ChatterKid

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.

Enter- ChatterKid!

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

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.

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

Ok, do you see how focused they are? It was instant! The kids were so into this!

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

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.

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

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. 🙂

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

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. 🙂

ChatterKid

ChatterKid

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Colar Mix App and Project

Hello, hello! I hope you are keeping nice and warm- it’s been so chilly these last few days! The cold weather has meant lots of sniffly noses in the room, indoor recess, and SNOW!

Snowy pup

Snowy pup

This is what happens when Miss Molly wants to go outside to help shovel. About ten minutes into it, she ditched Mr. P, ran around to the back of the house, and was scratching on the door to be let in! 🙂

She looks so sad in that picture, but don’t let those sad eyes fool you, she loves being outside and in the snow!

Colar Mix

Bring a picture to life!

Bring a picture to life!

Today in class I was faced with 2 challenges. One- indoor recess…. for the THIRD. DAY. IN. A. ROW. Enough said.

The second challenge- no specials or breaks today.

On days we have no breaks, it’s a long afternoon. It’s hard for all of us for the kids to stay focused. I try to find really engaging things for afternoons like this.

Enter ColarMix!

I’m part of the district’s technology team and at our last meeting, one of the other teachers taught us about this app and instantly, I knew I’d be using it.

Colar Mix

Colar Mix

To start, you need to go to their webpage, which can be found here: Coloring Pages and print off one of the coloring pages. There are 4 free ones and then bundles you can buy for fairly cheap.

Next, have the students (or the very excited teacher) color in the page.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

They recommend you don’t use dark colors, like lots of black in the picture. Then, download the app from the app store- IT’S FREE! Just search Colar Mix. (The picture of the app is above.)

Open up the app and there will be two options: Play or Pages. Click on play and hold the device over the coloring page. Instantly, the picture comes to life!

Wow!

Wow!

So cool!

So cool!

From above!

From above!

I thought this was SO COOL, so I knew my kiddos would love it too!

So how can you use this in a classroom?

Remember how I said that today there was in-door recess and no specials? Today was the day to whip out this secret weapon!

I told the kids I had a very special writing project to do today. The project had 4 steps: Coloring, writing, sharing, and a surprise. I told them that to get to the surprise stage, they had to listen and follow along with the rest of the project.

To start, I passed out the coloring page and told all the students to do their very best job coloring. I encouraged them to use lots of colors, shapes, and patterns.

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

Coloring

They all look so focused don’t they? 😉

After we all colored, I then modeled how to write a description of their bird. We did one together as a class first. We used color words to describe the parts of the bird and how we decorated it. Since we’ve been working on using details to write more in our writing, this fit perfectly. Again, we got right to work.

 

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

After writing for about 20 minutes, the students met with their writing partners to share their picture and what they had written. The kids know to find their partner, find a spot in the room, and share.

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

After ALL OF THIS, the surprise was yet to come. They had no idea what they were in for! (Although please realize that I was asked at least 5,256 times what the surprise would be at the end and if it was time for it yet) 🙂

Finally, we got back to our seats and I told them that they had done such a fantastic job, that I was going to do a little winter magic for them. I was going to bring their bird to life!

“Oooooooooooooooo!” said all the kids and everyone started to rise up out of their seats. I called a student up and had her put her bird paper on the desk. Using the app and the iPad (which was connected to the projecter so everyone could see) I held it over her picture. When the bird sprang up and started moving my kids screamed- in a good way! They couldn’t believe it!

It's alive!

It’s alive!

They LOVED this so much, I can’t even begin to tell you. We had each and every student’s bird come to life on the screen and the kids enjoyed watching everyone’s. They commented on the colors and how the birds looked and even said some birds were “shy” when they took a little longer to appear. (Sorry I don’t have more pictures of the kids sharing, I had to hold the iPad and it just wasn’t working out to try to hold that with one hand and snap pictures with the other.)

Not only was this fun, but it also helped us practice our writing skills. It was a great activity to do on a long winter afternoon and kept the little ones totally engaged and focused.

There you have it! A fun, free app that can be used in many different ways in the classroom. Enjoy!

(P.S. Just in case it isn’t clear, you can only do this with the coloring pages from their website. It won’t work on just any paper you have!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving (LATE!)

First things first…… THIS POST IS SO LATE AND I APOLOGIZE! I’ve been too busy eating leftovers with everything else going on that I never posted about what we did the day before Thanksgiving break!

But, better late than never and here we go!

Turkey Shoot

IMG_2507

 

Our school has an awesome event the days before Thanksgiving called the Turkey Shoot. Students go with their grade level to the gym and if they bring in $1.00, they get a change to participate in the game. Students are called up 2 at a time and have 30 seconds to shoot a basketball and try to make as many baskets as they can.

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Shoot

The girl and boy student from each grade level who make the most baskets WIN A FROZEN TURKEY!

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Shoot

It’s such a blast and the kids cheer each other on the whole time. Unfortunately no one from our class won, but we all had a great time!

Turkey Shoot

Turkey Shoot

Goldfish Graphing

Since Thanksgiving is all about food (ok maybe it’s about more than just that, but food is an important part!)  I wanted to do a fun math activity that would incorporate skills we’ve learned, but also be a yummy treat. 😉

So, I found an activity where students would each get some colored goldfish (the crackers, not real animals) and had to sort them into groups.

Sorting

Sorting

The first thing they did was write how many they had of each color, using numbers and tally marks.

How many

How many

How many

How many

Counting

Counting

Making tallies

Making tallies

After that, the students used this data to graph their results. They used different colors in their graph to represent the different colors of the goldfish.

Graphing

Graphing

Graphing

Graphing

Graphing

Graphing

The hardest part of this project is not eating the goldfish until they were all the way done with their chart. 🙂

Graphing

Graphing

It was a fun way to review tallies, counting, and making graphs. The kids had fun and got a healthy snack!

Sorry this was such a late post- I feel like Thanksgiving was so long ago at this point. In fact, I’ve already decorated and am ready for the next round of holidays!

Elf!

Elf!

Until next time!