We want to thank Mrs. Svenson and her second graders for participating in our AT&T Classroom. It has been a joy to work with Mrs. Svenson and her students.
Across the week the second graders put the finishing touches on their Buncee animal cartoons. The students have worked so hard on their projects to ensure that they have included important facts from their research and to use the platform’s design tools to create scenes and include images that support their written text. Their completed projects are outstanding!
This past week the Rootstown second graders explored Padlet for writing and collaboration. 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. Mrs. Svenson created a class Padlet wall where each student wrote a sentence with the day’s targeted vocabulary word. The collaborative nature of the wall allows students to share and view one another’s posts so they can learn from each other.
The second graders also enjoyed working with a new tool for creating digital stories. Sock Puppets is a free iOS app that allows students to explore creative storytelling by creating lip-synced puppet shows that can be shared on the iPad or via Facebook or YouTube. Children are able to select from a variety of hand puppet characters as well as themed backgrounds to create their own unique show. Using tools such as Sock Puppets to create digital stories provides opportunities for children to further develop their literacy skills (e.g., reading, writing, speaking & listening) and also build important “twenty-first century skills” for critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.
During their small group rotations this past week the Rootstown second graders used QR codes to access web-based content and curriculum for reading and math practice. As part of their Daily 5 block the students used QR codes to independently listen to and read various web-based ebooks and stories. The second graders used the QR Reader app on their iPads to scan QR codes posted by Mrs. Svenson that linked to the website hosting the stories. During their math rotations the students also used the QR Reader app to scan QR codes that linked to math problems and solutions posted by their teacher.
Across the week the second graders worked on a Reader's Theater project. When conducting a Reader’s Theater, students “perform” by reading scripts created from books or stories and usually do so with minimal or no costumes or props. Reader’s 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 Reader’s 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 worked in small groups on their Reader's Theater productions which were captured in iMovie for presentation and sharing.
On their last day in the AT&T Classroom the Rootstown second graders had a coding lesson using Scratch Jr., a free app developed for young children by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch Jr. engages children in using an introductory programming language to create animations, interactive stories and games. Students 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’ creative and critical thinking. The app is available for free download for iPads and Android tablets.