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07 Mar 2012
Comments: 1

Chef Carnazzo's Tasty iCreations

Feeling as if I should award Carnazzo an “Honorary TechChef” badge. Last week her students cooked up cereal sushi using a recipe from Teachers Pay Teachers (also check out Teacher Vision’s printables and resources for recipes). Her team pitched in to buy the lesson and recipes from the site. Students previewed the recipes in the morning and then followed the directions together to complete the dish. Afterwards students wrote their recipe reviews and drew a picture to complement it.

Carnazzo's Tasty Creations featured in Glogster

 

The next morning students reviewed the process for making cereal sushi and used the Sequence Events 2 template from Tools 4 Students app (well worth the 99 cent pricetag) to do the flow chart. The Tools 4 Students app actually has 25 templates ranging from Cause/Effect and Compare/Contrast to Problem/Solution and Sequence Events and Timeline. As a whole group, students came up with the steps and then worked in partners to input the steps into the Tools 4 Students template. Carnazzo then created the video with Animoto to highlight the event.

Tools4Students app highlighted in Turbo Collage app

 

Interested in FREE Graphic Organizers for the iPad, check out:

  1. iBrainstorm: Vocabulary and Gallery Walks
  2. Popplet Lite: Inferencing, Vocabulary, Sequencing, Character Maps, Frayer Models
  3. Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers opening in PaperPort Notes: Annotating PDF Templates and Paperless Passages

21 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

iVocabulary

Earlier in the year, I spent a few hours planning with Mrs. Deforrest (a secondary ELAR specialist). She shared with me this fantastic resource she had created for her teachers. It was a deck of brightly colored cards on a keyring. Each card had a vocabulary instruction strategy ranging from a Frayer model to a Word Analysis Chart. I instantly perused the deck and started assigning an app to each strategy. Pondering what the best iOS method would be to deliver this new tool, I set this post aside for a few weeks. My intention was to provide teachers with a quick reference iVocabulary Toolkit of apps they could use to teach and support vocabulary instruction in a variety of ways while modeling a tool (flashcards) that could be used in a myriad of settings.

 

Teacher: The simplest way to disseminate one deck of cards to multiple students (on campus devices or their own personal devices) is to create a deck using the online version of Quizlet. Users can create unlimited decks with a free Quizlet account.
  1. Teacher Username: As students will be searching by their teacher’s username to locate the deck, I would recommend creating a username that is short and simple.
  2. Deck Visibility: If you are creating the deck with the intention of making it accessible to your students, make sure you select the option “visible to everyone”.
  3. Images: If you would like to include images in your decks, upgrade to Quizlet Plus for $15/year and unlock the ability to upload your own images or import from Flickr.
  4. Deck Accessibility (Computers): If you are in a classroom with computers or if you have access to a lab, you can grab the embed code for the deck and paste it on to your teacher or class website for students to study and review.
  5. Deck Accessibility (Mobile Devices): If your class has access to mobile devices, review the directions below using the app Flashcardlet (Flashcards*) to access the sample iVocabulary deck(s).
    1. iPhone/iPod Mobility: iPhone/iPod Apps that interface w/ Quizlet
    2. iPad Mobility: iPad Apps that interface w/ Quizlet

 

Easily Create Quizlet Decks


Student: While these are the directions for accessing the iVocabulary deck, the same directions could be used for locating a teacher-created deck.

    1. Launch Flashcardlet app.
    2. Tap Flashcards.
    3. Tap + sign in upper right hand corner to Download from Quizlet.
    4. Tap in the search space.
    5. Type “Techchef4u”.
    6. Tap Creator and tap Search.
    7. Select iVocabulary.
    8. Tap Add to Library.
    9. Tap Cancel and tap Library to return to your personal Flashcard library.
    10. Tap to select iVocabulary to review deck.
    11. Tap Study and start studying.
    12. Review all 5 cards in the deck: swipe to go to the next card and tap on a card to see the back of the card.

