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05 May 2012
Comments: 2

The iTraits of Character

Ashley Solomon is an amazing 6th grade Reading Workshop teacher at one of my campuses, Ed White Middle School, who truly knows how to utilize the iPads to support learning and exhibit student comprehension while creating an engaging classroom atmosphere. Regardless of the range of learners (e.g. ESL to students with low reading comprehension ability) she has in the class, she goes above and beyond in integrating technology and providing her students with the utmost of cutting edge learning app-ortunities.

Recently, she used the Sock Puppet app to support character analysis/development and practice dictionary and thesaurus skills: 

  1. Prior Knowledge: Students read their weekly Reading Workshop mini-book “Max’s Glasses”.
  2. Pre-assignment: Students completed graphic organizers and discussed the traits of the characters in the short fiction story. (This could also be achieved with Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers annotated in an app like PaperPort Notes or an app like Popplet Lite or Tools 4 Students.) 
  3. Project Foundation: Students were assigned a character trait and asked to practice dictionary/thesaurus skills for the STAAR by locating the definition, synonym, and antonym. Students also wrote a sentence and drew a picture for their given word. (This could be achieved with Popplet Lite, Doodle Buddy, or ScreenChomp.)
  4. Pre-Planning: Students worked independently or in pairs to write a brief 30 second or less dialogue  between two characters.
  5. Assignment: Students create a sock puppet show (using the Sock Puppets app) for an assigned character trait (acting out the dialogue as if the sock puppet was the word “studious”).
  6. Sharing: Students showcased their videos for the class and discussed the featured character traits.

 

I have recreated a few student samples below based on the scripts Mrs. Solomon provided me with.

 
Studious

  • A: Hi. I am Studious.
  • A: I like to read everyday. I read a lot of books and I read fast.
  • B: How else are you studious?
  • A: I study before my test is given to me.

 

Loyal

  • A: I am Loyal because I am very friendly.
  • B: What makes a loyal person?
  • A: I take on a lot of responsibility.
  • A: Loyal people are very caring.
  • B: Wow, it sounds like you are very loyal.

 

Check out Ashley’s other iLesson and more ELA iLessons.

 

 


24 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Math-tastic iVocabulary

After taking a look at the 8th Math Benchmark Exam and perusing the student data, a few things became abundantly clear: Much of the test involved vocabulary AND successful problem-solving was based on the knowledge of that vocabulary and the ability to assimilate the given terms and information in order to draw an object, produce a table, or complete a graph.

While this is not really a shocking revelation (especially to those who teach Math as I did), I instantly began thinking of apps that could support math vocabulary in engaging ways.

All of our Math classrooms at Ed White have access to a class set of iPods. Thus, I focused on three FREE iPod apps that could be used in small groups and stations.

Doodle Buddy: The Math Facilitator had mentioned an activity where students work in pairs. One student would have a vocabulary word (e.g. isosceles right triangle) and the other student would have a dry erase board. Student 1 would be provided with a word and a sample drawing/representation or definition for that word. Student 2 would then draw the word without looking at the representation. Students would take turns reading and drawing.

  1. iPodsibility: Student 1 would use teacher-created Quizlet vocabulary deck imported into Flashcards* app to provide the words and definitions (pictures can be included in the deck for $15/year). Student 2 would then draw the figure using Doodle Buddy (with Dots & Boxes background). Doodle Buddy app can be shaken to clear the board for the next object much like an etch-a-sketch. (More iClassroom Examples of Doodle Buddy: Apps for the Classroom & Techchef4u.)
 

Doodle Buddy

 

StoryLines for Schools: This is a surprisingly educational app and a modern day app-ification of the telephone game! The classroom application would be vocabulary.

StoryLines for Schools: Student 2 View

 

  1. iPodsibility (1 iPod): Students could work in small groups of 3 with 1 iPod. Using 1 iPod: Student 1 would type in the definition of a word (e.g. “a triangle with two equal sides”) and then pass the device to student 2. Student 2 would draw an example of this definition and then pass the device to student 3. Student 3 would then write the word that is associated with the picture (they would not see the definition).
  2. iPodsibility (3 iPods): This idea is very similar to using 1 iPod but each student would enter in a definition and then pass the device. Thus, there would actually be three vocabulary words going around at the same time.

