Tuesday, January 28, 2014

iCan Develop A SOLID Understanding of Geomety With The iPad!

Our geometry unit began with learning the difference between plan figures and solid figures.  Once we all had and understanding and common vocabulary we were ready to begin and take our learning and understandings to a whole new level.  What better way to get kids motivated about learning geometry than participating in a scavenger hunt and collecting the evidence on an iPad?!  Students LOVED working together in pairs searching for real-world objects that represented various solid figures, everything from rectangular prisms and spheres to pryamids and cubes.  Once students found a good representation of their solid,  they snapped the picture with their iPad,  uploaded it to their camera roll, and headed for the next idea.  Students had a blast and were very creative in their thinking!  They loved the opportunity to move around our school building completing their task.   This is an activity I will use again for sure!  It was so much more engaging and pushed their thinking when compared to the math lesson that we would have learned with our math curriculum.  This is why I am so passionate about what the iPads can do and how it helps students to think and organize information.  It is real world activities with open ended opportunities!   Here is an example of how student uploaded their scavenger hunt pictures to create Keynote slides representing each solid figure:

The next day after learning about the vocabulary used to identify and describe geometric solids (number of faces, edges, and vertices), we added this information to it's respective slide.  Here are two examples:

  The best part was that no two Keynotes were the same.  The freedom to add their background, pictures, fonts, styles, picture selections, and definitions added to their learning enthusiasm.  Students were completely engaged throughout the assignment. 

     As we worked throughout the geometry unit, I tried diligently to think of innovative ways to add to our Keynote with what we were learning.   I was able to introduce congruent shapes with the help of an app called Geoboard.  This app is basically two different sized geoboard with a whole lot more capabilities when compared to the hands on variety.  The kids LOVED the iPad Geoboard app.  They loved all of its capabilities.  I had them take screen shots of their work and upload it to their camera roll for use in their Keynotes.  
Take a look at the examples of congruent figures we created using Geoboard:
Look at all these congruent squares!
Alexis created a barn using congruent shapes!  Such the creative one!

We used this same app to practice our TRANSLATIONS, REFLECTIONS, and ROTATIONS with shapes.  Here are a couple of examples:
Koen just made a reflection on his Geoboard iPad app!

Miles created a rotation example with his triangles!
Brady is working on creating a translation example!
We also used the app Dragon Shapes during our geometry unit.  It provided great fun and practice for students in learning how to manipulate shapes (translation, reflection, and rotation).  It was a challenge for many to get the correct placement in the picture to complete the task but they did not give up.  The kids loved it!

We can't wait to show our parents our Solid Geometric Keynotes with our families.  I was so happy to see their finished products!  I think the higher level thinking skills that went into this project greatly exceeded any pencil paper.  Students worked together and helped one another, it was easily differentiated for all ability levels, and students were able to use several different apps to build their understandings.  Geometry on the iPad is a great thing!  We have a SOLID understanding!!
(I just couldn't resist the pun:0)

Friday, January 24, 2014

iCan Be 100 Years Old WIth The Help Of An iPad!

We celebrated the 100th Day of school and thanks to the iPad it will be a particularly memorable experience for students.  With the help of an app, the students were able to transform themselves to what they would look like if they were 100 years old.   This was by far was the funniest app that the students have used!  I could not help but giggle (okay really it was a full-on belly laugh) when I heard the student's reactions to their transformed image.  After we took our pictures I had the students walk around and look at each others.  Again LOTS of giggling and fully belly laughs!  Then I had the students write a blog about how they accomplished this task and they posted it to our classroom blog page.  The students couldn't wait to write and share how they accomplished this task.  

Here are three examples of what the app can do!

 It was super easy to convince the kids that these photos needed to be shared out on their blog site.  

The kids have enjoyed reading the reactions to their blogs from family and friends.   This is one of those activities that I will do each year from here on out!   
100th Day in second grade will be a day that the kids remember for at least One Hundred Years!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

iCan Teach Guided Reading On The Ipad!