 

iDeas for Integrating Flashcards into the iClassroom (from “appy hours 4 U” episode – “Notable Apps 4 Note-Taking“:

  1. Students could create their own decks of cards within the app to take notes or study.
  2. Teachers could disseminate information or task instructions using decks (e.g. roles for a project, use all of these words in a sentence, writing prompts, math word problems with answers on back to self-check).
  3. Teachers could create decks for students that could be utilized to flip the classroom (providing instruction at home) and allow students access to vocabulary or notes anywhere/anytime they have access to a computer or a mobile device. (Decks can also be printed).
  4. Individualized Instruction: the decks lends themselves to indivualized instruction as students can filter cards, mark a card as mastered, and study in a variety of ways (e.g. show back first, show progress, shuffle cards, etc…)

20 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Tooning iN to History

I had the pleasure of observing Mrs. Lair’s Regular Reading class this past Friday at Ed White Middle School. She had mentioned that she was using the Toontastic app (which oftentimes goes on sale for FREE) to have students create their own fairy tale or toon version similar to the plight and struggle of the Freedom Riders to illustrate the conflict and resolution between two entities. I loved the cross-curricular integration.

Mrs. Lair provided students with a paper copy of the Toontastic Storyboard template she had created to complete prior to using the iPad. It mimicked the 5 sections of Toontastic’s Story Arc (Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and Resolution). She also included a statement about each of the scenes:

  1. Setup: only sets up the setting and introduces the character
  2. Conflict: Introduces the problem
  3. Challenge: Problem is in the works (action)
  4. Climax: The height of the story
  5. Resolution: How has the problem been resolved? (How does the story end?)

 

Toontastic Storyboard


 
Supports Differentiated Instruction: Beyond the project itself, I was pleased to see how the app itself supported differentiated instruction and multiple learning styles. Within the story arc framework, students could add another conflict or rearrange the current elements. Students also had the choice between multiple characters and settings as well as the option to create their own characters and backgrounds. Some students chose to use the default characters, others drew their own sets, and others customized the existing characters. Some students chose to use mood music and sound effects to illustrate tone and others selected specific characters and colors to represent an emotion.

Sharing/Publishing/Evaluating Student Products: While there is no way to publish without setting up an account, students did save their projects within the app. To work around the publishing issue, Mrs. Lair decided to have students do a gallery walk and will provide each student with a rubric to assess each of the project as they walk around the room.

Check out these iLessons.

 


17 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

iSpy a Story

Tasked with the initiative to gather student products created from intra-district iPad Lessons, I sent out an email to my campuses that had multiple devices (see below).
 

Letter to My Campuses


 
Within a few minutes, I started receiving emails with student work attachments. Many times I have a specific idea or set of ideas for how an app can be used.
 

Blank Story Spine Template in app

Story Spine Teacher-Created Apptivity: It is always refreshing when I come across innovative and purposeful classroom integration ideas as the ones Ashley Solomon (8th grade ACL & Reading Workshop at Ed White Middle School) shared below using the app Story Spine:
  1. Grade Level: 7th grade
  2. Content Area: Reading Workshop
  3. Topic/Focus/TEKS: The focus was chronological order/sequence of events.
  4. Quick Summary of the Lesson: The book for this week was, “The Transcontinental Railroad.” I had them use the “Story Spine” app to write a story about the transcontinental railroad. I started them out with the first sentence, “Once upon a time many people traveled to California to search for gold.”
  5. Student Task or Product: They were responsible for finishing the story by looking for dates and keywords like, first, last, then, etc in their book. This was an independent activity. The product was their story.
  6. Teacher Notes: I asked them to email it to me and I printed them. I usually have 1 or 2 students volunteer to read their story. For my Reading Workshop kids, an activity like this would take about 30 minutes. So, it can be completed in one day.  I usually don’t print the same day so they won’t get to read their story until the following day.

