Class Picture

Class Picture

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

iShare iPad Parent Day

     The date was set and the invitation was made. It was finally time for my iPad parent meeting. My students and I were both extremely excited to share all of our iPad work and learning with our parents. I can't remember a day when I was so nervous and excited at the same time. Parents come to class parties, field trips and to conferences. They don't usually come and spend and hour in class watching their child during school. And on this day, they would be watching their child show his/her learning in a new way -- with an iPad.

     Our event got started right after lunch. Everyday after lunch my students complete something we call our "Afternoon Think Sheet." So today was no different. Students opened up their iPad and pulled up the Afternoon Think Sheet in Notability. The think sheet is a combination of word work, math and science. Before the iPads in class, students did the same activity in a notebook with paper and pencil. It takes about 5 minutes and is a great review of everyday skills.

     Next, students and parents had a little fun with the iPad. They went into Photo Booth and took some pictures together. Students were able to show their parents how they could blur images, add crazy effects and distort parts of the pictures. They had to save at least one picture for an activity at the end of our iShare Day. 

     After the pictures, we started an interactive math activity. My students just finished up units on fractions and geometry. For a fun review, I created some questions and pictures in an App called Geoboard. I then created a QR code for each picture, printed them out and posted them throughout the classroom and in the hallway. Students used a QR code reader App called I-nigma to access the picture link to each picture. Students opened the link, answered the question and recorded their answer on an answer sheet. Then they had to use one of my favorite Apps StickAround to solve a puzzle with the answers on the answer sheet.  When students use more than one App to complete an assignment we call that App Smashing. Parents really enjoyed watching their child flip in and out of the different Apps to solve the answers to the questions. They were impressed by the ease and expertise their child displayed using the iPad to demonstrate their math knowledge. Plus it was fun too!    

Pic Collage of Math Question pictures made in Geoboard App
Screen Shot of the StickAround Math QR Code Puzzle
     The next activity was to complete a project in Pic Collage. Students had to create a collage of pictures for our current science topic, Natural Resources. They had to find images/pictures of ways that people use the natural resource of plants and trees. This App allows students to use real-life pictures in their project. I saw several students pass the iPad to their parents and teach their parents how to use this App. I really enjoyed watching the parents work with their child. 

     As students finished up, I encouraged them to go into KidBlog and co-author a post with their parents. I told them to upload their crazy photo from Photo Booth too.  This was also a way to show their parents that they can follow, read and make comments to their child's blog from home. 

     The very last part of the iShare iPad Day was a question and answer time for parents. My students went to the Media Center and my amazing iPad Coach +Brent Catlett and I were able to talk with parents.  Many great comments were made and lots of question were asked. I feel that all parents left excited about the opportunity their child has had this year with using iPads in class this year.

     Overall, it was huge success.  Parents got to work with their child and see many different ways we use the iPad as a tool for our learning.  I couldn't have asked for a better turn-out or response from the parents. These are the other pictures that I took of our exciting day together.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My blogging is so far behind, but I have been busy moving forward with using iPads in my classroom.  So here is the update on my classroom...

I had an amazing opportunity to attend Edcamp Omaha on March 22nd. Thanks to +Josh Allen and +Kristina Peters for organizing such an amazing day of fun and learning. I was able to attend many session about topics of my interest.

I began my day in a session led by the one and only +Brent Catlett. His session was like a "Speed Dating" experience but technology style.  I was able to talk to passionate educators about Apps that they were using and I got to share about things I was doing too. It was a totally reciprocal fast paced session. I even got to see some Google Glass! That was way cool!

Next, I went to a session about App Smashing led by +Craig Badura and +Heather Callihan. They showed me some amazing new Apps that could be "smashed" together for students to create a final finished project. They showed +30hands, Zoobe, Funny Movie Maker and +Pic Collage. I have tried and used all these Apps in the classroom since attending this session. I can't believe how much my students love to make projects in +Pic Collage. We have used +Pic Collage in Health, Science and Social Studies. Students have made a nutritional meal collage, a collage of Goods and Services and a collage of Natural Resources.  We have used +30hands to explain condensation and evaporation and to also explain area and perimeter. We have smashed all sorts of Apps together to enhance our learning. Had I not attended this session, I would have missed learning about some great new FREE Apps!

After lunch, I attended a session lead by a co-worker of mine, +Michelle Boyce. She shared her wonderful story of changing her typical classroom to an Agile Classroom. I want to take some of her ideas and apply them to my classroom. I would like to have more "soft spots" for students to use in my classroom, just have to think more on it and then make the changes needed.

Overall, I left EdCamp Omaha with some amazing ideas and even more excitement for teaching. The 1:1 iPad model my district is using has revived my desire to teach. Even though I have only had the iPads for about 3 months, I couldn't imagine not having them now. I feel like I am an even more effective teacher than ever before. And most of all, my students are engaged in learning, working together, and being creative.  Excited teacher = excited students!