Newsela and Blendspace

Newsela — (Grades 2-5) This site provides current event articles on various reading levels (sports, health, science, arts, kids, etc).  Each day there are new articles that you can assign to your class (or read in small groups).  Each article has about 5 different reading levels (by lexile level)…so students can read about the same topic at their own level.  There are quizzes students can take, and best of all, there is a search bar that allows a teacher to search for articles that relate to certain reading skills (Author’s Purpose/Point of View, Text Structure, Central Idea, etc).  It might be another resource to add to the list of ways to engage your students in Reading.
Blendspace — (All Grades) Love, love this resource!  Blendspace allows you to create collections of web resources on a certain topic (videos, websites, pictures, etc).  This resource would be great to use with your students in the computer lab, as a small station within your classroom, or even as a way to organize materials you will present to your students on your Activboard.  You can add quizzes and monitor student progress too, if you want.  There are even tons of lessons already available that you can use immediately with your students. We are going to be encouraging you to move away from Portaportal (due to all the ads), and this is an excellent resource to take its place. 🙂

Tinkerplay

I’ve been playing around with the app, Tinkerplay.  I started with my MakerMonday group of students and successfully printed one to the delight of the child who made it!

Then students in our FACES Special Education class designed characters during their Makerspace time.

Finally, I brought in a class of 22 third graders who are reading The Indian and Cupboard.  They designed action figures to place in the cupboard.

 

From those three trials, here’s what I’ve learned.

  • The smaller the scale, the easier it is for the action figures to break.  I found 75% was perfect.
  • Students can easily be given parameters to keep their figures from getting out of hand.  In the beginning, I had one action figure with 75 pieces!  I limited students on the amount of filament (grams) and the estimated print time.  They had no problem with this.
  • Saving is a bit complicated.  I attached Tinkerplay to our school dropbox account and saved to there.  I found that it automatically named the file with a number based on the time of day it was saved.  That meant, theoretically, if I didn’t clear out the folder before a group began saving the next day, things could get messy.  I also found that it was important to stagger saving so that people didn’t save on top of each other.  One save per minute.  I showed the students how to find the file name after it had saved so they could write it down.  It made it much easier to know whose was whose later.
  • Taking a picture of the finished creation helped students put them together when printing was finished.

IMG_1910

Conversations with Characters

Mrs. Barger’s class has been reading Howliday Inn and Blood on the Water.  They designed a 3D model of a character from one of the books, then used the app Chatterpix to animate their characters.  Take a listen below!

 

Chester from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Harold from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Jill from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Harold from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Harrison from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Chester from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Readbox by Mrs. Myer’s Class

IMG_0456

Mrs. Myer’s reading class created a “Readbox.” If you scan the QR code on the books they posted, you’ll see a student created video trailer.  To create these videos, students first made characters and settings out of craft and art supplies.  Then these used these with the iMovie app on the iPads to create their trailers.

Check out their videos below or in the hall outside their classroom!

Readbox Trailers

More Real Student iBook Authors!

More books by Fourth Graders have been published in the iBooks store!  These were written by Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Downey’s classes. Check them out!

Buttercup goes to school

Buttercup Goes to School by IceLordvader 693

 

Turtles Ice Cream

The Turtle’s Ice Cream by Katelyn

 

Panda Playing Softball

Panda Playing Softball by Faith

 

Fluffy the Fearless Dog

Fluffy the Fearless Dog by Watermelon

 

The Coolest Friend Ever

The Coolest Friend Ever by Aaron

 

The Purple Guinea Pig

The Purple Guinea Pig by Cheesecake123

Authors at Oak Grove

Over the past few weeks, students in 4th grade have been writing iBooks using the app Book Creator.  This app has so many features, including the ability to open finished books in the iBooks app.  However, this time we took it one step farther.  Students (with parent permission, of course) had the option to try and publish their finished creations to the actual iBook store.   The story, Wolves Win the Game, was the first to be accepted.  Check it out!  Wolves Win the Game

wolves

Lego iMovie Trailers

Students in Mrs. Sharp’s and Mrs. Downey’s Math and Writing classes used Legos to practice skills! First, they created lego houses based on a STEM activity created by Mrs. Downey. They found the area and perimeter of each of the rooms in their houses, and made sure to include at least one simple machine and working light.

Lego Houses:

Then, in writing class, they created Lego video trailers using the iMovie app.  I created templates for them to use here:

iMovie Trailer Script Plans

But there are many iMovie Trailer templates out there! Here’s a few more I’m considering using next time:

iMovie for iPad – Storyboard Help Sheets

iMovie for iPad Printable Storyboard Templates

Here’s what the students created.  They only had one class period to write and film their trailers!

Lego Trailers:

The Journey from elemitrt on Vimeo.

The Cabin from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Super Family from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Summer’s Here from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Creepy Connie from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Check Out their Final Lego Movie Blog Posts here!