 

StoryLines for Schools: Student 3 View

 

TypeDrawing Free: This app allows students to draw with words and is perfect for illustrating vocabulary in a beautifully graphic and memorable visualization.

  1. iPodsibility: This would be best executed at a station or with individual students. The idea would be to think of all of the components and words that make up a shape. For example, the following words could be associated with an isosceles right triangle: leg, right angle, height, base, hypotenuse, acute angle, triangle, etc… Students would generate a list of vocabulary words (on a sheet of paper or in the Notes app). These words would then be used to describe a shape and then illustrate the shape given those words.

 

TypeDrawing Free

 

 Hungry for more Math lessons, check out these

 


18 Oct 2011
Comments: 3

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 http://bit.ly/15hr8m (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)
  13.  

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

17 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Government vs. Puppets

I had the rare treat to sit in on an AP Government class today at Reagan H.S. (Christi Robinson, ITS for Reagan HS and Bush MS invited me to visit) and observe their court case project share-out. Thanks to Puppet Pals Director’s Pass donation, students were able to use the teacher’s iPad to create their own court case puppet show. Ms. Newton, the AP Government teacher, also allowed them to explore other submission venues (e.g. Sock Puppets app, Myths & Legends Story Creator, and video-taping their own sock puppet productions old-school style.)

When the class of 38 students was polled, we found that 37 of the 38 students had a personal iPod/iPhone/iPad mobile device. As I have seen many puppet products in elementary and middle school, it was a great experience for me to see how the same apps could be used in a high school setting. Worried that some of the students would find it childish or infantile, I was thoroughly thrilled to find out that not only did they love the apps… many of them downloaded the apps to their own devices and worked at home to complete the project.

“Students will understand the structure, functions, and powers of Congress, the legislative process, and its relationship the branch of government.”

Court Cases

The Task was to research a court case (they randomly drew one), storyboard their accounts (used the template in Pages), and create a video product that highlighted all of the specifics below:

  1. Name of Case  (and brief summary)
  2. Date
  3. Court Decision
  4. Constitutionality
  5. Impact

 

Since knowing and understand court cases is such an integral part of STAAR and AP exams, creating these shows is a useful and vital tool for students to learn the case as well as review the case before the test (as the majority of the videos were posted to Youtube by students for easy access). Another way to collect these resources for later review would be to use Videodropper and download the student videos to a class Dropbox that could be shared with all of the students and accessed from student devices.

 

In class, we came across the free Court Case app that provides a list of famous court cases and includes the opinion of the court, case citation, dissent, and syllabus. Wish we had found this app prior to the project. Alas, it will still be a good review before students take the exam.
Without further ado… will everyone rise? The honorable Judge Techchef4u will be highlighting these student-created court cases:
 

Miranda vs. Arizona (created with Sock Puppets)

Greg. vs. Georgia (created with Sock Puppets)


Board vs. Education (created with Puppet Pals)

Gibbons vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)

Roe vs. Wade (created with Puppet Pals)

Suggestions & Strategies: As Christi and I sat in on the projects, we made a few notes on suggestions and strategies to use next semester when this project will be presented again:
  1. utilize the court cases app for research prior to storyboarding
  2. utilize T-Chart app to document and weight pros/cons (in this case arguments for the plaintiff and arguments for the defendant)
  3. set a time limit for the video
  4. consider using Videolicious for other video projects
  5. consider using characters to resemble the traits of real individuals in the case (as seen in Miranda vs. Arizona)
  6. use music to create mood and tone (as some students did)
  7. alter the pitch in some apps for students who have high-picthed
  8. create a common tag(s) in YouTube so that they can search later to review
  9. create a shared Dropbox to house the YouTube videos utilizing Videodropper (make sure you select optimize for iPhone/iPod)
  10. set up videos in stations (rather than present to the class as a whole), and have each student complete two circles of reflections for each case  they viewed. (e.g. how did the verdict of this court case directly affect….)

Original Source: Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher

 

Many thanks to Christi Robinson, Ms. Newton, and the students of AP Government at Reagan HS for sharing their projects and their class time with me. It is such a joy to see how technology can be seamlessly integrated to foster learning and support the curriculum.

Want More?. Check out other projects and lesson resources highlighting Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals app(s) as well as a follow-up post to this one which includes more student projects.

 

 


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