Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
Best WP Theme Ever!
Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
11 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

iPrep 4 Kinder: TCEA 2012

This was a last minute addition to TCEA 2012’s iPlayground and ran from 4:00-5:00 pm on Monday afternoon. As a mother of two preschool boys (and with a little help from Yolanda Barker), I knew we wouldn’t have too much of a problem slapping a list of preschool apps together that would support skills such as color and shapes, sight words, hand-writing, letter recognition, time, patterns and sequences, and basic math.

The list of 62 apps shared in “iPrep 4 Kinder” at the iPlayground was composed in Evernote and then tweeted and shared with a public URL generated by Evernote.

"iPrep 4 Kinder": TCEA 2012 iPlayground Resource

 

The following day I had the pleasure of sitting in on another iPlayground session the following day entitled “iPads for Young Learners” hosted by Ruth Jungman and Carol Fenley of Alamo Heights who took a slightly different app-sharing approach. Instead of providing an appy hour of fast-paced app-sharing, they highlighted 5 free apps and spoke in depth about how each one was being used in the primary classroom:

  1. ABC Magnetic Alphabet Lite: Students worked in small groups with the task of changing one letter in a word to make it another word (e.g. take hat and make it sat or rat, take rat and make it ran)
  2. ABC Tracer: Students worked individually in work stations and literacy stations to practice writing letters, numbers, and words. A nice feature of this app is that it will correct students that begin drawing at a different starting point in the letter rather than starting at the top.
  3. Doodle Buddy: This is one of my favorite apps and I tend to use it a lot to annotate over images, create scenes, Frayer models and even bar graphs, but had not considered the following task. Students make a letter and then use clip art to represent words that begin with that latter. The same task could be completed with colors as well (green: add clip art for objects that are green). The ladies also mentioned that the app supported improving fine motor skills mirroring tasks like writing letters in the sand.
  4. Sock Puppets: This is another fantastic app and definitely supports creativity on Bloom’s. Jungman & Fenley also discussed how the app supports sequencing, storytelling, collaborative learning, and self-directed learning. Students worked in pairs with the task of creating a video to support one of the eight keys to character education (some of the keys featured were “speak with good purpose”, “integrity”, and “do the right thing even when no one is looking”). When the videos were complete, they would be shared on the teacher website as well as showcased in the technology showcase. (Other iLessons with Sock Puppets)
  5. Flip it! Lite: Jungman & Fenley mentioned that they offer free centers in Kindergarten. In these centers, students have a choice from a limited number of apps. The app Flip it! Lite offers the potential for creating up to 5 books free and supports skills such as logic and sequencing. Students use the app to create animated books that highlight actions such as life cycles, kicking a soccer ball, and jumping rope. While there is no way to email the product out, teachers can take a screenshot or use a document camera to record the action.

"All things Green" created with Doodle Buddy app

 

The ladies also discussed classroom and iPad management techniques. Many of the classrooms have a parent volunteer that arrives to set up the work stations and add task cards. Apps on the iPads themselves are managed through folders on a blank screen. The folder for that day would only house one or two apptivities which limits off-task behavior.

Before the iPlayground session ended, they shared 4 more of their favorite apps: Clifford, My Word Wall, Teach Me Kindergarten, and Word Magic.

Also check out “iPrep for Preschool and Kindergarten” and my partner-in-crime (Yolanda Barker’s) post to iPrep 4 Kinder.

 

 

 

 


25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Government vs. Puppets Part 2

With the great success of Government vs. Puppets Round 1 (an iPad project that involved secondary students creating puppet versions of famous court cases), I received two additional student multi-part video projects that I want to share. If it pleases the court…

Gibbons Vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)




New Jersey vs. T.L.O. (created with Puppet Pals)


Please check out original post for more student samples, tips/suggestions/resources to execute the lesson, and additional classroom integration ideas for Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals.

 

 


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.

