I’m not sure why but I hadn’t pulled out the Ozobots for the fourth graders this year so when they arrived at the lab and discovered Ozobots set out, they could hardly sit still to get instructions!
Needless to say, I presented the instructions in record time! Their job – add color codes and paths to the outline of the Cat in the Hat’s hat. iPads were set out so students could video their Ozobots. A few did that and then air dropped video to me so that I could add to what I took. Here’s a glimpse at what happened.
I would hear groans from students who couldn’t get their Ozobot to follow the code they thought they’d drawn. Then, I’d hear from someone else who announced that their code worked and they were more than happy to share tips on how to better draw effective codes.
Lesson learned for me – I need to do MUCH more of the exploration time for the students. Yes, there are times when I need to do direct instruction but watching the fourth graders interact reminded me how important it is to allow time for uninterrupted learning to occur.
Aren’t Dr. Seuss books fun? His whimsical illustrations and storytelling create wonderful opportunities for students to enter a world of silly make-believe, while still having a life lesson for children (and adults).
Our second graders listened to The Foot Book as they designed their own foot or shoe in the Book Creator app. I loved seeing all kinds of interesting feet or shoes such as the ones that spouted crayons or confetti.
As the students completed their drawings, they recorded what these new feet or shoes could do. Each child air dropped their book to me so that I could combine them into a class book.
Our third graders read I Wish that I Had Duck Feet. This book is about a boy who wishes he had different animal parts – duck feet, whale spout, elephant’s trunk, and so on. He thinks of all the fantastic things he could do with these parts. However, there’s always a downside to each one.
The students were asked to think of an animal part that they would like to have. They were to draw a picture in Book Creator, record the pros and cons of the part, and air drop the book to me so that I could create the class books.
It was so much fun listening to what they chose. A few even tried to write in rhyme like Dr. Seuss.
If you are downloading the ePub books, remember that you need to click on the book link while on an iOS device having the iBooks app. Choose download and open in iBooks. (We had several children absent on the day that we made the books. If you don’t see your child’s work, that is the reason.)
Ozobots are fantastic tiny robots that can be programmed by either drawing in a color code combination or by using the drag and drop Ozoblockly online program. I love these little robots because all ages can use them; they grow with the child.
However, what we’ve discovered with the younger children is that it can be difficult to draw the codes “just right” so that the Ozobot can read them. That’s why I was thrilled to discover the Ozoeasy sticker codes this year. These small round stickers were created by an 8 year old – always fun to tell students that even young children can become an entrepreneur!
Enter the Dr. Seuss theme! Using PowerPoint (Only because I wanted precise lines!), I created a couple of “hats” to go with The Cat and the Hat.
The first hat the children worked with had only one place to draw a connecting line – at the top. The students were asked to choose a color other than black to connect the lines. After demonstrating how the code stickers worked, we talked about best places to add those. For example, the codes have to have black lines on either side and they can’t be too close to a corner. Students were also encouraged to draw colored lines across the hat.
After exploring the triangular hat, we moved onto the other template. This one had breaks in the black lines. The children could draw their own code, place a code sticker on a line, or add a connecting line of a color other than black.
What fun observing as the children discovered how the Ozobot reacted to the colored lines and the codes!
As our time together drew to a close, we regrouped to talk about our observations.
What happened when Ozobot rolled over a line that was a color other than black? What did you discover about Ozobot moving in opposite directions as it traveled over a code sticker? What did you learn about drawing your own codes?
Here are the templates of the hats. There are a couple of options included for each design.
What is an Ozobot? A tiny robot that can be programmed by drawing “OzoCodes” using colored markers. Various color combinations cause the Ozobot to perform different functions.
To celebrate Seuss Week, the first and second graders were given a couple of hat shapes that were missing parts of lines. The children drew codes in these line breaks to program the Ozobots.
The third graders drew their own hats. (Or, at least these were supposed to look like hats!)
For the younger students, it was easier to concentrate on drawing the color codes rather than create a hat and draw code.
Even with the older students, there was some frustration that the Ozobots didn’t do what they were supposed to. We talked a lot about how everything had to be “just right” – lines not too thin or too thick. A code has to have all the colors about the same size. If you color too hard with the blue marker, the Ozobot thinks the color is black. I told the students that the Ozobot is like Goldilocks who had to have everything “just right” at the Three Bears’ house.
Lots of practice and problem-solving occurs with this activity! It’s loud but, my goodness, it is loads of fun!
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:
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
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.
I’ve been celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2) for more years than I can remember (and I’ve taught for a LONG time!) so I’m always excited when our week-long celebration comes around.
