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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.

 

 


02 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 3 – Episode 18

String Augmented Reality Creatures: Print Targets Here!

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 18– “Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 3. In this episode we featured multiple edutainment apps that that at first glance might not appear educational. For each free app we shared multiple integration ideas across content areas and grade levels. Check out our other installments of “Surprisingly Educational Apps1” and “Surprisingly Educational Apps 2“.

 

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. TurboCollage
  2. Photo Measure Lite
  3. Tracing Paper Lite
  4. Skitch for iPad
  5. String (print the targets to use with the app)
  6. Epic Citadel
    1. Epic Citadel Teacher Challenge Resources
    2. Creative Writing Using Simulated Environment Apps
    3. Creative Writing with Epic Citadel (possible teaching and learning ideas)
    4. Citadel: Telling an Epic Tale (Student Writing Samples)
  7. Video Star
  8. Word Lens
  9. My Secret Diary
  10. Awesome Photo Calendar Lite
  11. QR Code Beamer

 

Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly.

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 

Check out all of the Surprisingly Educational Apps we featured thus far. If you are attending TCEA 2012, stop by the iPlayground for more classroom integration ideas for all of the apps listed below:

Surprisingly Educational Apps


01 Feb 2012
Comments: 5

Hot Apps 4 HOTS Live in iTunes!

After months of work and preparation, our  “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” ePub is now officially available in the iBookStore for download. This was a self-published effort by myself and Yolanda Barker and we are “oh so appy” and overjoyed to share it with the world. The book includes 9 step-by-step apptivities that focus on each level of Bloom’s (some levels have more than one apptivity). The resource will also serve for our TCEA 2012 workshop by the same name.

Hot Apps 4 HOTS Now Available in iTunes!!!!!!

Please download and share!  If you enjoyed the book…we would greatly appreciate reviews/ratings. =)


31 Jan 2012
Comments: 2

On Fire for Bloom's

Hot Apps 4 HOTS

Just finished a Super Saturday “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” workshop. Wish I had come across Brad Wilson’s “App Learning Tasks” sooner. What a fantastic resource! Have included his site with seven others I thought might be useful for promoting higher order thinking skills when utilizing an iDevice.

Other Bloom’s App Resources:

  1. Kathy Schrock Bloomin’ iPad
  2. Edutopia’s K-5 iPad Apps According to Bloom’s Taxonomy
  3. Edorigami’s Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy
  4. Appitic
  5. Bloom’s Apps
  6. Kelly Tenkely’s Bloom’s Taxonomy of Apps
  7. Teach with your iPad’s Blooms Taxonomy with Apps
  8. App Learning Tasks

 

App Learning Tasks by Brad Wilson: Classified by Bloom's


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.


25 Jan 2012
Comments: 1

Appy Hours 4 U: Spring 2012

"Appy Hours 4 U": Spring 2012

We’re back for Spring 2012! Check out our Spring “Appy Hours 4 U” schedule. We air live Thursdays @ 3:30 pm.

  1. Notable Apps 4 Note-taking (1/12)
  2. Marvelous Music with Michael (1/19)
  3. Surprisingly Educational 3 (1/26)
  4. Hot Apps 4 HOTS (2/2)
  5. iTools 4 Admin (2/16)
  6. Exceptional Ebook Creators (2/23)
  7. The 1 iPad Classroom (3/1)
  8. Surprisingly Educational 4 (3/8)
  9. Podcasting & Podcasts (3/22)
  10. Great Apps 4 Government (4/5)
  11. Sizzlin’ Apps 4 Science (4/12)
  12. Surprisingly Educational 5 (5/3)

 

Also stay tuned for some additional featured shows with special guests! (schedule to come)

Check us out at TCEA 2012. Yolanda and I will be presenting 2 workshops (“iBuild iPad Lessons” and “Hot Apps 4 HOTS“) and 2 sessions at iPlayground (“iPrep for Kindergarten” 2/6 @ 4 pm and “Surprisingly Educational Apps” 2/8 @ 4 pm).


25 Jan 2012
Comments: 1

Add Some iSpice to your Weather Study

This post could not have come at a better time as we are experiencing all matter of wacky weather this week (I actually spent about an hour with a wet vac in my garage at 2 am to remove rising water).

Wunder Map app highlights precipitation

 

Science 2.8 (A): “measure, record, and graph weather information, including temperature, wind conditions, precipitation, and cloud coverage, in order to identify patterns in the data”

Ms. Carnazzo recently posted student weather reports using the Talking Tom & Ben News app. Prior to recording their weather report, students gathered weather data in their journals using personal observations, the internet, and the app WunderMap (also check out online version). Maps in WunderMap include webcam images and data on temperature, wind, and precipitation as well as multiple layers (e.g. precipitation, clouds, animated radar and satellite, and severe weather).

Carnazzo Student Weather Reports

While this is a second grade science apptivity, the idea can also be translated to a secondary classroom.

Science 8.10 (B): “Identify how global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather using weather maps that show high and low pressures and fronts”

How do global patterns of atmospheric movement affect our local weather?

 

In this scenario, students would use the internet to acquire weather data and information on pressures and fronts. The students could then use Videolicious app to create a “weather forecast” presentation. Images for Videolicious could be screenshots from apps (the Weather Channel and Wundermap) or the internet, and actual images taken of the weather outside. Students would also be provided with the vocabulary (e.g. front, high pressure, low pressure, air mass, etc…) they must use in their presentation.

USA Today features National Pressure Data

 

Many times these science-based apptivities are conducted in a series of stations. Consider having students use an interactive tool (other than the iPad… dare I say?) to create their own weather report after gathering their data and research from the internet and apps. This could be done prior to creating the weather report.

Consider Multiple Station Activities to Support Weather Study

 

Students could also create weather reports using Little Bird Tales (and screenshots), or Jing, or SMART recording software and a notebook (see weather forecasting interactive lesson).

SMART Weather Reporting Interactive Notebook


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