App Smashing: Doceri and ChatterPix

 

App smashing

App smashing

What is App Smashing? When I heard this term for the first time, I immediately pictured two apps crashing together. I wasn’t exactly sure what it meant, how to use it, what it was for, etc.

After hearing many people talking about this idea, I decided it was time to do some Goog-ing (you know I love an abbrev) 🙂

Here’s a definition of app smashing from ipads4schools.org that I think is very easy to understand:

App smashing is “content created in one app transferred to and enhanced by a second app and sometimes third. Preferably the final product is then published to the web”. The website goes on to tell the reasons who might do app smashing …

Reasons to App Smash:

  1. It demands creative thinking
  2. It demands more from the technology (value for money)
  3. It turns the issue of not having a ‘wonder app’ into a positive
  4. It removes any restrictions to take a topic as far as it can be taken.
  5. It often results in more engaging learning products
  6. It’s a fun challenge for ‘digital natives’

So let’s break it down. Basically app smashing is creating something in one app and then transferring that information/picture/story/etc to another app. In the second app, you enhance the first product by adding or doing something more/different to it within that app.

How can this look in a first grade classroom?

We did our first app smashing adventure in science, where we are doing a unit on the sun. This relates to our Common Core Next Generation Science standards which states “Students can describe patterns in the sky”. One of those patterns is how the sun “moves” across our sky. To build their prior knowledge on the subject, we began by focusing on learning about the sun itself.

After a few days of building our knowledge, we completed this worksheet together about the sun.

The Sun

The Sun

The Sun

The Sun

I think that for us, it’s an important step for us to still start with paper and pencil first. My kiddlets need as much time as they can get with writing/spelling/word practice, so I like starting here instead of going straight to the iPad.

After the worksheet, the students got their iPads and opened the Doceri app.

Doceri

Doceri

I’ve talked about this app HERE and other ways we’ve used it. This time, we used Doceri to draw a picture of the Sun. The kids knew to use “right”colors (yellow, red, and orange) and immediately had a blast adding details to their pictures.

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

You can see in the photo above, the kids are experts on how to change the colors in Doceri, as well as changing the size of the drawing tool and what kind of drawing tool they are using. It’s pretty seamless at this point and when you watch them, they are constantly changing the shade of the colors, size of the marker, and much, much more.

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

Drawing in Doceri

Drawing the Sun in Doceri

 

After our drawings were complete, we took a screen shot of our iPads. The kids know how to do this from practice in class, but I still like to have a student verbally explain it each time we try.

Screen shot

Screen shot

Above is a student explaining to the class how to take a screen shot of their drawing. Of course we are still practicing this skill (learning that we only need to do it ONCE and that just because it makes a fun sound doesn’t mean we have to do it ten times) 😉

When you take a screen shot of something, it goes to your camera roll. Back to the ipads4schools.org website, one of their tips is:

Key rules for successful App Smashing:

  1. Use the Camera Roll as your main conduit between apps

I didn’t know this before hand- but check it out! I planned this on my own 🙂

It did make it very easy because having the picture in the camera roll makes it simple to transfer to any other app. For us, it was the app Chatter Pix for kids.

Chatter Pix Kids

Chatter Pix Kids

This is where we begin the app smashing- we began to use a second app to enhance what we did in the first app. The students now opened up the ChatterPix app. Within the app, they imported the picture they had just saved to the camera roll (the picture they drew of the sun).

They used the ChatterPix app to record themselves talking about facts of the sun. Remember how the first thing we did was write that paper together with the facts of the sun? That’s what my students used to record from. Not only did this give them clear directions on what to say, but helped them practice their reading skills.

So the kiddlets found a place around the room (it gets kind of loud when 26 little ones are all recording) 🙂

And they were off! Record in….3….2….1….Go!

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

The app gives the kids 30 seconds to record themselves. This is a good amount of time for the kids and gives them plenty of time to say what they need to. If you’re not familiar with this app, it’s very adorable. After you record your voice, it makes the picture moves it’s “mouth” saying what you said. So for us, the sun’s mouths moved, saying the facts the students recorded.

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

You do have to draw on the “mouth line”, as seen in the above photo.

