Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Women's History Month With QR Codes

March is Women's History Month. To share some famous women with my students I created a set of posters that have a famous woman's picture, a quote by that famous woman, and a QR code. When students look at the picture and read the quote they are to guess who the famous woman is. Then, when they scan the QR code they get to learn who the famous woman is. Kids enjoy learning this way. They also enjoy making their own QR code pictures with sayings or famous people.

If you would like these posters to share with your students you can download them here - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxOiAHva3B1hb1pnejVheUhoWGM/edit?usp=sharing 

Want to learn more about QR codes? Check out this presentation on QR codes -https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1OOBxDeX8yDcJpcXq_uOz6HXsRsUdNuBtvbBDmqgknzA/edit?usp=sharing

Ancient Egypt PechaKucha

My reading class has been reading the nonfiction book Mummies, Tombs, and Treasure by Lila Perl. We have been enjoying learning about ancient Egypt and nonfiction text features. I was looking for a culminating project that would focus on summarization, because it is a skill that was identified as one we had to work on by Discovery Education Assessment. When searching, I had to look no further than the Discovery Educator Network Spotlight on Strategies Blog. There I found a post on PechaKucha. A PechaKucha is a presentation format where an image is shown and the presenter speaks for only 20 seconds. This was perfect! My students have been working on their oral fluency and summarizing, so this project was great for them. Each student was assigned an image from Discovery Education Streaming Plus. I share the image link with them on Edmodo. They then clicked on the link and logged into Discovery Education. Then, they learned about the image on Discovery Education in the Details section with the image and from other sources. The put their image into a Google Drive Presentation and also put the citation on their slide too. They wrote up a summary that would take them about 20 seconds to read. Students practiced reading their summaries and we used the Chrome App MoveNote to record their presentation. Students ran the recording in move note and showing of the slides live from Google Drive presentation on an iPad on the screen in class presented through Apple TV.

The picture shown below captures students running the recording of the presentation.

The link beolw is our PechaKucha Presentation on Ancient Egypt. Students did all of the recording and directing for the Movenote presentation. Students are empowered when they get to run the show. You will see an authentic project made by students, miscues and all! Please enjoy!

Ancient Egypt PechaKucha

What students liked about the PechaKucha -
- It was very visual. You could see exactly what they were talking about.
- The presentations were short, you did not have a chance to get tired of listening to them.
- They could practice their fluency. They learned that it was true about how many words they read in a minute.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Stop Motion Videos with iStopMotion

My class is pretty excited about the new Lego movie coming out soon. We talked a lot about stop motion and how cool it was. In the past we have done stop motion videos with digital cameras, tripods, and iMovie. It took a long time, but the results were worth it. But now I am loving the app iStopMotion by Bionx. It is just about the best stop motion app I have seen. It is super simple to use, has controls that are familiar to students who use iPads, allows for audio recording after the pics are all taken, and best of all it offers a camera overlay that lets you see where your last pic was. My students watched the how to video that comes with the app and then were off and running making cool stop motion videos. The assignment was to write a story after filling out a story map to ensure they had a complete plot, then they could begin their own Lego stop motion video. In a very short time they came up with some pretty neat videos for their first time.
Here are 3 videos made with iStopMotion
The Stolen Things - http://youtu.be/5hnM_fEV9QE
Joe and Mr. Leego - http://youtu.be/WQ6vzmPl6Xw
Gold! All mine! - http://youtu.be/6778xPzaLL0
In a few weeks we will be reading some Greek myths and summarizing them. Then, the students will make stop motion videos with this app! They are very excited to use the app again and I am excited to see what they create!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wordle Vocabulary Activity

Wordle: Depict
I have had students work more and more with vocabulary this school year due to the vocabulary push in the CCSS. My school has a subscription to Visual Thesaurus, but www.wordvis.com would work too! In this activity students evaluate the word and the synonyms/words associated with it to help them understand the meaning of the word. This would also be a great activity for the connect part of Vocabulary's CODE if you are using the Core Six Model. After students evaluate the words associated with their vocabulary term they rank them and create a word cloud in Wordle.

Here are the directions for this activity-

Cracking Vocabulary's CODE with an iPad Activity

The school district that I teach at has adopted The Core Six: Essential Strategies for Excellence with the Common Core as a guide for us as we work with the CCSS. the last of the six strategies is Vocabulary's CODE. According to the book, "Vocabulary's CODE is a strategic approach to direct vocabulary instruction that helps students master crucial concepts and retain new vocabulary terms. Students work their way from initial exposure to in-depth understanding through a series of progressive learning activities, which help students "crack" Vocabulary's CODE."

This is how CODE is defined in the book.
C - Connect
O - Organize
D - Deep-Process
E - Exercise

These are the apps that are use for CODE.
C - Connect - Safari and go to www.wordvis.com
O - Organize - Card Sorting app
D - Deep-Process - Haiku Deck app
E - Exercise - Haiku Deck app

The step by step directions for this activity are shared here -

Augmented Reality is a Reality in Our Classroom

We have been experimenting with augmented reality for a few months now. Students think it is MAGIC! They are excited to do anything with augmented reality, and I am too! We started out with the colAR Mix App and then moved on to Aurasma. We have used colAR for International Dot Day, for Halloween, and for winter holidays. We will also be using it for Chinese New Year at the end of this month. We have used Aurasma to create book talks and to share our book trailers we created in iMovie. Students are motivated by the magic of augmented reality!

Here are some other augmented reality options that may be of use to you and your students!
-Anatomy 4D
-AR Flashcards Animal Alphabet
-CyberChase Space Quest
-Elements 4D
-NASA Spacecraft 3D
-SolAR System Discovery
-Tour of the Nile

Check out my Pinterest Board for Augmented Reality  http://www.pinterest.com/mrshamorg/augmented-reality/

Friday, January 10, 2014

Classroom Adventures with Apple TV

Last year I was given an Apple TV to use in my classroom. I fell in love with it when kids could sit at their desks and share their projects on their iPads with the class wirelessly! We shared all of our projects and taught each other how to use apps with the Apple TV and mirroring on the iPad. It was wonderful, but not until this year did I really start to harness the power of Apple TV in the classroom. I wanted to use it to allow me to not be tethered to the projector cart. Our projectors are not mounted in the ceiling and we each have a cart with a projector and a document camera on it. I am thankful for it, but miss the ability to move around and use proximity control when using the projector or doc camera. This year I was determined to be able to move.

To help me with this I found the apps Stage https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stage-interactive-whiteboard/id584574701?mt=8 and iAnnotate https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iannotate-pdf/id363998953?mt=8.

Stage with Apple TV allows me to write on the iPad like a whiteboard. It will record my writing and my voice as I use the app. This allows me to record my lessons and examples and publish them for students to use when they need to access it. I usually share with students on Edmodo. They appreciate this and thank me for it on a regular basis.

iAnnotate with Apple TV allows me to use my iPad like the cart on my projector and the document camera. If I have activities or worksheets that we are working on together or doing examples on I upload them to Google Drive or share them to my iPad through email. Then, I can write on them and then email them to myself and then post them to Edmodo for students who are absent or who need reminders of what we did in class.

When I use either of the apps I use a stylus to help me write neatly. My stylus of choice is the Jot Pro Fine Point Stylus. It may be a bit on the expensive side, but once you use it you will realize that it is worth the price.

One of the best kept secrets of Apple TV is all of the free content that comes on it. There are channels, like the Smithsonian Channel, PBS, and the Weather Channel that have plenty of quality free content in the form of videos and video clips that can be used in the classroom to support learning.  If you don't check these out and use them in the classroom you are missing a lot of great stuff!