4th Grade Fractions Flipchart

ScreenshotFourth graders at Davis Elementary have been preparing for the upcoming SOL tests. Some of the questions are what is called TEI, or Technology Enhanced Items. They have been practicing these types of questions using pre-made Promethean flipcharts. Today I wanted to show students in Ms. White’s class how they could make their own TEI samples for each other to solve. I only had 30 minutes, so it was a quick lesson. Our goal was to create a fraction question where the user would have to click on some shapes to change their color so that picture represented a fraction. We opened a blank flipchart and then added a shape of their choice. I showed them how to change the color and outline of the shape. We also gave it a name in the Properties Browser (like “circle1″). Next they made as many copies of the shape as they wanted (less than 10 though). Now it was time to put identical shapes of a different color on top. So we made another copy of the shape, changed its color, duplicated it, and placed the duplicates on top of the first shapes. Adding the interactive part was a little trickier. The students had to go to the Actions browser and find the “Hidden” action. They added this action to each of the top shapes, making the Target the shape itself so that when it was clicked it would become “hidden” revealing the shape below. Finally, they added a text box and typed a question to solve, such as “Click the shapes to show 2/5 orange and 3/5 yellow.” You can download a sample flipchart by clicking here.

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27

03 2014

2nd Grade Coin Graph & Calculator

moneySecond graders in Ms. Vest’s class at Davis Elementary have been learning how to count coins and bills up to $2.00 (SOL2.10). But when it comes to money, most kids want to count to the billions and higher! So why not? They can if they create their own calculator based on what they know, which is the value of each coin and bill. I gave them a Numbers template that you can download by clicking here. It has the coins and bills listed in the first column, and the students have to write formulas for calculating the total value based on the number of coins and bills that are entered into the 2nd column. I guided them through the first couple of formulas. For example, the formula to find the value of pennies would be: (NUMBER IN 2ND COLUMN * .01). They caught on pretty quickly and were able to write the rest of the formulas on their own. The template has a built-in graph, but with this class I had them create the graph themselves. You could do that as well by just deleting the pre-made graph. That way, they get practice with not only money, but graphing as well!

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27

03 2014

3rd Grade 3-D Shapes

mackenzieThird graders in Ms. Leo’s class at Varina Elementary have been learning about solid shapes (SOL3.14). They had to be able to identify the number of angles, edges, vertices, and faces of each shape. Today I showed them how to create a program that would identify the shape based on its features. We started out, like most programmers do, by making a flowchart. I thought about using Gliffy because there is no sign in required to create one (although you can’t save it), and it has the ability to type on the connectors, so we could have typed “yes” or “no” like this example. However, I decided to go with Popplet since it was much easier to use and you can draw pictures in the shapes. Since we couldn’t write on the connectors like with Gliffy, we worked around it by making the shapes green for “yes” and red for “no”. Their flowchart was basically a decision tree for identifying the shape based on its faces (so it was limited to the cube, rectangular prism, and square pyramid). They created their flowchart, drew pictures of the 3-D shapes, and then took a screenshot. You can see a couple of student examples here: Lauryn and McKenzie. Next I showed them how a spreadsheet and a formula can be used to identify the shape in a similar way. You can download the Numbers spreadsheet I used by clicking here. After looking at the example, I wanted them to write a simple formula on their own for distinguishing a cone and a cylinder. They had to come up with one good “yes” or “no” question and then write the formula (which was something like this: “IF ANSWER=”YES” THEN “CONE,” IF NOT, THEN “CYLINDER”). There is a sample included with the template, if you download it, so you can see how it works.

24

03 2014

Kindergarten Signs of Spring Video

springEvery grade in elementary school learns about seasonal changes and the weather (SOL K.10, 1.7, 2.7, 3.8, 4.8, 5.7) so I have been working with a small group of kindergarten students at Laburnum Elementary to create an informational video announcing the start of spring that would be played on the school-wide morning announcements. Nathaniel, Jaziah, Karen, and Taliyah have been excited about this project since we started it last month. First we met together to discuss the signs of spring and they selected which ones they wanted to do. They came up with four main signs of spring: the weather gets warmer, animals have their babies, flowers start to bloom, and gardens begin to grow. Next they read books and watched videos about the spring to get ideas and background knowledge to share in their video. On some of our project days it was too cold to film outside (and very un-spring-like) so they decided to include some of their artwork in the video. They used Pixie to draw pictures, illustrating their special sign of spring. Finally, today it was warm enough to film, so we explored the grounds of the school looking for signs of spring and filmed at the sites we found. They improvised their lines in the video (there was no written script since we weren’t sure what we’d find, but we had made some predictions). The finished film will be presented on the morning announcements to the entire school and submitted to our county’s H21 website. You can watch it here!

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19

03 2014

2nd Grade Subtraction Animations

SubSecond graders in Ms. Gardner’s class at Holladay Elementary have been learning the difficult concept of subtracting with regrouping (SOL2.7). Sometimes abstract ideas become clearer when we can visualize them with an animation. It’s even better if we have someone verbally explaining the animation. The best way is to create and explain the animation yourself! So that’s what we did today using Keynote. First we opened up a blank Keynote and I showed them how to add a Title and change the theme. Next, I instructed the students to come up with two numbers less than 99 that would require regrouping to subtract. They added those numbers to their slide with text boxes. Then they used the shapes tool to represent the top number as base-10 blocks (bars for tens and cubes for ones). Now it was time to add the animations. This is where Ms. Gardner and I really got to see which students understood the concept and which ones didn’t. The used the Inspector to add “Build Out” or “Build In” animations to the different bars and cubes. They had to make one ten disappear and ten ones reappear. Next they had to make the correct number of ones and tens disappear to show the subtraction problem. At the end they should have had the same number of base-10 blocks as their answer. They used a text box to make their answer appear, and finally they recorded the voiceovers explaining each step. The students exported their slideshows as a QuickTime video. It was a lot of work for these second graders and took us a couple of days, but they hopefully they have a better understanding of subtraction with regrouping. You can see a couple of student examples here: Giada and Jessie.

