Christine Ziese at NBHS uses Mars Globe and Midnight Planets appsto enhance the Problem Based Learning Project for Pre-AP Physics, “Mission to Mars.” In the project, students are assigned to teams that are tasked with creating a self sustaining colony on Mars (Students are introduced to the Project by being directed to the Mars One initiative website). Students are given the opportunity to select one of five jobs of their choice within their group. The project gives students access to 21st century skills: problem-solving resolution, “outside the box” thinking skills, collaboration opportunities, creative thinking, technology to create a product, research and citing sources, writing skills, cross curricular planning and collaboration. Students choose from Engineering Officer, Statistician Officer, Medical Officer, Science Officer, Technology Specialist Officer. The project is a semester long project, at the end; students present a model as well as a written and live presentation of their research and vision of their Mars Colony. Students are then asked questions by their fellow classmates, and defend their project to the teacher who asks in depth questions about their colony.
Haley Krock, 3rd grade teacher at Memorial Elementary, uses several apps with her students to introduce Martin Luther King Jr. First she shares a “Digital Notebook” (PDF) with her students via iTunes U. The students then open their digital notebook in Notability where they will complete all of the activities within. The students will watch Brain Pop video clips on Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln and then compare and contrast the two historical figures using a digital Venn Diagram. Next students will use the Canva app to create persuasive posters encouraging people to attend the “March on Washington”. Students will also use Notability to write bio poems and complete a timeline activity. Finally, students will combine what they have learned into a final Adobe Spark Video presentation on the timeline of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. When the students finished all of the activities, they submitted their work to Haley via eBackpack.
Carolyn Barber, Spanish teacher at Oak Run Middle School, used Google Slides to create a fun and engaging gamified lesson to help her students review Spanish vocabulary words, and review for state assessments. Students chose the name of their teams from a list of basketball league team. They were posed questioned and if answered correctly they were able to throw a ball into the trash can for two points! Each Picture was linked to a question or a foul slide, which would make the opposing team get the chance to score two points.
Green screens are no longer just for weathermen! They are becoming popular for students and teachers to use in the classroom for everything from morning announcements to placing students into a place in history for their videos. This fall Abby Saunders, librarian at Seele Elementary, helped her GT students create commercials for a school wide election. The student groups decided on a “Seele Hour of Fun” topic where the entire school would participate in a hour of a fun activity. The school voted on three choices Art Hour, Board Game Hour, or Electronic Hour. The students first created their script and then filmed it on their iPads in front of a green screen. With the help of Mrs. Saunders, the students created custom backgrounds for their videos and created their commercials in iMovie. They used Pic Collage to create the digital advertisements that are shown in their movies. Students around the school watched the commercials on the announcements and had the opportunity to vote on their favorite choice through a Google Form that Mrs. Saunders created.
“I think green screens are a great piece of technology for any teacher to utilize in their classroom.” – Abby Saunders
I wanted to grow my abilities with technology and allow creativity in the classroom.
Coach Winki’s health project was inspired from the Chris Klug Foundation: Advocating for Organ and Tissue Donation. Winki gathered free resources from the foundation including: curriculum, handouts and videos. Students developed 30 second PSAs for organ donation awareness. Students used PicCollage to create meaningful backgrounds to incorporate into their animated videos using Tellagami or Adobe Spark Video. In this project she challenged students to spread further awareness and to show all the different ways you can donate your organs. The videos had to be one of the three: educational, informational or actuate. Students had to connect and show integrity by organizing their information. She decided to integrate new apps she learned from the App Smashing session.
Casey Albarado, 4th grade math and science teacher at Lamar Elementary, uses her “Digital Notebooks” to freshen up her classes! Ms. Albarado uses several apps to help teach her students geometry. She first creates the notebook in Pages and uploads it into iTunes U for her students to retrieve. The students then download the notebook into Notability so they can complete the assignments. One assignment has the students create a copy of a Google Slide. Students are able to show what they know by completing a digital sorting activity. After they complete the activity, they take a screenshot and add it to their notebook. When the students complete all the activities in their notebook they turn it into eBackpack for grading.
Musical Meter makes learning to read and play music rhythms fun.Its two-handed design helps students learn how to play and hold a note while viewing a visual representation of what they are playing. Visual representations and animated examples lets the students see and hear how to play each music symbol.
