We are so excited to welcome another class from Rootstown Elementary to the AT&T Classroom. Over the next two weeks, Mrs. Stackpole and her second graders are exploring several digital tools and applications to support their learning across the curriculum. The websites that the students are using are bookmarked in the class Symbaloo, a free bookmarking tool for organizing web-based tools and resources. Symbaloo is particularly useful as a bookmarking tool with younger grades as the icons provide an effective visual cue to help students recognize the site they need to access for a particular activity. The second graders' class Symbaloo can be accessed at the following url: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/room265
During their Daily 5™ rotations in the AT&T Classroom the second graders are using several different tools and applications for writing. This past week the students used Google Slides for a reflective writing assignment. Google Slides is a free application withing the Google suite for creating digital stories, presentations, reports, note cards, etc. Features within the tool 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. Each morning the second graders are creating a slide for a reflective writing assignment in which they draft a post regarding something that they learned the previous day. Providing written opportunities for students to reflect upon their learning helps to develop students as independent learners who take responsibility for setting their own learning goals and evaluating progress in reaching those goals.
For another reflective writing assignment at the end of the week the second graders used Padlet, 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. Mrs. Stackpole created a class Padlet wall where each student wrote a post to share what they did on Thursday when Rootstown Schools were closed. The collaborative nature of the wall allows students to share and view one another’s posts so they can learn from each other.
At the start of the week Mrs. Stackpole introduced the second graders to ABCya Story Maker, a free web-based application for the students to use during their Writer’s Workshop. The application offers a writing canvas on which students can type text to create their writing project. The application also offers a variety of drawing tools that can be used for creating pictures and scenes to illustrate the written text. Story projects can encompass one page or multiple pages. This past week the second graders used ABCya Story Maker to write a character review of their favorite Dr. Seuss character.
This past week Mrs. Stackpole also introduced the students to Buncee EDU, a free multiplatform tool that students can use for writing assignments and to create multimedia projects. The Buncee EDU platform offers an interactive digital canvas with thematic background templates for creating stories, books, cartoons/comics, presentations, pamphlets, posters, etc. Students are able to customize the templates by adding animations, pictures, text, drawings, and videos. The Buncee EDU platform also offers an extensive gallery of searchable media that students can add ti their projects and students also have the option to import external media from their computers or other websites. The second graders are using Buncee EDU to create animal cartoons to share the facts they learned from their science research.
During the second graders’ Daily 5™ rotations, the students are using web-based tools for reading practice with one of their choices being EPIC!, an ebook library designed for students ages 12 and under. EPIC! is accessible on all platforms and devices giving students access to thousands of books straight from their device. Paid subscriptions allow for student profiles to be created for tracking readers’ progress and offering personalized recommendations based upon the reading level and interests of the student.
For Word Work during their Daily 5™ rotations on Friday, the second graders used the Word Cloud tool at the ABCya website to create a word cloud of their spelling/vocabulary words. A word cloud is a visual representation of terms/words that are related to a specific concept. The ABCya website offers a tool specifically designed for children for creating word clouds. The tool offers several different templates and colors for fonts and backgrounds to allow students to customize their cloud.
The second graders are also using several websites and apps for practice with math facts including Front Row, Funbrain, and Math Playground. At Funbrain.com, the second graders played Guess the Number, a math activity that engages students in working with the concepts of “less than” and “greater than”, concepts that are key to understanding addition and subtraction. To play the game, students are given a specific number range (e.g., 1 and 100) and the game selects a “secret number” which the student is challenged to guess. Once the student enters his/her first guess, the game tells the player whether the their guess is higher or lower than the “secret number”. The player must keep guessing until the secret number is discovered.
The students also practiced their math facts using the Puzzle Pics Addition game at the Math Playground website. Within the Puzzle Pics Addition game, students are given an addition equation and must solve for the missing addend. Students can select the missing addend from a puzzle grid with each square displaying a different number/addend. As students successfully solve each equation, the numbers in the grid are replaced by a puzzle piece that contributes to a larger image. As the students successfully solve each equation the puzzle pieces combine to reveal a hidden mystery picture.
For practice working with place value, the second graders have been using another game accessible at the Math Playground website. Pop Penguin and the Place Value Race is a free online game that uses a classic board-game format to provide students with practice for understanding and working with place value. Students advance along the game board by completing math challenges of varying degrees of difficulty. Students are also able to select the level of difficulty of the challenges they wish to attempt.
The second graders also enjoyed working with a partner to play Math Fight Fun - 2 Player Mathematics Duel for practice with math facts. Math Fight Fun - 2 Player Mathematics Duel is an educational math game that utilizes a split screen interface so that two players can challenge one another to solve math problems. In addition providing practice with math facts, the app also provides math speed training to improve concentration and reflexes for solving equations. The app is available at no cost in the iOS App Store and through Google Play.
Also during their math rotations, the second graders are using QR code technology to support their math work. The second graders are using the QR Reader app on their iPads to scan QR codes that link to the math problems. Students are also able to use the QR Reader to access solutions to the math problems to check their work.