“Can my primary students actually conduct research and write a paragraph on their findings?”
“Where do I (as a teacher) even begin?”
“How do I guide my students?”
“Will they really be able to do this on their own?
I was asked all of these questions when I met with a LRC teacher a couple weeks ago. She wanted to have the 1st grade students research an animal of their choice. The project would require them conduct actual research, take notes and then write a paragraph that included a topic sentence and a wrap-up sentence.
My response…???… “YES! Of course they can.”
Let me start by saying, this teacher has wonderful ideas, welcomes collaboration and is always looking for opportunities to improve the classroom experience for her students. For this particular project, as her Instructional Coach, we planned and discussed multiple instructional strategies that would work best for her various groups of students. From there, we started planning her lesson using the Gradual Release Model: “I Do, We Do, You Do”.
- She modeled what the students were going to be asked to do: How to get to PebbleGo, select an animal, listen to the information, and how to choose a fact from what she heard/read. She wrote down a fact on a similar graphic organizer the students were going to use.
- In the “We Do” stage we all listened to the “Food” section of the book. Then we chose facts from the food section (shared as a whole group) and she wrote them down on the graphic organizer.
- The kids were asked to choose their own animal and write down a fact for each section of the book on their graphic organizer (You Do.) The students loved using PebbleGoto help them research. Several of them listened and read about other animals when they were done!
The following week we used the same model to show the students how they would use their facts to create a paragraph about their animal. We emphasized that their topic sentence had to have the name of their animal so their audience would know what they were reading about. Then the students turned their facts into a complete sentence and wrote a paragraph about their animal. They concluded with a fun fact about their animal. They were so proud of their writing and illustration…(of course) so were we!
Next year, we are planning to have the students type their story and record it in Book Creator. They will have the option to use the photographs provided or create their own. Some of the students have chosen to put their story into Book Creator already!
Interesting Read: Rapid Release of Responsibility-This model is focused on putting “You Do” FIRST then “We Do, I Do”
Instructional Coach Nicole Ring
One of YouTube’s best improvements for schools? The YouTube Kids app! Allow your primary age students to safely locate content through the app using voice search for all those non-readers!
Investigating nonfiction texts and learning about “real world” topics is an important part of early learning. Combining nonfiction exploration and technology is easy with YouTube Kids and the search function. Use a student-centered approach so that your students can learn about topics they are interested in and report out on those topics. For example, some students may be interested in polar bear babies and others are interested in polar bear predators. When students search by voice on YouTube Kids, they will find many visual choices, peaking interest in either what they were searching for or opening the doors of inquiry. Students can watch videos and report out their findings in a journal, drawing, conversation, or report booklet.
Unfortunately, YouTube Kids is not available as a web application, but you can create a Symbaloo page with all the appropriate websites that you want your students to visit.
Just visit the Symbaloo website and click on a tile. Here you can paste in a link from any website that you want your students to visit to create a graphic website choice board. Share your Symbaloo with students to give them choice in the topics that they would like to research!
Symbaloo is a quick and easy way to help your students organize the websites that they frequent or that you would like them to explore.
Symbaloo pages can be created and accessed on iPads, tablets, and computers.
In social studies, students were able to have a “conversation with Socrates” through the use of a prerecorded voice recording of Socrates. The voice recording was put into their social studies folder in Showbie*. All the 6th graders were able to access the voice recording through Showbie. Students were then able to create their own responses to the thought-provoking questions from Socrates. The next step was to record their answers to make a conversation.
Step 1 – Listen to the Socrates recording located in Showbie
Step 2 – Record your responses in Garage Band, iMovie, or QuickVoice
Step 3 – Import recordings into Garage Band or iMovie
Step 4 – Create a new project, splice, and combine the recordings to make a conversation
Step 5 – Be sure to save your project
*Showbie is a wonderful tool to help make your classroom paperless. It can help to get materials to all students, groups of students, or even individuals.
Janice Conboy @Mrs_Conboy
& Whitney Cavanagh @WhitneyCavanagh
Academic vocabulary words can be tricky for young students to understand since they are not words readily used in their daily language. The second-grade team was looking for a way for students to define and review these words in an accessible way.
We used an app called Puppet EDU (formerly called Shadow Puppet) to create short slide show videos with the students voice recordings.
Students were placed in small groups to complete this activity to allow for collaboration and more communication about what these words mean to the students.
Each student was given a graphic organizer to come up with synonyms for the word in “kid friendly” language. Then, each student was asked to draw a picture to show what their word meant to them.
