First graders in Ms. Collins class at Holladay Elementary have been learning about the U.S. Symbols in social studies (SOL 1.11) and addition strategies in math (SOL 1.6) so today we combined the two topics and created an “Adding U.S. Symbols” Pixie. First we opened up a blank Pixie template and the students typed the title and their names. Next I showed them how to use the paint brush tool to paint a picture of themselves. We used the built-in camera feature to take a picture of their faces. Then I showed them where to find stickers of the U.S. Symbols that they’ve been learning about (it’s in Stickers > Symbols > American). They created their own addition problem with a maximum sum of 18 using two of the symbols. For example, they might add 5 bald eagles and 7 flags. Next they used the stamp tool to write out their sums, like 5 + 7 = 12. One of their addition strategies has been to “make a 10″ so I told them to use the paint brush and circle 10 symbols. They used the stamp tool to write out another sum showing their new grouping, like 10 + 2 = 12. Some of the students even had time to show one of their other strategies, “make doubles.” So for my example, they would circle six and write out 6 + 6 = 12. You can take a look at a couple of student examples: Caroline, Jassem, and Matei.
Archive for the ‘1st Grade’Category
First grade students in Mr. McFarling’s class at Davis Elementary have been learning about the Earth and sun and how the Earth’s rotation causes day and night (SOL1.6). So today I taught them how to make some simple animations explaining those concepts using Keynote. First I gave them a template that you can download by clicking here. I showed them how to make text boxes to label the day and night side of the Earth. Then we went to the inspector and added a “build,” or animation, to each label. On the next slide, the students used the Shapes tool to make a circle for the sun. I explained how to change the color to yellow and how to move the shape to the back so it went behind the other shapes. They placed the sun behind the hills in the east (or right side) and added an “action” to it by making it move from the horizon to the top of the slide, showing the sun rising in the east. Then they put the shadow in the correct spot. On the last slide they did the same thing but changed the animation and shadow to show the sun setting in the west. Finally they recorded a voiceover explaining the different animations. Take a look at a couple of student examples: John and Aden.
First grade students in Ms. Gerrard’s class at Davis Elementary have been learning how to county by tens to 100 in math (SOL1.2). They have also been studying about the Earth and sun in science (SOL1.6). So today we combined both topics into one lesson using Pixie & Keynote… a big task for first graders, but they were up for it! In my research I learned that the sun is about 870,000 miles in diameter and the Earth is about 8,000 miles in diameter, so about 100 (more like 110) Earths can cross the sun. But I wanted to find a unit they could use to count by tens, and I discovered that Jupiter is the perfect unit. It is about 87,000 miles in diameter. So about 10 Earths can cross Jupiter (more like 11) and 10 Jupiters can cross the sun. I created a Keynote template with most of the animations for this activity pre-built into it. You can click here to download it. I’ve done my work, now it’s time for the students to do their work. First they opened Pixie and, working with a partner, one drew a big picture of the sun and the other drew a picture of the Earth. We helped them take screenshots of their pictures and place them into their Keynotes. Next they added some transitions and animations using the Inspector. Finally they recorded their voices telling about how big the sun is and counting the Earths by tens to a hundred. You can see some student examples here: Mickaelly & Adin, Jakob & Nardeen.
First graders in Ms. Long’s class at Davis Elementary are doing research projects on the U.S. Symbols (SOL1.11). One great place to do research is PebbleGo because they have pages about all the U.S. Symbols, but did you know you can make your own webpage for research like PebbleGo? The advantage to making your own is you can include everything you want and customize it for your class. I wanted the students to be able to see on a map where some of these symbols are located and be able to zoom down and actually view them. So I created a webpage about each symbol using CheckThis. With CheckThis, making a website is as easy as typing a few sentences, uploading some pictures, and adding links to whatever media you want to include. I embedded some Google Maps for the interactive zooming feature (the students were surprised to see that the Statue of Liberty is on an island in the water). With Google Maps you can click the Satellite view and actually see the real place, which the students enjoyed doing. I also added a Soundcloud recording of myself reading the webpage for students who needed help. You can record your own voice right in Soundcloud then link to it in Checkthis. Finally I added a poll so anyone who visits the website can vote on their favorite U.S. symbol. The students were able to complete their research in just an hour, and hopefully everyone, including Ms. Long, learned something new! Here are the links to the individual sites: Bald Eagle, Washington Monument, Statue of Liberty, U.S. Flag. Or you can see where I put all the links on one page for the students here.
