Does that title sound like your classroom? Especially at this time of the year? 🙂
With only a few days left until winter break, it can get kinda crazy in a classroom! The kids are all buzzing with talk of Santa, playing in the snow, and presents. So, what’s a teacher to do???
The answer is: think of VERY engaging activities that keep the kids focused, having fun, and most importantly- learning (of course) 😉
In science, we are learning about the moon. We’ve spent time looking at pictures of craters, watching videos of astronauts walk on the moon, created mini books, and focused on moon vocabulary.
Basically, we’ve covered the basics! I knew I wanted to do something to start wrapping up the unit and have the kiddos share/show what they’ve learned.
It’s a free app where you can take any picture, draw in a mouth line, and record yourself saying anything. When you press play, the picture’s mouth moves in time with what you recorded.
I learned about this app at a recent technology team meeting and right away started thinking about all the ways I could use it in the classroom.
I knew it would be the perfect thing to introduce during this time of the year to keep the kids focused, but also for them to record all the facts they’ve learned about the moon.
So, I put the kids in groups of 3-4 and gave each group an iPad. I had introduced the app the day before, quickly explaining how to use it, what their job was, and what they needed to accomplish.
Basically the rules were this:
1. You need to take turns and share the iPad.
2. Each person in the group needs to say at least 1 fact about the moon.
3. By the end of the activity, you need a finished product to show the class.
Instead of using a picture of a person, we used a picture of the moon. The kids gave the moon a mouth, recorded themselves saying facts about the moon, and then could use the app to “decorate” the picture using filters, “stickers”, and frames.
Ok, do you see how focused they are? It was instant! The kids were so into this!
The app is so easy to use and the kids had it figured out right away. If they didn’t like what they recorded, they could re-record it again.
I didn’t give them too much direction on how to accomplish all of this and I did that on purpose. I didn’t want to say to them, “Ok, Jimmy you will hold the iPad, and then Susie will press the app, and then Joey will record the first fact….” and so on. I think working in small groups gives them needed practice on how to work with others, problem solve, and take turns. And it worked out great! Of course I got the occasional, “He isn’t sharing!” but I reminded the group of the expectations and what the goal was. They all knew they had to work together and got back to working like a team. 🙂
One of the things they had a lot of fun doing was adding on the extras- the app lets you put on “stickers” and filters (like Instagram) or frames around the edges. I let them be creative and add anything they wanted. We ended up with a lot of Santa Moons. 🙂
When the kids were done, I projected them and each group shared their end products. It was so great! Not only did the kids have fun, but it showed me everything they had learned about the moon. It was a great end of unit project!
And for anyone nervous to try something like this in their class or thinks their kids couldn’t handle this, let me tell you- they were teaching me things about the app! The kids just instantly seemed to know how to work it and when I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of additional stickers on the picture, one kid showed me! I asked how he had figured it out (btw, you swipe the picture out to the edge of the screen and it deletes) and he said, “Ms. Tasch, I just know!” Well, there ya go! 😉
Try this app at home for fun or in the classroom for learning! It would really be used for anything!