Once we had some definitions, synonyms, and images to explain our vocabulary words we added them to the app Puppet EDU.
Students were able to record their voice over each image or text to explain what those words meant in their own language.
We shared our work on Seesaw, labeling each movie within a vocabulary folder, so all students can access these at home or at school to review the words often!
What an easy, and student driven, way to reinforce our academic vocabulary words!
Check out a great example here: https://goo.gl/qgnLlu
Lissa Blake, k-2 Instructional Coach
Our class took a geometry assessment today on 3D shapes. Students demonstrated their knowledge on the app called Educreation. In the assessment they were able to choose the shapes they were working with and then they had to record their understanding. This aligns to the standard 7G.A.2
To Get Started Open EduCreations App on your iPad. Hit record.
- Drawone of the following shapes and explain verbally (with your speech) the number of vertices the shape has. Then draw a line of symmetry through the shape.
- Rectangular Prism
- Drawanother shape from the list and explain verbally (with your speech) the number of vertices the shape has. Then draw a line of symmetry through the shape.
- Describe verbally the relationship between the two figures you have chosen.
Stop recording and save your video.
Educreation offers a free “classroom” to share and organize projects.
Janice Conboy & Whitney Cavanagh sixth grade teachers
Today we read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. After a class discussion about how important it is to be kind to one another, our class decided each friend should make a promise to think about what we say before we say it!
Sounds like an everyday activity in a Kindergarten classroom right!?!
Well guess what…..what happened next made it so much better! Each student got the chance to reflect, create, and take ownership over this simple activity by simply using their voice and a drawing pad on a device!
Today we used the Explain Everything App for the task at hand!
Step 1. Each Student opened Explain Everything on their device and chose a background.
Step 2. We drew a heart and wrote our name using the writing tools. Don’t worry if it isn’t just right your students can erase and try again.
Step 3. Each students was able tell me their own promise and why it was important to them by simply pushing the record button to start and stop their own recording! Everyone gets a voice and can share their learning!
We took this one step further by exporting the recordings and pictures to seesaw so each student’s family could hear these promises as well! Seesaw is great for allowing families to see, hear, and share in what their child has been learning about in school!
Little ones CAN and SHOULD be responsible for their own devices! Make it easy in these few steps
Teach your kids appropriate use with an anchor chart, poster, or inforgraphic. Add on to your anchor chart as new issues and observations arise.
If your students take their devices home, have an easy way for them to transport the devices AND teach them as part of your anchor chart how to take devices home!
Using technology to practice early literacy skills is a breeze! You students can record on ANY document you upload through the Showbie app, giving differentiated material that is accessible to all! While some students practice letter formation, others can zoom into trace a letter then write it or chose which document they would like to practice with. Next, let your little ones work on self-guided practice in letter formation apps such as Writing Wizard, iWrite, or Letter Cat to name a VERY few. These are quick, fun and engaging ways to integrate technology into your classroom!
Kirstin McGinnis @mariemcg72
Our first grade students were researching animals in small groups, and we wanted to step up the typical “book writing” on a typical template on paper.
We came up with an idea for our students to draw images of their part of the graphic organizer (ie. habitat, baby, food, etc.)
Students were given the task to draw their animal and save it to the camera roll.
Then we used an app called, Chatterpix, to record our research and use our own animal pictures! These animals were now able to “talk” with our students voice!
Then, we wanted to step it up a bit!
We added some green screen fun to create some more engaging videos to publish our research!
We painted a wall in our computer lab green and used one of the great green screen apps to put our students within a photo of their chosen animal!
They really, really got into it and loved every minute of this lesson!
They were given CHOICE of photos and allowed to be creative, which was so exciting to see! Check out our work!
iPads make recording our learning so easy, and possible for our young students! We love sharing and showing what we have learned with our families at home through online posts.
This week, I was working in a ELL Kindergarten classroom, and they are struggling with learning and articulating their sight words. Many of the students parents do not speak English, which also makes it harder for them to practice at home as well. So, we came up with a simple idea for students to record their sight words using images and voice, then post them online for parents to learn at home with them.
Students were given letters and paper and were asked to spell their favorite sight word. Then they were asked to take a picture of the word, then each letter to spell the word in order.
We used a fabulous, easy app, Puppet EDU, to create a slide show and record our voice over the word and letters. Once we saved the movies, we posted them to our Seesaw account for parents to see at home!
Students are now able to use this as a guided reading center to watch, listen and engage in basic sight word practice! Authentic audience, authentic purpose!
Instructional Coach Lissa Blake