First (SOL1.7) and third (SOL3.4) grades are both learning about migration at this time since it’s the fall. So I’ve been doing research projects with both grades and we’ve been using Pixie to present our findings. First students selected an animal that migrates (monarch butterfly, wildebeest, caribou, whale, salmon, etc), then they went to PebbleGo to research their animal. PebbleGo is a great site for elementary research because it’s easy to navigate, it uses simple vocabulary, it has lots of pictures and videos, and it can even read the text to the students. I wanted the students to also see how far the animals traveled on a map, so I created a Migration Google Map, where the students could click on a line and see a picture of the animal and read about its migration route. After the research part was finished, students opened a Pixie, added a sticker of the world map and a sticker of their animal, and then drew a line to show the animal’s migration path. Next they recorded their voices telling about the amazing journeys their animals make. Third grade was also able to animate their animals so they moved north to south. Check out a third grade student example here. You can download a Pixie template for this lesson by clicking here.
First grade students at Davis Elementary have been learning about animal migration (SOL1.7) and we discovered that scientists learn about where animals migrate by attaching tracking devices to them. We discussed why scientists wouldn’t be able to directly observe where the animals went (some swim, some fly, and some travel faster than a scientist can!) Here’s an example of a map scientists created after attaching tracking devices to blue whales: National Geographic: Mapping the Blue Whale Migration. So today, the first graders were “mini-scientists” and tried tracking some “animals” using the iPads as tracking devices. We attached the iPads to their hungry teachers who migrated around the school in search of food. When the teachers returned from their journey we examined the photos on their devices and tried to figure out where they went. I gave the students a map of their school in Pixie (see photo) and they used the arrow tool to draw their teachers’ migration routes. If you are up for a greater challenge, you could send the students out to migrate with the iPads. We just weren’t ready for that yet!
Today first grade students at Laburnum Elementary used Comic Life to make posters about the five senses. I created a template to get them started that you can download by clicking here. First I showed them how to change the Style of the title. It’s always amazing to see how much excitement that simple task creates. Then we turned on the cameras and took pictures of our faces to put in the middle. For the next part, students had to recruit a friend to press the Freeze button while they got their faces in the correct position to photograph their ears, eyes, noses, mouths, and hands. Then I showed them how to add speech bubbles to each part to tell what it does. That was the most difficult part, but most of them typed the words themselves which is really great this early in the school year! You can see their finished comic book by clicking here.
Ms. Long’s first graders at Davis Elementary have been Skyping (video conferencing with Skype) already this year! What a great way to begin. Today they Skyped with another 1st grade class and compared their classroom rules and routines to see how they were alike and different. They learned a valuable lesson, that you can get good ideas by collaborating and communicating. Next they are planning to Skype with a community helper since they will be learning about communities and citizenship (SOL 1.6 & 1.12). He’s an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) that is related to Ms.Long. The students don’t know what his job is though. They have to come up with “Yes” or “No” questions to figure out what he does. I’ve only known Ms. Long for a few weeks since Davis is one of my new schools, but I can already tell that she has fantastic ideas to get her students engaged in learning and technology. I’m hoping to do more Skype sessions with her class and other classes this year!
Kindergarteners and 1st graders at Holladay have been learning all about plants and flowers and how they grow in the spring (SOL K.9 & 1.4). So today I tried two different ways to create animations with them. In Kindergarten we used a site called ArtPad. It records the painting process from start to end, so students painted their flowers in the order they grow: first the seeds, then the roots, stem, leaves, and flower. We also labeled the parts. When you click on the students’ pictures, you can see the animation and it looks like the flower is growing! You can also speed it up or slow it down. Check them out by clicking here. In first grade we used a site called ABCYa! Animate. It was a bit more complicated because it was a frame-by-frame animation. The nice thing about this website though is that you can duplicate frames (pictures) so the students don’t need to draw them over each time. First we drew the background with the things plants need (soil, sky, sun), then on each picture we added the different steps: a seed falling into the soil, roots growing out of it, then a stem, leaves, and finally the flower. We also labeled the parts. You can see all their animations by clicking here.
First graders in Ms. Middleton’s class have been studying the Spring (SOL 1.7), and she wanted them to learn how to use Comic Life. So today we made spring comic books. I gave them a template to use which you can download by clicking here. I showed them how to change the style of the title, and we discussed what needed to go into each panel. We talked about what kinds of pictures they could search for to show what plants, animals, and people do in the spring. I put a word bank on the board (types of flowers, color words, baby animals, spring activities, etc). Then the students did Google image searches for their pictures and dragged them into the panels. I showed them how to change the style of the pictures to make them more comic-like. Then they typed simple sentences in the speech bubbles to tell about their pictures. I also wanted them to know about another way to get pictures into Comic Life by using the built-in camera, so they took pictures of themselves and put those in the last panel. I combined all their comics together into one PDF document and uploaded it to FlipSnack. You can see the final comic book by clicking here.