QR Codes and Grammar

Good morning, good morning! It’s Thursday, but I’m sitting at home on the couch, snuggling with one of the puppies, and watching reruns on TV. Not because I’m sick, but because it’s Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. I love the food, seeing family, and watching the parade. But mostly I love this time of the year and the holiday season that follows. Thanksgiving is like the big kick-off! It’s also a time to reflect on things your thankful for. And while obviously I am beyond thankful for all the important people in my life, all the great things I have, my new item to that list is….. I’m thankful for being able to explore and use iPads 1:1 with my students this year!

 

My classroom family

My classroom family

I spend my whole day with these amazing kiddlets and I am continually amazed at all they can do. Being 1:1, I’ve noticed that one of the best ways to introduce a new app or activity is just to present it to them, and then let them explore it for 5 minutes first. As I sit and listen to them during this time, you hear them naturally discover things, ask questions, and help each other. For example, the other day we started exploring Story Kit- an app that is used to make books, write stories, and illustrate them. As the kids were exploring, one of them said out loud, “How do you erase in this?”. Another kid across the room said, “I don’t know!”. Other kids started chiming in and someone said, “I know. You need to go into the color and just use white. The white color erases what you drew.” The first kid said, “Thanks!”. And it was as easy as that. It’s a great example to show how they naturally find out how things work and can problem solve together. I’m thankful for their problem solving skills!

QR CODES

QR stands for quick response and are on literally everything you see. In fact, since I’ve introduced my kids to QR codes, my kids love pointing them out to me on their water bottles, food boxes, crayon boxes, etc. It’s really cute and kind of like a continual scavenger hunt.

QR Codes

QR Codes

When I introduced these to my kids, we first used them during grammar time. We’ve been working on using capital letters for proper nouns. I found this pack on TpT that allows the kids to find mistakes with capitals, scan the QR code, and check their answers. We did this as a class. First we circled the answer we thought was correct, then we’d scan the code and see if we were right.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

It can be a little hard for them to scan the QR code because when they are close together, it’s tough to see if you are scanning the correct one. I taught the kids to point with one finger to the right code, and then make sure they see their finger as they are scanning.

QR Codes

QR Codes

That seems to help a lot with my little ones. They really loved doing this! They thought it was so cool that the answer popped up right away.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR codes can be used in so many different ways. I can’t wait to post about a Tall Tales project we did this past week, which not only incorporated QR codes, but also the app Chatterpix and a craft project.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

Make sure to check back next week to see all about it and more! It’s always an adventure with us and I am thankful for that! πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPads = iLearning

Good morning all! It’s a gray, chilly morning and I’m sitting here sipping my coffee and thinking about my past week at school. It’s been exciting, stressful, wonderful, crazy, frustrating, joyous, and about any other emotion you can think of. Why is this you ask? Well, our first grade class has been lucky enough to pilot being 1:1 this school year. If you aren’t sure what that is, it means that each student in my room has their own device, in our case- iPads.

In this past week, I’ve already learned things that go REALLY well with my kiddlets and also things that DON’T go really well πŸ™‚

It’s been a learning experience for sure, both for the students and myself. But it’s already been great and I am looking forward to practicing, working, and moving towards more enhanced learning with our devices! Our ultimate goal is not to use our iPads to simply substitute paper and pencil for the exact same thing electronically (SeeΒ SAMR MODEL EXPLAINEDΒ for more information), but instead to allow for opportunities that students can create and design things that extend their knowledge.

But, you have to start with the basics and the majority of our week was spent on RULES! We’ve been practicing walking around our room safely, the parts of our iPads, and listening to directions even though we have these super cool iPads on our desks πŸ™‚ Which, is a hard thing for adults to do and equally as hard for six year olds πŸ˜‰ But hey, we’re trying!

Friday, we started using our iPads in some different ways, beginning with getting familiar with the Doceri app.

Doceri

Doceri

There is lots to do with this app, but at it’s core, it can be used as a type of white board. I began by allowing the students to click on the app and told them to explore it for 5 minutes. Immediately, the kids were already figuring out all of the different functions with no assistance from me. After the time, I asked them what this app did and they all said it was a drawing app. For the purpose of our activities that day, they were exactly right.

We started in grammar, where the students are learning the difference between proper nouns and common nouns. I found a great flip chart on Promethean Planet.

Flipchart

Flipchart

I loved it because it asked for examples and non-examples. I showed the question and the student used the Doceri app to write the answer.

