First graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about the relationship between the Earth and the sun (SOL1.6), so today students in Ms. D’Antonio’s class used Pixie to create a diagram showing that relationship. First, we opened Pixie and used the Paint Bucket to fill the page with the blackness of space. Next, we used the Paint Brush to sprinkle a bunch of stars across the sky. I showed them a picture of the sun compared to Earth so they could see the incredible difference in size. Based on that information, we used the Shapes tool to draw a huge yellow circle for the sun. We made it so big that it didn’t even fit on the page. I also showed them how to use the Smear tool to smear rays from the sun (they liked that a lot 🙂 ). Then we searched the Stickers for an image of the Earth and added it to our picture. Of course, the students could add other stickers to make their pictures more creative. I asked them to identify the day and night sides of the Earth based on which part was facing the Sun. A cool, interactive way to demonstrate this is to go to Google Maps, switch to satellite view, click the 3-D button, zoom all the way out until you can’t zoom anymore, and click and drag the Earth around. You will see the sun and the day/night side of the Earth. The students used the Text tool to type “day” and “night” on the correct sides of the Earth sticker. Finally, we exported our Pixie files as JPG images and uploaded them to Padlet. You can see them all here.
Second graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about American Indians in History (SOL2.2) and homophones in English (SOL2.7a). Today, students in Ms. Fournier’s class chose an Indian tribe (Powhatan, Lakota, or Pueblo) and thought of homophones that they might say (if they spoke English). First, we opened Pixie and used the paint brush and paint bucket tools to draw the correct environment for the tribe we selected (woods for Powhattan, plains for Lakota, desert for Pueblo). Next, we used Stickers to add examples of people, animals, houses, and tools to represent the tribe. Before we wrote the homophone sentence, we brainstormed a list of possible homophones to use. Then the students chose a homophone pair to include in a sentence about their tribe. We exported the images as JPG files and shared them in a Schoology album. You can see a few student examples here.
First graders at Trevvett Elementary have been learning about patterns in Math (SOL1.17) and U.S. symbols in Social Studies (SOL1.11), so today students in Ms. Lucas’ class created patterns with U.S. symbols using Pixie. First I showed them how to add a text box by clicking the blue T, and they typed their names with a capital letter. Next we clicked the Stickers button and searched for the Symbols folder (it has an orange exclamation point on it). Inside the Symbols folder, there is a folder of American symbols. There are stickers for the four symbols the students have been studying: the American flag, the bald eagle, the Washington Monument, and the Statue of Liberty. I showed the students how to click and drag the stickers onto their document and create a pattern. As they finished their patterns, we exported them using the Export button, and I uploaded them to a photo sharing site called CoMemories. You can see them all here.
Second 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.
First 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.
Kindergarten 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.
Kindergarten 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.
Third graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about homophones (SOL3.4a), so today we created homophone flip pics. First we reviewed different types of homophones so everyone wouldn’t do the same one (even though we still got many repeats). The students chose a homophone pair and illustrated each one using Pixie. I showed them how to add a text box and change the font, size, and color so the words would stand out. Next we exported our pictures as .JPG files and saved them to the Desktop. To create the animation we used Gickr. The students uploaded their pictures, chose a size and a speed for the animation, then Gickr turned them into animated gifs! The students posted them to Google classroom so they could comment on each others’ flip pics. You can take a look at some samples here.
Many schools have a superhero theme this year, and there are lots of cool websites for turning yourself into a superhero. Some of my favorites are: Hero Machine, Marvel Commics, and Heroized. Today 2nd graders in Ms. Becker’s class and 5th graders in Mr. Cangelosi’s class at Davis Elementary turned themselves into superheroes using Pixie and Google slides. First we opened up Pixie and painted a superhero body. Then we used the webcam tool to add our photo to the body. We exported the pictures as PNG images with transparent backgrounds. Next we opened up a Google slides template that I shared on Google classroom. Each student was assigned a slide, and they added a background image. Then they uploaded their superhero picture to their slide. Finally they wrote a sentence or two about their superpower and maybe their weakness (that was optional). Take a look at the Davis superheroes here: Becker and Cangelosi.
Kindergarteners at Holladay Elementary have been learning how to count coins (K.7) and how to count by fives and tens (K.4c), so today students in Ms. Silber’s class practiced both those skills using Pixie. First we opened up Pixie, and I showed them how to use the stamp tool to stamp out different coins. I told them to use pennies, nickels, and dimes, and to only stamp out as many coins as they were willing to count. Next they counted the pennies, and I showed them how to use the paint tool to write the number. Then we chose a different color for the nickels, counted by fives, and wrote that number. Finally we picked a new color for the dimes, counted by tens, and wrote that number. We exported the finished drawings as JPG files and I helped the students upload them to a Comemories page so they could see each others’ pictures. You can take a look at it here. I did a similar lesson in Ms. Carlo’s class, but this time we were focused on just identifying the value of each coin. You can check out some of their drawings here.