Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Technology Tool I LOVE!

When I think about a technology tool I use in my classroom, my immediate thought is our classroom set of iPads.  Prior to having iPads in my classroom, I hadn't really used an iPad.  I was aware of the potential they had in the classroom but hadn't had the opportunity to experiment with them.   After working with the iPads in my classroom, these are some of the opportunities they have brought to my classroom:

  Throughout the year my students posted about different things they were learning in the classroom.  Through their blogs, they were able to share their writing about their learning and received comments from people across the world.

Flipped Classroom
  I was able to create iBooks for the students to use in Math.  With this, students were able to watch videos I had created to explain what they were learning.  I liked this because students that needed to review a lesson were able to do it on their own so they were continually getting the extra support they needed.

Paperless Classroom
  Since the students have the capability of accessing their school email.  My classroom has become virtually paperless.  When students complete and assignment or project, they are able to email me the information or share their Google Docs with myself or other students.  This has made the workflow in my classroom run smoothly.

Apps I LOVE!!
  Notability, Google Drive, Doceri, iMovie, Comic Life, and Kid Blog

Monday, June 10, 2013

Word Work in Action

  I am currently teaching summer school so I decided to write about a lesson we just did.  I was inspired by a still picture video that I found on YouTube called Everything At Once.
  I have a classroom set of iPads and during summer school, I am using them to teach the students how to create different types of iMovies.  One of the movies my students created was a still photo movie with a letters.
  For this lesson, I had the students find a word in the dictionary that they weren't familiar with.  It had to be a word that described them.  Once they found the word they had to write the definition on a sentence strip and find the letters that spelled their word.  They then worked with a partner and took pictures of the letters changing directions and being manipulated to eventually spell their vocabulary word.  Once the students had all of the pictures they needed (around 100) the students then recorded the still picture movie and put it with music.  When you watch the movie, it looks as if the letters are moving by themselves to form the word.
  I thought this was a great activity because the students all learned a new vocabulary word that described them and when the students presented their videos, their classmates were learning the new words as well.  I was amazed by how engaged the students were, and I enjoyed seeing their creativity.
  While creating these projects, we did run into a little stump.  The iMovie app automatically adds the Ken Burns affect to still photos, and there is not an easy way to take it off.  The app also does not have an apply all option.  Since the students had 100+ photos they were working with, we decided this editing piece would take too long.  So the students used another iPad to record their screen, then took that recording and added music to it in iMovie.  The project turned out pretty good.  The filming is a little dark, but we worked with what we had, and the students were fairly happy with their projects.  It was a learning experience for all of us, and it was a simple reminder that as a teacher, I need to be flexible and find ways to work around those little barriers I come across.
  If you know of an app (free would be great) that would allow my students to record their screen, please share.  Or if you know of a very simple way to take off the Ken Burns affect and add an apply all rule to transitions on the iMovie app.  Please share!!!

Here is a clip of one of the final products.