Class Picture

Class Picture

Monday, May 5, 2014

Language Arts Extravaganza +Technolgy

Ever since my classroom went to 1:1 with iPads in January, I have been looking for ways to excite my students about learning. I want/wanted for my students to see how learning can connect them to the world around them. That learning takes place everywhere and at any time.  

My iPad coach, +Brent Catlett, has encouraged me to stay connected to the world through +Twitter and Google+ communities. I periodically would search through communities that I had joined. I would see ways other classrooms connected with classrooms across the US and in other countries too. So, I found a classroom looking to connect and do a project and I finally jumped on board and responded. I got "connected" to another classroom in Grimes, Iowa, and we got started on a reading, writing and art project. 

The project was to read the book, Boy + BOT, by Ame Dyckman. The book is about a boy, his robot and their adventure. Cute read! Then students in each class designed their own robot. The other teacher, +Mindy Schoop and I, electronically sent pictures of the robots to each other. Next, we assigned partners and students got busy writing an adventure story for their new robot picture. 

Since we are 1:1, it made it a lot easier for each student to have a color copy of their new robot. I sent them their picture and they were able to look at it while creating their adventure story. 
         We spent the next few days writing and editing stories.  

The final part of the plan was to read the stories via a Google Hangout. We arranged the first hangout to meet each other and check out the computer logistics. It worked well, so the plan went forward.  

It took two additional hangouts for each student to 
read their robot adventure story. 

Overall, this was a great experience! It was cool to meet other 2nd graders. Students got to read, write and draw. They also worked on their speaking and listening skills. It was a Language Arts extravaganza with a technology twist!

I am not sure I would have even thought of or known how to do this activity unless +Brent Catlett had not become an integral part of my teaching and my classroom. This only happened due to the iPad Academy. Being part of the iPad Academy has shown me many new ways to improve the way I teach. It just shows how something new can inspire a teacher, which then passes on the excitement and enthusiasm to the students. My students want to do more connecting. I know this activity will be an experience they will remember from their year in second grade.  I know I will start connecting with other classrooms in August next year and not wait until April!