 

Student Sample of Story Spine Project copied into Notes app


 
What really speaks testaments about this assignment above and beyond the purposeful use of technology and cross-curricular content integration is the fact that the students in her classes have not passed the Reading TAKS. Mrs. Solomon actively integrates the iPads at least three days a week to support and improve student literacy and reading comprehension and will be sharing further lessons over the next few weeks with the techchef4u diners. While she doesn’t believe any of them are “earth shattering”, I would have to disagree as I feel they present lots of app-tastic iPadsibilities. Another thing to note is that student engagement in her classroom is on the rise and paper waste is on the decline.
 
For more iPad Mad-Lib apptivities, check out these.


15 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Voices from The Cattle Trail

Yesterday I met with Mrs. Aflatooni, the librarian at Ed White Middle School, to discuss how we could use the iPads to support a study on African American cowboys in Mr. Greeen’s 7th grade Texas History class.

Stations: Multiple stations were already set up to support the study of the Cattle Kingdom, Cattle Trails, and The End of The Open Range:

  1. Trace the development of the cattle industry from its Spanish beginnings.
  2. Explain how geographic factors affected the development of the cattle industry,
  3. Analyze the impact of national markets on the cattle industry in Texas.
  4. Identify the significance of the cattle drive.
  5. Describe life along the cattle trail.
  6. Analyze the effects of barbed wire and the windmill on the ranching industry.
  7. Identify the myths and realities of the cowhand.
 

Cattle Kingdom Stations: 7th Texas History

 

The Task: The original assignment was to read an article on one of the cowboys and either summarize it or answer a couple of questions. We decided that we could definitely access the article via the iPad and I immediately thought of doing a podcast. The original plan (as of yesterday afternoon) was to have students share three interesting facts and 1 item that they would  like to know that the article didn’t answer. When I got to Ed White in the morning, Mrs. Aflatooni suggested that the students actually interview each other (one would be the cowboy and the other the interviewer). I jumped on this idea!

Black Cowboys.Com


 
Task Card: Students were given a task card that provided them with the following directions:

  1. Go to http://blackcowboys.com
  2. Choose one of the following cowboys from the drop-down menu (2nd tab) to read about: (Addison Jones, Bill Pickett, Bose Ikard).
  3. Compose 3-4 questions (and answers) for the cowboy based on what you read.
  4. Add one more question that was not answered in the article and answer it as if you were that cowboy).
  5. With a partner, create an interview to answer these questions using the app iTalk Recorder on the iPad (one person will be the interviewer and one will be the cowboy).
  6. Email the interview to…

 

We made sure that we provided a list of cowboys that had enough meat (content) in the article that a student could easily generate 3-4 questions from. Students used the task card handout to script their interview and did a dry run before recording. Students created a general naming convention for the audio files (e.g. Addison Jones period 3) and included their names in the body of the email before it was sent.

Teacher’s Notes and Modifications: Naturally, we came across a few bumps with the first few groups but were able to remedy them for the next class periods.

  1. Difficulty Reading Article with 1 iPad: I noticed one group had put the iPad between them and were reading the article together with resized text while the other group had one student reading and then dictating to his partner what the questions would be. As we had multiple iPads to use with the groups, I thought it best to make the change to allow each student to use an iPad even though only one would be necessary for the recording.
  2. Size of File was too large with free version of iTalk to be emailed: I noticed that one group had a 47 second interview and had no problem in emailing it and another had a 41 second interview and was prompted to purchase the full version due to the size of the file. This was an oversight and easy to fix. Students had the option before recording to choose good/better/best and one group had chosen best and the other best. Since the bell was about to ring, I decided to use the voice recording feature on my iPhone to re-record the iPad interview and then email it. The sec
  3. Background noise was high: Even in the library, the background noise could be a little high so we tried to make sure we could isolate the groups in a corner or a smaller room if possible.
  4. Some students were not able to finish the article and interview in one class period: If you are limited on time, I suggest creating an additional station for reviewing the article and composing the questions prior to the recording station.

