Every year, our fourth graders participate in the Wax Museum project. Students research a famous person, write a speech, dress up as that person and stand outside frozen as if they were wax statues. Other students from our school are invited to meander through the Wax Museum and trigger the statues to come to life. Once triggered, the student wax statues begin spouting his or her biographical information. To practice for this event, students in Ms. Steimle's and Ms. Rollins' classes used the apps FaceTalk, Morfo, and Mad Lips to help students memorize and listen to their speeches. After using the apps to create videos, students could listen to the speeches over and over again, make corrections, and re-record as needed to help them prepare for the live event. Great work 4th grade!
Even though it was close to the end of the school year, our Kinders weren't slowing down one bit! In Ms. King's class, students conducted an internet research project about insects. To present their final research project, students were given the choice to use Popplet, Scribble Press or Story Kit. They were engaged in their work and excited to make their own choice! The results were an awesome array of projects.
Down the hall, Ms. Skonieczny's class were busy as bees writing too! Her students planned their stories on paper and then transferred them to Scribble Press. I helped initially to introduce the Kinders to Scribble Press but when we were confronted with the problem of how to delete speech bubbles, I told them I'd been working with 1st and 2nd graders to try to figure that out and we hadn't yet. Well, lo and behold, a Kindergartner figured it out and we all took some time to let him show us how. When in doubt, ask a 5 year old! Check out more Kinder Scribbles on Ms. Skonieczny's Scribble Press Shelf.
How to delete the speech bubble brought to you by a 5 year old
As with any new implementation, vital to its success is the ability to reflect, adapt and grow. BPE teachers were recently provided that opportunity. They responded to questions and ideas on their iPads while enjoying a Hat Creek burger on Tuesday. They shared with us their enthusiasm of extending their instruction to a more diverse level which created a sense of investment in the LEAP initiative and strengthened a growth mindset. They shared with us the importance of stricter monitoring, the anticipation that children will behave like the curious beings they are and the success fostered by having a school wide standard of expectation for all students. Most importantly they noted the advantage of allowing students to express their knowledge in a way that is most meaningful to them, the value of having the right tool for those ever-present teachable moments and the increased engagement of students in their own learning. With their input, we have what we need to continue growing this endeavor.
Even though the school year was coming to an end, Eanes ISD teachers got ready for a new adventure for the 2013-14 school year! It was the second to last week before school ended and teachers from Cedar Creek, Forest Trail, and Bridge Point Elementary met up to learn about Macbooks and the Mountain Lion operating system. These teachers will be piloting Macbooks as teacher presentation stations in their classrooms next year. We were once a Mac district but have been heavily PC since 2002. Watch out folks, the Mac is back!
Fifth Grade students took the lead on this project. After their unit study in Mythology, they were challenged to write their own myths to explain current day social or natural phenomenon. Students voted to determine which 3 myths would make the best screen plays. Groups were formed. Plots were thickened. Costumes were gathered. Sets were created. Students used a combination of set design and green screen imagery to create videos on their iPads to tell their stories. Once the videos were completed, video and images were uploaded to our network servers to facilitate team access. Then the iMagic began. Using our Macbook lab and iMovie 11, students edited video filmed on their iPads, over-layed green screen footage, cropped images, added background music and ....Voila! Watch out Cannes, our kids are going to give you a run for your money! Now screening Water, Santa S. Clausberg is Coming to Town and How the Tooth Fairy Came to Be.
Above is a trailer compiling some highlights of the Myths created by our students. Because we have some students in these groups who wish not to be published, their teacher has posted the videos on a password protected page with parent permission. Want to know how to password protect a page on your Weebly website? Check out this handout so you can try it too!
Bridge Point has been the proud host to visitors from school districts throughout Texas interested in an iPad implementation. Most recently, Fort Bend ISD and Temple ISD came to marvel at our program. What a treat view ourselves through the eyes of others! On our walkabout with out-of-district teachers, principals, specialists and trainers we saw students engaged in activities from building fractions in Kindergarten to mental math using decimals in 4th grade. On our tour, one class of 3rd graders worked on research while another 3rd grade class focused on how to understand inferences. Second graders used QR codes to review math skills on a differentiated color-coded QR path. First graders reviewed math skills and practiced clock skills with QR codes. Our visitors poked and prodded, asked and noted, saw and savored. We are proud to share our success and our lessons learned so that others may grow with us. It really takes an iVillage to educate our kids!
