Celebrating the 100th Day of School!

One hundred days of school! It’s a big celebration at TVS!

100 sign 2

In the technology lab, we’re celebrating too. The first and second graders were asked to think about what they had learned after 100 days in school. We brainstormed some of the things each class had learned throughout the year: from telling time to adding 3 numbers to tasting foods from different countries.

Here are some first grade posts:

Simone_100

I love the invented spelling of #7 – poetry!

Saanvi_100Emma_100

2nd 100 day blog

2nd graders blogging

With the third graders, I adapted an art idea of 100s transformations, found on Pinterest. The students are creating pictures from die cuts of 1-0-0. To add a tech twist, each child is using the MyCreate app ($4.99) to build a stop-motion animation video. They take a photo for each step in their drawing process. When finished, the video will be uploaded to the students’ blog.

third pic 2

3rd 100 dayWhat a fun celebration!

 

Grandparents’ Day Arrives!

And the second graders finally have the chance to share their Heritage projects! (If you want to read more about the children creating a touching look at their family history, click here.)

We had a “dress rehearsal” this week – just to make sure the students knew how to access their video or ePub book created in the Book Creator app.

dress rehearsal for GP dayFinally, the big day arrived! The children led their special visitors into their classrooms, retrieved their iPads, plugged in the headsets, and shared their project. They knew exactly what to do!

Watching the expressions of the grandparents is priceless! Listening to the sweet voices of their grandchildren tell about their family history is such a special moment.

Here’s a very quick look at the children sharing.

Sharing Our Heritage

Each fall our second graders create a Heritage project to share with grandparents and other relatives. They bring in photos of family members, sometimes from several generations back! Over the years I’ve tried a variety of online applications to make the final product but it’s always been more of a teacher-created project. Parents would email photos or send them on a CD. I would upload them to the student’s home directory. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work that needed to be done before the child could even begin to record their heritage story!

This year we decided to use the Book Creator app, an easy-to-use ePub book maker that allows the user to import pictures and record narration. Besides saving as an eBook, the finished product can also be exported as a video.

We asked the parents to send actual photos. The students really giggled when I said they were going to take photos of their photos! After a photography lesson, the children scattered around the room in search of the perfect place to take their picture. They watched for glare from the lights, checked for blurriness, learned how to crop.

IMG_3872IMG_3862Next step was to insert the pictures into the Book Creator app.

IMG_3851The following week we worked on the cover of the book. What child can resist taking a selfie?

IMG_3887The students also added page colors and chose a font style and color.

IMG_3883The children are in the process of recording their heritage narrations. Then I’ll be uploading the finished ePub books and videos to the web so that their fantastic, student-created work can be shared with family and friends!

A Squiggle or Two – Part 2

After presenting our 4th graders with a squiggle and seeing the amazing creations they illustrated (See What Can You Do With a Squiggle or Two), I decided to present the same opportunity to the 2nd graders. However, this time I gave them a choice of three squiggles.

Here is what they started with . . .

CreateCreate 2Create 3Some children chose to draw more than one picture. Enjoy their creations!

Mrs. Zabriskie’s Class

Mrs. Shapard’s Class

Mrs. Garcia’s Class

Next step . . . upload to their blogs and tell about their drawings. This was lots of fun and we’ll definitely be doing it again!

More Fraction Practice

After coming across a post about Fraction Name Art on the Super Sweet Second Grade blog, I decided to incorporate this into a lab activity for our second graders who were beginning their fraction unit.

The students were asked to use the Book Creator app to design a page with the following information:

  • Name in a large, bold font
  • A sentence telling how many letters were in their name
  • 2 “ends” of sentences about consonants and vowels (___ are consonants. ___ are vowels.)

Next, we used the pen function to circle the vowels and underline the consonants. I asked the students what fraction of their name were vowels; what fraction were consonants? The answers were written with the pen.

fractions
The students recorded their information and emailed the book to me. I’ve combined the individual books into class books.

To access the books, remember to tap on the links below while on an iOS device with iBooks installed. Choose download then open in iBooks.

Mrs. Garcia’s Name Fraction

Mrs. Zabriskie’s Name Fraction

For those of you without an iOS device, here are the video versions of the book.

Fantastic Fractions!

Second graders have been busy learning about fractions. To go along with their study, we brought fraction activities into the lab.

Mrs. Shapard, one of our second grade teachers, asked her students to write fraction word problems. We had them illustrate the concept using the fraction bars found in the SchoolKit Math app (free). They took two screenshots – the first showed the total number of pieces.

Fraction Bars (uncropped)

Fraction Bars (uncropped)

The second showed the answer. We had them crop both images before adding to the book.

Answer to word problem (cropped)

Answer to word problem (cropped)

The next step was to move to the Book Creator app ($4.99 for unlimited books and worth every penny!). It is such an easy app for all ages and has some very powerful features! One of the best features is the ability to save as a video, which is extremely helpful in sharing a book with families who don’t have an iOS device.

