Within the past month, the lower grades have been very busy finishing up technology projects and starting new ones for the holidays. Take a look at the students’ work below and all of the new tools and applications they have been learning along the way.
After finishing their community Prezi project, students began working with Ms. Powers in small groups on the iPads. Each student was introduced to two new apps: Book Creator and Drawing Pad. The children quickly picked up how to navigate these apps and how to navigate between them using buttons on the iPad. Students learned how to use Drawing Pad tools like a paintbrush, crayon, marker, and chalk; how to use “pincher fingers” to resize and rotate stickers; and how to add backgrounds and stamps.
Each child worked on their own iPad and after creating a drawing, they learned how to save their picture and then go into the Book Creator app and open their work on a page of their book. Functions like “save” and “open” are great foundational skills that will be useful as the children grow older. Once inside Book Creator, students learned how to edit text, including changing the size, color, and font type. They dictated explanations of their drawings and had a chance to title their books. A few children even inserted their own photographs or voices. These two apps are great for creative expression and facilitate discussions about authorship, writing, and storytelling/sequencing. If you have a mobile device at home, I would encourage you to let your child continue exploring with these apps and to create artwork and books with them at home.
Students have been busy with an assortment of different projects. Some classes used the Book Creator app to add audio to a hand-made book about the gingerbread cookies they made that we imported into the iPad to create an ebook. Another class used the PC program Paint to draw menorahs, practicing shape recognition and using tools like the fill bucket and discussing the difference between stroke and fill colors. Meanwhile, another class learned about infographics and how they are used to convey data (information) through graphics (pictures). After viewing some examples, we discussed how to create images that could convey information about each child (e.g., what does your name mean?, how many people are in your family?). The children used the Drawing Pad app on the iPad to create four pictures for their infographics, including a bar graph. This involved identifying and using a number of different art tools in the app and learning how to save their work. We also discussed how to search for something on Google (the meaning of their name) and how to handle the iPad to keep it safe.
First grade students continued their ebook work on the Little Bird Tales website to create holiday books for their families. Students learned and used an assortment of drawing tools and then added text to explain their images. Classes then used the recording tool to add their voices to their ebooks before they were shared with families. One class also worked with iPhoto to create a picture slideshow that we exported as a movie. The students learned about how to create a slideshow and choose a theme and then each child was able to choose three pictures that they wanted to include. Students then learned how to add text to their slides and adjust the color and size of their words.
All four second grade classes had a proud movie premiere party in November to watch and share their “How to Build a Tipi” movies that they created in iMovie. Before playing the movie, we reviewed all of the new tools and skills the students had learned (e.g., creating a voiceover, identifying the sound and preview screen, adding transitions, trimming a clip). Next, we transitioned into another project connected to their Native American unit of study. Students learned about how to use Google’s search engine to do research, including how to identify and avoid adds and use a word like “and” to refine and narrow their search. Next, students used those research skills to find information for their digital posters. We introduced Glogster, a digital poster tool, to students so that they could each create their own poster with facts, images, and a video about their specific tribe.