Musical Meter helps students practice their timing and develops their sense of internal rhythm. Professional notations allow students to read sheet music with less ease. Once students master Musical Meter Novice, they can continue their skills in Musical Meter 2 (Intermediate) and 3 (Advanced). As students continue to grow their internal rhythm, Musical Meter Advanced adds more demanding site readings and timing exercises.
Mrs. Mullen’s class practices Spanish Vocabulary by using Quizlet Live. This is a fun, engaging and team building activity that encourages students to race against time using their Spanish Vocabulary so they can win. The team that answers all the flashcards the fastest wins! The program automatically designates which groups the students will be in and the students scramble to the new group and compete again! Mrs. Mullen also uses Quizlet Live as an Exit ticket to review Spanish vocabulary.
Brittney Brittain, 2nd grade teacher at Walnut Springs Elementary, uses a combination of apps to make the use of digital materials an ease in her classroom. Each student in her class uses a SeeSaw account to participate in class activities and share work. Seesaw is appropriate for younger learners in grades K-2 because the app uses familiar language and large graphics. Brittney is able to share digital math worksheets with her students quickly through Seesaw. The students retrieve their digital work from SeeSaw and then edit their work in Notability. Brittney prefers students to edit their work in Notability because it offers an easy to use pen tool and zoom features so students can write large. When the students are finished editing their work in Notability they can easily submit their finished work back to SeeSaw so Brittney can see what they have completed from her iPad or computer.
Jennifer Thompson, Criminal Justice Teacher and NBHS, used Google Hangouts with her students to interview Travis County Crime Scene Investigator Shannon Schafer. Ms. Shafer spoke to the class about her work in the field as well as her experiences doing contract work in Afghanistan.
Andrea Cole, 3rd grade teacher at Lone Star Elementary, uses several apps with her students to teach Non-Fiction Text Features. First she shares a “Digital Notebook” (PDF) with her students via iTunes U. The students then open their digital notebook in Notability where they will complete all of the activities within. The students will search through ebooks using the Epic app to find examples of non-fiction text features. They will screen shot the feature when they find one in an ebook. After a screen shot of each non-fiction text feature has been found they will use the Animoto app to create a slideshow. In Animoto, they can insert the screen shots and label each one with the non-fiction text feature they represent. They can also add a theme and music to create a polished presentation. When the students finished all of the activities, they submitted their work to Andrea via eBackpack.
My goal every PBL is to make them use a completely different set of apps. I would be doing them a disservice in this technologically driven world if I only used keynote and a select few apps. – Karen Dudley
The objective of the Rock this Country PBL, was to create a virtual field trip using photos of rock formations around the United States. Students were required to include two examples of each type of rock (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic) and explain the processes of formation. For each rock, students had to identify the name, type of rock, how it was formed, location of formation and one interesting fact. Students were encouraged to explore different apps such as: Thinglink, Animoto, Adobe Spark Video and PicCollage. Students picked one of the four apps to illustrate their findings.
Brinda Soto, 1st Grade teacher at Klein Road Elementary, blends traditional classroom instruction with technology using QR codes and Google Drive. Mrs. Soto uses the iPad to record herself giving instructions to her students for her Daily 5 word work station and uploads the video to Google Drive. She is then able to link that video to a QR code that the students scan when they get to their station. The students scan the QR code and watch the video to follow along with the activity that she is teaching. They are able to pause or rewatch parts of the video to help strengthen their understanding of the content she is teaching. Her students are able to take responsibility for their own learning by using this technology! See an excerpt below of how Mrs. Soto starts off her activities in her word work station.
Working from a large still life arrangement in the middle of the room, students selected a favorite area from which to work. Using their iPad and either Sketch Book Express or Pen and Ink apps they used a thin line tool to sketch in their composition.
There were numerous compositional requirements for them to include: at least 3 of the 4 sides of their screen (picture plane) had to have cropped images. Overlapping was required. They had to include a minimum of three and maximum of 9 objects. They had to draw what they saw and record colors, patterns and textures, values light and shade where they could. Light and shadow were attained by many students with the use of the airbrush tool. This drawing took the most part of three weeks to complete. Some students were able to print at home on photographic copy paper and other works were printed here on campus on regular copy paper. All work was completely done by hand: no importing of images, no ready-made images or patterns/textures. The students completely expressed their ideas with the App tools. However, there was a handful of students who chose to lay color over photographs of the still-life, but that was not the norm. Many of these digital iPad drawings will be on display at the New Braunfels Art League during February for the Kids Have A Heart for Art show and contest.