 

In listening to the final student products, it was interesting to see how the apptivity lent itself to multiple outputs while still essentially covering the same content.

  1. Some groups asked more than 4 questions.
  2. Some students customized their voice to pretend to be a cowboy during the recording
  3. Some groups asked more open-ended questions. (see below)
  4.  

Group A: 

Interviewer: “Were you born into slavery in Tennessee in 1843?”

Bose Ikard: “Yes.”

Group B:

Interviewer: “Today I am interviewing Bose Ikard. When were you born Ikard?”.

Bose Ikard: “I was born in 1843.”

 

For more History Lessons, click here.


12 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

Inferencing iValentines

Carnazzo's Inferencing Valentines iProject

I was originally quite appy to see a new Talking Tom app (Talking Tom’s Love Letters), but crestfallen when I found it had no ability to actually record sound like Talking Tom and Ben Do the News.

Leave it up to Clever Carnazzo to come up with a way to not only use this surprisingly educational app but make it deliciously instructional. To support the skill of inferencing in reading, students used Talking Tom and Angela to make conjectures on character’s emotions, thoughts, and intentions based on body language and facial expressions. Students used multiple screenshots from Talking Tom’s Love Letters in Popplet Lite to showcase their inferencing skills.

Carnazzo's Inferencing Valentines iProject

 

Check out all 7 student submissions: Inferencing Valentines 1 and Inferencing Valentines 2

Hungry for more Carnazzo gems… check out all of her iLessons.

 

 


28 Jan 2012
Comments: 1

Paperless Passages with PaperPort

Our ELA and ELL teachers were scheduled to conduct a Super Saturday session for ELL students. They had requested that I support them with some apptivities that would focus on unfamiliar vocabulary. The passage (written by Mr. Wayment) was originally included as a handout. I simply converted the document to a PDF, gave it a public URL in Dropbox, and suggested it be completed in an app like Neu.Annotate PDF or PaperPort Notes. Not only does integrating the iPad provide the teachers with an engaging paperless lesson, apps like PaperPort Notes also provide a way for students to provide responses both in written and auditory form. Consider having students answer the following question “Do you think it was right or wrong for the people at the wake to laugh about things that Mr. Ortiz had said and done?” using the voice recording feature.

Annotate your PDF's in PaperPort Notes and include a Voice Message

 

Follow-up activity: This involved students illustrating their own “common words (see page 17 & 18)” vocabulary word from the list. This would include the word, a definition of the word, using the word in a sentence, and a visual representation of the word. The visual could be a picture of the student portraying the word (if the classroom has an iPad 2) or a hand-drawn illustration in an app like Doodle Buddy. Students had the choice of the following words (howl, wail, cry, moan, sob, chuckle, snicker, giggle, guffaw, and explode with laughter). The final product would be assembled in Popplet Lite. An extension could be using Popplet Lite to place each of the words on a spectrum of intensity (e.g. howl to explode with laughter). Also visit Taxonomy of Ideas for a framework. 

Illustrating Vocabulary with Popplet Lite

 

Check out other iLessons and iResources with Neu.Annotate PDF and Popplet Lite.


22 Jan 2012
Comments: 0

Building Sentences & Language Paperlessly!

A fellow ITS, Brad Cloud, was scheduled to conduct an iPad lesson with some recent immigrants at Nimitz Middle School. He mentioned he was looking for an app that would be useful for sentence building. I instantly thought of Read on Sight Free (formerly Word-Blocks) which was one of the apps that we had featured on our Hot Apps 4 Literacy show.

