Doodle Buddy- Digital Retelling

Poor Bumble

Poor Bumble

Before we start…. let’s take a second to mourn poor Bumble (as seen above!)

Remember how I said we were out of town last weekend? Our brother and sister-in-law watched one of the puppies for us and apparently, Molly formed a deep love for the toy above. She loved it so much and carried it around all weekend that they let her take it home! Molly was so happy and carried Bumble around everywhere these last few days. It was very adorable.

And then….. Bumble died! He was just loved too much! 🙂

Who looks more guilty?

The culprits

The culprits

My money is on the little guy 😉

Doodle Buddy- Digital Retelling

In our staff meeting this morning, one of the teachers presented on the importance of teaching towards the way our students learn best- through creating, sharing, and using technology. We’re in a time when it isn’t enough to just teach them information. We have to teach them to LEARN, how to create things digitally, how to share electronically, etc.

It got me thinking…. I use technology everyday, but how could I take a lesson I usually do with paper and pencil and turn it into a digital creating activity?

Enter Doodle Buddy!

Doodle Buddy

Doodle Buddy

It’s a free app (just search Doodle Buddy in the app store) that allows you to draw, add pictures, add shapes, and write. When you open the app, you’ll see a white screen like below.

Doodle Buddy

Doodle Buddy

You can see the tool bar along the bottom. It’s very user friendly and honestly, in less than 5 minutes of quickly explaining it to my first graders, they TOTALLY understood how to use it. The 5 tools in the middle are the ones the kids will be using the most. They can change the color, the size, or effect of the drawing tool. The stamp tool allows them to add some pre-made pictures and the tool next to it allows them to add shapes. The “T” tool lets them add text to the picture if they need to.

So how can this be used in a classroom to help students create something digitally?

We are working on summarizing and have spent a lot of time working on retelling using the characters, setting, and the key details from the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Today we read the story Chicken Little. I told the students before hand to pay  close attention to the important parts (the key details) because they would be summarizing the story together.

After reading, I told the kids I’d be putting them into groups. Each group would be responsible for summarizing one part of the story: either the setting, the characters, the beginning, the middle, or the end. They would work together using the Doodle Buddy app to draw a summarizing picture of their section. After, they would have to present it to the class.

I literally took only a couple minutes to show them the basics of the app and then- off they went!

Working together

Working together

Working together

Working together

We’ve spent a lot of time learning iPad rules. They do a really great job of taking turns (most of the time) 🙂

Team work

Team work

Color change

Color change

They were easily able to change the color of the “pen” on the app. It’s always amazing how quick they pick things up- and it’s a reassuring reason as to why you should never be scared to try/introduce technology to your kiddos! They GET IT!

The fox

The fox

How cute is that fox? He has his mouth wide and open because he’s tricking the birds into it! (They were summarizing the end of the story)

The setting

The setting

I loved what this group did while creating the setting!

The beginning

The beginning

There’s Chicken Little with his umbrella in the beginning of the story, complete with the acorn hitting his head 🙂

Creating

Creating

Middle

Middle

Above is the group working on the middle of the story. You can see some of the characters running into Foxy Loxy.

Presenting

Presenting

After the students were all done, we gathered on the carpet and reviewed the questions I would be asking the groups as they came up to present (This is also a great assessment for speaking and listening Common Core standards! Are the students able to explain what they did? Can they speak in complete sentences? Easy formative assessment! Bonus!)

I held up the iPad for the group while I asked them the questions listed above.

Presenting

Presenting

The students presenting loved being able to share what they created and the ones in the audience loved seeing what they doodled!

So there you have it! A fun, creative way to have students digitally retell a story! They worked in corporative groups, took turns, and shared their work with the class.

It’s a great app and something that could be used in almost any subject area.

Thanks for checking in! I hope you’re staying warm wherever you are 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning About Light

Do you know what a bright group of first graders I teach?

 

Shining!

Shining!

I mean look- they are shining! 🙂

We are learning all about LIGHT! Specifically, we started off by learning how light moves.

How does light move?

How does light move?

This was the question we explored on the first day. (Don’t mind my drawings, I’m no artist) 😉

To start this experiment, I brought in a flashlight and pointed it (without turning it on) towards the calendar we have on the wall. I asked the students where the light would go when I did turn the flashlight on.

They responded “On the calendar” (with looks like “duh”) 🙂

When I turned it on, the light (as they predicted) went on the calendar.

We did this several times, each time pointing to different objects. We even used students as objects, as seen above, and here:

Shining!

Shining!

