We have had a lot of fun this year learning to code with the Scratch Jr. app. This app uses a coding language called Blockly. The children can create a series of commands by manipulating the blockly codes to move the characters they have chosen to complete a variety of activites.
The children experimented with the variety of coding commands. First they choose their characters and backgrounds and then choose how to move their characters within the space. They could create more than one page and then link each page together. Whenever they figured out a really cool action or how to use a command we shared their ideas on our lovely Promethean Board. We are very lucky in our classroom because we can take the individual iPads and plug them into the board and let the children demonstrate whichever strategy they have learned for their classmates. The children were super excited to share their ideas.
The yellow blocks show the starting spot. One of the ways you can trigger the code is by touching the character on the screen. You can add speech and create a dialogue for your character. The blue blocks direct the motion. The final red blocks are the end point and can direct the action to another page if coded to do so.
The children have had a lot of fun exploring this app and learning how to code using the Blockly blocks.
Can you figure out what the Cat will do by looking at the code? You can see that this is the second page of the coding project.
It has been awesome to see the children figuring out how to manipulate the code and sharing their new expertise with their classmates! Really fun to watch!
Can you read the code to figure out what this cat will do?
We took screen shots of the code the children created to send home via SeeSaw as this is the only way we can share the projects at this time. SeeSaw is a digital portfolio app that allows us to share our projects with our families. We love it because the students can easily share their work with their families all by themselves!
It is way more fun to see the characters actually do the actions the children have programmed them to do! The children love to share their work with their classmates.
I really love this app as it gets the children thinking about what they want their characters to do and how to achieve that action! Everyone gets to create their own actions and everyone’s work is unique! Love to see all the collaboration between the students! Way too much fun!
We have been having a lot of fun creating books about dinosaurs! We used a combination of two apps and “smashed” them together to create our dinosaur books. It is called app smashing when you use several apps together to create a project. Click on the play button to see two of the books that were created!
One of the apps we used is an augmented reality app called Walking with Dinosaurs. We use the photo booth option in the app to create pictures that add an augmented image of a dinosaur to a photo! We had a lot of fun creating photos in which we posed with an augmented image of a dinosaur! We will be using these pictures for a creative writing exercise.
The children used the app themselves to take pictures with their favourite dinosaur in various settings in the classroom. The children had to take about ten different pictures of their dinosaurs super imposed on a variety of settings. They had to resize their dinosaur and figure out how to pose it and then take the picture. They saved their favourite efforts to the camera roll.
Then they imported their pictures to another app called My Story. The children have to create the pages and then import their pictures to each page on their iPads. They add text to the picture and create a story!
I am very proud of the students because it takes quite a bit of thinking to take pictures using the iPads and add an augmented image that they need to resize. Then they had to save it to the camera roll, open another app, open a new story within the app, go to the camera roll, import the pictures, resize the pictures, add text, and use the text prompt to check for spelling. Then they repeated the process to make the required number of pages. Pretty good for six year olds!
We have been having fun creating sentences using our word banks. The children work together or by themselves to create sentences using the words in their word banks.
We have been challenging ourselves to make longer sentences!
They love to work with partners to create sentences. Then we do a sharing session where the children move around the room to read each other’s sentences!
The children were very clever and figured out how to make their sentences really long by adding a connecting word like “and”! They grabbed a scrap piece of paper and wrote the word “and” on a piece of paper and added it to their sentence all by themselves! Then they made a really long sentence.
The children have been having fun creating words using linking cubes and magnetic letters during word work time.
They love to use the app on the iPads called Word Bingo to practice their Dolch words! Really fun app! You can also find it on the ABC Yah web site.
I love listening to them read their words and the sentences they create! Too much fun!
We are starting a new year and so we have created our first digital book about our school this year! We read a story in one of our books about a school. We decided to create our own version using the iPad. First, we decided which places we needed to have in our book. Then, we went around the school and took pictures with an iPad of the places in our school the children thought were important. The Big Rock and Chester were key items on our list!
The next step was to take the pictures and import them into a neat app called Strip Designer that lets us add captions to our pictures. We saved those pages to the camera roll and then imported them into another app called Explain Everything which lets us create a book! We imported each page onto its own page in Explain Everything and then recorded our voices saying the words on each page.
After we finished recording, we saved our book as a movie. Then we watched and listened to the book we created about our school. We hope you enjoy it! You may recognize a voice or two!
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 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!
This is one of the counting books that one of our students finished making today! The children have been using the My Story app to create simple counting books! This app is a very versatile app! The children can use a variety of mediums to create their books. For this project the children used the stamps within the app to create a simple count-up book! The children had to choose the image, learn how to copy it as many times as needed for each page, add the appropriate text, and then record their text for each page!
It sounds pretty simple but please remember that we are only in Grade One! That’s a lot of steps! Creating the book, adding pages, adding images, and then copying them as needed, adding text including the correct spelling and punctuation, and then finally recording them is really quite impressive! All by themselves!
When the children finished their stories, I had them record their sentences in our “recording booth”! It is a quieter spot to allow their voices to shine! We still get a bit of background noise but it is helpful noise!
I love this app because you can save the book as a movie, which lets me share it with you! I can upload the movie to our Youtube channel and then put the link to the movie on this page for you to view!
Here is another one!
They were so focused!
Hope you enjoy them viewing them as much as we enjoyed making them! Too much fun!
Last week we took part in the Hour of Code! The Hour of Code program was created several years ago to encourage students to explore coding. During the week of December 7 – 13th students around the world took part in this initiative. You can check out the Hour of Code here by clicking on the highlighted link! We were one of the 4655 sites that took part this year in Canada! You can look up our school on the Hour of Code map!
Our Big Buddy class came and helped the students log in and start learning to code using the special site created to encourage students to learn to code. This year the theme of the hour was Star Wars. The children learned how to use computer code to move the little robot around the screen to do a variety of tasks.
There are three different tutorials to do on the site! Each one has a different theme! You can code with Anna and Elsa from Frozen, do Star Wars and build a galaxy, or try the Minecraft hour of code. Each one is a lot of fun and introduces you to coding in a fun way! Check them out at the Hour of Code tutorial site.
First, we watched a bit of the tutorial about learning to use Blockly to move BB-8 character from Star Wars around the screen. Then the big buddies worked on the iPads and in the computer lab with the children to work through the tasks. The Big Buddies did a fantastic job helping their little buddies figure out how to make BB-8 move around the screen and do the different actions. It was so much fun to watch!
It was fun to use our Promethean Board to demonstrate how to do the tutorial!
This is a screen shot from the Hour of Code website with Mountain View School highlighted! Too much fun!