Leah DeLong and Heather Sowell, 3rd grade teachers at Walnut Springs Elementary, use eBackpack Assessments for digital test taking in their classrooms. They are able to use eBackpack to build custom tests. They can write their own questions, insert images, and customize their question type- multiple choice, essay, true/false, yes/no, or fill in the blank. Leah created a science assessment for her students with multiple choice questions and images. Heather created a spelling test for her students using fill in the blank questions. Heather and Leah prefer to use eBackpack Assessments with their students because the students receive immediate feedback at the end of their test- students can not only see what their score was but also which questions they missed and what the correct answer was. Students also appreciated receiving immediate feedback so they did not have to wait to see their grade.
Students in Aimee Sailors’s Health Science class collaborated on an interactive lesson using Nearpod while studying body organization. Students switched back and forth between Nearpod and Popplet during the lesson, using Popplet to create a visual organizer of their notes.
Mrs. Sailors said the versatility of the iPad allowed students to multitask during the presentation. She said students took to the combination easily and feedback from the students was positive. She said one student came back later in the day to report that he had suggested using Popplet in another class, and the teacher had loved it.
Mrs. Sailors earned the Nearpod badge for her work on this and the many other lessons she delivers with Nearpod.
Students in Spanish 1 learned how to describe themselves and others based on activities they like to do. Mrs. Wong’s students created a Sock Puppet show, using the app Sock Puppets, to role play a conversation in Spanish in which they describe personality traits of themselves. First, each student made a chart and listed two adjectives to say what they are like and are not like. Next, working in pairs, students talked with their partners about their own traits and wrote a script of the conversation. Last, they used the app to record their conversations. Students were able to choose from a variety of backgrounds, different colored sock puppets, and move the puppet to match their voices.
Brande Schriewer, 5th grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Lone Star Elementary, uses Adobe Spark Post to teach her students about digital citizenship. After leading the students in a lesson over digital citizenship they formed groups to create a Digi Superhero over different digital citizenship topics. They first drew their superheroes on paper and then used Adobe Spark Post to digitize their posters. This project helped students learn the importance of digital citizenship and gave them a creative outlet to showcase what they learned.
Using Adobe Spark Video, students in Cappy Adams Spanish class created a video to share their likes, dislikes and even things they despise to a new club they joined. After they completed the video, students uploaded their projects into shared folders in Google Drive so Mrs. Adams could easily share the project with all students. Mrs. Adams used gmail to create groups for each class period in order to easily recreate shared folders for all of her projects for the rest of the year.
Five students in Ms. Guenther’s class worked together to create a game app that has now been approved by Apple and is currently available in their app store! They taught themselves the coding programs X Code and Objective C to program the App, used Photoshop for the graphics and Garageband to create the music. They formed their own company where each person has his own job and are now making money off of the advertising (the app is free). Every time someone downloads the game and plays it, they see an advertisement. The boys earn money when a user clicks on the advertisement and watches it-you don’t have to buy anything. To play their completed App go to the iTunes App store and download Deflected.
Students in Mrs. Redwine’s class at Oak Run Middle School are creating Sensational Biographical Visuals using Keynote Presentations for the iPad. Students have to figure out clues in order to discover who they will be researching. The presentations must include the famous person’s background, a moral to live by, a picture and how that person impacted the world. Once the Keynote Presentations are complete, they will present their projects to the class using Reflector 2 and airplay. After they have presented, students will turn them into eBackpack for the teacher to grade.
NBMS students in Ms. Winki Smith’s Leadership classes used Keynote to create presentations that portray someone they felt showed strong leadership qualities. Following in-class discussions about “what makes a good leader,” the students used Safari to find, research, and choose a person they felt they could look to as a good leader. Once they had made their choice, they gathered and stored needed information in their Google Drive. Using Keynote on the iPad, students carefully crafted pictures and information to build a presentation that would eventually be shared with the class. With limitations as to how long the Keynote could be, students had to be mindful as they chose the perfect information.
Once the products were complete, the students used Reflector to display their work. They talked to the class about why they chose the person and what made them a real leader.