So why were we doing this so many times? To really learn the point that light…. wait for it….. TRAVELS IN A STRAIGHT LINE! This was particularly great because we have had the vocabulary word of “wavy” before, so the students kept pointing out that the line was NOT wavy at all- just straight. Ah, the connections make me happy!

After, we answered the question on the board and draw how the light would move when coming off of the objects I’d drawn.

It moves in a straight line!

It moves in a straight line!

From here, students had their own worksheets where they drawn how the light moved in straight lines off of objects.

I love the pink hair!

I love the pink hair!

It moves in straight lines

It moves in straight lines

Straight lines

Straight lines

The next day, we reviewed how light moves…. HOWEVER- we then learned how to make light change direction. (Note: this experiment would be great to do in small groups, however… I only had one flashlight and one mirror, so we did it whole group. But in the future, I want to get these supplies to let the kids explore more on their own!)

Again, I pointed the flashlight towards the calendar on the wall.

“Where will the light go when I turn the flashlight on?” I asked.

“On the calendar!” shouted answered my first graders.

“How will the light move to the calendar?” I asked.

“In a straight line!” said my students who were all on their knees to get a better view sitting perfectly on the carpet 🙂

I turned the flashlight on and (as my smarties said) the light was on the calendar. The kids smiled and thought it was over. But no!

“How can I get the light to shine on the ceiling?” I questioned.

A hand went up. “Point the flashlight on the ceiling”. Very smart and correct, however, this lesson would be a bit more challenging.

“You’re right. But how can I get the light on the ceiling without moving the flashlight at all?”

Blank stares. 

After much prompting, the students couldn’t think of any way to get the light on the ceiling. So, I held up a small hand mirror and told them that we would be using this mirror to reflect the light, causing it to change direction. I had a student come up and hold the mirror as I turned the flashlight on. Instantly, the light bounced off of the mirror and (with some adjusting) we got the light to go on the ceiling.

The kids LOVED THIS! I can’t even describe how amazing they found this to be and we had fun exploring the different ways we could tilt the mirror to shine the light on various objects (and people) in the room. Each student got a chance to come up and reflect the light.

As much fun as this was, we still learned a lesson- light travels in a straight line and can be reflected using objects like a mirror. When it is reflected, IT STILL MOVES IN A STRAIGHT LINE! We drew several diagrams of this together on the board. The line moved from the flashlight to the mirror in  a straight line, and then from the mirror to another object in a straight line.

This unit is just starting and I can’t wait to post more about all the fun experiments we will do with light. Stay tuned!

P.S. I had a great weekend away with my family! We headed up to Wisconsin and had so much fun spending time together. It’s always great to have time away with just us, especially with this little man…

Head of the table!

Head of the table!

Such a cutie patootie!

Thanks for dropping by to see our adventures in first grade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subtraction with Ten Frames

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are having a great day and are more wide awake than this lazy bones…

 

Sleepy Puppy

Sleepy Puppy

She loves that bear toy and will snuggle with it all night. By the way, she’s the culprit who ate the Christmas present handprints. Did your first grader tell you that story? We made salt and flour dough handprints for the parents Christmas present and I took them home that night to bake, cool, and harden. They were all on my kitchen table when I left for work the next day, thinking I would give them one more day to dry out.

Fast forward to when I come home from work that day and see little crumbles of handprints all over the floor! I couldn’t believe it! Molly ate the handprints! (Luckily we had to time to re-do them the next day in time to take home, otherwise I would have been really mad!) The kids were good sports about it and I even showed them a video I took of Molly looking super sad because she knew she was in trouble! 🙂

Subtraction

One of our Common Core standards in first grade is “Students can use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems”. We’ve spent the last 3 weeks focusing on addition, and now we’ve moved to subtraction.

We began with a 10 frame.

10 frame

10 frame

I like using tape to make a big one right on the floor. It’s easy to see and the kids like moving the objects in and out. We started with a certain number of objects, in this case 7. Then I’d ask some kids to subtract or take away some of them.

Take away

Take away

What we have left would be the answer, or the difference.

We did this many times.

10 frame

10 frame

Being able to see the objects helps the students understand that subtraction invokes taking things away, not adding more together.

Take away

Take away

This is a great practice for visual learners. Some kids can understand subtraction in their heads, but others need to see it being down in front of them. This can easily be done at home with any objects: cereal, toys, books, etc.

Minus

Minus

After the group practice, each student got a smaller ten frame (A Pete the Cat ten frame, which they loved by the way! It can be found for free here- Pete the Cat 10 Frame)

10 frame

10 frame

Using chips, we would put in a certain number. Then, I’d ask them to subtract a certain number.

