Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cause & Effect

Cause & Effect is something we tackle all year long. Right?

We started with this video about sneezes. It got their attention!!!

We had a discussion about real world cause & effect. It was pretty great. And a little gross.  :)


Use any app to illustrate and explain at least 3 cause and effect relationships. They went to Image Quest and found images. Here are a few of their products.



Strip Designer

Pic Collage


What do you think?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How can you be a good friend?

That is what I asked my kids this last Monday during our R-time lesson.

We used our app-smashing skills to create these Strip Designer products.

Felt Board
Strip Designer


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Social Studies - iPad Style

We read from our social studies textbook to refresh our memories of the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, New Deal, WWII, Pearl Harbor, and the end of WWII. Now, remember that we are 4th graders, so our textbook (which is very old) doesn't have much to say on these events. It all fits into a chapter of our textbook.

Then we put the events in order and I wrote them down on the board. I was originally going to have them create a timeline using Popplet, but as I was explaining the assignment I stopped and said I wanted to change it. They like it when that happens because it usually means I am going to give them more freedom.

The new parameters were:

  • You can use any app as long as -
  1. The events are in order
  2. You have at least 1 image per event (Britannica Image Quest)
  3. The date is included
And off they went!

Pictures are so powerful, aren't they? I find that the kids have more of a working memory of historical events when they have pictures and made connections with those events through the pictures. This is something we are going to do more often.

Take a look at some final products.

Educreation video

iMovie Trailer
Another Educreation video

These only took about 30 minutes. They posted their finished work on our Edmodo page for everyone to enjoy.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Writing a Research Paper in a 1:1 iPad Classroom

Fun days! The end of the year can be a difficult time for teachers and students, but we are really enjoying our research project. 


Each student will turn in a research paper to me and then present their research to the class using an app on their iPad.


I am being pretty specific on these, so they know exactly what I am expecting.


1. Research - We have access to encyclopedias through our school library webpage. My students are using these resources to gather much of their information. I also said they could look up zoo websites or other websites, but I am not letting them use Wikipedia. We had to talk about that because they wanted to use it.

When they found an article they wanted to use, I showed them how to copy & paste the information from the article into the Notes app along with the MLA citing information. They have it cited for you! At the bottom of each article, you will find 3 different methods of citing resources all formatted and ready to go.

    I recorded that mini-lesson using AirServer if you are interested in seeing how I showed the kids what to do. Click here to see the post.

2. Images - I have talked about using Britannica Image Quest and how great a resource it is. We are using it again for the picture on our cover page and the images in our presentations.

3. Writing the research paper - We had to really discuss how to use the research to guide our writing. Some students just wanted to copy & paste straight into their paper! It took quite a bit of explaining and rephrasing to get my point across. I always found this to be a difficult part of writing a research paper. 

     My school district bought Google Apps for all students and teachers, so my kids have access to Google docs. (After downloading the new Docs app, which was launched May 1, we were ready to get started.)

    Key features of Google docs & why I chose it for their writing
  • Web based for seamless transition between devices - We are doing the bulk of our writing on the iPads, but I will have them polish it in the Computer Lab before they print.
  • Basic formatting is available
  • Sharing settings allow me to view their work in progress
  • The commenting feature is a great way for me to help them edit and revise their work in real time.
Here are two student examples:

When you highlight a word or words and click the comment button, you can help your students make a change. 

You can see our comments back and forth on this paper. She sent me a question and I answered. Then we were able to talk back and forth. There are many more comments, but I couldn't show them all.

4. Creating a Presentation - I have 2 kids who are finished with their papers. They are working on a presentation. Mostly they have been playing around with different apps, trying to decide which one will be the best. I told them they could use any app other than Tellagami (it is too short), Puppet Pals (no images), and PhotoCard (too short and only 1 image).

I know they are going to present some awesome research. I will share their final products after they present. Do your kids like research? How have you used an iPad to facilitate research?

Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book Review

I have been given the opportunity to read and review this children's book. It is a good one! I love stories about dogs. I am going to assume you agree with me.  ;)

This picture book, which was written and illustrated by the family it depicts, will make you smile. You follow this lovable yellow dog in her unexpected journey to find her family. This is definitely a book that I would share with my class and family.

I was an owner of a lovable yellow dog, so I really love this doggy character.

As you are reading, there are lesson about friends, family, and how to treat other people and animals. There are many inferences to make and cause and effect situations to ponder.

Check it out!

A note about the author and illustrators...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Movie Trailers with iMovie


is awesome!

On the iPad, you have 2 choices. You can create a movie or a trailer. The trailers are so cool! I had my class create trailers for The City of Ember, since we just finished reading it together.

Here is a tutorial on how to create a trailer in iMovie. Here is another. I didn't show my kids anything. 

I put them in groups of 3-4 and they experimented with the app. They were over the moon about creating these! There was so much excitement in the air. They would ask each other for tips and glory in being able to teach other kids how to insert a video, sound effect, or text. 

Images were pulled from Britannica Image Quest which is a site our district pays for that has royalty free images for classroom use. Some of the kids acted out scenes and inserted those videos. The music is from the app.

Here are a few of their trailers.

I love his use of the background. He was the only student to choose this background. His words really enhanced the trailer.

I really like that this one has such engaging text. His words really get you interested in the story. He chose an exciting theme because it is a suspenseful story. I was really happy with how his turned out.

If you have read the book, you will appreciate the scenes acted out in this video. Some of them made me laugh and others made me so proud of their thought process!