This year I asked our third graders to turn on their imaginations as we discussed on of Dr. Seuss’ books. We read I Wish that I Had Duck Feet, a clever story about a boy who would like to have various animal appendages. He weighs the pros and cons of each part and finally decides that he’s better off just being himself. (Watch a video reading of the book.)
After reading, the students were asked to think of what they wish they had. What could that animal part help them do? What would they look like? What problems might they encounter if they had that part added to their body?
They were to do two things:
Answer the above questions in a new post on their blog.
Dr. Seuss week at our school is a HUGE undertaking! Our librarians design some wonderful activities that certainly excite our students! But, it doesn’t stop with the library – Dr. Seuss is celebrated across the curriculum and we definitely have creativeness shining in the lab.
We started the week with Crazy Hat Day. The second graders and one third grade class visited the lab to draw their rather interesting hats using the Microsoft Paint program.
On Wednesday, some very wacky first graders (and teachers) arrived. We read Wacky Wednesday, by Dr. Seuss and discussed how we could draw our own wacky pictures. This was the first time our little ones had used Microsoft Paint but we ended up with some wacky pictures!
Silly Sock Thursday arrived along with our kindergartners. Since it had been such a wacky week, the students used a wonderful website from the Bronx Zoo called, Build Your Wild Self. The funny thing was that the website didn’t quite work as expected. Students would click on an item to add to their wild self and they would get something completely different! We decided it was just a wacky thing happening since it had been a wacky week.
Look at our silly socks!
Throughout the week the fourth grade classes rotated between the computer lab, music, and art. In the lab, we read Oh! The Thinks You Can Think! by Dr. Seuss. The students were asked to think of an invention of any kind (a new animal, a different food, something that could help them in some way . . .). The pictures were drawn in MS Paint (We prefer this over apps for our more detailed drawings). I uploaded the illustrations to my Picasa account because we wanted to use the Book Creator app to make a class book and we had to get their pictures to the iPads.
The next step was to choose the book size (we used landscape for this) add the picture, text, and narration to the app. Once each child had finished their book, it was emailed to me. I combined all into class books.
Friday arrived with students forgetting to dress in their uniforms! Oh, yes . . . pajama day! Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book was the focus for the day. Two third grade classes came to the lab and, after looking at some quite unusual beds, they designed their own dream bed.
What a busy but fun week!
(*We had several absences when I saw the students so if you don’t see your child’s work, that would be the reason!)
To celebrate Dr. Seuss week, we read Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss to our first graders (who just happen to come on Wednesday to the lab!). I have to say, there were some VERY wacky-looking students (and teachers) in the lab that day so drawing a wacky picture was not a problem at all!
The students used Microsoft’s Paint program for their illustration. The teachers joined in and discovered that it’s not so easy drawing something on the computer! Most didn’t finish during lab time so we carried over to the following week.
Once the students had completed their drawings, we opened MaxWrite (from Max’s Toolbox by FableVision Learning). MaxWrite is the child-friendly word processing program that runs off Microsoft Word.
The students inserted their pictures and then described the “wackiness” they had illustrated. We’ll be printing these out to make a class book.
I took their drawings and created an animoto video. Enjoy!
Continuing with Seuss week celebrations, our second graders were issued a challenge:
Dr. Seuss was good at creating imaginary creatures. Now it’s your turn to create a creature from your own imagination. Think about where it might live; what it might eat.
(lesson from Discover the Forest)
After flipping through a few Dr. Seuss books and discussing backgrounds, styles, colors, etc, the students and their teachers set to work drawing a Seuss-like critter. This was a wonderful opportunity for the teachers to be students. They are always an extra hand in the lab so they rarely get the chance to try out the things we do. But this time they discovered it isn’t quite as easy to draw in Microsoft Paint as they thought it was! The teachers quickly learned to ask other students for guidance. And, the children were absolutely thrilled to share their knowledge!
Crazy Hat Day – It is so much fun to see the interesting hats worn by the students (and teachers) during Dr. Seuss week! To celebrate today’s theme, the third graders used Microsoft Paint to illustrate their hats.
Since I’ll be making a collage of the illustrations, the teachers joined in and drew what they had worn. That was the funniest part of the session! The children LOVE having their teachers be students and they are thrilled when their assistance is required. One teacher was easily frustrated because the tools didn’t do what she wanted (Yes, it is very difficult to draw on the computer and the students have much more experience than their teachers!). We would hear, “Oh, no!” “Why didn’t that work?” “I can’t do this!” She had lots of help from her students! Another teacher was concentrating so hard that she had no idea what was going on around her.
Here’s the animoto of the third graders’ crazy hats.