One of the skills we recently worked on was being able to draw conclusions based on the facts from the story and our own personal background knowledge. We started this conversation by watching the two videos below.
After we finished watching these short videos and drawing conclusions, we began the process of creating our own mysteries for each other to draw conclusions. Using a template, which is picture below (available on TPT for free), students began to create details for a mystery location.
After completing their mystery clues, they were to use Vocaroo to record their clues. Vocaroo is a super simple website. Clicking the record button (need to allow access to your microphone) will allow you to record your audio. You can listen after you are done and retry if you are not happy with it. End the end, you can click to save your audio clip. You are then provided with a link as well as embed code. You can even get a QR Code for your audio clip or download it as a MP3 or WAV file.
Students used a Google Form (pictured above) to submit their links to their audio clips. All of the links were compiled into a spreadsheet. This Spreadsheet was shared in Google Classroom as a view only file. Students opened up this view only file as well as created a new Google Doc. They spent some time listening to each audio clip and typing their conclusion in their Google Doc. After they had listened to all their classmates' audio clips and typed all their conclusion guesses, they attached their Google Doc to the Google Classroom assignment.
One of the ways that I stay up to date with the latest in ed tech is subscribing to numerous ed tech blogs. I used to use Google Reader to manage all of my RSS feeds. However, since the death of Google Reader, I switched over to Feedly. I like this option with its simplistic user interface as well as the variety of options for saving and sharing content.
When I was reading one of my RSS feeds, I came across an article about Spritz. This company has some great technology that is supposed to help with the number of words you can read in a minute as well as improve your comprehension. Being a former 1st grade teacher, I had to check this out.
Using their technology, they eliminate the need to track words from left to right. They provide you one word at a time with a single letter in red to focus your eyes. You can choose the rate at which you would like the words to appear.
To use Spritz with your RSS feeds, you need to create a free account on The Old Reader. When you have completed this step, you can choose to import your current RSS feeds. Since I used Feedly, I was able to click "organize" and then scroll to the bottom where it gave me the option to "save as OPML." After I had exported all my subscriptions into the OPML format, I returned to my The Old Reader account and selected import. I then located my OPML file and presto!
After giving a few minutes for all the subscriptions to update, I was able to go into The Old Reader settings and locate the option to enable Spritz.
After enabling Spritz for speedy reading, I returned to my subscriptions and a "Spritz" button appeared at the top of each post in my feeds. By clicking on the "Spritz" button, my article was then presented to me using Spritz's technology.
I haven't used this a ton yet but am looking forward to seeing how this works when reading through a plethora of RSS feeds. This will be interesting to see how this technology could be applied to the classroom setting.
**If you are unfamiliar with this project, check out my first post introducing my pilot project with LearnPads and comparing them to iPads.
My first graders have been working with bossy "r" combinations. Recently we spent some time sorting images based on having the bossy "r" vowel sound or not. Check out my previous post about Bossy "R" sorting.
To continue integrating the LearnPads into our daily instruction, students created Pic Collages of images representing bossy "r" combinations. The images we used are accessible below. These images were posted around the classroom.
Before starting, students had to determine which bossy "r" combination they would be "hunting" for during this activity (ar-images, or-images, ir, er, ur-images). After they decided on a bossy "r" combination, they used the Pic Collage app to snap pictures of only those images that represented their chosen bossy "r" combination.
Once their Pic Collage was created, it was then posted to their blog. The following day, students spent time accessing their peers' blog posts with their Pic Collages. It was then their job to comment with their guess as to which bossy "r" combination was represented in the Pic Collage.
LearnPad: Bossy "R" Pic COllages
Steps for Bossy "R" pic collages
Below are the apps we used on the LearnPad.
1) Open the Pic Collage app to get started.
2) Snap pictures using the built in camera. Click share icon when done with collage.
3) Share to Edublogs.