 

 


03 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Puppets 4 the Classroom: Episode 3

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 3 – Puppets 4 the Classroom. In this episode, we discussed up front how puppet apps could be used instructionally with multiple content areas and grade levels and then discussed the main features of each app, the difference between the free and paid versions, and what features were available as in-app purchases.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Puppet Pals HD (Twitter / Blog): Also check out Puppet Pals Director’s Pass which will comply with Apple’s VPP.
    1. Puppet Pals lesson and handouts
    2. Puppet Pals elementary Math lesson/student examples
  2. Sock Puppets:
    1. Sock Puppet Shakespeare lesson
    2. Sock Puppets to practice language (student examples)
  3. PhotoPuppet HD Lite (Tutorials): While we highlighted the lite version, I would highly advise purchasing the paid version and spending some time with their video tutorials. They also offer a iPhone/iPod version entitled PhotoPuppet Go.
    1. Check out the weather forecasting example above
  4. Tortoise & Hare Puppet Show (Website): also check out the paid versions (“The Three Billy Goats Gruff” & “The Three Little Pigs“)

 

Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes:

Listen to
internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

20 Jun 2011
Comments: 0

Cool Tech 4 Kids to Beat the Heat: Part 1: Imaginative Play and Games

As we are already in triple digits and haven’t even celebrated the 4th of July, many parents are opting to stay indoors rather than brave the blistering heat. While we will make the occasional trip to the Children’s Museum, Magik Theater, and Schlitterbahn, my focus has been trying to come up with alternatives to playing in the heat.

[gigya width=”400″ height=”400″ src=”http://cdn-img1.imagechef.com/ic/images/blender-fireworks4.swf” quality=”high” flashvars=”varTheme=searchlight&myVar1=http://cdn-img1.imagechef.com/w/110620/samp85cc03e12041b624.jpg&myVar2=http://cdn-img1.imagechef.com/w/110620/swf83c71440669a6c89.swf” align=”middle” wmode=”tranparent” allowScriptAccess=”sameDomain” allowfullscreen=”false” ]
ImageChef.com Poetry Blender

If you are like me and have two young boys (or children of any age for that matter), you are probably looking for something to keep your kiddos busy… indoors. If I am not prepared, activities around the house may be as simple as block day (where we dump all of the Mega Bloks out on the floor and build various structures) or city day (which consists of pulling out all of our Fisher Price toys…airport, barns, zoo, cars, people, etc… and arranging them into something that resembles a metropolis of sorts).

These activities are fun but given some more time to prepare, I like to arrange activities that bridge the gap between fun, technology, and instruction. The activities listed are broken up into categories and are accessed via the iPad. (Upcoming posts in the series will focus on both apps and Web 2.0 tools).

As I am also a bargain app shopper, the majority of apps suggested are… FREE (or moderately priced)!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


Imaginative Play: Many of us remember tea parties and puppet shows so the idea of using technology to foster imaginative play is not so far-fetched. While Toca Tea Party may only appeal to preschool and elementary age children, Puppet Pals & Sock Puppets will bring joy to all who are young at heart.

Tea for Two or More

Need ideas for your next Puppet Show? Check out Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats for some great examples of puppet shows (both are paid). Plums Rhyme and Tortoise and Hare Puppet Show (includes step-by-step video workshop for how to make puppets and create a show) are both free!

Legos, Board Games, and Puzzles: Cure Boredom!

Let Your PegLight Shine Brite!

Create Your Own Wordventure

Have an overcast day or an early morning? Check out 225 Kid Outdoor Games (games for ages 2-16 from around the world – paid app).

Don’t have an iPad? Consider creating your own board game (Tools for Educators) or dusting off Uno and Connect 4.

Stay Tuned over the next couple of weeks for upcoming Part 2: Virtual Vacations, Part 3: Books & Storytelling,and Part 4: Scrapbooks, Timelines, Arts & Crafts.

Tune in: Thursday June 23rd at 8pm to Social Geek Radio where I will be a guest discussing cool technology for kids (apps and Web 2.0 tools) that they can utilize on these hot summer days.

Please Comment with your favorite apps (and Web 2.0 tools) for imaginative play and games.