Archive for November 21, 2015

Giving Thanks with the Write About This app

On Wednesday, the second-grade students used Write About This app to tell about some of the things that they are thankful for. We used one of the photo prompts that are included in the app to write this story. This activity was a good opportunity for students to practice typing using the iPad keyboard and learn about using some of the special keys on the keyboard. The students wrote some very thoughtful expressions of their thanks to God.

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One of the great features about this app is that it lets students make an audio recording of themselves reading their stories! This is such a great way for them to work on their reading fluency skills! Here are a couple of examples of stories with the audio attached – click on them to listen!

When students finished recording their story, they were able to choose another picture prompt  and worked on a second story.

Write About This is one of my favorite apps for encouraging young learners to develop their writing and reading fluency skills. If you are looking for a way to encourage your child to write creatively or to improve their oral reading skills, this is the one you want!  There is a lite version which will let you test out the app. The full version is currently $3.99 in the US iTunes store.

Write About This

Write About This Free


Creating A Digital Tattoo with the SketchbookX app

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This year we used the term “digital tattoo” rather than digital footprint when talking about cyber safety issues with the 5th graders. I wanted to emphasize that whatever you do on the internet is permanent just like a tattoo – it is hard to make it go away. To emphasize the point, students created a drawing of their hand and arm and created their own digital tattoo to represent how they would like people to recognize them from the things they do online.

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Students viewed a video tutorial that I created that outlined the steps for tracing their hand and then adding drawings for their tattoo using an iPad. (NOTE: I did discover that many students struggled with getting the hand traced properly without any gaps so the paint bucket fill tool would work. I ended up going around the room and helping many of the students trace their hands. Maybe next time we might photograph their hand and wrist and then do our drawing over top of the photo!) We used the free Sketchbook X app to do this project. Here is the tutorial:

Not everyone was able to complete their drawings during class. Here are a few examples, I will try to add more as they become available!

A few students were able to post their tattoo into our Edmodo community where we have been practicing our digital citizenship while discussing our Christian faith. Here are a few examples and their explanations of their tattoos:

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The fifth graders have done a great job putting their faith and digital citizenship into action over the past few weeks while using Edmodo and I am proud of their work!

Kindergarten Color Photography with iPads


Last week the kindergarten students worked with partners to use Pads to take photographs and make these color posters using the Pic Collage app. Here are some of their posters below. (A few projects may be missing due to technical difficulties with saving their projects.)


PreSchool Farm Fun app

These preschool students are totally involved with creating their own farms using the free Make a Scene:Farmyard app! They loved the variety of pictures and sounds!



Native American Twitter Pages

This week Mrs. Smith brought the fifth graders into the computer lab to make these cool “Twitter” pages based on research that they had done about different Native American groups. They had to invent a character and turn their research into tweets written in first person about activities that they might be doing. I just had to share a few examples of the projects below. They use such clever writing and look really awesome!

Teacher note: This lesson was based on an activity that I did about 5 years ago when I was teaching fifth grade. Here is a link to the original template from Tony Cassidy which I adapted for  this project:

There are a number of online sources that allow you to generate fake “tweets” that could be adapted for this lesson:


World’s Largest Language Lesson – World Record!

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On Friday, the fourth grade students went for a world record by joining students from around the world for the World’s Largest Language Lesson! In order to qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, students had to be counted by tickets, video taped entering the room, and photographed while participated. The lesson was broadcast from Great Britain and was viewed via internet and projector. It also had to be attended by two outside witnesses. Thank you to Southfield Councilwoman Tawya Morris and to Gail Henderson for being witnesses to our event!

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Students watched and listened to the hosts and students explain the activities they were going to be doing. In the lesson the students used the app Pettson’s Inventions Lite to solve puzzles. As part of the Language Lesson, they shared predictions with their partner on how they thought they could solve the puzzle and then explained their solutions to each other. At the end of the lesson, all students had to take a short (easy) test!

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Students were very engaged with predicting, solving, and explaining the puzzles during the lesson. We also are delighted that a one pound donation per student was made to children’s charities by the event’s sponsor.

Thank you to Mrs. Swanson for arranging for/organizing for the fourth grades to join in this lesson. Hopefully their world record with soon be made official!

Thanksgiving Raps with Apps 2015


Here you can see the fourth graders creating some amazing “Thanksgiving Raps with Apps!” They started by using the I Am Ringtones app to create a background beat. (This app is no longer available, but another free option is iAmBeatBox from the same company. The Smart Drums in Garageband also might also work, or any other app that creates a beat pattern.)


Once the beats were created and saved, students wrote their own Thanksgiving raps to go with the beats. They came up with great ideas of thing to thank and praise God for!



Finally, the students used a second iPad to record their raps while the beats played on the first iPad. We used the Audioboom app to record and publish the raps, but any audio recording app could be used.


Here are their raps for your listening pleasure! I was quite impressed with their creativity and talent. (Note: a few raps had some technical difficulties in the recording process, hopefully we will be able to record them and add them next week!)

Click here for Thanksgiving Raps with Apps Playlist link

Digital Tattoo – Tutorial Video

Fifth graders, today we are going to use the Sketchbook X Express app to create a representation of your “digital tattoo.” Your digital tattoo is a drawing and words to represent what the way you would like people to view/think of you when they see what you do online. Like a tattoo, it stays forever and is very hard to get rid of or erase. Here is a video tutorial showing you the steps for creating the tattoo drawing using layers.

When you are done with your picture, save it to the camera roll. If we have time, I will show you how to use Edmodo on your iPad to post your drawing and to leave an explanation of what your digital tattoo represents.



Kindergarten Funny Faces






The kindergarten students have been using the Faces I Make app to make some funny pictures. Students made these funny faces using out of pictures of food and candy! (Note: a few pictures may be missing due to students being absent or due to some technical problems with saving the pictures.)

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Some of the students made some vehicles like cars or trucks when they finished their faces. Here are a few cute examples:

Faces I Make is a very creative app! It is currently available in the iTunes app store for $2.99 US.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Second Grade 2015

The second graders recently made these “Happy Thanksgiving” pictures in computer class. While doing this project, students learned how to format text to change the size, color, centering, and font. They also had to follow multiple steps to draw their turkey using a variety of tools and then learned to send the completed picture to the printer without help. Miss Bosch combined all the pictures together into these fun videos to show their pictures!