Friday, March 14, 2014

Sticking to Stick Around

After hearing so many positive things about the app Stick Around from a variety of educators, I was ecstatic when the approval came through to purchase the app for my students.  In the last few weeks, Stick Around has added a new dynamic of learning in my classroom.  Stick Around is an app that allows the user to create puzzles that are solved by matching the appropriate sticker with the problem.  I started using this app by created puzzles for my students to solve.  I have created puzzles that require students to sort spelling words based on patterns, puzzles that require them to solve a variety of math problems, puzzles that sort rocks and minerals, and puzzles that sequence parts of a story.  The students enjoy solving the problems and I love the immediate feedback they receive from the puzzle.
Puzzle I created for my 4th graders to review for math

The other piece of Stick Around that I love is the fact that my students are able to create their own puzzles.  Many of my math assignments have involved having my students create their own puzzles.  They then share these puzzles in a Google Drive folder that is shared with their classmates.  This allows them to solve each other's puzzles as they are completed.  My students have taken greater pride in their work knowing their puzzles are going to be played by their classmates.  I have observed them double checking their work and taking the time to add an extra "challenge" to their puzzle.  The ease of sharing these puzzles and enjoyment the students have in solving and creating them is priceless.

Stick Around has become one of the staple apps I use in my classroom.  I strongly recommend that you take the time to consider this app for your classroom.  It offers immediate feedback to my students as well as numerous tools that allow students to demonstrate their learning through pictures, drawings, voice recordings, and words.

As an added bonus to this app, my students were given the opportunity to do a Google Hangout with the creator of the app Tony Vincent.  Thank you to my colleague, Brent Catlett, for getting this set up for my classroom as well as several others in our district.

It was a wonderful opportunity for my students and they learned so many new things from Mr. Vincent about the app such has how to duplicate shapes, delete stickers and new updates that will be coming soon.  Connecting my students with Tony Vincent gets them excited about what the future holds for them.  They are starting to realize that creating apps could be part of their future. I feel that this experience brings the world into my classroom and I love it!  My students were excited about meeting with Mr. Vincent and wrote wonderful blogs about the experience.  Feel free to read a few.