Tag Archives: research

Chatterpix about Virus and Bacteria

IMG_1772This year I started off the school year with fifth grade students researching either bacteria or virus, one of their science standards.  I curated websites (mostly our World Book Online, Britannica Student via Galileo) using Livebinders.  Using Livebinders reduces the amount of time students spend searching for information and I try to keep this project to a three week timeline!  One week for research, a second week for writing their script and recording with the third week finishing the recordings.

Chatterpix

Chatterpix is an Apple app that lets the user make things talk, by drawing in mouth.  The user then has 29 seconds to record.  I have the students write a script in first person so the bacteria or virus is speaking.

Research and Writing

I asked them to have 4 to 5 interesting facts.  Some students were able to just write their script in first person as they were reading the websites.  Other students took notes and then went back to write their script.

I found about 10 to 15 images of bacteria and virus and let the students choose from this group.  This cuts down on time and as I only have about 25 minutes with them each week and I need to find ways to save on time wherever possible.

Upload to YouTube

After they create their Chatterpix I upload them to YouTube.  This is time consuming for me, but it’s the only way to share their creations.

Check out some of their work:

 

We are a 1:1 school, however we have Dell tablets.  Fortunately, we have a small cart of old iPads from before the 1:1 initiative, which allows us to use this fun Apple app.

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5th Grade Learns to Use Prezi

By this time of the school year, I have worked with the 5th grade classes on creating a Chatterpix and PowerPoint.  To add an additional tool in their digital tool belt, we worked on making Prezis.

When working with the students, I’m not really going for a perfect product.  Rather, I am hoping that they will be experienced enough with the tool, that they will be able to use it on their own.  I do look the creations over and have them edit for grammar, punctuation, etc.  But, if after the allotted time and the group is not completely finished, the project has to stay that way.

Unfortunately, students have to be 13 years old to sign up for their own account (and I haven’t been successful in getting teachers to sign up for their own accounts), so they have to use my account.  I will change my password after this project is over!

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Notice that the students are not using their Dell tablets, but the library computers to create their Prezis.  Way easier!

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Coordinated with Social Studies Unit of Inquiry

I designed a graphic organizer that reflected what the students were studying in their current Unit of Inquiry so as to build on the prior knowledge of the topic and to reinforce concepts they are learning in the classroom.  They were learning about the U.S. during the 1920’s and 1930’s.  I looked at the Georgia Performance Standards and based the topics on these standards:

SS5H4 The student will describe U.S. involvement in World War I and post-World War I America.

a. Explain how German attacks on U.S. shipping during the war in Europe (1914- 1917) ultimately led the U.S. to join the fight against Germany; include the sinking of the Lusitania and concerns over safety of U.S. ships, U.S. contributions to the war, and the impact of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. b. Describe the cultural developments and individual contributions in the 1920s of the Jazz Age (Louis Armstrong), the Harlem Renaissance (Langston Hughes), baseball (Babe Ruth), the automobile (Henry Ford), and the airplane (Charles Lindbergh).

SS5H5 The student will explain how the Great Depression and New Deal affected the lives of millions of Americans.

a. Discuss the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, the Dust Bowl, and soup kitchens. b. Analyze the main features of the New Deal; include the significance of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. c. Discuss important cultural elements of the 1930s; include Duke Ellington, Margaret Mitchell, and Jesse Owens.

Livebinders

I created a Livebinder to curate the websites for the students to use for their research.  They bookmark the website and it reduces the time needed to complete their research.  The do use their tablets for researching.

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=2139444

Livebinder

Final Product

I did not have the students use their 1:1 devices (Dell ProVenue tablets) to create their Prezi as it is too difficult to see what you are doing on the small screen.  Fortunately I have 8 Dell All-in-One computers with large, touch screens! Check out one of their Prezis:

http://prezi.com/qqkie2tcvtyc/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

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5th Grade- Civil Wars and PowerPoint

img_9988 img_9989

After surveying the fifth grade students at the beginning of the school year, I realized that most of the students had minimal experience with creating PowerPoints.  So I decided that one of the first digital tools we would work on would be PowerPoint.  Since they would be studying the U.S. Civil War in the fall, I chose that topic.  The Syrian Civil War was in the news at that time (we completed these projects in late October & November, but I’m just getting around to finishing up this blog post!). As an IB-PYP school, I also wanted them to realize that the U.S. Civil War was NOT the only civil war that had occured and that there were civil wars happening right now.