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

Recording their voices in ChatterPix

After, the students gathered back at their tables with their iPads and ChatterPix presentations. They shared them with the kids at their tables. They really love this app, they giggle and smile and loved to hear each other as the “Suns”.

One thing we’re still working on is learning that you don’t have to record yourself TIME AND TIME AND TIME again in the app. They find it very fun, and I know they are six and seven, but this is still something that we practice 🙂

So there you have it- App Smashing in our first grade classroom. The website where I got my info from gives another great tip…

Key rules for successful App Smashing:

  1. Use the Camera Roll as your main conduit between apps
  2. Leave the app choice to the students

So, that will be a goal for me as we move forward. I think I have to expose the kids to using two different apps together and truly make sure we understand how to use each app first. Then, I want to allow them to pick the two (or three) apps they want to create a product.

Thank you for checking in on our adventure! Make sure to stop by again to see what we’re up to! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commas in a Series and BINGO!

BINGO

Do you know what a first grader looks like when you tell them they are about to play BINGO? It’s a lot like their face looks WHILE they are playing BINGO…

BINGO!

BINGO!

BINGO is like a sport for my kiddlets! To say they love it would be an understatement 🙂

I love it too because it’s a great way to review skills or words. We have number BINGO that we’ve played before during math time. Here, we are playing Sight Word BINGO.

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

It’s a great way to review the sight words we are working so hard to learn. The kids think it’s so much fun and love looking for the words on their cards. It’s a great practice tool!

BINGO

BINGO

Commas in a Series

This year, the first grade teacher team broke down our Common Core language standards into a month-by-month language schedule. It’s been a great way for us to make sure we’re hitting all of our language standards and I personally love it because it’s a logical flow that builds on the skills we’ve been learning.

Right now, the skill we’re working on is using commas in a series, or in a list. (For example: We are learning how to read, write, and spell)

We are talking about how we can use commas to separate our ideas. This is a really tough first grade skill! But we have “can do” attitudes and never give up in our room!  In my last post, I talked about how we used our Handouts app to practice this skill.

And, we’ve also used cut-out cards to practice!

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

 

First, the kiddlets cut out the cards. I downloaded these from Teachers Pay Teachers. Each page was a mixed-up sentence with two commas.

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

As the kids cut out the words, they tried to put together the sentence on their own first.

Then, we worked like a team to put together the sentence using the commas.

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

Commas

It can be really tough! But, we did it by working together 🙂

Helping

Helping

Commas

Commas

Now, the kids are comma crazy! They love pointing them out in the all the books, stories, and texts we read. It’s a great skill and we’re trying our best to incorporate this into our writing.

Thanks so much for checking out our adventure! Make sure to check back soon! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Handouts App

Pie Crust

Pie Crust

Before the post today, I wanted to share this adorable pie crust I made last week for Thanksgiving. I was in charge of making the pecan pie and started scrolling through Pinterest  to find a recipe. I came across a pie that had the cutest crust, made from a cookie cutter that looked like a leaf.

So the Wednesday after school let out, I drove up to Bed Bath and Beyond, hoping to find a similar cutter. I walked around and couldn’t find anything! I was getting pretty bummed until I noticed some Christmas cookie cutters and thought the holly shaped one might work. And… it did! After making the crust, I cut out extra pieces using the holly cutter and then used a knife to cut in the vein patterns. It turned out great!

All done

All done

It reminds me a lot of a sunflower, but still really cute 🙂

Microphones

This year, my kiddlets are very active 🙂

They love sharing ideas and talking with their group, but sometimes need a little help when talking in a team. We practice and model how it should look, but sometimes their excitement takes over. I decided to try something new… using a paper microphone as a visual aid and reminder of who is the speaker.

Microphone

Microphone

Oh my goodness- that picture melts my heart!

Microphone

Microphone

Microphone

Microphone

The kids really loved this! They understood that the person holding the microphone was the only person who could talk. All the other kids watched- and listened!- to the person holding the microphone. During this activity, we were summarizing the Tall Tale we had just read. The kids took turns orally summarizing the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Microphone

Microphone

Sometimes all it takes is a small thing to make a big difference. When I pull out these microphones, all my kids get really excited. It’s even a helpful tool for my quiet ones- it makes them excited to try and allows them to be heard. It’s a wonderful tool to try!