The students created two pages by adding their name, inserting their fraction bar pictures, writing the story problem on the first page, and writing the answer on the second. Next, they recorded their stories and answers. And, finally, the books were air dropped to me so that I could combine the individual books into one class book.

Here is the link for the ePub version.

Mrs. Shapard’s Class Book of Fraction Word Problems

In downloading the book, be sure to tap on the link while on an iOS device. Choose SAVE and open in iBooks.

Below is the video version of the book:

To make the cover, I decided to experiment with a couple of apps. Here’s a chart showing the apps used.

Shapard_Fraction Book
During the process of writing and illustrating the fraction bars, we were quickly able to check each child’s understanding of fractions. We were able to reteach as needed. The students are eager to share their fraction stories with our other classes to see if they can solve the problems!

Making Wishes on St. Patrick’s Day

The Leprechaun's GoldThe Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards is an Irish legend about two harpists who have the same wish but go about earning it in different ways. (Watch a video reading of the book.)

Before reading the book to second graders as a St. Patrick’s Day activity, I asked the children to think about selfish vs. unselfish wishes. We discussed a few examples and then I asked the students to open the Book Creator app and illustrate an unselfish wish of their own while I read the story. Talk about quiet workers! They were engaged in their drawings and enjoying the plot of the book!

After the reading, the students scattered to various corners inside and outside of the lab so that they could record their wish. The books were then air dropped to one iPad to allow me to combine all into one class book.

This activity could easily be done in a variety of apps. I chose Book Creator because it is extremely user-friendly! Drawings can be created within the app and recording narration is super easy.

Enjoy the class books!

Mrs. Garcia’s Book of Wishes

Mrs. Shapard’s Book of Wishes

Mrs. Zabriskie’s Book of Wishes

Directions to download books to your iOS device (iPad, iPhone, etc):

  • You will need the iBooks app (free) installed on your iOS device.
  • Click on the book link above (while on your iOS device).
  • Tap on the download button.
  • Choose Open in iBooks
  • The book is now in iBooks on your iOS device.

Snow Pals Glyphs

What is a glyph? Well, one definition is where students answer questions and make something according to how they answer those questions.

For the past few years, I’ve had second and third grade students do a fun glyph activity where they create a snowman (or snow person☺). I found this idea several years ago but am so sorry that I don’t remember who it’s from so I’m unable to properly credit the original creator. Questions include:

  • Have you every built a snowman? For yes, draw 3 snowballs for the body; for no, draw 2. (Yes, there really are students living in Texas who have never built a snowman!)
  • What is your favorite sport? Third graders were given 4 choices and then drew a scarf that was decorated according to their answers.
  • What is your favorite season? Second graders colored their scarf according to their answer.

Click here to see the second grade glyph.

Click here to see the third grade glyph.

This year when I presented the activity to the third graders, I heard the following response from a few students:

  • “This is my favorite activity of the whole year!

I can tell you – that makes a teacher feel really good!

Here is the animoto of the third graders’ glyph drawings.

The second graders used their illustrations to make class ePub books. They wrote and recorded haiku poems to go with their drawings. If you don’t have an iOS device to open the eBook, the work has also been saved as a video.

Mrs. Garcia’s Snow Pals Book and Video

Mrs. Shapard’s Snow Pals Book and Video

Mrs. Zabriskie’s Snow Pals Book and Video

Directions to download books to your iOS device (iPad, iPhone, etc):

  • You will need the iBooks app (free) installed on your iOS device.
  • Click on the book link above (while on your iOS device).
  • Tap on the download button.
  • Choose Open in . . . and then choose Open in iBooks
  • The book is now in iBooks on your iOS device.

Directions to read the ePub book on a computer:

International Dot Day Celebrations!

the dotI love International Dot Day! September 15ish is the day to celebrate Peter H. Reynold’s wonderful book, The Dot. In the book, Vashti is asked to draw a picture in art class but can’t think of anything to illustrate. Her teacher encourages her to “just make a mark and see where it takes you.” Vashti jabs the paper with her pencil to create a tiny dot but the next time she comes to class, she discovers her teacher has framed it. From there, Vashti determines that she really can make better dots! At the end of the book, Vashti pays forward what her teacher has done for her by encouraging a little boy who believes he can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. This book has two wonderful themes:

  1. Every person is creative in their own special way.
  2. Each of us can find a way to “make our mark” by helping and encouraging others.

This year, celebrating Dot Day was a bit difficult for me. I worked part-time till Sept. 15 due to back surgery over the summer. But I had a wonderful sub, Jane Cooper, who worked tirelessly with many classes to  start our Dot Day celebrations. I returned full-time on September 15 to continue the activities – by the end of the day I was completely exhausted but it was a fantastic day to return! Below are descriptions of how our teachers and students “made our mark.”

Kindergarten

Our kinder teachers gave each student a dot and a “swirly gold framed” paper. The students created a picture from their dot.

photo 2(1)Click here for more pictures from kindergarten.

