We have been having a lot of fun recently learning how to code! One of our favourite coding apps is called Daisy the Dinosaur. It is a perfect app for our age group!
The children have to use a code called Blockly to make Daisy the Dinosaur move. They join pieces of code together to get Daisy to move forward, spin, grow and shrink. It is a great app to introduce coding.
We have also tried Scratch Jr. The children really like working with this app. Once they were familiar with how Blockly works they were right at home with Scratch Jr.
In this shot, one of our students is sharing her expertise on how to add words to their page.
Each block of code makes the kitty do an action.
The students like to create their own pages with the characters and backgrounds available within the app. They can program the characters to do a variety of actions on each page. Way too much fun!
We also experimented with the Tynker app. The children have a variety of different options with this app. It also uses Blockly which the children are starting to feel quite comfortable with!
These three apps have rapidly become favourites! I love the thinking they inspire!
Check out our digital books!
We have been having a lot of fun creating our own digital books! The children have been using a combination of different apps to create their own version of Read to Me stories! The children pick their favourite books and then use the camera on the iPads to take pictures of each page.
Then they import each picture of each page into the Explain Everything app.
When they have imported all the pages they go to a quiet place and record themselves reading the story! We wanted to make it like a “read to me” book where each word is highlighted as it is read so we used the pointer option in Explain Everything. There are a lot of different pointer options in this app. You can use an arrow, a hand, and the very special light sabre! You can guess which pointer is the most popular!
I love that you can listen to each child reading and how it encourages their reading growth! They can hear themselves and they want to make their reading come alive for the listener. They often will redo pages if they don’t like how they sound! How cool is that!
When the book is complete we save the book to the camera roll. When the project is saved to the camera roll in Explain Everything it becomes a video. Then you can open it and listen to the student reading the story as they point to each phrase or word in the story! It is amazing! The best part is that they can share their reading with everyone! During Eat and Read time I open up the SeeSaw app and we watch and listen to the children in the class read us stories on our big Promethean board! The children love listening to their classmates read their stories. It doesn’t get any better than that!
We have been using the SeeSaw app to share our work on the iPads this year!
This is an amazing product that lets us share the work that each child does in a digital format. Each child saves their work to their own folder which can be accessed at school using a class QR code.
The children can access their own work at home using their own personalized QR code.
The children are able to create projects and then share them using the QR codes to access the site and then upload their projects from the camera roll! Way to much fun!
We also read our books to our favourite stuffies without any technology! Both ways are awesome! Had to take this picture as it was way too cute!
We have been having a lot of fun with our snowmen! We created talking snowmen by taking a picture of the snowmen that were created by each student on an iPad. Then we used a very cool app called Chatterpix to add a voice to the snowmen. With this app the children can have their snowman talk in their own voice! I posted a few of the videos here for you to view. Just click on the play button! Too much fun!
Within the Chatterpix app you can choose the picture you would like to use and then draw a mouth on the snowman.
The children then record what they want their snowman to say for thirty seconds. The app then makes it appear as if the snowman is talking with the recorded segment. Very cool! You can save the video to the camera roll and send it on in a variety of ways.
I chose to use the Aurasma app, which is an augmented reality app, to link the picture to the video and then I posted them to our channel on Aurasma. Now, when the children open the Aurasma app on any iPad at the school and hold the iPad over any snowman a talking snowman appears.
The pictures act as a trigger image for the snowman Chatterpix video linked to that picture. Each snowman picture brings up its own talking snowman video.
The children had a lot of fun listening to, and viewing each other’s talking snowmen!
If you have an i-device and you have downloaded the Aurasma app you can view our talking snowmen too! You will need to follow our class channel to view our snowmen.
Just do a search for mrsantonsclass in the search menu and you should see our class. Choose to follow our class and you will be able to see everything we post! You can either come into the school and view them here or watch this space as I plan to upload all the pictures to their own page. Then all you will have to do is hold your i-device over the image on the screen and you will be able to see all the talking snowmen you want to!
We have been using Kid Blog for a little while now. This is an educational site that allows children to have their very own blogs! Each student in our class has their very own blog on our class Kid Blog site.
Kid Blog is a educational website made especially for kids to have their own blog site in a safe environment.
Please go to the Student blog heading at the top of the home page to find the Student Blog page. Please read over the “rules” of the student blog site! Click on the link to go to our classroom site. At the site the student will need to log in and add the password. They know what it it is!
The children have been posting to their blogs each week. It is amazing to watch them navigate their way through the steps it takes to create their blog each week. There are quite a few steps to create their entries.
I love the new interface on the site. It is much easier to navigate! That being said, I am still impressed with how fearless the children are when it comes to trying new things in technology! To create their blog posts, the children have to figure out how to navigate through a variety of steps to get to the site and then follow the procedures to add their header image, a title, write their post, choose the audience that they want to see their post, and then choose to send it to me for approval! That’s a lot!
After the first few weeks, the children are now able to go to the lab, choose the entry from their journal that they would like to share and complete the post with only a little assistance! Some of the students are choosing to write their own entries on the spot! They loved choosing their own avatars too!
We have been working on creating stories on the iPad using two different apps. We are creating the pictures using an augmented reality app called Walking with Dinosaurs. It lets us put a 3D image of a dinosaur in a photo. It is amazing because it looks very real!
The children are using the Walking with Dinosaurs app using the Photo Booth option. They choose the dinosaur they would like to have in their story and then pose the dinosaur with something in the classroom. We have dinosaurs reading books, playing with Lego, playing with the toy dinosaurs, and hanging out! The children take the picture and save it to the camera roll. Then they open the My Story app and import the picture from the camera roll into their story.
We are almost finished our dinosaur stories. The children have been taking turns going to our “recording studio” to record themselves reading the pages of their books! We are almost ready to share! They will be posted on this blog very soon!
We have also worked on a dinosaur research project. We learned all about the Apatosaurus (also known as Brontosaurus). The children sorted the facts about Apatosaurus into four categories. After we read through all the facts the children decided which category was the best fit for the fact.
The children glued the facts onto the correct category sheet and we created our dinosaur reports!
Check them out to learn some cool facts about Apatosaurus!
We have been having a great time learning about penguins! The children have been learning how to sort different facts about penguins into categories. They divided the facts into four different categories: What They Look Like, What They Eat, About the Babies, and Cool Facts.
We observed the penguins in real time on webcams located at the Vancouver Aquarium and SeaWorld, Orlando. It was fun to watch their antics. Some of them were very loud! One penguin likes to play peek-a-boo with the camera.
We added a QR code to our penguin reports that links to the Vancouver Aquarium penguin cam! We use our Scan app to scan the code and it takes us directly to the Penguin webcam!
It almost seems like magic!