We are so happy to welcome Mrs. Collier and her first graders to the AT&T Classroom. Over the next four weeks the class will be introduced several digital tools to support their learning.
All of the websites that the first graders are using while in the AT&T Classroom 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 first grader’s Symbaloo webmix can be accessed at the following URL: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/mrscollierssymbaloo
Over the next four weeks the first graders will be using several different digital tools for writing across the curriculum. At the start of the week the first graders were introduced to an iPad app to use for a pre-writing activity. Doodle Buddy iOS is a free creativity app for iPads that offers several tools including text for typing, paint brushes, chalk, glitter, stencils and stamps. This past week the first graders explored the tools within the Doodle Buddy app to use for brainstorming the elements of an "Ouch Story" they are writing about a time when they were hurt or ill. Brainstorming and pre-writing activities support students in the writing process by providing opportunities for the child to focus on their topic and generate ideas so that they are more purposeful as they approach the formal writing process.
This past week the first graders were introduced Buncee EDU to write and illustrate an initial draft of their "Ouch Story". Buncee EDU is a free tool that works on all devices with a web browser. The platform offers an interactive digital canvas with thematic background templates that can be used to create stories, books, presentations, pamphlets, posters, etc. Students are able to customize the templates by adding animations, pictures, text, drawings, and videos. The Buncee platform also offers a very large gallery of searchable media that students can use in their projects or students have the option to import external media from their computers or other websites. Completed Buncee projects can be viewed online and/or saved as PDFs.
To create a final draft of their “Ouch Story” the first graders were introduced to Google Slides, a free Google productivity app for creating digital stories, presentations, reports, note cards, etc. Features within the tools allow for slides to include text, images, hyperlinks and video. The Google Slides application offers a wide variety of themes, templates, backgrounds, and fonts that can be used to create very unique customized projects that are automatically saved within Google Drive and can easily be shared and/or downloaded. The slide format of Google Slides provided a useful writing template for the students to guide them to include the essential elements of their story with a slide for the topic sentence, a slide for the beginning, a slide for the middle, and a final slide for the story's conclusion.
This past week the first graders were introduced to several apps for extended practice with their math facts. Sushi Monster is a free iOS app available from Scholastic that is designed to practice, reinforce, and extend math fact fluency in a game-like format. Students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster.
Pop Math Lite is the free version of the award winning Pop Math app. Available for both iOS and Android platforms, Pop Math Lite provides opportunities for children to practice basic math skills in a game-like format. The game encompasses a very colorful interface that children find highly engaging.
Available for ipads and Android tablets, Math Bug Free uses engaging animations to reinforce skills for addition and subtraction. Students are reinforced for calculating the correct answer with a bird dropping an apple to feed the “math bug”.
Make 10 Plus is a math game that a focuses on the “math fact 10 family”. The student is challenged to reach the total of 10 as quickly as they can by tapping the correct number tile before a wall comes crashing down. Knowing how to make 10 is a key math skill in order to add and work with larger numbers.
The first graders are also learning to code while in the AT&T Classsoom using the Daisy the Dinosaur iPad app. Daisy the Dinosaur is designed to introduce children to the basic elements of coding through a challenge mode and a free play mode. The challenge mode tutorial shows the student how to use drag-and-drop steps to make the dinosaur move, jump, shrink and grow. There is also a free play mode in which children can design their own program to animate Daisy.
The first graders ended their week by taking a photo walk on the Kent State campus, using the camera feature on the iPads to capture photos. Back in the AT&T Classroom the students were introduced to Pic Collage for Kids to create a collage of their photos. Also known as Pic Kids for short, Pic Collage for Kids is a free app for creating scenes and collages with photos taken with an iOS device. The app was designed specifically for students of elementary and middle school ages as an alternative to the original PicCollage app. Both apps offer access to a tremendous gallery of backgrounds, stickers and customizable fonts for creating photo projects. With Pic Kids, students are able to conduct safe-filter Internet image searches and social media sharing features are removed. The first graders enjoyed using the tools within the app to create their own unique collage of their photos that included one photo of nature, one photo of architecture, one photo with people, and a favorite photo of their choice.
During their session in the AT&T Classroom the Streetsboro first graders have access to ewriters as part of their classroom toolkit. Within their work space, each of the first graders has a Scribble n’ Play ewriter tablet. The Scribble n’ Play utilizes liquid crystal display (LCD) technology to provide a digital tool for all writing and creativity tasks such as drawing, text writing/notes, mathematical calculations and mathematical writing. Students are to able to choose from the tablet’s four unique stylus tools to write and draw in multiple colors to create different visual effects that promote students’ engagement, motivation and creativity as they approach their work and projects. This past week the first graders used the Scribble n’ Plays for Word Work during their Daily 5™ rotations to practice writing and illustrating their vocabulary and spelling terms.
Mrs. Collier and her students are also field-testing a new ewriter standing board in the AT&T Classroom. The ewriter board utilizes the same reflective, pressure-sensitive, plastic liquid crystal display (LCD) to provide a digital writing and drawing experience. The board also offers a save function so that teacher and student work can be saved and uploaded for cloud storage. An accompanying app to the board allows for real-time observation of students and teachers using the board within classroom activities. Across the week Mrs. Collier and her students have been utilizing the board for pre-writing activities. Prior to drafting their “Ouch Stories” the class used the board to create a concept map outlining the components of the story. As students drafted their individual stories, they were able to refer back to the concept map displayed on the ewriter board to guide the development of their story’s topic and ideas. Both the Scribble n’ Play and the ewriter board in the AT&T Classroom are manufactured by Kent Displays, Inc. (KDI) a local company who is a global leader in manufacturing ewriter display technology.