In Lauren Bain’s specials rotation, students don’t just learn about music, they create it. Ms. Bain used her Recorder Unit to allow students to compose and create their own music piece. While the creation of the piece was enough of a project in itself, Ms. Bain took it one step further by integrating technology into the publication of student work. Students created an original recorder piece on paper. After diligent practice of their creation, students used GarageBand to record and perfect it. Once their work was finalized students shared it with Ms. Bain via Google Drive. From there, Ms. Bain was able to create QR codes leading to their pieces and displayed the codes in the Great Hall at CSE for all to enjoy. Someday, if any of her students pursues a career in music, we can all look back and say it may have started because of a project in Lauren Bain’s Music Class.
Sarah Strom, 5th grade ELA teacher at Klein Road Elementary, has students share their understanding of idioms using Animoto. After learning about idioms, students were asked to choose a specific example of an idiom that they would present to their class using Animoto. Each student’s presentation was to include the idiom’s literal meaning , a picture describing the literal meaning, and the idiom’s actual meaning. At the project’s end, student’s presented their Idiom Animoto videos to their class.
NBMS 8th grade students have been working on Civil War Research. Kacy Zaleski, NBMS Media Specialist, plays a large part in teaching students how to tackle this type of project. She gives the students a refresh of the process by using the Gale Research in Context Database that all of the students can access. Once the students log in with their Google credentials, they can choose the subject area of their research, in this case, U.S. History. At that point, the most popular research topics are listed,and the student can zero in on the area they are needing. In the images below, we’ve chosen Abraham Lincoln. After that choice… wonderful things start to happen… it shows all of the information available in the different forms, such as, reference, magazines, biographies, images, videos, primary sources, etc. (see attachment for sample). This makes it very easy for the student to get the required number of each source needed for the project. When a selection has been made, the database offers great options like… listing the reading level, the choice of the article being read aloud, translation to different languages, etc. The student can highlight text in the articles as they go, and if they want to download the information… it automatically downloads to Google Drive… into a Research Folder… that it creates. Another huge part of research, required citations, are created instantly.
After the student has collected everything they need, they can take if from Google Drive into Notability for further highlighting and fine tuning. This process truly brings research to a new level for students.
Ninth Grade Center Digital Media teacher Georgia Shaffer has her students create their own Google Sites. The students use their sites to make an online portfolio to showcase their work and share it with others. Students have posted projects that they have completed throughout the year. They have used programs such as Adobe Flash, Photoshop, and Illustrator, as well as Garageband, Microsoft Office, and a Unit on Photography. Along with the posted project, students write about how they created it and any reflections they have about their finished piece.
Mrs. Stroud’s English Language Arts students had a variety of tasks to complete. First, students had to choose a grammar concept in order to become a “Master Grammar Guru”. Next, they had to create their own video using one of the following apps: iMovie, Explain Everything, Show Me or Adobe Spark Video to teach their classmates the concept. Then, they had to create their own practice worksheet by generating 10 practice questions for classmates to complete together as a team. They had to create these handouts by using Google Docs, Microsoft Word or Pages. For the final Assessment, they had to create a Socrative Quiz in order to see how well the classmates grasped the grammar concept. Research shows that students have mastery of a concept when they have to explain what they have learned. These apps provide a wonderful way for teachers to assess if the students know the material.
BrainPOP videos have often been used to introduce or review concepts. Students in Sue Hardaway’s science class are using the resource to extend their learning even further. After students watch a video on a concept, they create Mind Maps using the Make-a-Map feature through BrainPop. Mind Maps help students organize thoughts by importing images from the gallery and connecting ideas to show relationships. Students are also able to play games that further deepen their understanding of the concept being taught or reviewed. If you’d like more information on getting your classroom setup with the extra features BrainPOP offers, contact Sue or Robin Wright for more information.
Martha Lewis, Librarian at County Line Elementary, uses Aurasma and iMovie with her students to create “Book Trailers”. Students first choose a book and use iMovie Trailers on the iPad to create a short trailer reviewing the book. The students then use Aurasma to take a picture of their book cover and link it to the iMovie trailer they created. Now other students can quickly scan the book covers using Aurasma to watch the book trailers. This project helps develop interest and excitement for reading books available in the school library.
