Third graders traveled around the world in search of penguin facts without ever leaving their classroom! Using QR codes, they were connected to live webcams of penguins all over the world. They observed many different species of penguins and were able to make observations over several days. They also used QR codes to get linked to research sites to gather information on penguins. They used a packet to guide them through their research while observing live penguins on each of their iPads.
First Grade students in Ms. Guthrie's and Ms. Stone's classes started up our shared iPad model today with an iPad orientation. We started with the Primary iPad contract and I was extremely impressed with the student's knowledge of how to care for an iPad. They were also very familiar with all the parts of an iPad including the sync/charge port! We introduced landscape and portrait views to the students and a few multitasking gestures. After reviewing the parts of an iPad with the students, each student received an iPad and we played Simon Says to review the parts. They were great listeners but what is so amazing for me to see time and time again is the way students are excited to help and collaborate with their classmates. WAY TO GO FIRST GRADE!! I really wish I could have stayed all day to learn with these kiddos! We finished out the intro lesson by using Screen Chomp to record a number model with their verbal explanation. Included in my directions were to keep going even if you make a mistake and correct the mistake so we can watch your learning. Take a look at Kaya's video below and listen to how he explains his model and corrects his mistakes.
The following day, we worked with Ms. Tremel's class. After they did their number model, I let students chose something else to teach about. Check out Caroline's explanation of the life cycle of a plant below as well.
Today, HCMS hosted several local area schools to get an inside view into the LEAP program at the middle school. The meetings are posted online and were streamed live: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2097008/events/1732926. it was a great precursor to the board meeting held the following evening. School Board meetings are recorded and posted online on our district website and can be found here: http://www.eanesisd.net/school-board/audio
The students in Ms. Rollin's 4th grade are studying the novel, Frindle. In this book, a boy name Nick challenges his no-nonsense, dictionary-loving teacher to an all out war on words.
After reading the book, they used the Socrative student app to take an online assessment that was created by their teacher. This program works on an iPad or on a computer. The program also grades the assessment automatically for the teacher, cool! As they read the book, they used Popplet Lite, a free graphic organizer program similar to Inspiration, to record the main idea and supporting details of each chapter. To complete the book study, pairs of students will take one chapter each and use the Comic Life app to create a graphic novel of Frindle. Students will use their hand drawn pictures as well of "App" drawn pictures for their graphic novel.
A few interesting things happened in this class while I "helped" them learn about their apps. One, I noticed a few kids ON THEIR OWN use the invert colors feature to add contrast to their screens because it helps them read better. How'd they do that? Go to: Settings-General-Accessibility-Triple-click Home and choose INVERT COLORS. Two, a student drew a picture of Nick using Draw Free, and I asked him if he needed help getting the picture to the camera roll and I reminded him of the SEND button. He said he remembered that but what he liked to do was just make a screenshot. I bantered with, but then you will have the toolbar showing on the left. Oh, no problem, says he, all you have to do is crop it and he proceeded to show me how to use the Photos app to crop it in 2 seconds or less, wow! I'd never even thought of that! He was so proud to teach me and I was so proud to learn from him! Thirdly, the other interesting event was that while I was showing them the ins and outs of Comic Life, they seemed to already know how to use it. So I stopped TEACHING it and just let them start using it. I's amazing, it seems like this device encourages the whole idea of the "Entrepreneurial Learner", it's a device that is like a human extension of the arm and brain, it just makes sense and we can just use it. Hmmmm....
Well, there is no rest for the weary here at Bridge Point Elementary! As the students snoozed in on a district late start, our teachers were wide awake and ready to learn at 7:30am! Mr. Wirht designed an early morning learning session for all staff with an iPad panel, who were the experts? Our wonderful 3rd and 4th grade teachers, of course! The 3/4 teachers who have endeavored on the 1:1 iPad adventure shared their trials and tribulations. Overall, teachers are excited about iPads in the classroom and I'm pretty sure there isn't anyone who wants to go back!
Ms. Rollins showed how she uses Screen Chomp to help students explain how they understand solving math problems. Ms. Van Zandt shared her amazement how her kids are grasping concepts differently and are so comfortable with this learning tool. Mrs. Cook and Ms. Schatz shared how she used NearPod to teach about main idea. Kids were able to interact with her presentation and take a quiz along the way. Ms. Bechtol shared how she was using Socrative to do simple assessments that pushes out data so easily to help us guide instruction. Mrs. Green shared with us how she uses iFiles to put files for students to use the built in screen reader so students can learn at their own pace. Mrs. Powell shared how wonderful the classroom management tips were working, like Grab and Close and Paws Up! The 3rd grade team also noted that they started a Google Doc with all of their lesson ideas for apps on the student iPads. They will be meeting once a week to share iPads lessons across their team, cool! The 3/4 team also shared how to use a binder clip to keep track of the VGA cord and keep the dongle from falling out. Also seen on Pinterest!
At Bridge Point we are trying two different models for iPad integration. In the 3rd and 4th grades we have a 1:1 iPad model for the LEAP initiative. Our Kinders, 1st grade, 2nd grade and 5th grade are trying out the shared model. Most of the primary grades have opted to split up the iPads by classroom, assigning 3-6 per classroom. The 5th grade has decided to keep one class set for each LA class. 5th grade has a three block rotation schedule so essentially in the 5th grade model, there is one iPad for every 3 students. Today we worked with Kinders and 5th graders back to back to introduce the basics of the iPad. We reviewed the parts of an iPad, how to interact with the iPad, and set up iFiles with the 5th graders. With the Kinders we used a primary version of the Bobcat iPad contract which The students were excited, attentive, and ready for the challenge of learning alongside the iPad. With the 5th graders we discussed the shared responsibility of having iPads for every 3 students, and while I think there will be challenges, these 5th graders are ready!