Graphic Organizer and Curating Web Resources

I used Livebinders to curate websites and online encyclopedias for the students to use.  My emphasis in this project was more on the technical aspect (PowerPoint) rather than in-depth research.  Livebinders was used to curate websites and online encyclopedias for the students to use.

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play/2079390

Livebinder is very useful for students as it visually organizes the topics.

Livebinder is very useful for students as it visually organizes the topics.

They only had to have 5 slides and at least 2 images. I also emphasized the citing of resources and giving credit when using images.

 

 

 

 

Student Tablets

Our school is a 1:1 technology set up, so all students have a Dell ProVenue 11 tablet.  One catch was that Office 365 had to be downloaded before we could do this project and that takes awhile!  But after that, the students caught on pretty quickly and were usually anxious to help each other problem solve.  I think they have a basic understanding of creating a PowerPoint, inserting images, text boxes and are aware of the different slide types (ie. they had to use the Comparison slide for the body of their PowerPoint).

So far this year I have taught the 5th grade classes how to use Chatterpix and PowerPoint.  We are getting ready to start on Prezis in the next week.  My goal is for these students to have several digital storytelling tools in their technonlogy toolbelts by the end of the year.  No more just relying on PowerPoint when they get to middle school!

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4th Grades “Explore” Prezi

prezi1prezi2Our fourth grade students are required to learn six explorers according to the current Georgia Performance Standards in Social Studies: SS4H2 The student will describe European exploration in North America. a. Describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Juan Ponce de León, Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson, and Jacques Cartier.

I designed a project where the students researched an explorer so that they could create a Prezi which would be an advertisement to persuade viewers to join them on their expedition.

Livebinders Guided Research

I gathered resources for each explorer using Livebinders to expedite and streamline the research process.  The students used a graphic organizer I created to guide their research.  By answering the questions, the students would have sufficient information to write their advertisement.  The students conducted their research independently and then worked with a group to create one Prezi per explorer for the class.livebinders

Prezi

I reviewed the groups individual graphic organizers to ensure that among all of the group they collectively had sufficient (and correct) information to write their advertisement. Students were not familiar with Prezi, but they were very excited when they saw how it worked.  I modeled it briefly and we discussed writing in the first person, as if they were the explorer.  Some go the hang of that quicker than others, but it was good practice.  Before they could add any images, they had to have written all of their text.  I have found that they get so excited about the pictures, that the text falls to the wayside!

Here are a few of their projects:

http://prezi.com/o_-zzqpytn7c/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

http://prezi.com/-ikl-dtnsm9d/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Images and Giving Credit

I collected images for each explorer ahead of time, saving the image and renaming the image with the sources’ name.  This saves the students time.  I try to get this project done in about 4 library visits, so anything that saves a bit of time is helpful.  I created a folder for each explorer with sufficient images that they could pick and choose.  They had to give credit to the owner of the image (creating a text box in the frame with the image) and they picked up on that right away.

Citing our Sources

The last frame of each Prezi had to include the website addresses of each website that the group used.  We didn’t do MLA or any official format.  At this point I wanted them just to be aware of citing their resources.

Reflection via Flipgrid

These fourth grade students really enjoyed thinking outside the Power Point box, although most of them had only made one or two Power Points before this year. Reflecting on their learning is a big part of the International Baccalaureate program, so I had the student use Flipgrid to record their written reflection.  They love to see and hear themselves!

Check out some of their reflections: https://flipgrid.com/57a659

Students used Flipgrid to record their reflection on the explorer Prezi project and process.

Students used Flipgrid to record their reflection on the explorer Prezi project and process.

