Monthly Archives: January 2018

Third Grade Opinion Writing and Padlet

I wanted to give the third grade students another opportunity to practice typing on their tablets and wanted to have another go at using Padlet.  I choose to read Hannah and Phillip Hoose’s book, Hey, Little Ant (illustrated by Debbie Tilley) and we focused on the International Baccalaureate concept, perspective.  The last sentence of the book is, “What do you think the kid should do?”

Padlet

I created a Padlet using the “shelf” template so that I could create two columns, one headed “Squish the ant” and the other “Ant goes free.”  I instructed the students to choose one opinion and write a response citing two reasons to support your opinion.

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Technology Set-Up

The first time I introduced Padlet to this grade level a couple of weeks ago, I had them bring their Dell tablets with their keyboards and mouse.  They have to have an external keyboard as our tablet case cover “bounces” as they use the on-screen keyboard and that keeps opening up response windows.  That didn’t go so well; tablets weren’t charged, keyboards were forgotten, they couldn’t type the shortened URL in correctly, etc.  So this time I logged into 6 of our library desktops in advance and had the website pulled up.  This went much more smoothly.  It wasn’t a whole group activity, but I just kept rotating the students through.

Pad2

This second time around they were more focused on their writing and less on trying to read other students’ responses.  I think this is partially because they weren’t seeing so many boxes popping up in real time, which really distracted them.

I also encouraged the students to type with two hands (even if they are only using their index finger).  This speeds up their typing and this is important on the state test where they have to do several extended responses.  Unfortunately, we don’t have structured keyboarding instruction.

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I do have one iPad which also worked. 

Padlet

One student who was responding later in the visit noticed that more of his classmates had decided that the ant should go free.  Interesting that he noticed and heartening to see that more of them are respectful of the ant!

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AnswerGarden and Fifth Grade

I have been wanting to try out a digital tool called AnswerGarden and decided to use it with 5th grade today.  They are studying World War I so I showed them a propaganda poster (worked in primary document!) and had them react to it.

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Displayed the poster on the flat screen tv hanging in the library.

Set up for activity

When you set up your “garden” you can choose to have responses limited to 20 or 40 characters.  I chose 20, but this would have been better at 40, but some students figured out to use “texting” abbreviations to work in more words!

I printed out the two websites they needed on slips of paper for each student and had them use two tabs so they could toggle back and forth.  Our students all have Dell tablets, but I also logged into several library computers as back up for dead batteries, etc.

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I worried that the case covering the tablets might interfere with typing, but it didn’t!

I alerted the teacher when she came in with the class that I was introducing a new tool and she might find uses for it in the classroom.  Afterwards, I asked her if she saw some possibilities for different types of uses and she said she did.  Hope she uses it.  You can lead a horse to water…and you know the rest!

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I am just taking the time to read the responses and I think there is quite a variety.  There is a feature on AnswerGarden that allows you to lock the “garden” so that you can stop students from continuing to add responses.  There are other features so check it out!

https://answergarden.ch/

Answer G

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First Grade Reflects Using Flipgrid

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First grade classes are learning about plants and animals.  I read Steve Jenkins’ book, What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?  which is about how prey animals try to avoid getting eaten.  I had the students respond to the last sentence in the book, “What would you do if an animal wanted to eat you?” and they recorded their response by taping a video on Flipgrid.

When I use Flipgrid with older students (second grade and older) I have the students write their reflection before having them record their video.  However, with first grade students I felt it would be more of a barrier if they had to write sentences before hand.  At the least it would have made this activity take two library visits to complete and I didn’t think it would be worth dragging it out.

The students sure did enjoy seeing themselves!  Check out one of the classes responses.

https://flipgrid.com/ef4ede

1st grade

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Third Grade “Rocks” ChatterPix

I really like using the app, ChatterPix and the students do, too.  This year I decided to introduce it to third grade.  As they were beginning to study rocks I had them use our online subscription to World Book or the state-funded resource Britannica School Encyclopedia (through the Galileo database). IMG_2380

Note Taking and Writing Skills

The students used notepaper to write a few facts about rocks after reading one of the online encyclopedias.  I had shown them an example of a Chatterpix at the beginning of this activity so they knew the concept was to make a “talking rock”.

It took one entire library visit to introduce the topic, get everyone’s tablet to the correct website and write down some facts.  Afterwards I went through the students’ notes to insure that they had enough information to write a script at the next visit.

At their second library visit students used their rock facts to write a short script as if they were the rock.  Chatterpix limits the recording to 29 seconds.  Most students required editing of their writing, as they did not write it in first person.

Curated Rock Photos

I choose a bunch of rock images ahead of time to save on time.  The students had about twenty different rock images to choose from.  After opening the Chatterpix app (unfortunately only available for Apple products), they selected an image from my laptop and took a photo of it using the iPad.  Then a line is drawn across the photograph, which becomes the talking mouth. Then they recorded their script.

Students love to hear themselves!

Uploaded to YouTube

After they completed their ChatterPix I saved them to the iPad and from there uploaded them to my YouTube account.  I shared the folder link with the teacher so that the students could watch themselves.  Ideally the teacher would share it with parents.  Just giving them another digital tool for their tool belt.

 

 

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5th Grade Learns to Evaluate Websites

I did two sessions for fifth grade students covering the 5 W’s of Website Evaluation: Who, What, When, Where and Why (Kathy Schrock’s outline) in order to be sure they are getting good information in their internet searches. I wanted them create a PowerPoint (some had never done one and others had rudimentary skills), but I didn’t want them to have to do research in order to have content.  So I combined the website evaluation lesson and PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Creation

After taking notes about these strategies, they created a PowerPoint presentation to let others know how to find credible, useful websites for their information needs.  As I stated, most of the students had created one, maybe two PowerPoints, so there was plenty of room for additional skill acquisition.

1:1 School

After an initial basic overview of creating slides, inserting images (and resizing them) and transitions, I turned them loose while circulating among the students.  Students each have a Dell tablet and I requested that they bring their keyboards and mouses to make the process run more smoothly.  Students with more skills helped out their classmates.

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Rubric

I created a rubric with the requirements which were very basic.  Besides a minimum number of slides, they were to add 2 images and give credit to the owners of the images.  I was more interested in them learning new skills than having a polished project.

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