4) Give it a title and tap the airplane to publish live.
iPad: Bossy "R" Pic Collages
Steps for Bossy "R" Pic Collages
Below are the apps we would use on the iPad.
*The steps for creating the collage would be identical to the LearnPad until you got to the blog post step. One big difference would be saving your completed Pic Collage to the camera roll before being able to post it to Kidblog.
Once the image was saved to your camera roll, you would then be able to open up the Kidblog app and create a new post. Insert the collage from the camera roll, give the post a title and click Publish to make it live.
**If you are unfamiliar with this project, check out my first post introducing my pilot project with LearnPads and comparing them to iPads.
When learning to read in first grade, we spend time learning about the bossy "r" or "r" controlled vowels. To utilize our tablets and provide practice, we completed a sorting activity with bossy "r" combinations.
The goal of this activity was for students to demonstrate their understanding of bossy "ar" combinations by sorting pictures based on having the bossy "ar" sound or not. Students would insert a background image into a sceencasting app. After the background image was inserted, students then inserted some pre-selected images. Once these images were inserted, students spent time sorting the pictures into a bossy "r" or "other" category. When all images were sorted, a screen shot was captured and in turn posted to their blog. The process is highlighted below for both the LearnPad and iPad.
LearnPad: Bossy "R" Sorting
I had to do some backend work prior to this activity so that the images were all accessible for students. You can download the images that I used by clicking here. We used the apps below to complete this sorting activity on the LearnPad.
Steps on the LearnPad
1) Open the Lensoo app and click create new recording.
2) Click on the landscape icon to insert images from Dropbox.
3) Sort pictures and then take a screenshot.
4) Access your screenshot from the Gallery.
5) Share image to Edublog.
Student Sample of completed sort
iPad: Bossy "R" Sorting
The backend work for setting up images would be identical on the iPad. The big differences would be the apps used for this activity. Below are the apps that would be used on the iPad. *You could use Edublogs as the blog platform as well. My students are familiar with Kidblog on the iPad so we would have used Kidblog to post.
Steps on the iPad
1) Open up the Educreations app and click New Lesson.
2) Click the landscape icon to access Dropbox. Insert background first then all other images.
3) After images are sorted capture a screen shot.
4) Open the Kidblog app, New Post, add photo from Library.
5) Add a title and click Publish to make it live.
My school uses HMH Journey's for our reading curriculum. It is divided into 30 weeks. with each week, there is an assessment that allows teachers to gain insight into what students have mastered and/or what needs more practice.
One challenge is that these assessments tend to be multiple pages long. That is a lot of paper to use and a lot of time to score all of these assessments. I have only been using pieces of the assessment that I want extra data to inform my instruction. While this cuts down on the paper being used, it is still more than I would like and takes a while to score.
This is where the Assist and Quick Key apps come into play. Both apps have websites that allow you to print out bubble sheets. Using these custom sheets, you are able to create an answer key. Students will use the same custom sheet to take their quiz/test. After students have finished, you simply scan your answer key and then start scanning your students' bubble sheets. The tests are instantly scored for you.
This greatly reduces the amount of paper I have to use. One score sheet for each student is all I need. I display the assessment via the projector for my students to bubble in their answers. While the assessment for my reading curriculum doesn't match with bubbles that say "A," "B," "C," I am able to write those letters on the board next to the bubbles. Below is a sample of what students would see on the board.
Using the displayed question above, students would color in the correct letter on the bubble sheet. Below is an example of the Assist App bubble sheet.
Using the displayed question above, students would color in the correct letter on the bubble sheet. Below is an example of the Quick Key app bubble sheet.
I have been using Kidblog the last three years. Their iPad app makes posting and commenting seamless for my first graders. Each one of my first graders has his/her very own blog to share and document learning throughout the school year. It has been my goal to use the iPad as a creative tool.
We have been talking about using "is" or "are" in sentences. Students have made the connection that "is" goes with a singular subject while "are" belongs with plural subjects. To create a short assessment and add some fun, we used our iPads and Kidblog to practice our understanding of using "is" and "are" in sentences.