 

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5th Grade Students & Ebola Projects

Our fifth grade students were studying cells, viruses and contagious diseases in August when school began.  At that time the Ebola outbreak was just getting going and was in the news constantly.  This seemed a perfect opportunity to link current events, a world-wide issue and what they were studying in science.  Oh, and did I say I thought it would be a great chance to combine research, note-taking skills and technology in the library media center?

Research Begins: Note-taking, Foldables & Reference Sources

I designed a foldable for students to use while reading and taking notes.  I created this foldable with space for different  reference sources, including a dictionary, an atlas, an encyclopedia, a newspaper, a thesaurus and websites.

foldable graphic organizer

Foldable graphic organizer

I wanted the students to utilize all of the sources, which I now realize was too ambitious within our limited library time.  They did research during two library visits (for a total of about 40 minutes) and this wasn’t enough time.  I looked at their notes after these two sessions and chose a small group from each class to work further on the project. I chose the students who had the best or most complete notes on Ebola and worked with these 5 groups. I worked with each small group one more time researching filling in any gaps so that they would have a more complete understanding of the disease.

Concluding Research and Summarizing

I worked with students during their lunch period, so as to protect instructional time in their classroom.  It took forever to complete the projects as I only had about 20 minutes each time to work with the group.  In one week I worked with each group one or two times as I rotated through the classes.

Once they had completed their research, the students decided what information they wanted to include in their presentation.  I wrote their notes on chart paper and then typed it up for each group.   I made sure that we noted where each fact had come from so they could complete a bibliography to include in each project.  They worked with this compiled list.  I cut the notes into individual strips of paper and had each group organize the information for their presentation.  They glued the strips on a  paper and this became their outline.

summary of notes

Summary of students’ notes organized for an outline for the presentation.

Images & Credit to Source

To save time and move the project along, I found about twenty images and copied them into a folder along with the information on the source of each photo.  Again, I stressed to them that we must include this information  in the presentation.  I let them choose as many photos as they wanted that went along their outline of facts.

Enter Technology and a Few Glitches

I had the students choose from a couple of formats, including Prezi, Photostory and Flipsnack.  As I practiced with Flipsnack some more I started having some issues with it, so we eliminated that from the lineup.  Then I had problems with recording in Photostory.  The recording volume in Photostory was so low that you couldn’t hear it.  I switched computers, microphones, and laptops (one using XP and one with Windows 8) and never could figure out why the volumes were so low, so I transferred the photos of the two groups who had chose Photostory into Windows Movie Maker. Whew….this was supposed to be the fun part!

Success, finally!

I finished with the last two groups this past week (in the midst of the Scholastic Book Fair, but that’s a whole other stress-filled event).  The students were happy with their finished products and now have expertise that they can share with their classmates who did not get to work on these projects.  Anything to break out of the PowerPoint mold!  I told the 5th grade students that didn’t want them to move up to middle school only knowing how to use one digital tool.

Reflection

The students have come away with practice in note-taking, a review of reference courses, increased digital storytelling skills and a heightened interest in the Ebola outbreak.  I figured that when the outbreak was getting started in August that it would be a story that would get larger and involve more countries  as time went on.  Students come up to me all the time now and say they saw something on the news about Ebola.  We even have a location connection with the story here in Albany, GA as the son of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia, is a physician at our local hospital.  We saw him on the ABC World News early in the crisis.  Students were very interested in that and wanted to contact him and let him know what we were doing (and I will be emailing him a couple of our presentations).

Here are two of the projects!

 

Link to one of the Prezis:

http://prezi.com/sqt7llujk2ik/ebola-mrs-powells-group/

 

 

 

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ChatterPix App and American Revolution Leaders

I recently found out about the app, ChatterPix by Duck, Duck, Goose and looked around to figure out how we could incorporate this into some grade level’s curriculum.  The fourth grade students were preparing to study the American Revolutionary War and they are required to know about seven different historical figures from that time period.

ChatterPix app

Duck Duck Goose ChatterPix

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for these students to practice their research and note-taking skills.  I wanted to design it so the students would avoid plagiarizing, so I decided they would write their “speeches” in first person.

Graphic Organizer

First I looked at what the students are responsible for knowing about these American Revolutionary figures and designed a graphic organizer to help the students focus their research.