NBMS Algebra I students in Lynda McLean’s class learned about Transforming Quadratic Equations. The lesson started with each student joining the NearPod lesson on their own iPad. Ms. McLean, using the Reflector app, her iPad, and her classroom computer, was able to “control” the flow of the lesson as the students followed and participated on their own device. The students were not only able to see exactly what was at the front of the room, but could also participate in small practice/discovery activities that were included in the Nearpod lesson. An introduction Fireworks video grabbed their attention and set the stage for the lesson. Using Nearpod and a graphing calculator app, students were able to explore characteristics of a quadratic function. Students graphed quadratic equations on the graphing calculator app, inserted a screen shot into Nearpod and shared it with the class. By analyzing and discussing these contributions, students were able to discover how changing the values of a quadratic equation effects the graph… all while Ms. McLean watched their resulting graphs show up on her iPad. She was immediately able to see if they “got it” or not. What an engaging way to learn!
Students continued their learning from activities found in their iTunes U Algebra course. They opened them into Notability, where they could continue the hands-on process.
For students who might have missed the class or needed “one more look” at the lesson, the entire Nearpod lesson link was posted in their iTunes U course. No excuse for not learning in this class!
Señora Adams at Oak Run Middle School has embraced the power of technology to create a meaningful lesson for her students. Students were able to take ownership of their lives by writing their autobiography in Spanish then presenting their life story using iMovie. Through this one lesson, students had to become translators, directors, actors and artists to share their personal stories. The students were able to turn in their iMovies in a shared Google Drive Folder in order for Señora Adams to grade them.
NBHS Psychology and Sociology Teacher George Kilford created interactive textbooks for each of his courses using iBooks author and Adobe Photoshop. Students access the books via his iTunes U course on their iPads, and open them in iBooks. Content includes original text and images and embedded videos, songs and other multimedia. One favorite is the song clips he includes throughout to reiterate points and serve as mnemonic aids.
Holly Stripling, 5th grade ELA teacher at Walnut Springs Elementary, uses iMovie and Keynote for student reading responses. After reading a class novel, students were given the choice to either reenact a pivotal scene from the story using iMovie or explain how an event from the story is important to the plot or theme using Keynote. This type of reading response gives student choice that appeals to both the artist and the writer and also provides a product that the teacher can easily evaluate.
Because students tend to gloss over the important text features included with a reading passage, Erica Presley figured out a way to make those features engaging for her students. Together, the class read The Wolves are Back by Jean Craighead George. The well-researched book is based on true events regarding the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park from the 1920s – 1990s. Mrs. Presley wanted her students to learn more about the elusive animal. Erica searched the internet for information based on their study of wolves. She found graphs, pictures, flowcharts, and illustrations based on events surrounding the Gray Wolf at Yellowstone and stored them in Google Drive. The graphics were relevant to and supported the text that was read.
After linking those graphics to QR codes, she placed them around the room for students to scan. Once revealed, students filled out a worksheet that stated the type of graphic revealed and information that was learned from the item. This forced students to think critically about the image, not just glancing over it quickly.
To further students’ understanding, they were tasked with using Adobe Spark Video to create a movie on the topic of wolves. Students were to incorporate three of the graphics from the QR codes as well as create two drawings on their own. Students used the five images to summarize what they learned from their study of wolves.
“This was an easy way to teach many types of text features related to one piece of text.” -Erica Presley
Kathryn Chapman, 4th Grade Teacher, uses Nearpod during both whole group instruction as well as independent instruction. For whole group, she presents slideshows to go over concepts with the class. She always includes slides that prompt the students to submit answers or pictures to illustrate their knowledge of the content. Independently, she uses it for science lessons. She downloads video clips from Discovery Streaming and embeds them in the Nearpod presentation. Students watch the video clip, then answer questions. She usually includes up to 5 clips for them to watch, with about 3 questions per clip. By using Nearpod, students are able to work at their own pace and show their knowledge all in one place.
Amanda Hunt, Librarian and GT Teacher, uses Smore for weekly GT newsletters to parents. She shares important information and dates, embeds links and photos, as well as shares what students will do each Friday in GT. She emails the newsletters directly to the parents from the Smore website. Amanda uses the analytics on the website as well, to see how many parents are viewing the newsletters and clicking on the links. (Please note that this feature is available only on upgraded accounts.)
Señor Braun’s AP Spanish Language and Culture class created an augmented reality Misterio Búsqueda (Mystery Search) for other NBHS Spanish students to enjoy. Target images triggered movies–in Spanish–his students made. Linda Miller used the same idea with her Graphic Design Students on an art project. They used Aurasma to make their artwork interactive. Target images triggered movies of the students talking about their work.
