5th Grade Southeast Region Maps

CaptureFifth graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about the southeast region of the United States, so today, students in Ms. Bailey’s class created interactive maps of the southeast region. First I posted a link to My Google Maps on Google classroom. My Google maps allows you to create and save your own maps. The students had to identify places of importance or interest in each state and place a marker on those spots. I showed them how to customize the markers and how to add text and photos to each one. Next the students clicked the Share button and changed the setting from “Private” to “Anyone with the link can view.” We copied the links and posted them to Google classroom so they could see each others’ maps. You can take a look at them here.




2nd Grade American Indian Math Animations

CaptureSecond graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about subtraction in Math (SOL2.7), and they’ve been studying American Indians in Social Studies (SOL2.2). Today students in Ms. Becker’s class created American Indian math animations. First we opened Pixie, and I instructed them to chose the Powhatan, Lakota, or Pueblo Indian tribe to illustrate. We discussed how to paint the environment for each tribe: the Powhatan lived in the woods, the Lakota lived on the plains, and the Pueblo lived in the desert. After the students painted the background, we went to stickers, and I showed them where the American Indian stickers were located. They added images of the Indians, their homes, plants, and animals. Since they were creating a subtraction problem, they had to copy and paste one of the stickers multiple times for the initial number (for example, 14 buffalo, 12 canoes, 18 pots). The students added a text box and wrote a sentence like, “The Lakota Indians saw 14 buffalo.” Next the students clicked File > Duplicate to make a copy of the picture, and they typed a sentence telling how many were subtracted. They also deleted the corresponding number of stickers. We exported the two pictures as JPG files, then went to Gickr and uploaded the image files. Gickr turns still photos into an animated GIF file. Once the GIF files had been created and downloaded, students uploaded them to Google classroom for their classmates to solve. You can see them all here.




1st Grade Needs & Wants Qwikslides

CaptureFirst graders at Davis Elementary have been reviewing needs and wants (SOL1.8), so today students in Ms. Gerrard’s class created needs and wants slideshows using a webtool called Qwikslides. Qwikslides has many great features: there’s no login, it’s fairly easy to use, and the finished slideshows work great on the iPads and laptops. First the students deleted the default text and typed their names. Then they went to the next line and typed “Needs.” They opened a new tab and used Google image search to find pictures of needs (food, water, shelter, clothing, etc). The students copied the links to the photos and pasted them into Qwikslides. Next they wrote “Wants,” and repeated the process to add pictures of wants. Finally, they customized the fonts and colors of the slideshow. We posted the links to our slideshows on Google classroom, but you can see them all here.




1st Grade Math with Pixie

UntitledFirst graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about patterns in math (SOL1.17) and how to find one more or one less than a given number (SOL1.2). So today students in Ms. Schemmel’s class reviewed these skills with Pixie. This was their first lesson with Pixie, so we started by learning how to make a text box and type their names. Next I showed them how to use the stickers to create a pattern. Since they were learning about animals in Science (SOL1.5), we make patterns with the animal stickers. Then I showed them how to use the paint brush tool to draw their own animal. This time we made copies of the animal (by selecting it and using the copy and paste buttons). The students added a text box and wrote a sentence stating how many animals there were. Some students even included words like “hibernating” and “migrating” (SOL1.7a). Then they wrote a question for their classmates: “What is one more?” or “What is one less?” We exported their pictures at JPG files and uploaded them to Comemories so they could solve each others’ problems. You can see them all here.


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Kindergarten Measurement

CaptureKindergarten students at Holladay Elementary have been learning about measurement with nonstandard units (SOLK.10) and they’ve been studying money (SOLK.7). Today students in Ms. Silber’s class used coins to measure a snake they drew. This was their first lesson with Pixie, and since many kindergarten students have a hard time using the computer track pad, we decided that a snake would be the easiest thing for them to paint. First they opened Pixie, and I showed them how to add a text box and type their name. Next, they used the paint brush tool, selected a color, and painted a (kind of) straight line for their snake. We used the 3D brush to make two googly eyes. Then I showed the students how to use the coin stamp tool, and they chose a coin they wanted to use for their nonstandard unit of measurement. We discussed the importance of placing the coins right next to each other. After the students stamped out how many coins long their snake was, they used the paint brush and painted the number. We exported the finished paintings as JPEG files and posted them to CoMemories. You can see them all here.


