Book Character Day!

 

Happy fall!

Happy fall!

 

The puppies have been enjoying the fall weather, as well as our break the past few days. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed time to eat, relax, and maybe even do some school work fun activities!

Book Character Day

A couple of weeks ago, it was National Reading week. We did a lot of fun things at our school to celebrate, like our Fall Reading & Family night. It was a blast! Families came back to school and rotated through different stations, which included story time, fall games, and even a guest singer who led the crowd in reading songs!

Another way we celebrated was our Book Character dress-up day. Our entire school picked their favorite character from a book. On our special day, everyone came to school dressed up as that character!

Book Character Day!

Book Character Day!

Here are some of the first grade teachers (myself included!) dressed as someone you might recognize 🙂

Emily Elizabeth!

Emily Elizabeth!

Here’s a second grade teacher as Emily Elizabeth from Clifford- isn’t it just perfect!?

The kids came to school as a character they got to choose themselves. They all looked SO AWESOME and we had so much fun.

We had some Elsa’s….

Frozen

Frozen

some Pete the Cat’s…..

Pete!

Pete!

a Rudolph, Woody, Darth Vader, a Ninja Turtle, a vampire, a Minion, and another Cat in the Hat!

Characters!

Characters!

Plus, some Tin men {from Wizard of Oz!}- which we just finished reading!

Tin men (and woman!)

Tin men (and woman!)

It was a really fun day, filled with lots of reading activities.

Book Mapping

Book Mapping

Since I was the Cat in the Hat, we read that story and worked in partners to map it. The kids drew the characters, the setting, the problem, and solution of the story.

Mapping

Mapping

We also worked on rhyming words, using lots that we found in the story. The kids used their iPads and the Doceri app to write words that rhymed with a given word.

Rhyming Words

Rhyming Words

Rhyming Words

Rhyming Words

During writing time, the kids wrote about who they were. Since we’ve been working on describing things using details and adjectives, this fit right in! The kids drew themselves as their character and told all about themselves!

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Speaking of adjectives, the kids also got to do a fun activity in grammar. We started by drawing ourselves in the middle of a bubble map. Then, the kids used adjectives, or describing words, to tell more about themselves (or really, about their character)

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Next, we used our iPads and the Popplet app to take this and digitalize it! Basically, we made the exact same map, just on our iPads. But this time, we took a selfie and used that as the middle picture!

My example

My example

You can see my example above. It always amazes me how quickly the kids learn new apps. This was probably only the second or third time we’ve used this app, but the kids were already pro’s!

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

By the way, you didn’t think our class pet Spot would miss out on the fun, did you? Of course he was Thing 2, matching with my Cat in the Hat theme 🙂

Spot!

Spot!

It was such a fun day! Thanks for checking in to our adventure!

All Smiles

All Smiles

iPad Updates AND QR Codes!

Doceri

Doceri

Welcome back to our adventure!

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about us starting our 1:1 iPad adventure this year! {If you missed that post, CHECK IT OUT HERE!}

This post will show a glimpse into us using our iPads during phonics time, as well as how I’ve been using QR codes!

Writing

Writing

Sometimes we use iPads as a basic white board substitution. For those of you who are all things “SAMR“, I’m talking about the “substitution” level of the continuum. Those of you who need a refresher, check out my post about SAMR here 😉

Doceri

Doceri

One of our most used/loved app is Doceri. I’ve posted about it TONS (just search Doceri along the right hand side of this blog, and you’ll find so many posts!)

dOCERI

Doceri

I love that the kids are already exploring all the inner-workings of the app, including changing the colors by using the color palette.

Doceri

Doceri

Doceri can be applied in MANY different ways, taking it anywhere along the SAMR continuum, but for the first few weeks of school, we are reviewing the letters and sounds of the alphabet. On this day, we were practicing “Q”. You can see in the first few pictures the students using the iPad to write the letter. It’s simple, quick, and motivating 🙂

QR stands for quick response. QR codes are on anything and everything  They can link to websites, QR voice, videos, pictures, words, etc. QR codes are really one of the easiest things to make yourself or use in the classroom with kids.

You really only need: a QR code reader (there are a variety of free apps) and some type of device to use the app on!

QR Codes

QR Codes

One way we use QR codes in our classroom are to review our sight words. Big shout out to the TpT seller Alma Almazan, who makes this product QR Codes (Scan it, Read it, Find it, Write it). I. JUST. LOVE. IT.

It comes in English and Spanish. One page is filled with QR codes, the only gives the kids writing lines. They scan QR code number one.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

And the QR code links them to a page that shows a sight word. They write that word down on line number one.

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

QR Codes

It’s so much fun! It’s an awesome review for the kids and so much fun for them to complete!

We’ve been doing this on Fridays as an engaging review. After, the kids have been picking up a QR code story to listen to.

QR Code stories

QR Code stories

This comes right from ANOTHER TpT seller, “TECHing it up”, who makes this product which links kids to the Storyline Online stories. These are stories you can play from a computer or device that are books read by famous actors/actress’.

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

QR Codes stories

It’s another great way we use QR codes in the room.

It’s also a great thing for your early finishers to do while the other kids are finishing up their work {SIDE NOTE- This is ALSO what my kids use for Listen to Reading during our Daily 5 time}

Thank you for checking out all the ways we we’ve been using QR codes so far. We are having such a fun adventure in first grade 🙂

 

App Smashing 2.0: The Moon

 

Me!

Me!