18

03 2014

3rd Grade Finds the Best Bait for Three Lakes Park

fishingEach year the 3rd grade students at Holladay Elementary take a PE field trip to Three Lakes Park to go fishing. This year they decided to do a science experiment to see which type of bait worked best. In groups, they researched which kinds of fish are at the park and what types of bait to use. The students developed their own hypotheses about which type of bait would work best, and then they tested their hypotheses at the park by keeping track of which types of bait caught which kinds of fish. They also measured the fish as they caught them and took photos. They had practiced measuring fish earlier in Art class using fish rubbings. The photos were posted online here using CoMemories. (CoMemories is a great site for sharing pictures because anyone can contribute with the given link). Back at school, students analyzed the data and drew conclusions. They concluded that worms were, by far, the best bait. I helped them publish their findings in a brochure for the visitors center at Three Lakes Park. They also created group presentations about the different types of fish using a program of their choice (Comic Life, Keynote, Pixie, and/or video). You can take a look at the students’ presentations here. Finally, they scored their projects using a rubric. This project was also Holladay’s entry for Henrico21. Hopefully we’ve helped future 3rd graders and other visitors to Three Lakes Park catch lots of fish!

18

03 2014

2nd Grade Money Websites

1stMoneySecond graders in Ms. Crostic’s class have been learning about counting money up to $2.00 (SOL2.10). Today they created money websites to practice this skill with their classmates (and anyone else who visits their websites). First they created a money picture using the clip art in Pixie, then they counted the coins and bills in their picture to figure out the total amount. They exported it as a JPG image and saved it to their folder. Next they went to CheckThis, a free site for making quick webpages without having to sign into an account. They changed the title to “Money” and typed their name for the subtitle. Then they uploaded their money picture. They also added a poll question asking site visitors to identify the amount of money in the picture. Finally they changed the theme of their site and published it. I posted all their links to a Google Doc that you can check out by clicking here (and feel free to answer their questions… they love seeing those votes)!

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18

03 2014

Kindergarten Rhyming Words Comic

krhymingwordsKindergarten students in Ms. Lewis’s class at Davis Elementary have been studying rhyming words (K.1e) so today we created a class comic book of rhyming word pairs. I gave them a Comic Life template that you can download by clicking here. The students opened the template and added their name to it. Then we brainstormed rhyming word pairs and wrote them on the Promethean Board. I asked them to choose a pair to illustrate on their page. We did a Google Image Search to find the pictures, but they needed a lot of help with that, so I made a folder of images that you can use (download here). After the students added the pictures to the comic, they typed the rhyming words in the speech bubbles. Then I showed them how to change the style of the images using the Style button. We ran out of time at that point, but if you have extra time you could also show them how to change the Style of the text, the paper, and the speech bubbles. I combined their documents together into one Comic Life and saved it as a PDF (go to File > Print > PDF > Save As PDF). Then I uploaded it to Youblisher to create an online flipbook for embedding in a blog or sharing with parents. You can take a look at it here.

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13

03 2014

1st Grade Telling Time iMovies

1stTimeFirst graders in Ms. Reese’s class at Laburnum Elementary have been learning how to tell time to the half hour (SOL1.8), and today they used Photo Booth iMovie to create their own videos about time. First we reviewed how to tell time using the model clocks. Then we discussed what students are doing at different times throughout the day because I wanted them to not just tell the time on their clocks, but to also tell what they do at those times. Next we opened up Photo Booth, and I explained how it reverses the image so it will be kind of tricky to tell the time (although Samontey could tell time in the reverse as well!). They recorded themselves holding up the clocks, telling the time, and explaining their activities. This was a great way to assess understanding since we found out that although many students could tell the time, several had difficulty knowing what they do at those times. After that, we imported the videos into iMovie. I showed them how to add titles and music to their video. They loved that part! Finally we exported the videos as QuickTime movies. Take a look at a few student examples: Jarrett, Jakirra, and Noah (he can do a LOT at 9:00!).

12

03 2014

1st Grade Review with Padlet & Socrative

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 11.08.06 AMFirst graders in Ms. Edmonds’ class at Holladay Elementary have been reviewing for upcoming tests, so today I showed them how to create their own review questions using two web tools, Padlet and Socrative. First we talked about what makes a good multiple choice question. Most importantly, it should make people think. If the answer is obvious or if some of the choices are ridiculous, then it’s not a good question. Next we discussed topics that they could write questions about: In Social Studies they’ve been studying famous Americans (SOL1.2). In Science they’ve been learning about animals (SOL1.7) and force & motion (SOL1.2). In Math they’ve been adding doubles (SOL1.5). Once they thought of their question, each student went to a wall I created for them in Padlet and posted their question to the wall. Click the link to see their questions. Next they logged into our class on Socrative and I gave them questions to answer from the wall. Socrative is similar to ActivEngage in that questions appear on each student’s screen, they answer them, and the teacher gets instant feedback with a graph that shows how their responses. The students enjoyed answering each others’ questions, and they had a great review through the process.

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11

03 2014