great work that the students did throughout the process!
Teacher Notes – Here is an overview of the project and some of my thoughts about what I would do differently next time. Click on the link to read the post about each part of the project:
Inquiry and Research – we used Padlet to collect questions before researching an animal’s habitat.
(I loved using Padlet to collect student questions. I did find that some students struggled a bit to generate questions that directly addressed things they needed to know to build the habitat and sometimes their research did not relate to this task. Next time I would look for new ways to focus the inquiry and research process, perhaps trying to do more of the research while they are building the habitat.)
Building in Minecraft – students worked either individually or with a partner to build an animal habitat.
(The students knew much more about Minecraft than I did, and that was great! If someone got stuck, I would just shout out “Who knows how to….” and someone would jump up and help! They did a great job teaching each other, and me! Now I know how to fly and grow trees – bonemeal, who knew? Those who had done a lot of Minecraft definitely came up with the most creative solutions. A few students who had never used Minecraft struggled throughout the MInecraft part of the project – they never could quite find a good location or build a structure, but they accomplished enough that they could at least explain what they were trying to do.)
Recording a Report - using video tutorials about how to use Explain Everything.
(Having the video tutorials for Explain Everything worked great! Students watched them when they were ready for each part and could rewatch as needed. It really made the process of follwing the steps easier. However, next time I think I would simply record a video of the student showing their habitat in Minecraft and talking about it. I think it would give a better overview of the habitat and students could more thoroughly explain their design and thinking, plus it would be much faster than using Explain Everything.)
So it is the day before vacation, and the computer lab is being used for testing. A perfect excuse to have tech class using iPads in the fifth grade classrooms and have a little fun using the VidRhythm app to create music videos! Here are a few shots of the students in action. Scroll down to the bottom where I have posted a few examples of the fun videos that they created! Enjoy!
VidRhythm is currently available on iTunes for $1.99 (used to free, sorry, but offers a lot of fun for a small price!).
On Friday, the Kindergarten students made virtual snowflakes using an app called Snowflake Station. (No little snips of white paper all over the floor when you do it with an iPad!)
When we were done making and saving our snowflakes, students used the app to take a “selfie” and then made the snowflakes fall over top of their face! Lots of fun!
Snowflake Station is currently available for $0.99 US on the iTunes app store.
Looking for some free snowflake apps and other creative Christmas apps? Check out this post from last year:
This week the PreK students created Christmas “ornaments” using the Mandalas Free app. They LOVED seeing the pretty designs that they could create.
The goal of this lesson was to challenge the first grade students to follow multiple directions independently to create a Christmas tree. Students watched the teacher demonstrate directions which used five different tools with five different steps. Most students were able to successfully complete all steps and make, decorate, and label a beautiful Christmas tree without assistance!
Here are 2 musical slideshows showing all the tress! Enjoy!
Fifth grade students are busy at work creating tours of their life of using Hyperstudio software. They are demonstrating great creativity and skills as they use multiple tools in unique ways.