Monday, February 17, 2014

iCanTeach Fascinating Fractions On The iPad

Fractions on the iPad, yep it is possible!  I began by creating an iTunes U course called "Fascinating Fractions" which is also the name of my math Pinterest board.  In this course  I included Youtube videos, stories about fractions, songs about fractions, and learning opportunities and activities about fractions that will build upon their understandings.  The kids LOVED learning this way!  We uploaded practice opportunities into the Notability app and students were able to work together to figure out problems and then email their work to me.  One of the student's favorite activities was figuring out what fractions of m&m colors they had in their individual bags.  Included below are two pictures of the activity.  My buddy Kyla let me take her picture while she figured out the "whole"and the "parts" of that whole. 

Below is the PDF that we recorded our fractions on.  This was one of the activities that I included in my Itunes U course!  I  can't take credit for  the idea, this is one of those "M"-azing ideas that I found on Pinterest and added to my "Fascinating Fractions Board".   Lots of great thinking and problem solving were generated through this activity.  It was taking what we learned and applying it in addition to explaining the understandings  to someone else.  THE KIDS LOVED IT!!  Math they can eat!  How could you go wrong?!

I love to create courses in iTunes U and the best part is they can have things added or omitted as you see fit.  Notability is a great way for students to upload their work and share what they are learning!!  This was an "M"-azing Unit!! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

iCan Learn About Our World's Geographic Features By AppSmashing On The iPad

iCan't believe how "AppSmashing" on the iPads helped us to further develop our understanding about geographic features in our world.  Thanks to the app Google Earth I was able to take my students to places all over the world! I taught them how to navigate the app by first finding our school. The loved seeing all the different views. Among the "oohing and ahhhing" I was able to show them how this app would help them explore the world!   Then I gave them the  challenge to find their homes as their first stop in their world exploration.   Well let's just say the door to a whole "NEW WORLD"  of learning was opened to them and they were inspired!  I gave them time to become world travelers and allowed them to visit places they wanted to see (Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, just to name a few.) The kids loved all the different views and couldn't wait to show me the places that they visited. 

Google Earth was my anticipatory set for teaching about our world and its geographic features.  It generated so much interest and excitement!  Talk about on task behaviors and teaching and learning together.  This activity lent itself to great sharing and conversations!  I then had the kids blog about the places that they went to on their exploration.    We uploaded pictures of the places we visited on our blog spots. Then they shared with our readers where they went and how they did it!  THE KIDS LOVED THIS!!   

Here is an example of one of our blog posts:

Next, we started to use Google Earth to find landform representations that our school district essential objectives outline.  It was my hope that we could have searched just "mountains" in Google Earth and we would have a ton to choose from, but you do have to put in specific names in order to find what you need.  For example you need to type in "Death Valley" in order to get a picture of a "valley".  So it's a good idea ahead of time to have several places listed for the students to type in specifically to select from. We searched for mountains, valleys, hills, plains, peninsulas, and islands to meet our objectives.  Once students found the pictures they wanted, I had them take a screen shot and upload it to their camera rolls.   Then for our next lesson, we used the Skitch app to label our landforms and include its definition right on the picture.  Here is an example of "plains" created by one of my students.  They loved using the Skitch tools.
Once student were happy with their landform pictures, they took a new screenshot  and uploaded it to their camera roll.  Then we opened up our Keynote app and created our "Landform Keynotes" where all their landform pictures and definitions would be added.  Students were also able to add transitions within the Keynote app for extra effect.  

I can't say enough how impressed I am with my student's abilities to move from one app to the next with complete competence and enthusiasm.  They loved "smashing the apps" to make "cool projects" about their learning.  I am always challenging myself to think how I can take a pencil paper task and bring it to life with the iPads so my students will learn as much as possible.  The only thing I would change for the next time is that I will have the kids use the Tellagami app to voice record the definitions of each landform and include them in their final product.  One more way to add to our "App Smash!"  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

iCan Use Google Earth On The iPad and The World Is At My Fingertips!

Ga Ga for Google Earth, Google Earth Is Great,  Google Earth Is Amazing,  Google Earth Rocks, these are just some of the titles that kids used for their Kidblogs that defined their experience using the Google Earth app.  Thanks to the iPad and one quick demonstration, the world just got a whole lot smaller and a lot more interesting to my second graders!  The world was literally at their fingertips!  Enthusiasm and excitement don't even come close to capturing the whole Google Earth learning experience.   I used this app as the anticipatory set to introduce our unit on Geography and "IT ROCKED" according to my students.  They are eager to learn more about their world!  Here is a link to our class blog site.  If you are interested in seeing what the kids had so say about their experience, please click the link below.  We would love to hear your comment.