This spring students made iMovies about the geography of India (I have in the past assigned brief presentations about this, which was typically met with groans). Working with partners they were required to research their geographic feature and present information via iMovie. The thing that I was most struck by (aside from their movies being so much better than my sample) was the number of other resources that they used to create their movies. Here’s the list of apps: Notes, Moodle, National Geographic Atlas, Adobe Ideas, Camera, YouTube, KeyNote and Puppet Pal. They also used sticky notes, the textbook and created written scripts. A good project that will improve as I begin to develop rubrics for what I really want these to look like.
This is a graphic organizer app with pre-made graphic organizers that I cannot wait to use with the students. It is easy and simple to use. Organizers automatically save within the app and students can also email the organizers to their teacher and to themselves to refer to later on for homework.
We will be using the venn diagram organizer to organize thoughts for the compare and contrast essays which will be started tomorrow in class.
I’ve shared this app with the MESH team and all of us are excited to use it.
I love these things; it’s like the format is all set for the students and they just have to go out and gather the information. A template on Pages is like “instant scaffolding” for their note-taking, only better. Students used the real-estate flyer template to sell a parcel of land in ancient Mesopotamia, using ideas about why people settled there and how life was better than in other parts of the world. They recently created resumes for one of four Egyptian pharaohs that are profiled in the textbook, citing their accomplishments and goals for a new kingdom. And Pages is great because they can easily add pictures, graphics, you name it!
On the non-template front, students are using the National Geographic Atlas App to take informal geography quizzes during class. I ask them to locate different areas on the map, zoom in and hold them up for me to see. Beautiful!
This is a brilliant app. I love using this app as a warm up first thing at the beginning of class. For example, the other day the students wrote down a list of three things they are thankful for this Thanksgiving. We used this list as a springboard into a more descriptive, vivid list of things. Using the chalkboard to record ideas rather than a piece of paper motivates the students.
Other ways to use this app include for vocabulary practice, spelling bees, brainstorming ideas, etc.
Used Pages to have kids create tables. Learning to use correct vocabulary of rows and columns and what a “cell” refers to in a table. Multiplying and dividing by powers of ten – each student created a table with place values ones through millions. They charted a number and then saw what happens when you multiply that same number times 10, 100, 1000. Seeing patterns of how digits move same number of places as the power of 10. – very effective
Pages tables were good again for making tables of fractions, equivalent fractions and decimals.
Short presentations in class today; students read a section with a small group, discussed the important details and then shared their section with the whole class. Today we added Adobe Ideas into the mix and each group was able to have a small sketch to accompany their presentation and illustrate their main point. Many groups also used the notes app to just jot down a few key points and then hand their iPad around to group members while they talked.
I noticed today that I am not picking up random scraps of paper from my classroom floor at the end of every class. Are they storing all this stuff in their iPad or do they delete everything when we are finished?
I am now officially a blogger…this is a first. Rather than post at random, I think I may reflect at the end of each unit of study to consider in what ways the iPads have contributed. The 5th graders recently completed a study of plants. As part of the beginning of the unit students use field scopes to examine various of wood “cookies” (cross sections of trees and branches). They make observations and write down both noticings and questions. With the iPads they quickly discovered that they could take photo of a particular feature and include notes, captions, or write a question. They became adept at magnifying and zooming in to highlight and photograph the feature in question. For many, this allowed me to quickly answer their very specific questions. Some students chose to make a narrated video of their first impressions, specific observations and questions.
Later in the unit students become an expert on a topic of their choosing about plants. They then author their own “mini-book” on the topic. Here, students used the iPads to add research to their topic, and some chose to make a video advertising the instructional benefits of their “mini- book”. I would be interested to explore the possibility in the future of having students demonstrate their expertise on a topic by creating either an iMovie, or a video which would satisfy a few simple requirements. This would allow for even more creativity and would better enable the learning to be shared with their peers.
I look forward to new possibilities.