Read On Sight Free

 

I was thrilled to find an email after the iLesson that not only described how the students used it but provided a useful extension activity as well:

“I just wanted to let you know that Militza and I had a great time today working with her recent immigrants class (7 students) and the iPads. We used an app that would generate a sentence, and then scramble it just seconds later. The students were positively reinforced when they were able to correctly unscramble the sentence. It then generated a new sentence, and the process continued. The app is called Reading On Sight (thanks to Lisa Johnson for leading me to the app).”

Extension Activity in Notes: 

Militza had the great idea of asking the students to take the original sentences and add clauses to them to make more complex sentences. We then asked them to type their sentences in the Notes app, and email their work to their teacher. A totally paperless lesson! It was great.”

Read On Sight Free

 


13 Jan 2012
Comments: 0

Your Voice Makes a Difference

 

"Outcome: Voice = Change" created in Story Lines for Schools App

Story Lines (“a game of ‘telephone’ with pictures”) was one of the apps that was included in the second edition of “Surprisingly Educational” Apps. I typically email app-developers prior to the show (or after… if I get behind) to let them know we will be discussing their app. Many times they are curious as to what we have to say…especially as we are not just reviewing the app but discussing how it can be utilized and integrated in the education realm. When we first discussed Story Lines, we shared how it could be used to illustrate terms and concepts in multiple content areas:

  1. English/Language Arts: vocabulary words, quotes, themes, character inferencing
  2. Math: vocabulary, equations, expressions
  3. Science: scientific concepts, chemical reactions
  4. History: historical events, historical figures

 

We also mentioned that the Facebook login option and suggestions feature which offers quotes (some of the quotes were not appropriate for all ages or a classroom audience) were elements we were not as fond of. We realized that these features are typically inherent to edutainment-based apps and suggested ways in the show to integrate around them (as listed above).

This evening I received an email from the app developer notifying us that Storylines for Schools has been released based on our feedback. The app has “vocabulary and language concepts that are grade-appropriate, and spark(s) your creativity in a safe, enjoyable manner.” The suggestions section now has four options: Quotes, SAT Words, Elementary Vocabulary, and Intermediate Vocabulary.

Story Lines Comparison created with Sundry Notes app

 

Without going in to a long speech in which I highlight all the ways “you can make a difference”, I will say that we have a very unique opportunity as educators, parents, and app consumers to shape and mold the future of app development for our children and students. Please don’t ever think your voice and reviews don’t matter.

Thank you Story Lines for producing such a wonderful product…and then duplicating and

polishing it into a truly educational gem!

 


05 Jan 2012
Comments: 4

Putting an iSpin on Video Vocabulary

Touching base with one of my favorite ELA teachers, he mentioned a video vocabulary lesson. My ears and interest perked up and I decided to sit take a few minutes to sit in and observe his lesson. When I came in, students were writing six words in their glossary: courage, require, moral, physical, virtues, and centuries. These words all tie in to the units essential questions:

  1. Does courage require fearlessness, or can a person be afraid and still act courageously?
  2. What is the difference between moral and physical courage?
  3. What other virtues may be as important as courage?
  4. Is courage rare in human history, or have many people shown courage throughout the centuries?

 

Background: Previous to this class, students worked in small groups to locate the definition of their given word, compose a definition in their own words, use the word in a sentence, and model some sort of motion or animation to illustrate the word. The students featured all of these tasks in a short video.

 

Foreground: Students then watched multiple video versions (completed from groups in all class periods) of the same word and then created their own mash-up definition for the word from the videos and recorded it in their glossary. Understanding these definitions and being able to unpack the words is the foundation for being able to write successfully based on the essential questions for the unit.

 

The iSpin: Having my iPad and iPhone in tow…

I decided to quickly create my own Video Vocabulary project to submit!

 

iBrainstorm Vocabulary: I used iBrainstorm to map out (or brainstorm) my vocabulary word, definition, and sentence.

iBrainstorm Vocabulary

 

Vocabulary Video – WeeMee style: I then created a WeeMee video to feature a word of my choice “courage” in a sentence.