Class Picture

Class Picture

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Virtual Valentine Project

It seems like I have been unplugged a little bit lately, but its really just been the complete opposite. This blogpost is going to fill you in on what I have been working on with my students and the iPads the past week.

Back in January, I saw a projected in a Google Community about Virtual Valentines. I read the information and thought it sounded like something fun and educational to do with my students. So, I signed up and was assigned a class from Round Rock, Texas. The guidelines were to find the distance from city to city in kilometers and make any connections you wanted. So off we went to discover!

We got the iPads busy learning some basic ways to search for information on the Internet. Then we organized the information we found and picked the important things we wanted to share. We looked for connections we could make. Our 2nd grade Social Studies curriculum is all based on communities. What better way to share what we know about where we live, than to tell someone who doesn't live here! The question became... How is Round Rock like Bellevue and how is it different? We also just learned about landforms in social studies, so we found the features of Round Rock.  We used Google Earth to look at the land and to get a real picture of how Round Rock looks. My students noticed that many of the houses had swimming pools in the backyards. We then had a discussion about how the weather is different from place to place.  Each day we searched for information brought about new discussions. My students were engaged, motivated and enthusiastic about learning!

The last part of the project was to share about your city and what you learned with your partner class. We used our Notes on the iPad and wrote down what we were going to say. Then used the camera to video our information and found some pictures using Google Images. Last, we put all the videos together in iMovie and have a finished project to share.

I would definitely do a project like this again. We incorporated reading, writing, math, social studies and technology all together.  And it was fun!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Good... The Hard... and The Possibilities

Well its been just over a week since my classroom went to a 1:1 iPad classroom. We have had a lot of feelings during this week. We have been excited, confused, busy, amazing, engaged, loud and sometimes lost. But overall it has been a fantastic educational experience!

The Good...
What have we been doing?

We have been creating, learning, sharing and teaching... Antonyms and landforms in Popplet, journaling and spelling in Notability, math problems in Screen Chomp, teaching Screen Chomp to 5th graders (thanks +Michelle Boyce), and on Friday, +Brent Catlett, my outstanding, motivating iPad Coach, helped us learn a little in Tellagami. I know that is only 4 Apps, but each App has so many steps and features for students to learn. I am very impressed with how my students have been able to tackle these tasks and they are not the least bit intimidated! Kids are the best!
Popplet - Antonyms by Clara
Popplet - Landforms by Hawk

The Hard...

There have been some bumps along the way! My students and myself have had to make changes. Changes in our schedule... Things seem to take a little longer than I'm used to. We are having to be flexible and sometimes do social studies in the morning, math at a different time and we actually forgot to go to specials on Monday because we were working on the iPads. I've needed help too! I had several conversations with members of the +iPad Academy members this week. I am glad I'm not doing this alone. The help has been so useful, motivating and unlimited! So thanks to those who have listened to me! I know things will get easier... and I need to have patience... and I need to go slow. I have to lay the foundation, set the expectations and teach students how to navigate and use the Apps on the iPad. These steps are vital and eventually things will go back to a normal pace. 

The possibilities... are endless! 

I need to keep remembering that! I am very excited for the upcoming week. I plan to have students continue to work in the Apps we have learned. I want them to improve on the content of their work. I know things will get easier as we go and that I have a great support network when I need it! I also have 21 eager little 2nd graders that inspire me the most. That's what this is all about... my students and their learning. Anything is possible with the right attitude!