First Grade

The first graders had a two-part lesson. Mrs. Cooper introduced the students to making their creative mark by reading The Dot. The children were then given the dot coloring sheet for use with the ColAR app (free in the App Store and Google Play). Lots of colorful illustrations were made as the students were told that the following week they would see something magic happen to their dots. When the first graders returned to the lab, I showed them how to use the ColAR app. Amazed “oohs” and “aahs” were heard as my dot became 3-dimensional! The students were thrilled to see their own dots come to life.

IMG_1060View Animoto videos of each class:

Second Grade

Mrs. Cooper worked with the second graders to create a dot using the Drawing Box app. She explained to the students that, just as people are unique, their dots would be different from their classmates. But, when joined together, they would create a tapestry of colors. The children discussed how they were individuals but each unique person was needed to make a successful group – just as each dot they drew was important to the overall tapestry.

Third Grade

I asked the third graders to combine their creativity and a desire to “make a mark” on others by illustrating a picture in Microsoft’s Paint program. The students were asked to think about how they could make a difference  – in a person’s life (a classmate, family member, friend . . .), by doing a task to help their community, or thinking about something they could do in the future. The students wrote a short description then illustrated their idea. I combined their thoughts and drawings in Animoto videos

IMG_0967

Fourth Grade

Because of time constraints, I was only able to work with two of our three fourth grade classes (the third class participated in Dot Day in Spanish).

In one class, I asked the students to create a PowerPoint slide that included their name written in Braille and clip art that represented some of their interests. The students used the Braille Bug website to convert their name to Braille. They then used the shape tool and duplicate shortcut to create dots to form their Braille name. After adding clip art, I asked the students to save their slide as a jpeg (at this point I hadn’t decided how we would share their work). I ended up creating one slideshow with their images.

For another class, I thought I would give coding dots a try. The students had been learning JavaScript with our headmaster, Gary Krahn (see post) so they already had some practice. I asked them to use the ellipse code to create dot pictures. They eagerly set to work and programmed some absolutely amazing images! I loved watching them problem-solve with each other as they worked on placing their dots. When finished, they took screen shots of their work and I combined them into a slideshow.

Co-Curricular Classes
Of course, Dot Day wouldn’t be complete without music, art, and Spanish and those teachers led some very creative activities!
Mrs. Holloway had her music classes practicing musical note writing as they composed Dot songs.
photo 2First graders in Mrs. Black’s art classes used watercolors to beautifully decorate coffee filters.
photo 2(1)
Click here to view more art and music pictures.
Our Spanish teachers were busy with a variety of activities. Sra. Ross’s first graders learned the Mexican Hat Dance (a circle dance). Her second graders designed Mexican mirrors. Sra. Nedrelow’s third graders created colorful Aztec calendars while her fourth graders constructed Costa Rican Ox Carts. (See more detailed descriptions of the mirrors and ox carts by clicking here.)
Spanish classesClick here to view more images from our Spanish classes.
We are proud to be part of International Dot Day 2014 but our creativity doesn’t stop in September. We will continue to make our mark all year!

How Can Numbers be Represented?

Mrs Wideens class tweetThanks to a tweet from a student in Kristen Wideen’s class telling how the children were representing 2-digit numbers, our 2nd grader teachers decided to incorporate this fantastic idea into their math lesson. Discovering this tweet was perfect timing as our students are moving into place value for 3-digit numbers!

Number Pieces appThe first thing I did was tweet Mrs. Wideen’s class to find out the app they used for place value blocks. The response was Number Pieces, a free app!

After talking with the 2nd grade teachers, we decided to do the following to have students show ways to represent a 3-digit number:

photo 5Regular Dice – take a photo. What we discovered was some students put the dice together backwards. In other words, 123 was shown as 321. When they realized that, we discovered an easy fix was to rotate the image!

photo 4Place Value Dice – take a photo. These are fantastic dice in that students can see the precise value of each digit.

Whphoto 2iteboard Writing – take a photo. Students were to write the numerals for their number then write it out in words.

 

photo 1Number Pieces app – take a screen shot. This has an amazing number of features for a free app! We had the students draw the place value chart and put the blocks in the correct category. What was discovered is that it is extremely difficult to fit more than 2 or 3 hundreds on an iPad mini! The children had to get pretty creative in stacking the blocks so that they could still be seen. Some of the students wanted only their work to show; not the tools of the app so that provided a perfect opportunity to show how to crop photos.

photo 3SchoolKit Math: Money – take a screen shot. To show the number representation with money, we used the SchoolKit Math app (free). Besides money, this app has a hundreds chart, number line, tens frame, fractions, and more – very useful tools. Working with money to show a number was more difficult than the other ways. It was tempting, for example, to show 1 dollar, 2 pennies, and 3 pennies for 123. We had to review that the 2 is in the tens place so we would need something to show 20.

pic collage appTo pull everything together, we used the Pic Collage app (free).

Cooper_generic collage

 

The next step was to share the work. The students added their images to their blog and wrote a description of what they did. They would love comments!

Mrs. Cooper’s Class Blog
Mrs. Garcia’s Class Blog
Mrs. Shapard’s Class Blog

blogging pic

 

 

 

 

 

bulletin board

Bulletin Board – with pics and blog post copies