Second graders in Ms. Mills and Ms. Rojas classes were all a flutter this week as the witnessed the live metamorphosis of their classroom caterpillars. As the caterpillars went through the journey to become butterflies, the second graders used their cameras and Keynote to digitally chronicle the caterpillar's life cycle. To keep things hopping in Ms. Mills' class, one student per day was designated to use the Chirp App to send out the picture to her classmates. Chirp is a great way to share pictures, links, and notes through sound waves. In fact, when students needed to spell chrysalis, Ms. Mills used Chirp to send it as a note to the class and her students copied and pasted it right into their journals!
In Ms. Koller's class, photos and research data were organized into a slide show to demonstrate their experience and knowledge of the life cycle of the butterfly. To engage more active listening during each second grader's presentation, the audience was encouraged to share a positive thought on their iPads using Glow Draw or Draw Free. When the presenter was finished, his or her classmates held up a garden of compliments, helping our young scientists to blossom. Way to GROW second graders!
She's going to want to COLLABORATE! Inspired by delightful children's books like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Green Eggs and Ham, 8th graders in Ms. Fiske's American History class spun creative tales starring historical events they had studied throughout the school year. But they craved something more for their stories. They needed to reach outside of their school and collaborate. That's when they found us! Using Google Docs, the 8th grade teams made lists of illustrations they needed for their books and shared those lists with our teachers. Our students, without meeting the 8th graders, got to work on the illustrations. A week or so later, the 8th graders actually showed up at our door! Our drawings were ready and teams were built. The older kids led the way and in small groups all over the hallways and even inside closets, worked to narrate the 8th grade stories using the Book Creator App. As a result, we were able to create a wonderful series of ePubs all about American History! Way to go teams!
Happy birthday to the most interesting Principal in the world!
Morning assembly was lots of fun this morning when it was announced that Mr. Wirht was turning 60 tomorrow! A few staff members had great fun making him this video and our students enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to him, not once, but TWICE at morning assembly. Happy Birthday Mr. Wirht!
Recently, Ms. Rollins used the online assessment tool, Infuse Learning to check for understanding in her science class. Her students answered review questions about their weather unit, and Ms. Rollins received feedback from every student in her class instantly. No more waiting to grade papers! Minutes after the assessment, Ms. Rollins had data for differentiation and lesson planning. Now that's magical!
Infuse Learning is a free online resource that works much like Socrative; however, it does not require an app! Some of its benefits are: instant multi-language translation, images can be added to questions, students can respond in a "draw mode", and students have the ability to listen to the questions independently via Infuse Learning's ability to embed text to speech technology.
For more information about infusing magic into your assessments, create an account on Infuse Learning http://www.infuselearning.com and check out these online tutorials.
Keep Instruction Simple, Safe and Focused on Learning
SIMPLE: A terrific way to create a visual springboard for elementary research projects is to use the free iPad friendly bookmarking site, Symbaloo. Because elementary students are still learning to decompose text and need help verifying the accuracy of websites, designing this kind of tool really helps kids focus on their research topics. As lovely as Google is, it's search strength can be really overwhelming for kids (and adults too!). Google provides extensive lesson plans on how to help people search better. For a quicker overview, check out this simple poster on how to conduct Google searches.
SAFE: Another way to help students narrow their search is to use kid friendly search engines like Kid Rex. Kid Rex helps filter out non-educational content using Google Custom Search and Safesearch technologies.
FOCUSED: When sharing YouTube videos, try using SafeShare.TV, it's a great way to get rid of all the distracting related videos and comments that can drown your instructional purpose.
SIMPLE, SAFE & FOCUSED: Check out BPE's great examples of creating resources for kids, research and instructional videos using Symbaloo: Egyptian Webquest, Learning Songs, Favorite sites for 4th grade 1 & 2, 3rd grade Penguin research, and BPE Student Resources.
HOW TO SYMBALOO: User Guide, Symbaloo, SymbalooEDU