Livebinder

Next, I created a Livebinder to gather internet sources for the students so everything would be in one place.  If you are not familiar with Livebinders, check it out.  It is a neat, graphic way to organize websites and it is called a binder because the organizational design looks like the tabs of folders in a binder.  Here is the link to the one I created for this assignment   http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1249911&backurl=/shelf/my.

Students at computer using Livebinder to find websites.

Students using Livebinder to guide research

Assisting the Research Process

I introduced the project at the first library visit and the students had a short time to conduct research.  I had non-fiction books pulled and put out on tables, so the students could spread out.  They researched during one more library visit and after that I worked with groups who had been assigned the same person at the end of the school day.

Writing First Person Scripts

After the students completed their research, I pulled them during their lunch time to assist them in writing their first person script.  I had books pulled that had portraits of all of the figures (George Washington, Patrick Henry, Benedict Arnold, etc.).

ChatterPix App

The ChatterPix app allows you to let anything “talk” by drawing on a mouth on an image.  The students took a photo of their person, drew the mouth across and then recorded their 29 second script (that is the time limit of the app).

Student recording their ChatterPix from script

Student recording their ChatterPix from script.

They then added a title and I exported them to my YouTube channel.

 

 

 

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Researching Snowflakes, Paper Flakes & Blogging

It doesn’t snow very often here in south Georgia, but I thought we could still enjoy learning about snowflakes!  I started off reading Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin to all of the 3rd grade classes.  I also wanted the students to review and practice using reference sources.

Reference Practice

I had the students partner up and use either a dictionary, an encyclopedia or an atlas.  They looked up the definition of snow or snowflakes or wrote one fact about snow from the encyclopedia.  The students used the atlas to locate the city of Snowflake and to determine what state it was in.   Reading the Snowflake Bentley book and doing the research used all of our time for the first week.

Photograph by Snowflake Bentley

Image from Creative Commons

Sharing our Research and Cutting Paper Snowflakes

The next week we reviewed what they learned about snow and snowflakes.  I summarized the facts on a whiteboard and then we proceeded to the fun part.  The students cut out 6 sided paper snowflakes.

Students showing off their paper snowflakes

Students with their paper snowflake creations!

Thinglink and Digital Snowflakes

I created a Thinglink page that included 2 websites where you can cut “virtual” snowflakes.  The sites are so much fun and a bit addictive!   Check it out…http://www.thinglink.com/scene/479319938847211522.

My Thinglink post about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley

  My Thinglink post about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley

I sent the link to the teachers and they let the students explore the Thinglink page which also had links to the Bentley museum and the NOAA website containing many of Bentley’s photographs.

Blogging on Edmodo

On the 3rd week I created Edmodo accounts for every student and they had the oppourtunity to blog about all of their “snowflake” experiences from researching to cutting snowflakes (paper and digital).  I had the students write down their thoughts about the whole process, from reading the book, Snowflake Bentley through research and cutting snowflakes.  I asked them to use the International Baccalareate (IB) PYP concept questions, the IB Learner Profiles and Attitudes while reflecting on the experience.  They wrote on index cards so when the time came to blog, they already had their thoughts down on paper.

Student writing on index card while looking at IB PYP Learner Profile and Attitude

Student using the IB PYP Learner Profiles & Attitudes to write reflection.  Girls reflecting on snowflake activities

Students reflecting on snowflake activities prior to blogging.

We also reviewed some internet etiquette.  I think they did a great job for the most part on reflecting on their experience and sharing it with their classmates on Edmodo.  Here are a few samples.

Jalen S: What are the points of view?The neighbor was excited because he knew nobody had ever taken a picture at a snowflakes before. I wondered- How can you cut straight lines?

Kameron: So the snowflakes have 6 sides. I got a dictionary for snowflakes and found out what it has.It snowed on Wednesday and I felt excited. What does it look like in real life?

Abi: Snowflake Bentley is open-minded.He thinks that snowflakes were cool.When I had to create a snowflake it was difficult.

By the way…I think I made it snow in Albany, GA!  We actually saw a dusting of snow on January 29 which was one of the weeks we were doing our snow instruction.

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