Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tech Bytes~ Feb 12-16

This week's Tech Bytes brings you an awesome site for virtual field trips~ Learn Around the World, which if offering a virtual field trip to Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home.  Definitely something to look into!
Another great site that I learned about last week, MashupMath, is also featured. This site has a variety of mathematical critical thinking activities for your students. You'll even find Star Wars themed activities that I'm sure a lot of your students will flip over!
Malchow's Tech Bytes~ February 12-16

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

💋 XOXO Seesaw Activities!

Have you tried the new Seesaw Activity feature? I can't even begin to tell you how much I ❤️ LOVE❤️ this feature!!  There are SO many positives- like being able to share an activity with an entire class and knowing who has completed the activity with just a quick glance. What an amazing time saver for a busy teacher. 

What I truly love though is the ability that ALL students now have to share their voice and what they know despite fine motor, spelling, or self esteem issues. Being able to use the microphone tool to share their knowledge versus the frustrations of putting a pencil to paper is an incredible feature for our youngest learners. Don't get me wrong, these young scholars still need to be able to share their thoughts through writing, but providing this tool opens a door into their thinking as they work on solidifying their letter/sound knowledge.

So in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm sharing the Seesaw activity ❤️ are a couple of Valentine's Day activities that you can try with your kiddos. 

Candy Heart Graphing

Acrostic LOVE poem

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#EpicPals Love is in the Air...

Our February EpicPals primary and intermediate collections
 are ready and waiting for you. 

This month's primary board again includes a Read To Me Flipgrid selection! Flipgrid, coupled with a Read to Me book, is a great way to give your struggling readers the opportunity to participate in EpicPals independently! Of course, ANYONE can participate on the Flipgrid response and students don't have to use the Read to Me function for the book selection. Personalize the experience for your students how you see fit for their needs!! The Flipgrid videos are fully moderated by me so please give me a 24-48 hour turn around time to approve them. Please also talk to your students about appropriate digital citizenship when creating their videos. Videos that include questionable language, gestures, etc will be not be approved. 

Also new this year is the ability for students to leave likes on other students' posts on the Padlet boards. Encourage your students to read others' posts and if they like their post, have them click on the heart at the bottom of the sticky note. Being reflective and having an authentic reason to like something is a great first step towards leaving meaningful and authentic feedback. 

We encourage you to have conversations with your students on what constitutes a good post and how to be a good digital citizen when working online. You can find several resources to help you with these conversations on this previous blog post. My hope is to add the comment feature to our Padlets later this year as students' reading, writing, and reflective skills improve.

If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can find both of us on Twitter- @smalchow (primary boards) and @bhopteacher (intermediate boards)
New to EpicPals and need some additional information? If so, head on over the the #EpicPals page at the top of the blog for additional information.

Hip, Hip, Hooray~ It's the 100th Day!

Here's hoping your 100th day is full of fun, learning, and 
global connections!
Tech Bytes~ 100th Day Edition

It's the 100th Day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Peer to Peer Book Recommendations the DoInk Way!

As part of our Core Ready Literacy program, 3rd graders read and create a book recommendation. Last year we used DoInk's Green Screen app and I helped the classes by doing the recording and then students uploaded their finished recommendations to Seesaw for parents to see. It's wonderful to have parents see what their children are doing at school, but I wanted students to have a more authentic audience and more creative ownership of their work so this year, I asked the teachers and their students if they would be willing to take it one step further. 

Here's what we did:

Disregard our rubber banded stand- LOL
It's called ingenuity when your iPad stand
doesn't acomodate a teacher's iPad mini.
First, students read their books and wrote their book reviews. Next, they grabbed a colored piece of 12x18 piece of construction paper (not green) and laid their book off to one side or the other and took a picture. This became the background for their video. Last year, we simply propped the books on a chair, but found that it wasn't as polished looking when we dropped those pics into green screen, plus the kids now get to choose their favorite color (it's a small thing, but sometimes, it's the little things that mean a lot). We had all of the kids take their pictures on the same iPad just to keep things moving along more smoothly for the next step.

Our next step was to record the book recommendations using DoInk. This year I wanted the students to record the videos for each other so I worked with a few students at a time to show them how to import their background image, how to reposition the person speaking to fit on the background, and how to save the recording when they were done. After working with a few students they then became the teachers for the next group. Empowering kids to be the teachers is always a positive in my opinion and the pride they had in being their own videographers was priceless! 

The best part...
Once students uploaded their recommendation to Seesaw, I went onto Seesaw, copied the QR code to their post, and then pasted it onto a Keynote template along with the book's title. These QR codes and their book are now displayed around our library for other students to scan. My hope is that their book recommendations will truly be a recommendation and that it will also encourage other students to want to create a book recommendations throughout the year so we can keep the buzz about books ongoing.