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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Creating Our Own Tall Tale Characters

Second grade students are finishing the school year reading and watching tall tales, comparing and contrasting character traits and plot points. Students talked about Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Pecos Bill, noting things like:
     •  the men were stronger, bigger, or faster than others
     •  they often had "sidekicks"
     •  they were in contests 
     •  they get credit for making things in nature.

With these things in mind, students then created their own tall tale characters using the handout below:
Access the handout HERE.
Once students had made decisions about their characters, they accessed our class FlipGrid to record their information. While students had used FlipGrid before, this was the first time they independently recorded themselves. You can see part of our grid below and click on the link in the caption for the full list of responses:
CLICK HERE to access the full grid.

Enjoy the students' responses--their creativity and voice definitely shines through!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Listening to Reading with QR Codes

Dallas Center Elementary first graders recently scanned QR codes to access electronic books to listen to reading, then responded to the texts using handouts from Digital Divide and Conquer on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Access the free handouts on TPT by clicking HERE.
I wanted to use different texts to match some that we have here in our collection, so after browsing YouTube for appropriate and engaging read alouds, I created my own QR codes, printed them, and then taped them onto the handouts. That allowed me to keep the quadrant questions, and when I printed the handouts front-back, students had two stories for listening and responding. After a quick lesson about how to use our QR scanner on the iPads, students were ready to go!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Book Recommendations & ChatterPix

Recently Dallas Center Elementary kindergarteners used ChatterPix to recommend different books we'd read throughout the year.

Using our author/illustrator books, parts of a book read alouds, and Iowa Goldfinch books, students had several from which to choose. After a quick tutorial about how to use ChatterPix, students worked on their own recommendations.

You can see a few of their videos below:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Online Research Using Google Classroom

Again this year, 4th and 5th graders at Dallas Center Elementary worked on a research and presentation project. It was a multiple-step project lasting several weeks, but students' presentations are now complete and they're working on reflections related to the projects.

Step 1: Choose a Topic
Students looked at four of our AEA databases and two websites for a topic to research. The only requirement? Students' topics must be in two of the six options. Students accessed sites from our library Symbaloo and completed a ticket out including the topic and location of their articles.

Step 2: Note Taking
After determining a topic, students accessed a note taking page in Google Classroom and recorded their work to come back to later. The note taking page related directly to students' non-fiction reading in their own classrooms, asking them to write about their new learning, inferences, questions/wonderings, and text features.

Step 3: Presenting the Information
Once students gathered their information, the next step was to organize all of it into a Google Presentation. Requirements included adding at least one image, so this led to a conversation about citing sources and using the EasyBib add-on in Google Drive. As a part of their presentations, students created a works cited slide that also included the citation information from the databases and websites they accessed for information.

Animals were popular topics, especially ocean and rainforest animals; however, other topics such as national parks and monuments, forces and motion and magnetism, and sports were popular as well. Below are a few slides from different presentations. 

Step 4: Reflection
On our final day of the project, students viewed at least three presentations and completed a reflection page inside Google Classroom.