Below I explain how we went about this process. It was actually pretty simple and I was very pleased with the results. During our next week of school, students will be commenting on the "is or are" posts with their guesses.
is or are assessment
I was very pleased with the quality of sentences that my students submitted. This provided a quick assessment for who understands and who does not. The next phase will be students commenting their guesses. This will provide another layer of assessment. The best part is that the students had fun with this. They got to create their own sentences and will get to comment on their friends' posts.
I have my blog set up so that any new post and/or comment needs moderated before appearing. When my students begin commenting their guesses, none will show up until I approve them. This is nice because students will not be able to see what others guessed. They will have to decode the sentences on their own and apply what they have been taught.
I was looking through some old Evernote clippings and came across this recommendation for an app. I read a little of the description and then decided it was worth giving a try to see if it lived up to the description. Sure enough, after a little playing, I saw how simple the user interface was as well as how it could be integrated into the PK-1 classrooms.
My A-Z app is a FREE iPhone app that works and looks great on the iPad. It comes with one flashcard for each letter of the alphabet. However, students can add their own pictures for each letter of the alphabet. In my mind, this gets beyond the iPad as a consumption tool and moves into a creation tool.
Students could go on "alphabet hunts" around the classroom and/or school. When they found a picture for a certain letter, they would simply snap a picture, give it a title and even add their voice recording the picture. The students can continue to build their library of flashcards for each letter of the alphabet. This could be an ongoing project as well as a great way to assess kids with their differentiation between each letter in the alphabet.
Check out the pictures below for some screen shots explaining a little about this app.
My A-Z app How to
This week in 1st grade we are reviewing our understanding of subject and verbs. So far we have been talking about complete sentences. We discussed having a naming part and a telling part in a sentence. While we have talked about subjects and verbs in the past, we had not explicitly practiced differentiating between words that were subjects or verbs.
To provide some practice during small group rotations, students used the iPads along with the Qrafter and Educreations apps. To set up this activity, I recorded a word using the website Record MP3. Below is an example of how I worded it when recording.
"Throw" I can throw a baseball. "Throw"
After recording, I can choose to save at which time a URL is provided. This URL was then pasted into the QR Code Generator Chrome App. These QR codes were then saved into a Word document for future use. The students would scan the code using the Qrafter app. After scanning, the word would be read to them. Next, students would open the Educreations app and put the letter that was associated with the QR Code into the correct column. For a better example and explanation, check out the video below.
Below is an example of a final product that a student created.
I was scrolling through the daily list of Apps Gone Free and found the Move and Match app that was free for the day (regularly $1.99). This app is very simple to use. Just like the name implies, you can create activities for your students to move and match images and/or text. My students used this app to practice building words. Below is a sample of what I did to complete this activity.
The Set up.....
I found this process to be very simple to create some activities. Students enjoyed sorting letters and their sounds. They had to isolate each phoneme and blend the individual sounds back together creating the word that matched the picture. Both phonological and phonemic awareness were being practiced by students.
When students were completed with their pictures, they would take a screenshot by pressing the home and power on/off button simultaneously. After they had captured their image, they would use the Kidblog app to sign into their blog account. This image was then embedded into each students' individual blog account.
The next step is to have students create their own activities for others to complete. I will be posting more about that soon. Make sure to check out the Move and Match website for more ideas and information.
Croak.it is an app that allows you to record audio for 30 second chunks. It has a very simple user interface. Simply press the giant button with a frog and press again to stop. You can then title your recording. Once titled, your Croak is given a URL that you can share.
See my example
Vocabulary Practice with Thinglink
You can practice vocabulary using Croak.it and Thinglink. Students can hand write their vocabulary word. After writing their word, they can snap a picture of it. Next, they can use the Thinklink app to add links to their image. The links they will add would be their recordings from Croak.it. The recordings via Croak.it could be examples of the word in a sentence.