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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

PowToon Book Trailers, Part II

Another group of 5th grade WIN students have been working on book trailers using PowToon, a Google app. Their work is similar to a recent post.

Below are the PowToons students created--enjoy!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Animal Research & Storytelling on the iPads

First graders have been combining several skills recently to complete an animal research project. They began by reading grade-level appropriate nonfiction books about animals and taking notes about those animals.

You can access the notes page HERE.

After gathering facts about their animals, the students listened to Olivia and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer, as well as Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown. Their purpose? Listen for the true things about these animal main characters (for example, pigs have families and tigers walk on four legs) and be able to point out the untrue behaviors of these characters, like wearing clothes or talking or playing sports.

Next, the brainstorming. Students shared some ideas related to the settings or actions that their animals might do, and other animals or people that their animals might meet in a new, fiction story featuring their animals as the main characters. Popular settings included the mall, the dentist or doctor's office, and school; actions were similar to those we'd already seen and discussed--animals can talk, have friends, read or sing. All of this brainstorming was included on a prewriting page:
You can access the prewriting page HERE.

Students were ready now to write their stories, but this time with a twist--they used the app EduCreations to create their 3-page stories.

Because all students hadn't used this app before, a step-by-step handout was available to them at their tables as they worked. The directions took them from start to finish--everything from finding the app to using the Web search to find an image to using the app Flick to send their screenshots to the teacher. 

Students did a great job navigating not one, but two, new apps and taking their work into the electronic world! After our first day on iPads, all students had created their book covers.

And when students returned to their work in later cycles, they were able to create additional pages of their stories with very little reminders about how to access and use EduCreations and Flick. Here are some of their story pages:

One EduCreations feature we didn't use was the recording option, which would be a great revision to the lesson for next time. Rather than merely taking screen shots of their work, students could also record themselves reading their own stories--what a great addition to the publishing process for them!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Promoting Summer Reading

With just a little more than 3 weeks left in the school year (yay!), it's time to think about and promote summer reading! Check out the new display at DC Elementary:

Students from kindergarten through 5th grade can see book recommendations, but be careful--you might lose a turn for reading past your bedtime or having overdue books! :)