Dr. Seuss and App Smashing Fun!

Oh,_the_Thinks_You_Can_Think_cover

For our Seuss week celebrations, I read part of Oh, The Thinks You Can Think and asked the fourth graders to think creatively like Dr. Seuss.

  • What would you invent if you were able to invent anything you wanted?
  • Would it be an interesting animal?
  • Would it be something that would make life easier?
  • What would it look like?
  • What would it do?

The students started by illustrating their invention on the computer using Microsoft’s Paint program. This could be done in an app but the students prefer the tools available in Paint. When they finished, I uploaded their pictures to my Picasa site so that they could save to the iPad.

The next step was to create a page in the Book Creator app. The students were asked to include the following on their page:

  • their name
  • title of their invention
  • picture of their invention
  • a recorded narration of the purpose of their invention (I had them write a script first! This really helps with the recording process; avoids stumbling over what to say!)

Finally, the students air dropped their books to me and I combined all into one class book. I absolutely LOVE that Book Creator offers options for sharing! I exported it in two different formats: one as an ePub book (to be read in iBooks) and the other as a video (a great option for those who don’t have iOS devices).

Click here to download the ePub book. (Remember you’ll need to be on an iOS device with the iBooks app installed. Choose Download then Open in iBooks.)

Here’s the video:

Since video was one format to be shared and since I’ve been wanting to experiment with some AppSmashing (Thank you Greg Kulowiec for creating this great term and for the awesome workshops I’ve been able to attend), I decided to get creative with the intro to the inventions!

Here’s a chart to show the apps used.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In this case, I was the one who created the video clips to be combined with the student work in iMovie. Students could certainly do this part – perhaps have the early finishers work on some type of introduction.

LOVE the power of AppSmashing!

Creating Fact Families

To check student understanding of fact families, we introduced the students to the Draw & Tell app by Duck, Duck, Moose. This is an amazing screen casting app for younger children! It is extremely intuitive and the app tells the user what to do each step of the way.

duck duck moose

All work is automatically saved – very helpful for the little ones! The recorded videos can be saved to the photo roll where they can be shared in a variety of ways.

Our goal was to check understanding of fact families and then have the students post the video to their blog. I gave basic instructions about the tools, then told the students that we needed to prepare the canvas before we did the recording.

  • Choose a plain backdrop so that the number sentences can easily be seen.
  • Write your name and then write the fact family sentences.
  • Choose stickers to represent the fact family.
  • Record (I showed them how to move the stickers and how to use the “laser” pointer.)

Some students wanted (and were ready) to write larger fact families (100 + 30 = 130). What they quickly discovered was that the amount of stickers needed would take a long time AND they didn’t fit on the small screen area! (We have iPad minis.)

1st grade_Draw and Tell

As the students began writing number sentences and recording, we were quickly able to see who didn’t quite get the fact family concept. That gave us a chance to reteach and help the students with writing the correct number sentences.

After the videos were created, I showed the students how to save to Photos; an easy process. Again, the app tells the students exactly what to do.

draw and tell 1

draw and tell 2

draw and tell 3

Next time the students come to me, they will upload the videos to their KidBlog page.

Below are a couple examples from the students:

This is a visual of the process of the project > from creating to publishing to KidBlog:

1st app smashing

The only technical issue we experienced was that a few students did NOT tap OK when prompted to allow microphone to access the app. Some recorded in vain! Nothing was picked up! Of course, once the settings were changed, recording worked just fine.

This is a fantastic app for students to explain their learning/thought processes. There are enough tools for students to be creative but not so many that they are overwhelmed.

Be sure to visit the students’ blogs on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 5. Their videos will be published by then and they will welcome comments!

Mrs. Hutchinson’s Class Blog
Mrs. Kee’s Class Blog
Mrs. Orehek’s Class Blog

Update on Feb. 5 > All videos are uploaded!

Uploading the video

Uploading the video