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Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary

A fortunate happenstance allowed Mrs. Deforest (our ELAR Facilitator) and myself to land at Ed White Middle School on a day of benchmark testing. At first both of us considered rescheduling our visits but thankfully decided to work together on integrating technology into the upcoming 6th ACL unit instead.

What are some complexities involved in coming to an understanding of ourselves and others?

The essential question drove the activities and technology tools and resources that were assembled that day. Mrs. Deforest already had the videos and readings assembled and had ideas for the activity (e,g, graphic organizer, think/pair/share, gallery walk, Socratic circles, brainstorming, impromptu speech, etc…). I merely had to sprinkle some app-erific seasoning on a few of the dishes to really bring out their flavor…

Resource: One of the first weeks involved students watching a video from a student, Eve Shalen Krakowski, reflecting upon an experience she had in eighth grade:

App-tivity: After the video clip, students would be directed to discuss what it meant to be an “insider” or an “outsider“. As the ELAR department on campus had just received 60 iPads (divided into 3 carts with 20 in each) for classroom use, I wanted to choose a tool that could accomplish the task as well as lend itself as an ingredient to other dishes in the future. I felt iCardSort and a graphic organizer PDF to create a Frayer model would do the trick.

Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers: 38 Total


Here’s the recipe for accomplishing this app-tivity:

  1. Launch Safari on your iPad.
  2. Visit (a bitly version for Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers)
  3. Create a webclip for the site:
    1. tap the box with the arrow on the right of the browser
    2. tap “add to home screen”
    3. save
  4. Launch the site from your new web clip
  5. Select the Web Diagram graphic organizer
  6. Take a screenshot:
    1. press home and off buttons at same time
    2. photo will be automatically saved to your photo roll
  7. Launch iCardSort app
  8. Select an option for delivery:
    1. Teacher creates and beams/blasts default deck: Teacher creates a default deck with labels (“insider”, “definition”, “examples”, “non-examples”, “characteristics”) and students import Frayer Model default deck
    2. Students create deck from scratch
  9. Set the background:
    1. Tap box with arrow on right
    2. Tap Settings/Background Images/Choose Saved Photo/Select Web Diagram
  10. Create a Frayer Model for the word “insider”
    1. Double Tap anywhere on background to create a new card
  11. Layer all cards (grouped so they touch) in each circle before you submit
  12. Email the deck to your teacher (will include 5 groups of text as well as image of model)

iCardSort with Holt Interactive G.O. as background


Also check out these resources:
  1. Use neu.Annotate PDF free app to annotate PDF (with pens, highlighters, shapes, images, and text)
  2. Use Eduplace graphic organizers in addition to Holt
  3. HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming: Free Brainstorming & Mind-Mapping Apps (reviews, lessons, and resources)
  4. Need Inspiration? Check out 100 Reasons to Mind Map

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