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Laburnum Enters Local Video Contest

CaptureStudents at Laburnum Elementary have been working hard on a video for the annual Michael & Son Jingle Contest. Michael and Son is a plumbing/remodeling company that offers cash prizes to area schools that create a video featuring their jingle, “If you can’t we can, Michael and Son.” Ms. Allison, the music teacher at Laburnum, has been working with students after school on a drum line performance of the jingle. Today I filmed them and helped Ms. Alison with the submission process. The students did a great job performing, and they even dressed up in uniforms. You can watch their video here. The contest ends soon, so be sure to vote for Laburnum using the link above. I hope you win, Laburnum and Ms. Allison!


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2nd Grade American Indian Place Value

CaptureSecond graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about the American Indians in Social Studies (SOL2.2) and place value to hundreds in math (SOL2.1). So today Ms. Fournier’s class wrote place value questions about the American Indians for their classmates to solve. I posted an assignment in Google classroom with a blank Google document and made a copy for each student. When they opened their copy, I instructed them to chose an Indian tribe (they had only learned about the Powhatan and the Lakota so far) and to type the name of the tribe for the title. Then we changed the font, size, and color of the title. Next they typed a few facts about their tribe, and one of the facts needed to include a 3-digit number. I also suggested that they make the important words bold, since they’ve been learning about that as a nonfiction text feature (SOL2.9a). Finally I showed them how to insert an image. We published our assignments, copied the links, and posted them to Google classroom with a question for our classmates to answer. They had to identify the ones, tens, or hundreds place of the number in the text. You can take a look at all their stories here.




Kindergarten Rhyming Words

CaptureKindergarten students at Davis Elementary have been learning about rhyming words (K.4b) so today in Ms. Dunkum’s class we created pictures of rhyming words using Pixie. This was their first lesson with the computers, so we logged in using a generic kindergarten login. I showed the students how to open Pixie by clicking the Start button and typing PIX. First we reviewed several rhyming words so the students weren’t all using the same ones. You could use a site like Frog’s Rhyming Machine or Freeze Dance Rhyming to review. Then we created a text box and typed a rhyming word. We didn’t change the font or size since this was their first lesson. After we typed a second rhyming word, I showed them how to click and drag to paint a picture of each word. Clicking and dragging is a difficult skill for kindergarteners, but they caught on quickly. When they finished, the teacher wanted a way to save their work and maybe print them later. The only problem with logging in the generic way instead of with the student’s username and password is that it’s difficult to save their work. So we got creative and saved their finished pictures to CoMemories. You can see their rhyming word pictures here.




4th Grade Polls from the Past

CaptureWith Presidential elections coming up next year, it seems that public opinion polls are popping up everywhere, asking Americans for their views on issues ranging from economics to the environment. Today students in Mr. Cochran’s class created public opinion polls from the past. They are currently learning about the Jamestown colony (VS.3) so they created created polls asking the Jamestown settlers or the Powhatan Indians for their input on different problems they faced. First they had to decide if they were going to poll the settlers or the Indians. Then I showed them how to create a Google form with a multiple choice poll question. We customized our forms by changing the header images and adding photos. Next the students walked around the room and answered each others’ poll questions as if they were a Jamestown settler or a Powhatan Indian. After the voting was finished, I showed them how to view the responses in a spreadsheet. The students graphed the results and posted them to Google classroom. You can see all of them here.




4th Grade Nonfiction Text Features

website2Fourth graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about nonfiction text features (SOL4.6a) and drawing conclusions using textual information (SOL4.6f). So today students in Ms. White’s class created nonfiction websites using CheckThis. Since they have been studying clouds (Science SOL4.6) and Jamestown (VS.3), they made their websites about one of those topics. First we reviewed text features to include like bold type, headings, captions, and photographs. I also explained that their classmates would be using the information in their websites to draw conclusions, so they needed to be thinking of good questions to ask about their topics. Next, we went to CheckThis and created a website without signing in. Since students can’t create an account, we had to finish the website during the one hour lesson, which wasn’t a problem for this class. I showed them how to customize the colors and fonts of their page. Then the students typed their information, making important words bold. I was surprised at how much they were able to type in such a short time! They also added a photo and a poll. The polling feature is one of the reasons I prefer CheckThis to other webpage-creation services because it adds an interactive element to the students’ websites. Finally we published our sites, copied the links, and posted them to Google classroom with a good question for our classmates to answer in the comments. You can take a look at all their websites here.