Saturday, April 30, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow? Book Creator

Students did some wonderful writing about what can grow in a garden, illustrating and writing on the iPads with Book Creator.  Between all three kindergarten rooms, we have 14 iPads (I have 5 in my room).  I was able to borrow them from the other teachers so that nearly all kids could work at the same time.  Students waiting for their turn were reading their leveled books on RAZ-kids on a Chromebook.

Their ideas included flowers, pumpkins, strawberries, carrots, and more.  We had just learned the sight word "some", so they were to type a sentence with the stem "I have some ______."  Their task was to type their name on the cover, then get three pages done with drawing and typing the words and phonetically spelling the word for their garden plants.  Here are a few sample pages!

I was so impressed with how the students quickly learned how to navigate this app, and how they helped each other get the job done!   When I couldn't get to someone to help them soon enough, someone nearby knew what to do to help.

I used some of the PTA money that they give us for classroom supplies to buy 20 styluses to help us do our drawings.  They worked great!  And here's the best part!  Using 14 iPads at a time was better than shifts of 5 devices, but next year, I will be 1:1 in my classroom!  I can't wait!

I'm super excited how this activity helped me meet the common core standard: "With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish wiring, including in collaboration with peers."  They wrote books!  E-books!  We are authors!

To share the books with families, you can send export it as a PDF to Google Drive or DropBox, or send in an email.  Just share from the HOME SCREEN of the app, with all the books listed.  

If you are interested in checking out Book Creator, there is a free version, but it only allows you to make one book.  You would have to delete all the images on each page to start a fresh book, or delete the app and reload it.  

This video is a quick way to see what Book Creator is all about!
Book Creator for the iPad from Book Creator on Vimeo.

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!  Adding audio and video to pages would be fun, too.  Just remember that whatever you might normally give to students to do on paper, you might be able to do in Book Creator!

What other apps do you like to use for illustrating and publishing?


Saturday, April 16, 2016

I Can Do Math with iPads

I often have students creating a language arts project on iPads, but I love when I find ways to use iPads with math! You might recall my 100th day iPad activity, and my holiday QR codes around the room!

Over the past few weeks, I've used iPads for story problems and QR codes for tally marks as a math center.  Students have a designated task each day, which rotates to each table throughout the week.  I need 4-6 iPads per day, so I sometimes have to borrow one from next door (I currently have 5).

For story problems, we used the app "Math Word Problems".  It's great because it gives students a story (click the speaker icon to have it read), and several ways to show the answer.  Students create a drawing to solve, fill in a ten frame (click a box twice and it puts an X on it), a number line, and a number sentence area.  After 10 correct problems, it offers a 60 second mini-game. I am so happy I learned about this app from Sue Holt at an iPad conference I attended last year. Isn't it great when you go to a PD and go home with something to implement right away!  Hooray!

TIP:  If you have some styluses to offer, they help kids with drawing and writing on the screen.

I love the turtles this child drew on a log!  :)

Counting tally marks is always good practice, so I found this jungle themed QR code game to go with our animal unit that week.  Anytime kids get to scan codes, they are very engaged (math and sight word QR code activities have been a hit!)  

Students scanned the code using KUTAR, and counted the tallies when they popped up on the screen.  The recording sheet also had ten frames, so it gave students 3 ways to show a number (digit, tallies, ten frame).  I numbered the cards and the boxes on the recording sheet so we could easily tell which cards had already been recorded.

 These codes were downloaded from Greg Smedley-Warren at Kindergarten Smorgasboard! He has awesome ideas and freebies on his site and on his Facebook page.  Check it out!

Apps listed in this post:
Math Word Problems

Kutar QR