Using our iPads

Using our iPads

Using our iPads

Using our iPads

Using our iPads

Using our iPads

Yes, this is a very basic task to use with iPads (as example of the substitution stage of the SAMR model), but a great intro for first graders. It was the perfect activity to talk about iPad safety, focusing on the teacher while still using your iPad, and getting them used to using them. The kids really had a great time using them for this task and it was a fun first activity!

Later that morning during shared reading, we were wrapping up our Tall Tale story on John Henry. Each day that week, we’d been reading different texts about him and summarizing/retelling the story (which is our Common Core focus for this unit). We began by writing a WAS, HAD, COULD paragraph about him together.

Writing

Writing

As the students finished their writing, I told them their job was to go into the same app as earlier, Doceri, and use their knowledge of John Henry to draw a picture of him and the setting of the story.

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Do you want to see a first grader motivated to write? Tell them they get to use their iPad to draw when they finish! I don’t know if I’d ever seen them so focused!

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Again, a simple beginning activity for us to get started with our iPads. However, this was also a great formative assessment for me as well! Did the students know this character? Did they know the setting of the story? Could they remember details about the text? From their drawings, I could tell all of this! And since they were using the iPads, the kids were super engaged, adding lots of details, and really excited to talk about their drawings.

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

Drawing with Doceri

As I sit here reflecting on how it went and how I can improve on these types of lessons, I’m thinking this might be a wonderful activity to do backwards. Meaning, I might have the students start with the drawing. They were so excited and provided so many details. From there, they could write about their drawing. Since they have it in front of them, they could use the picture to help them write details about the character.

Woooooo. It was a busy week, full of trying, trying again, and not giving up. I hope the students are as excited as I am about their iPads. It’s going to be a long journey, but one we’re all excited to take! πŸ™‚

Thank you for checking into our adventure- check back soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re BaaaaaAAAAACK!

Before your normally scheduled blog post, I have to interrupt to say…

I AM SO, SO, SO HAPPY WE ARE BACK AT SCHOOL!

After a month off, the strike is over and it’s amazing to see the kids again! The first day back was such a wonderful moment- you really appreciate what it means to be in your classroom everyday, doing what you love when you aren’t able to do that for so long. With balloons, smiles, and hugs, our first day back was amazing and I am so excited to get back at it. πŸ™‚

Ok, from there, let’s get into what I’m loving right now (besides being back at school, of course)

Coffee mugs

Coffee mugs

1. I’ve been drinking so much tea this fall. One day, I was perusing the aisles at Target (typical), on an end cap, I spotted this adorable mug. I snagged it and it’s already been used several times. I love the gold and cream colors- I’m loving gold this year! Plus, it’s always fun to buy things with my new last name πŸ™‚

Fall walks

Fall walks

2. The fall weather has been amazing this year. Fun fact: It’s my favorite season! Going on walks and runs have been extra fun because of the crispy, crunchy leaves in my path. I feel like I get an extra workout in because I’m always going out of my way to stretch out and land right on a leaf. It’s so satisfying, isn’t it?

Daisy

Daisy

3. Our class pet is a porcupine named Daisy. I fell in love with the adorable animal and my family has jumped on the bandwagon. The other day, my mom gave me this super cute stamp! She knew I would love it my kiddlets would love it and I couldn’t wait to use it on their papers. The kids smiled and giggled when they saw the stamp! Btw- they were very concerned about how Daisy was over the strike break. I assured them that Daisy was comfortable and happy the whole time πŸ™‚

Tall Tales

Tall Tales

Tall Tales

Back at school, we picked up right where we left off, which means- our new literacy unit!

We have finished our nursery rhymes unit and moved on to our tall tales unit. Up first- Paul Bunyan.

Tall Tales

Tall Tales

Tall tales are a lot of fun to teach and read. It brings up the conversation of “exaggerating”, something first graders always do never do πŸ˜‰

Combined with this unit is the Common Core standard of summarizing. We will be practicing retelling a story using the characters, setting, and beginning/middle/end of the story.

Along with this, we got a new reading friend- Jabber! Jabber loves to talk, especially about books! As we do our read-alouds, Jabber helps us retell a story.

Retelling

Retelling

After reading this book two days in a row, we used a cute organizer to draw the beginning, middle, and end of Paul Bunyan.

Organizer

Organizer

Look at our cute their pictures turned out…

B, M, E

B, M, E

Summarizing

Summarizing

We’ll be doing more with this tall tale throughout the week. Each week for this unit, we’ll use a new tall tale story to practice our summarizing skills on. It’s a fun adventure we’re on and I appreciate you stopping by to see it!