Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Got An iPad! Now What Do I Do?

"Appy New iPad!"
As the holidays are coming to an end and we will be back to our normal routine soon, I wanted to make some suggestions for students with new (or old) iPads.  In school we have some foundational apps that we use all the time.  Here is a brief summary of the apps we have tested and happily approve. 
Appy Downloading.
Creation Apps:  I personally love the apps that enable students to use what they know to share their knowledge with others.  These are the apps that we use to show higher order thinking skills.  We are able to create project based activities across grade levels and curriculum areas with these apps.
Learning to collaborate with others and connect through technology are essential skills in a 21st century learner.

Educreations is a  FREE app for screencasting that turns an iPad into a recordable whiteboard.  We use this app to share our knowledge and teach others.


 Drawing Pad  is a PAID app that gives the user a wide range of art tools to create detailed pictures.  Art work can be saved to the camera roll and used in other programs.  Students often start with this app and then add the picture to educreations.  We love "app smashing".
Book Creator is a PAID app that allows you to create a book right on the iPad.  The record feature allows the user to record their voice along with their work.  This app works with iBooks and you can also send these books to friends.
Scribbble Press is a PAID app for book creation that allows users to create and share their own stories with hundreds of great drawing and writing tools. Story templates are included.


Skitch is a FREE app that can annotate and draw on just about anything that you see, whether it’s a new or existing photo, a webpage, screenshot, map, or a blank canvas.



Haiku Deck  is a FREE app that lets you create inspired picture presentations. 





 Animoto is a FREE app that allows you to turn your photos and short video clips into videos projects. Music and templates are provided.  Very easy to use.
Kidblog is a FREE app that students use to manage their kidblog account.  Teacher moderation is still necessary.

Math Apps:

Splash Math is a PAID app. There are different versions for grades 1 -4.    Excellent for practicing math skills. 

Feed your fish and play with numbers! Practice mental addition and subtraction with Motion Math.  There is also a LITE version.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Time Liner App

TimeLine Explorer Project
Students in Mrs. Boucher's Class have begun studying explorers.  This project had students first researching explorers and then creating their own timeline using the app RWT Timeline.  I enjoyed watching the students manipulate history as they worked on this project. 
Sites used for research:
All About Explorers  Be careful on this link because you need to find the wrong information.
Timeline allows students to create a graphic of each event by displaying items sequentially along a timeline.
Each student needed to include the following:
  1. A picture of the explorer
  2. Birth Date
  3. Who did the explorer sail for and what did he discover
  4. Year of his greatest discovery
This app is FREE in the iTunes Store
Student Example of TimeLine Project
There is also a web version of this app on the Read Write Think web site.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Skype in the Classroom

We visited Texas!
I have become a fan of Skype in the Classroom and a connection turned into an interesting visit with Woodcrest Elementary School, Port Neches, TX.  This school was in a contest with the other schools in their district to see which school could skype with all 50 states the fastest.

The note below was a message on our skype screen before our visit.

Imagine our surprise to learn we were their 50th skype visit.  We were almost as happy as they were to know they won the contest.  We gave them a huge round of applause to congratulate them.  As the winners, NASA will be visiting their school.
Mrs. Madden and Mrs. McCarthy's classes enjoyed talking about Topsfield, Massachusetts. 

Students shared their favorite parts of the 50 states skype visits.
Nice Job Woodcrest Elementary School!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

QLovi Brings Authors Live to the Classroom

2 Amazing Authors Reading Live In Our School!
Qlovi + Authors was a special one-day event of engaging live author readings. Each author read one of twelve beautifully diverse books with a Q&A. Educators, registered for a day of illuminating readings tailored by grade range. 
We tweeted out during our viewing and Qlovi responded!

Dianne de las Casas explained how she made her chicken hat.

 Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
 read by Andrea Pinkney
This group also tweeted during the presentation. 
We had 2 retweets and 1 favorite.

 We also posted a live compliment on the Question and Answer board.
This was a fun day of listening to 2 new books. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mystery Skype

Don't you just love a good mystery?
As a part of the fourth grade curriculum, the fourth grade has begun their study of the regions of the United States.  The kick off was sending the Teddy Bears around the world.  The bears are even sending some interesting posts to their Teddy Bear Blog.
All week Mrs. Murphy's Class has been preparing for their first Mystery Skype Visit.  On Wednesday we had a practice run to be sure everyone knew their job in anticipation of the big day.  On Friday, Mr. Willis' combined grades 3 and 4 class played Mystery Skype with us and we couldn't have had more fun.  We played by asking yes or no questions similar to 20 questions.  The students were well organized and asked thoughtful questions.  We guessed their state, Vermont, first but they guessed our town, Topsfield, first.  Cheers and applause were heard from both states. 
Mystery Skype is a very engaging way to learn geography.
Thank you Mr. Willis and Class!



The Questioners and Answerers are in front of the smartboard ready to respond. 
The Filterers take the questions and sort through them before they are passed on.
Runners sit ready to pick up the next question from the Think Tank Members.
Think Tank Members are researching.
Google Mappers are quick to find the answers and ask new questions on the iPads.


View Central School Dr in a larger map

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mrs. Boucher's Class Visited Indiana

Mrs. Boucher's Fifth Grade Class took a visit to Forest Ridge Academy in Indiana today via skype.  Each class shared a little about their schools and classes.  We learned that the boys and girls in Mrs. Osika's Class come from many, many zip codes.  While the students in Mrs. Boucher's Class only come from one zip code.  We also learned that Mrs. Osika's students get to spend a week at Space Camp at the end of the year.  We were a little jealous and anxiously look forward to hearing more about it. 
Each class will be posting and commenting on Kidblog as the year continues.  Please visit their blogs and leave a comment.  Be sure to tell us where you are from.
View Forest Ridge Academy in a larger map

Forest Ridge Academy
Proctor School

Students introduced each class.
Mrs. Boucher's students share the Happy Meal Project.
We talked about our Kidblog.
We can't wait to read each others' posts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Olweus Kickoff

Proctor School had the Kick Off to their Anti Bullying Program.  Classes each created a message and shared it with the whole school.
Grade 5 students in Mrs. Bpoucher and and Mr. Deveney's Class created an animoto.  These students generated a list of questons and then went out and asked members of the staff for their answers. Take a look at their final project.

Students conducted the interviews and recorded the answers to their questions on the iPad.