Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sock Puppets

By Smith Micro Software, Inc.

Sock Puppets lets you create your own puppet shows in seconds, then share them on Facebook and YouTube with just a few taps. Just add puppets, props, scenery, and backgrounds to start creating. Hit the record button and the puppets will automatically lip-synch to your voice.

Friends can work together and create hilarious conversations with multiple puppets. While recording, simply tap a puppet and that puppet will lip-synch to your voice—all you have to do is tap a different puppet to make them talk back and forth. Switch backgrounds to take your puppets to different places, move the puppets all over the screen and use props and scenery to animate them while recording. The possibilities are endless! Cartoon and photo realistic puppets are included.

This app can be used to support conversation skills, sequencing, storytelling, collaborative learning, and self-directed learning. Students work alone or in pairs with the task of creating a video lasting up to 30 seconds.

Classroom Uses:
Students/teachers can create puppet shows to:
  • Explain a science concept.
  • Retell a story.
  • Tell about an event from history.
  • Share information about a famous person.
  • Model appropriate social behavior.
  • Tell jokes. (Knock-knock jokes work well!)
Here's a good tutorial to walk you through it!

Book Creator Lite

This free version only allows one book in progress, but a paid version is available.  The free version is great if you can email or upload the ebook for sharing, then delete.

Illustrate and write mini books or class books, using Book Creator.  Animal facts, types of transportation, ocean animals (Look at the _____).  Can type or write, or dictate with voice to return later to type. Students can record audio to go with their pages, to make their own audio ebook! Photos and videos may be embedded, as well.

Click to see the ebook in my Dropbox account.

click to see the ebook in my Dropbox account

Because I don't have enough iPads for every student, I usually schedule two days in the lab, and do half on iPads while others are on the web, then switch the next day.

Sometimes I give the students a sentence starter, then they type the rest on their own.

To export the ebook and share with others (or print):
  • exit the book so you see all the past creations on the screen
  • Select the book you want to share
  • export as ePub so others with apple devices can view in iBooks (email it or send to iTunes) OR
  • export as a pdf (preferred to share with parents via email, your Google Drive, or Dropbox (without audio)

This video is a quick way to see what Book Creator is all about!

Teachers may enjoy creating a single class book to introduce a unit or concept for your students to read, or students can do group or individual books (fiction or non-fiction writing, create a counting book or alphabet book), and so much more!  Just remember that whatever you might normally give to students to do on paper, you might be able to do in Book Creator!

UPDATE:  I have since learned that the only way to start a new book is to delete the app and reinstall.  Sorry about that!  My school has the full version, so I didn't know it was so complicated with the free one. 

Kidspiration Maps Lite

If you've used Kidspiration in your computer lab, this mobile version is similar, and easy for the kids to use! I love that the scrolling icon library has over 1400 symbols sorted into categories! 

Ideas for meeting standards with this app include:
  • make an idea web about ocean animals
  • show pairs of pictures that rhyme
  • list pictures that start with a given letter
  • Sort and Classify
  • math problems

Be sure to encourage your capable writers to phonetically spell a handful of their words.

Here's another idea from around the web:

Venn Diagram

The free version does have a limit on how many idea maps can be saved (5), so you'll have to delete the old ones once you've uploaded them to Dropbox or Google, or emailed them to yourself! The paid version is quite pricey, at $9.99.

I couldn't really figure out how to save it or export it, so I just did a screen shot of the whole thing, then emailed it to parents.  It could be printed and displayed, too, but remember, this tech thing can be used in place of paper, so why print?

ChatterPix Kids

by Duck Duck Moose

ChatterPix is a FREE iPhone and iPad app that is simple to use but endless in possibilities. The app allows you to take any image, add a "mouth" and then record 30 seconds of audio to allow the image to talk. 

In my class, I have used the app to describe animal facts, practice skip counting, retell a story, create a talking alphabet, read a list of sight words, explain classroom rules, and more. The simplicity and creative nature of this app make it a sure hit in your classroom. 

Here is an example of my kids just playing with the app at playtime.  Adding text, filters, and stickers makes it extra fun!  They like to take photos of Mr. Potato Head and make him talk, or my coffee cup, or each other.  I often find funny ChatterPix videos in the gallery, such as someone's T-shirt or backpack with Elsa, talking about their day.  Sometimes I find a photo of a cover of a book, with the character telling a story.  Kids are clever and very independent with this app!  We have a lot of experts who help others.

Use the Drawing Pad or Doodle Buddy and the ChatterPix Kids apps to create talking snowmen.  The snowmen tell you what they think about the weather we have been having!   
1.  Draw in the drawing app
2.  Save in the camera roll
3.  Import the photo into ChatterPix
4.  Make it talk!

I thought this was a cute idea - students help a book character come up with a New Year's resolution!  Or students could retell the story, make up a new ending for a story, etc.

Here's a great article for teachers on how to use ChatterPix to encourage creativity!
Matt Gomez does a terrific job explaining the app step by step.

For more ideas, you can check out this Pinterest board I found!

Pic Collage

Pic Collage By Cardinal

by Cardinal Blue
As the company description outlines, PicCollage lets you instantly arrange your photos into frames - or get creative with freeform collages, cutouts, filters, borders, stickers, and text. It's like photoshop with your fingers! That being said, I felt inspired to share some of how we've been using PicCollage on my blog with hopes to inspire others.

Steps for an easy project:

  1. Choose a background
  2. Take a Selfie!
  3. Take pictures of three things they like about Kindergarten (or things that start with ___, or things that are green/round/cold, etc)
  4. Type their name
  5. Export the finished product to the camera roll

Use PicCollage for taking pictures on a 3D shape hunt or words that start with a certain letter

Use PicCollage to make a message for Mother’s Day, add a photo of the child or take a photo of a drawing the child made.  (I love you because _____.  You’re the best mom because _____.)

From around the web:

Ways to Make a Number

Objects in the sky

Color Collages

Don't forget to load them all to Dropbox or Google Drive and share with families, or email individual projects to parents!

Doodle Buddy

by Pinger, Inc.

In general, this app can be used for journal activities, draw/write response, label parts of ______ (plants, 5 senses, etc). math problems, clip art for beginning sounds, and so much more!

Use the tic tac toe background for nice boxes to practice beginning sounds, sightwords, ways to make a number, or word families

Use the stickers to practice counting or addition/subtraction

Take a photo and trace it with the tools, then change the background to white!

Take a photo or screenshot of a hundreds chart, and use stamps to touch and count/skip count

Take a photo or screenshot of any worksheet for matching letters or rhymes/handwriting/math. Students can access your worksheet in the camera roll, or take a photo of it themselves!

Use as a whiteboard activity (short e lesson)

To erase the ink and stamps: SHAKE IT! Or choose the eraser in the chalk tool menu (enlarge it if needed). To erase the background, choose a white background.

To save or send: Click the wrench, save to camera roll or send as email (have your email set up)

"App Smashing" project idea: 

  • Draw on doodle buddy, save in camera roll
  • import into a talking app such as ShowMe or ChatterPix to tell about their picture or a story.    
  • In my class, students took a turn with the iPads, and learned how to save it.  
  • Then I worked with students during centers to do their recording in ChatterPix.