Streetsboro Elementary Mrs. Collier-Grade 1 Kent State AT&T Classroom Highlights March 10, 2017

This past week in the AT&T Classroom the first graders have used several online tools to support their investigation of states of matter including Properties of Materials at Science Kids.com, Changes in Matter at Turtle Diary.com, and Tinycards science review cards.

Tinycards is an app from Duolingo that provides digital flashcards for learning and reviewing concepts related to hundreds of topics in the curriculum. The Tinycards app uses spaced repetition and other research-based learning techniques to facilitate the learner in mastering and retaining new material.

This past week the first graders have also explored a new tool for collaborative writing. Padlet is a free web-based tool that functions as a virtual wall or bulletin board where students can exchange thoughts on a common topic. Students are able to post several forms of content including text, images, and videos. Building from a lesson on adjectives, the first graders worked together on a class Padlet wall where each student wrote a post listing examples of descriptor words. The collaborative nature of the wall allows students to share and view one another’s posts so they can learn from each other.

Also this week, the first graders used animation and avatar tools during their language arts block to integrate reading and speaking/communication skills with writing skills. Talkify is a web-based tool for adding voice to photos. Students are able to use their own images or select from an avatar in the tool’s gallery. The tool guides students through a series of prompts to select and size a mouth and record voice-over for playback. The students loved exploring the tools within Talkify to create their own avatar and then recorded themselves reading a writing sample they drafted previously in their classroom.

Later in the week the first graders used the ChatterPix app for another integrated language arts lesson to provide practice with writing, reading and speaking/communication. ChatterPix is a free iOS app that can be used to animate an object within a photo so that it can “talk”. Students are able to draw a mouth on an object in a photo and then record themselves talking. The object’s mouth animates and moves with the voice recording. As part of their social studies lesson earlier in the day, the students had written a passage that included an important fact they had learned about Martin Luther King Jr or Ruby Bridges. During their literacy block in the AT&T Classroom the first graders used ChatterPix to record themselves narrating their writing sample.

This past week the first graders were introduced to a new app for practicing their addition facts. Butterfly Math is a free iOS app that uses butterflies as manipulatives for practicing counting and addition. Players are challenged to drag butterflies in and out of baskets to count and add. As students solve problems within the game they are able build up their supply of colored tiles to use in a Tile Fun reward area.

Building from their coding work with Daisy the Dinosaur, this past week the first graders were introduced to Scratch Jr, a free web-based tool developed for young children by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. The tool is designed to engage young children in using an introductory programming language to create animations, interactive stories and games. Children combine graphical programming blocks to animate characters to move, jump, dance, and sing. Children are also able to customize the characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, and insert photos of themselves. In addition to introductory programming and coding skills, Scratch Jr also supports the development of skills related to sequencing and numeracy while also fostering children's’ creativity and critical thinking. The app is available at no cost for both iOS and Android tablets.

Follow Kent State University’s Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET) for AT&T Classroom Highlights

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