It is always such a pleasure to have Rootstown Local Schools with us in our AT&T Classroom and we are so very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Stackpole and her delightful students. During their time in the AT&T Classroom the class has explored several programs and applications to support their writing and project work including ABCya Storymaker, ABCya Word Cloud, Buncee EDU, Google Slides, Padlet, Pic Kids, QR Code Reader, Sand Draw Sketch, Sock Puppets, and Toontastic 3D.
All of the websites the students used are bookmarked in the class’s Symbaloo site. Symbaloo is a visual bookmarking tool used by teachers to organize websites frequently used by the students for specific subjects and/or projects. Websites bookmarked in a Symbaloo can be accessed from any device with a web browser. The second graders’ Symbaloo webmix can be accessed at the following URL: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/room265
The second graders started their week working on their writing projects to finalize the “How-to Books” that they created using Google Slides. The ability to comprehend and write nonfictional text is integral to success in all subject areas and consequently it is an important focus of literacy instruction in the primary grades. The finished projects are so well done with each student’s book being very unique in its own way with regard to both the content (topic and writing) as well as the supporting digital media.
This week the students are also introduced to Kahoot, an online classroom-based response system that allows for assessments and quizzes to be administered in a game-like format. Kahoot offers a free interface that teachers can use to create quizzes, surveys and discussions. Students are able to respond to questions and create their own content using any device with a web browser. Mrs. Stackpole created a Kahoot assessment game for the second graders to test their math skills related to addition, money, and time.
This week the second graders also finalized their Readers Theater projects. Readers Theater is a literacy strategy that is designed to provide students with oral reading practice to improve reading fluency and strengthen comprehension. The strategy also provides opportunities for students to explore various genre and characterization. It can be a useful strategy for helping readers to learn to read aloud with expression as a Readers Theater is often performed without prompts so the readers learn that the expression in their voices needs to convey the drama and tone of the story. The Rootstown second graders have been working in small groups on Readers Theater productions which have been recorded as videos using the iMovie iPad app.
The Ozobot “Smart” toy robots have been a highlight of the students’ work in the AT&T Classroom. The Ozobot is designed to provide children with opportunities to learn simple coding language while also encouraging children’s creativity and skills for problem solving and deductive reasoning. The Ozobot device is programmed to follow black, red, blue, and green lines/paths which control the Ozobot’s movement and speed in different directions. The device has sensors that recognize color sequences (also known as “OzoCodes”) and interprets them as commands for directing speed and movement. To begin, the second graders worked in pairs and learned to calibrate their Ozobots to be able to respond to the coding sequences. Next the students started with an activity to observe the Ozobot’s navigation through the various color codes on lines. Building from their observations, the students quickly learned how to combine various line sequences to create OzocCodes to alter their Ozobot’s direction and speed. The student worked in pairs to design their first path for their Ozobot starting with a black-lined trail.
On their second day with the Ozobots, the second graders worked in teams of two to program their Ozobots using static codes, short sequences of colors drawn on a black line on paper. The students were given the challenge of selecting the correct color combinations and codes so that the Ozobot could correctly navigate the path on new mazes. The students quickly learned how to combine various color combinations and sequences to alter their Ozobot’s direction, speed, and movements. The teams applied their understanding of the code sequences to design their own tracks and mazes for their Ozobots.