What Can You Do With a Squiggle or Two?

It started with this . . .

CreateAnd this is what was created!!

13 M megan Create

by Megan

8dA LTatum Create

by Tatum

by Collin

by Collin

18 dA Raegan create

by Raegan

by Kate

by Kate

by Megha

by Megha

The idea was found on Pinterest but this is something I used to do on paper when I taught in the classroom. I decided to share the design with our fourth graders and have them open it in Microsoft’s Paint program to see what they could create. The sad thing was that there was one person who actually asked if there was a “right” answer! That tells me the children need many more opportunities to just be able to CREATE!

Once the students started (and it took some quite a while to think), I was absolutely amazed at what they drew! The next step was to upload these illustrations to their blogs where they wrote a short summary about their drawings.

We will definitely do this again!

Here is the animoto of the newly designed squiggle.
(Mrs. Wright’s class  will have their designs added as soon as they finish!)

Welcome Springtime!

Winter has been long and hard around the country this year but we are finally seeing signs of spring. In fact, we’ve enjoyed 80+ degree weather the past few days!

The first graders came to the lab today and drew spring pictures. I haven’t seen such concentration in quite awhile – they were obviously glad that spring has arrived!

Enjoy their illustrations.

Seuss Critters

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!

Enjoy their illustrations!

A Snow Person Glyph and iPads

As a fun winter activity, I sometimes have the students make a snow person glyph. It’s a good way to share information about themselves by answering questions and drawing features according to their responses. Plus, this is about as close to snow as we get in Texas!

In the past, I’ve provided a template to use in Microsoft Paint but this year I had another motive. I wanted to get iPads in the students’ hands and I wanted the teachers to see how the students would respond to them.

The assignment was:

Since we had different drawing apps I didn’t spend time explaining each one. I thought the best way was to let students explore. And it didn’t take them long to learn!

The hardest part was determining the best way to email the drawing. Each app was different enough to be just a bit confusing. Some allowed emailing from within the app; others required saving the image to the photo roll and emailing from there. The best part was that once a child learned how to do that, the knowledge was eagerly shared with others.

As much as I enjoy working with students, I have to say that the very best part of this activity was watching the teachers! A couple of them really got into this. The students LOVED watching their teachers exploring and learning alongside them! They especially enjoyed it when they were asked how to do something or how a tool worked. And it was fun watching the eagerness to come to their teacher’s rescue when they heard, “Oh, no!” or “Oops!” or “What just happened?”

When one of the teachers raised her hand because she couldn’t figure out how to email to the picture to me, several students immediately appeared at her side to guide her through the process.

It was amazing to watch the interaction between the teachers and students. The children were absolutely thrilled to see their teacher being a learner!

Was there a lot of higher-level learning going on with this particular activity? Not so much. But the valuable aspect was that the students were exploring, problem-solving, and teaching.

Enjoy the animoto video of the Snow Person Glyph!