Teaching guided reading on the iPad has profound learning opportunities!  I have been using the iPad to work with students at ALL ability levels and have observed excellent growth and progress!  I love that I can take a traditional lesson and turn it into a new learning adventure with interactive capabilities!!  One of my favorite apps for guided reading is  Storia from Scholastic.  I have made it my personal mission to purchase as many of their interactive books as possible for my guided reading groups (yes, these book are even leveled in multiple ways).   My favorite non-fiction books by far are those created by National Geographic Kids.  They are in my opinion, the BEST for teaching non-fiction text features! They not only captivate students with their interactive capabilities, they also provide great discussions and teaching opportunities which enables me to use my questioning strategies to further build their reading comprehension and understandings beyond the text.   
     We recently read a book from our reading anthology called The Emperor's Egg.  This story taught students about the life of an Emperor penguin.  So, during guided reading I was able to use the  Storia book National Geogaphic Kids Penguins  to further their learning and understandings.  My teaching point was working on non-fiction text features and the book provided numerous opportunities to explore how these features are used and in an interactive way!   I created a quick movie trailer to watch if you are not familiar with the book.  Please know that any time you see a lightening bolt on a page, that means it has an interactive opportunity.  I only took a couple of pictures as the kids were reading.  Check it out!

The iPads have  COMPLETELY captured the interests of ALL my readers!  Those who struggle are motivated to read as they LOVE the interactive pieces!  The discussions about the text are rich in context.  The questions that students ask along the way are insightful, and often times send students looking for additional information.  Student driven learning....GOTTA LOVE IT!! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

iCan Do Geometry With An iPad

We used the Popplet app to build an understanding between plane and solid figures in our Geometry unit. Students started with creating a graphic organizer utilizing the Popplet app.  They sorted the shapes into plane figures and solid figures . Once sorted students added pictures to represent both plane and solid figures.  Below is a quick movie trailer of our work.

This was a fun way to introduce the unit and build common understanding among students.  Next week we will use another app to build upon what we have learned.   

Sunday, January 12, 2014

iCan Use The Popplet App

Our first week back to school and we learned how to use our first new 2014 app... Popplet! 
We used Popplet to create a graphic organizer to write our New Years Resolutions!  I was inspired by an idea I had found on Pinterest and wanted to add a "techie twist" to it.  The result was a fun learning activity and some GREAT New Year's Resoultion Lift Flaps!

Here is how we made it happen:
First we started with a story and discussion about resolutions.  Understanding the vocabulary and what it means is essential.  Next, we  practiced using the "Popplet Tools."   This was a quick lesson since the kids already knew how to upload photos and such.  Once they learned how to make 'Popples", delete "Popples," and manipulate "Popples" we were ready to go!  It was amazing to see how quickly they were able to learn the app!  We began by creating our title and starting with the first "Popple."  

Uploading a picture of themselves with their Happy New Year Topic.   

 After that we began to organize our thinking.   Our first "Popple" was two goals for the new year (since 2014 begins with a two).  Then we created our next Popple with something we wanted to stop doing this year (hence the 0 in 2014).  Our next Popple was one new thing we wanted to try this year (the 1 in 2914) and finally we added four Popples for things we wanted to learn in 2014 (an there is the 4 in 2014). 
Here is a work in progress!

 The kids loved adding pictures, colors, and font to their Popplet.  They love having the choice to how it should look.   This was the "techie twist" to the Pinterest idea.   The next day we created our lift flaps "Old School Style" as the kids called it.  They decorated their numbers and glued them to the front, and then wrote their information (from their Popplet) on the  3 X 5 note cards to glue under their numbers.  It was a GREAT way for kids to learn how creating a graphic organizer can keep their writing focused and on topic.   
      Here are some examples of our completed projects.  The kids did a fantastic job!! 

Here area all lift flaps open!
Under the #4 this is what you would find!
Here are some finished examples!

  iCan see a year of fun learning with the iPads!