10 frame

10 frame

This is great practice for subtraction. Being able to move the objects themselves helps them learn in a concrete, or hands-on, way.

10 frame

10 frame

10 frame

10 frame

It was also done by a student up front using the doc cam for everyone to see and follow along with.

10 frame

10 frame

I hope you enjoyed this quick look into our math lesson! We will be spending 3 more weeks on subtraction, so you’ll be seeing lots of take away related things coming home. Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Have We Been Up To in 2014?

Brrrr!

Brrrr!

To answer that question with an obvious answer- WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO KEEP WARM!

The new year has brought cold temperatures to our area and that means much of my break was spent inside, enjoying time with family and friends!

But, it’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged last. I wish I could say I was so too busy over break to take the time to write a post, but in reality, I had a lot of free time! However, it was great to take a step back, relax, and think about some other things than lesson plans! 🙂

Speaking of plans, I have been spending more time on a type of plans…

Bride and groom!

Bride and groom!

Wedding plans that is!

Today my mom and one of my sisters (and bridesmaids) joined me for a bridal showcase at the same place our wedding will be at. We walked around to the different booths, met some of our vendors, and even got that cute couple in the picture above!

Back to school, I’ve been taking lots of pictures of what we’ve been up to now that we are back in 2014! We had such a short week last week because of the 2 cold days (-50 with wind chills= way too cold for school!!!), but it wasn’t hard to get back into the swing of things.

Math Journals

Math journals

Math journals

One of the things we decided to do this year as a first grade team was to introduce math journals. While all the kids have journals in their desks, we thought it was getting confusing having them use them for both reading, writing, and math time.

Plus, we were noticing that during “writing time”, the kids used complete sentences and punctuation. And then during math tests when we were asking the students to write how they solved a problem, we saw they weren’t able to put their ideas or thoughts down into sentences. We knew we needed to incorporate more writing in math time.

So, for each math unit, we create a new math journal. The front of the journal includes vocab words for the unit and then lots and lots of writing pages.

Math journals

Math journals

Sometimes I’ll write a question on the board and the kids write responses in the journals. Sometimes the students will use the journals to reflect on what we did in math that day.

Most of the time though, the students glue in a math prompt or question that relates to the unit. They draw or write equations to solve and then write about the process below.

Math journals

Math journals

We see a lot of progress in their math writing doing this! I think it gets the kids used to the idea that writing is important for all subject areas, plus, it gets them thinking about how to explain their thinking.

I tend to use the journal either as a math intro for the lesson or as a ending wrap-up. It’s great practice for the kiddos and really deepens their math thinking.

Summarizing: Main Idea and Details

Main idea snowman

Main idea snowman

The reading skill we’ve been focusing on is summarizing. The past month was focused on sequencing, using beginning, middle, and end organizers, as well as sequencing words.

Now, we are summarizing by finding the main idea of a text or article and details that support that topic. I wanted to incorporate a weather appropriate (and cute!) way to display this- thus, the snowman! 🙂

I like making displays like this every once in a while because I can hang it in the room. It’s a great visual reminder for the kids throughout the rest of the year.

With this activity, I read a non-fiction text to the kids called “Community Helpers”, focused on people in the community and how they help us in our lives. This was a very special activity because it’s the first time the kids have ever sat with the clip boards, writing and working while also listening for a whole lesson. We usually only use the clip boards during independent/parent work around the room.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Maybe I think too much about the things that could go wrong in this kind of teaching scenario (pencils poking, clip boards hitting, lack of focus…. the list goes on….) 😉

But I’m very happy to report that the kids did so good working in this way! I would read a few pages at a time and the kids would help pick out the important details. Then, they’d write the detail down on their pages, while I filled it in on the snowman. By the way, the kids named him “Frosty” and loved having him in the room. 🙂

Working

Working

Marshmallow Adding

The last thing we’ve been focusing on this week was addition. The math unit we’re on is all about addition and so our days have been spent using manipulatives and objects to add and recording our work using numbers. On Pinterest, I saw an adorable project of using marshmallows to add and turning it into a hot cocoa project.

Math

Math

You know we had to do it too! The kids used dice, rolled them twice to find 2 numbers, and added them together. They used the marshmallows to help them add the numbers together. They did this several times as practice before they glued down one of their problems.

Math

Math

Math

Math

Math

Math

The projects turned out so cute and really helped sum up the unit for the kids. Plus, it was also a great little snack afterwards 🙂

Math

Math

That’s it for now! Thanks for checking back in and I’m back on track and will be posting more great lessons and activities from our room!