Archive for April 30, 2015

Biography Poem Word Clouds – Fourth Grade

Photo Apr 21, 1 55 49 PM

The fourth graders have been working on poetry in Mrs. Swanson’s class during the month of April. Recently, I brought the iPads into their classes, and Mrs. Swanson and I worked together with the students to create word clouds to go with their biography poems. We used the ABCya Word Cloud app (which currently is free on iTunes). They turned out great and are on display along with their poetry in the hall upstairs – be sure to check them out!

Here is a gallery showing their word clouds – click on each image to see it full screen:

Third Grade Wax Museum Signs

The third graders did an amazing job on their Michigan Wax Museum presentations. I hope you noticed the beautiful signs that they created using Print Shop in the computer lab to be a part of their displays


First Flower Faces 2015

These happy flower faces were made by the first graders using Photobooth and KidPix! They used a number of new skills to make them including:

Taking a photo of themselves using a webcam

Saving/exporting the photo

Opening/importing the photo

Using an eraser tool and the undo button to erase a background

Using a textured drawing tool and a fill bucket

I created the video of their pictures using the Animoto app.

Sphero Lesson Self Reflections 2015

Here are the spreadsheets/graphs created by each class showing the data we collected while using our Spheros:

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 11.03.54 AM Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 11.01.11 AM

(Click image to view larger)

Students, I want you to leave a comment on our blog reflecting on the Sphero activity. Remember, no last names. Write several sentences telling me:

1. What did you like about using the Spheros? What did you learn about using them?

2. What things were tricky about using the Spheros? How did you solve your problems with using them?

3. How did you have to use math while you did the Target Practice activity?

4. What is an idea of something you would like to learn how to do using the Sphero (a trick you would like to make it do)? Be creative!

Here is a link where you can purchase Sphero on Amazon. (We receive a small percentage of any purchases that helps buy technology that our students can use.)

Kindergarten Computer Gardens!

Today the kindergarten students used KidPix in the computer lab to make their creativity bloom! They used textured paintbrushes (which we fondly call the “wacky brush”) with the mouse to digitally paint some beautiful flower gardens. Watch the video to enjoy seeing the students with their masterpieces!

First Grade Faces Stories

These videos give you a quick look at the wonderful stories that the first graders recently finished writing and illustrating using Kidpix. I’m proud of how they can follow multiple directions on their own and their creative drawing and writing skills!

Sphero Target Practice – Day 2

Photo Mar 18, 2 20 32 PM

Here are the Sphero tasks for you to complete today (in this order):

1. Finish 4 tries of Sphero Target Practice. Enter the data on your data sheet. Your data must be in inches – if you did feet and inches you will need to convert it to all inches! (If all 4 tries were zero, see Miss Bosch. You will need to try again at a harder distance to get some numbers to use!)  Here is the video if you forgot how to pair or set up the Sphero using the Drive app.

2. Find the total of your four tries (add) and put the total on your data sheet.

3. On your computer, click on Mission Control, then Dashboard. Use the calculator to find your average score.  To find the average take the (TOTAL) divided by (4). Write down the average – it may be a decimal.

4. Go to the front computer. Type in your first name, your total, and your average into the spreadsheet. It will build a graph of your scores as you enter the data. If the front computer is busy, go to the next step and come back when it isn’t busy.

5. You may try out the Sphero and the Draw and Drive apps with your Sphero when you are done. Try to stay out of the way of other groups.

Here is a link where you can purchase Sphero on Amazon. (We receive a small percentage of any purchases that helps buy technology that our students can use.)


Art Maker App with PreSchool!

This video shows some clips of the preschool students making their own animated VIDEOS (yes, preschoolers making videos!) using the Art Maker app. They were making videos about playing with friends, while using good friendship sharing skills to work together to build their videos. In the process, they used a variety of skills to pinch, move, and resize their characters. They also had to follow directions to tap the correct buttons to record, play back, save, and start over. You can see their imaginations were going full blast and they were having great fun. Such a great example of the power of iPads – 5 years ago creating something like this would have been unthinkable in an elementary school, let alone a preschool!

The Art Maker app is a fun, kid friendly app that is currently available for $2.99 on iTunes!

By the way, I tried out a new app called Lumify to edit the clips together. It was really easy, let you add the clips quickly, add titles, transitions, and music. It has some deeper editing if you wish, but I was able to merge these simple clips in under 10 minutes. Best of all, it is FREE and is not loaded with inapp purchases. AND it lets you save to the camera roll or publish to a variety of locations.

Sphero Target Practice


Link for Steer Spreadsheet

This happy face shows how the fourth graders were feeling today as we started to use the Sphero robotic balls which we were blessed with through a grant from Sphero! Total excitement and engagement!

The first task of the day was learning how to set up and move the Spheros using the free Sphero Drive app. Here is a video showing the directions:

Total Concentration!

Total Concentration!

Teamwork while learning to steer the Sphero

Teamwork while learning to steer the Sphero


Then the students did a “Target Practice” activity to see how close they could steer the Sphero to a dot on the floor in 8 seconds.

Setting up the Sphero on the starting line

Setting up the Sphero on the starting line

Measuring the distance from the target

Measuring the distance from the target


Students measured how close the Sphero came to the target and recorded the data. Each student made 4 tries. We will be working to find their average distance next week. We will be analyzing and comparing the data from their class using a spreadsheet.

I took some video clips on my phone and tested out a couple new (for me) video editing apps. This first one (below) was done with the free (with inapp purchases) Replay app. It formats the video into a square shape for Instagram and chops and mixes up the clips. There are a few options for titles and styles that come for free, many more for purchase. Saves to camera roll and shares to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

The one below is using the free Adobe Premiere Clip app. It was easy to add multiple clips, do simple edits, and had quite a few nice options for music.  You can save to the camera roll and share to Youtube or use Adobe Creative Cloud. The big feature it was missing is titles – none at all that I could see. I saved my finished video to the camera roll and then added my title using iMovie

I hope the videos capture a bit of the fun and excitement that using Sphero generated in our classes!

Here is a link where you can purchase Sphero on Amazon. (We receive a small percentage of any purchases that helps buy technology that our students can use.)