Monday, September 28, 2015

Using Haiku Deck in Writing

Hey Y'all!
Well I'm a week late, but that's the story of my life!  I have to admit I was a little bit leery about integrating so much technology into my daily classroom life.  That might surprise you when you learn that I was part of the Speed 21 initiative last year.  I have already had iPads for a year, but I never felt like I got enough training on how to utilize them effectively. However, I consider myself a fairly innovative and adaptable teacher, so I guess it is time to dive in!

At the beginning of the year, I came up with three main criteria for using the iPads in my class:
1. It could not just be busy work (basically a digital worksheet).
2. It could not waste valuable learning time.
3. It had to be purposeful and meaningful.

After dabbling with a few apps and websites with my kids, I was impressed by how well they were able to navigate the iPads.  It is second nature to them because most of them have been using a tablet of some sort since they were itty bitty.

This week, we tried some writing using the Haiku Deck app as our publishing tool.  We've been working on some lessons out of the Empowering Writers book dealing with elaborative detail.  The students were ready for some independent practice, so I put them with a partner and an iPad (I have 12 thanks to Speed 21).  I quickly modeled how to search for a stock photo in the app.  We used "child" as our search word.  The stock photos in Haiku Deck are beautiful and there are LOTS to choose from.  I love that the kids don't have to do an Internet search for pictures which can get a little dicey.

Each group picked a photo that they thought was interesting, set it as the background of their slide and used bullets to write highly descriptive sentences about the child in their photo.  Some even had time to jazz up their slides with emojis!

After all of the groups had completed their slides, we set the iPads up around the room and had a gallery walk.  I challenged the students to remember one sentence from another group's writing that stood out to them and that they thought was exemplary.  To wrap up, we shared our favorite sentences with the class and bragged on each other's writing.

I asked the kids to give me some feedback on the Haiku Deck app and they loved it.  They were coming up with many new and different ways they could use it in the future.  I think Haiku Deck will become a regular in my classroom!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Learning Something New Everyday!

Hello fellow technology users!  To begin with…I am the person who had never touched an ipad! Yep,  I didn’t have a clue on how to take a screen shot or a picture.  Needless to say, I have been learning a lot these days.  Every time I show my kiddos something new they turn around and show me something new.  Yes, you heard that right!  It’s been quite interesting.  I am amazed at what these kiddos know! 

I’m sure many of you have already been using the app Math Pieces.  It is a great tool that allows you to use base ten blocks to create models.  I had my students create a model using the base ten blocks.  Then they traded ipads and wrote the number in standard form, expanded form, and word form on the ipad. 

 Another app that I have used in class is the Show Me app.  Show Me can be used in many ways.  We have been learning about fairy tales in second grade.  In the writing station I had my students use the typing tool to create their own fairy tales.  The typing was slow but they loved it!  They were able to save their work and come back to it. 

I'm looking forward to reading what others are doing!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pic Collage with First Graders

When I first found out our campus was going to receive iPads for the classroom, I was excited and terrified at the same time.  I was not a technology person and had no clue about iPads. Seriously, upgraded to a iphone in early 2014 from the old slider phones.

So I made the choice to embrace the technology world and dove right in the first week of school with my first graders using the iPads.  I divided the class into five groups and we went on an American symbol scavenger hunt around campus.  The students each took a turn taking a picture of the symbol that they had found. We came back to class and shared the pictures with each group of the items they found.  This was a great activity because they all got a chance to use the iPad.  I was thrilled that we all actually did a great job with this activity. 

Since they did a great job using the camera feature, I introduced the pic collage app to them the third week of school.   We used this app as a noun sorting activity.   First thing I did, was to take a picture of a paper with three columns labeled person, place and thing (Thanks to Jacque Prater) and saved it as a background on pic collage.  I then gave instructions to take pictures of nouns around the room with their groups.  I also went around and took pictures and offered help as needed.  After some time, the class sat down back at their tables.  I showed them the iPad on the projector modeling how to move the pictures from the camera roll to the pic collage background.  They were doing this along with me and taking turns getting their pictures off the camera roll to the pic collage background.  The next step was showing them how to move/sort the pictures into the correct column on the chart.   All I can say is WOW!   It was a long learning process but we all did it together and it turned out great!!!

So after three weeks of school, I'm no longer terrified of technology in the classroom.  It is an amazing educational tool for students and teachers.   

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

QR codes

Educational technology is one of my passions! I am so excited and nervous to step outside the comfort zone of my classroom to share some of the ideas I have used.

QR codes are one of the first things that opened my eyes to technology in the classroom. They’re cool, mysterious and very user friendly. Perfect for students and teachers!

First of all, don’t recreate the wheel. You can search for QR code lesson ideas on Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers and blogs. There is something for every subject, experience level and grade level.

I use the I-nigma app to scan QR codes. It is a free download on your iPad.

 This is a QR code center I have up in my room right now for the alphabet. The kids caught on so fast and remained engaged! I love it and so do they!

 Occasionally, I will need something specific. You can create your own QR codes. I have created QR code scavenger hunts for word wall practice, science reteach and more! Class Tools is my favorite website to use for this.

Another quick and easy way to use QR codes is to create a personal code. I update my personal QR code each year and encourage parents to scan it on their smart phone so they can instantly access and save my important information. I got the idea from this Pinterest post.

This is my favorite free QR code generator.

I hope this is something you can run with and not feel overwhelmed. If you have any questions or have more ideas on this topic I would love to hear from you!!