A couple of things…. first, how cute is that picture? One of my kiddlets drew this for me during indoor recess and it made me smile! I love it and this is obviously how I stand all the time in class 🙂

Another thing…

Ariel!

Ariel!

It’s been a long weekend for the hubs and I. We spent the day in the car yesterday making the 8+ hour drive to pick up our new fur-baby. Her name is Ariel and she is a two year old terrier/hound mix. She’s a rescue dog and was brought in after a neglect call. They believe she spent her whole two years chained outside. We love her already and are so happy to welcome her to our family!

App Smashing

Back in the classroom, we spent Friday on another app smashing activity. Not sure what app smashing is? Check out THIS POST I MADE ABOUT APP-SMASHING to learn more about it.

Basically, app smashing is creating something in one app and then enhancing that product in a second (or more) app. 

Just like before, we used Doceri and ChatterPix.

We’ve been learning all about the moon. The kids know so many interesting facts and are continually coming up with wonderful things to say about the moon. I was pretty impressed when during a discussion one of my little ones said, “The moon is Earth’s closest neighbor”. Isn’t that the cutest- and true-est- thing? (yes, true-est is totally a word) 😉

Anyways, as a way for them to “show what you know” (which is what we call our formative, ongoing assessments), the students were told to make a ChatterPix video telling everything they know about the moon.

First up, they needed to draw an accurate picture in Doceri.

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Doceri Moon Drawing

Look at how wonderfully detailed these pictures are! The kids did such a good job incorporating things we’ve learned about the moon into their pictures. Before we drew, one little thinker asked if he could draw the moon in different phases. I told them that would be a WONDERFUL idea, however, I didn’t want to see the moon as just a little piece. If they simply drew a crescent shape, for example, that tells me that they think the moon is actually changing shapes. I told them to draw the full round moon, but shade in a certain area to show the shadow of the Earth making the phase. Does this sound too hard for my little scientist? Nope! They nailed it!

Moon Phase

Moon Phase

Moon Phase

Moon Phase

Moon Phase

Moon Phase

I also loved this picture, where the student explained to me that he wanted to show that the light from the Sun reflects off the moon, and that’s why we see the moon lit up in the sky.

Moon Reflecting Light

Moon Reflecting Light

I love that all their pictures are showing their knowledge, but are all different. The iPad is such a wonderful tool to allow creativity! I’m always impressed by how well they use this app too. Look at how well, and easily, they manipulate the color wheels and pick their own shades on the color spectrum.

Picking Colors

Picking Colors

Picking Colors

Picking Colors

Here are just a few more pictures, I can’t help myself. They are all so good!

Moon Doceri Drawings

Moon Doceri Drawings

Wondering what the colors are? The student remembered (and explained to me) that stars can be different colors, including red, yellow, orange, and blue. He’s right! 🙂

Moon Doceri Drawings

Moon Doceri Drawings

Moon Doceri Drawings

Moon Doceri Drawings

Moon Doceri Drawings

Moon Doceri Drawings

Enter the app smashing part. When we talk about app smashing with my kids, I have them hold up two fists. One fist we talk about being the first app, the second fist we talk about being the second app. Then, we make our fists “smash” together, which they love- and add sound effects for 🙂

We talk about how when we smash apps, we are putting two things together.

So the first thing we had to do we take a screen shot of our Doceri picture, so that it would be saved to the iPads camera roll.

Taking A Screen Shot

Taking A Screen Shot

Easy-peasy.

Then, the students opened up the ChatterPix app. They open their camera roll and import the picture they just took from their Doceri app. Then, they draw a mouth line for their moon. Last, the students were told to record all the facts they could think of about the moon.

We spread out around the room. It helps with the noise control with 26 little voices are recording at once 🙂

Recording In ChatterPix

Recording In ChatterPix

Recording In ChatterPix

Recording In ChatterPix

Recording In ChatterPix

Recording In ChatterPix

Recording in ChatterPix

Recording in ChatterPix

After recording, ChatterPix has a lot of add-on options, like color effects (think Instagram), stickers, or the option to type on top of the picture. I’ve found that at times, adding stickers can get kinda of silly. So, I told the kids they could only use the typing feature to add words if they wanted.

Typing

Typing

Typing

Typing

Typing

Typing

Finally, they save their project and export it to their camera roll.

Exporting to Camera Roll

Exporting to Camera Roll

The last thing we did was share our videos with each other. We are still working on having the students use AirPlay to reflect their own iPads into the board, so for now, we simply put their iPads under the Doc Cam to share.

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

Sharing

It was another excellent adventure in app smashing! And- it was a quick formative check for me! What do the kids understand and remember about the moon? Are they able to express their knowledge? Are they able to speak in full sentences? How is their speaking and listening skills? It’s a way to quickly check for a variety of skills!

By the way, this whole activity was done in about 30 minutes. I know that sounds fast, but the kids get so fast at it! It doesn’t need to take a lot of time to do something fun like this.

And if you’re thinking, “Well this is great, but I only have 5 iPads in room. I can’t do something like this”. I’m here to tell you- this type of thing can TOTALLY be done in small groups too. Last year, I only had 5 iPads in my room and I did this same activity with groups. Only have 1 iPad in your room? Make this a center! You can still watch their videos and see their understanding as they get a chance to make their video.

Thanks for checking in on our adventure! Be sure to check back anytime or comment on how you are using iPads in your classroom. Any other app smashing ideas? I’ve love to hear them!

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! 🙂