Handout App

Handouts

Handouts

 

A couple weeks ago at my District’s Leader Learner meeting (our district’s tech team), I was sitting next to someone who is also 1:1 with iPads in his class. I- being new to 1:1 in my room- wanted to know EVERYTHING! How did he set it up in his room , what kinds of apps did he use, how did things run? He patiently and nicely answered all my questions and told me about this app called Handouts.

Handouts is a way for me to upload (take a picture of) a worksheet and then send it to my students iPads (through the app). The kids work on the worksheet on their iPads and when they’re done, they submitted it back to me (through their iPads). I see all their work, can grade it, make comments on it, draw on it, put on “stickers”, and send it back for them to see. Basically, it’s the same process you do now with all your worksheets- only there are NO PAPER worksheets involved!

When you click on the app, you’ll see this…

Login screen

Login screen

This first step for me was to login in as a teacher. When you do, you can create accounts for all your kids. I made their usernames their first and last name, and then everyone’s password my last name. It’s just simple that way! You can also upload a picture for each student, making it easy to see who is who (BTW- these pictures are just from a google search, not my kids) 🙂

Pictures

Pictures

Next, you can upload a worksheet by taking a picture of one you already have, choosing from your library, adding something from Dropbox, Google drive, or the cloud. Also- it doesn’t have to be a worksheet. It could be a picture, a writing template, a graphic organizer, etc. Anything!

Assignments

Assignments

You select what you want to send to the kids and click distribute. It gets sent to the kids accounts.

When the kids click the app, they sign in under student with their usernames and passwords. The great thing about this app is that once you sign in- you STAY SIGNED IN. Sigh. This is an amazing feature for a first grade room  🙂

The kids will see the assignment you sent them right away. They click on it and begin to work just like a normal worksheet.

Worksheet

Worksheet

From this picture, you can see along the top row there are different color pencils they can pick from. There is also an erase to fix any mistakes. Not only can you draw, but there is a typing function as well.

When they finish, they click on the green check mark in the upper right hand corner. That sends it back to me! (Just like turning it in to a basket when they finish).

Then, their finished work gets sent back to my app. When I log in, I can see all their writing, drawing, and work completed. I can grade it, check for understanding, and save their work in a portfolio and even save their grades!

So how are we using this in class?

Commas in a series

Commas in a series

Well, we’re working on the concepts of using commas in a series. I projected the worksheet on the board for us all to see. The kids had the same worksheet open on their iPads using the Handouts app.

We went through each sentence together, talking about the items in the series and where the commas needed to go. As I did it on my paper worksheet, the kids did it on their iPads.

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

(By the way, the reason they also have a paper next to them is that we did a similar worksheet first. Then, we did this additional one on Handouts) 🙂

It’s really motivating for the kids to be able to do something like this on the iPad. For them, it’s WAY more fun! They get to pick the color, they can erase and do it again, and it makes the learning quick and simple. It’s a great way to get them involved in their learning!

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Like I said in the last post, I’m also LOVING how as we work, they problem solve together. Or they find things out on their own. They are learning to say things like, “I discovered that…” and share with others new functions of the apps we are using.

During this lesson, I saw one of the girls had discovered how to zoom in, making it easier to draw the commas. I whispered to her to share this with the group. She was SO proud of herself and loved telling everyone how to do this!

Handouts App

Handouts App

A little while later, a student raised his hand and said that when he zoomed in, he couldn’t move the screen to a different part of the page. He could only see the part he zoomed in on and when he tried to move the page after that, it didn’t go. I asked the class to try to solve this problem. A few seconds later, a student said, “You can’t take your fingers off the screen when you zoom. If you take them off, it stays on that part, but if you keep them on you can move the page all around”.

He was right.

Problem solved. 🙂

It’s been amazing watching them solve things like this. It’s also hard for me to not step in 🙂

But, I’m learning that they are totally capable to figuring out problems like this and it’s such a better experience if they can problem solve together. See? This is a learning experience for everyone!

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

Handouts App

So that’s it for this post! Handouts has been an amazing additional to our classroom. The kids love it, I love it, and I can’t wait to explore it more!

By the way… did I mention this is A FREE APP!? That makes it even more wonderful!

Thank you for checking in with our adventure. Be sure to come back soon!