Aurasma is an app that animates static images found in real life when they are viewed through the app. The process is called Augmented Reality. Unlike Virtual Reality, which creates a completely digital environment, AR adds a digital layer to the real environment. Students create these digital layers (usually short videos) in a video editing app like iMovie, then import them as an Aura and attach them to a target image in Aurasma. When the target images are viewed through the Aurasma app, the Aura comes to life on the screen.
In Science at all grade levels we utilize Kahoot as a learning and review tool for students. Kahoot is a great way to get students engaged, by playing and keeping score, so that their cognitive awareness is heightened. Most of the time you can search the thousands of already made Kahoots for your topic. You can even type in the specific TEK; for example TEK 6.5A Know that an element is a pure substance represented by chemical symbols, and there you will find information pertinent to your grade level TEK. As the Kahoot moto says Make Learning Awesome! Kahoot does just that.
Algebra II teacher Jennifer Skrhak creates assignments for her students to complete on the iPad. This allows them to get immediate feedback on assignments and the her to gather more detailed data about the students’ understanding of the curriculum.
eBackpack Assessments allows teachers to give quizzes and tests on the iPad. Security is strong, because students cannot access the tests without an authenticated login. Even after they gain access, additional security measures like shuffled questions and answers and adjustable access times create a secure environment for quizzing. Once all of the students are done with the test, the teacher has the option of releasing the results in the eBackpack app.
Leadership potential is a character trait that students at the elementary struggle to grasp. Lisa Tschoepe and Hailey Parsons at Lamar Elementary helped their 3rd grade students find that potential within themselves through a Social Studies lesson on leadership. Teachers began with a read aloud about Jane Addams from the textbook. Teachers discussed various vocabulary terms such as volunteer, leadership, and public service. Students were then tasked with the question of how can change happen in our community? Students discussed ideas such as leadership roles, character traits, and compromise. Brainstorming took place as students discussed ways they could be a part of making a difference on their campus. Students were split into groups. Groups discussed problems, challenges, solutions, compromises, and requirements of the problems found on the campus. Each group divided up roles based on tasks to accomplish. Using the Prezi app, students created slides to represent the change they wanted to take place on their campus. Students were required to use persuasive strategies to help support the information on their slides. Once projects were completed, students were able to mirror their iPads to the projector for final presentations. Once complete, students pasted the link from their Prezi into a Google Form to help streamline the grading process for both Mrs. Tschoepe and Mrs. Parsons. Both teachers are also able to save the links for examples of projects for future use.
There is so much to a name. Students in Brande Schriewer’s 5th grade reading class used a novel study of the book Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff to dig deeper into what makes our names special.
Rump Rhymes was a project based on rhyme patterns, plot, and character analysis. One of Rump’s only comforts in life was making up rhymes. After reading the book and studying rhyme patterns, students formed groups to create their own original Rump Rhyme. The content of the rhyme had to be about a major event in the story or a rhyme based on character analysis. Students created pictures to go with the rhyme and then created a ThingLink for their presentation. ThingLinks were turned into a QR code for the school to scan and view.
After completing the novel, students were tasked with creating a Prezi presentation about their own name. Rump is based on the main character not knowing his full name and his quest to find it. A major theme is: Find your destiny, find your name. As a culminating project, students focused on their own names, what their name means, what their destiny is based on their name, and what they like and dislike about their name. Students also created name plates with an original name design. Students used Prezis to give final presentations about their names.
Kacy Zaleski, NBMS Library Media Specialist, wanted to help students find books, available in the school Library, that were directly related to the mood, likes and dislikes, and even personallity of the student. By joining forces with Megan Traeger, 8th grade ELA teacher, books were catergorized and put into groups according to their genre and types of students who typically enjoy reading them. The online site, www.qzzr.com, was used to create a “quiz” that contained fun questions that ended with a suggested genre and a list of books in that genre available in the school Library. QR codes were displayed all around the Library for students to access the “quiz” any time.
Students loved the idea. They could retake the “quiz” with different choices and see the different results that came up. Once they had a genre or book suggestions, they used the Destiny app on their iPads to search. This was a fun way to keep students excited about reading as well as get them to explore genres that might be new to them.
Book Creator is an app for creating iBooks. Students can publish their stories, embellished with music, narration and video; format it; then share it with their friends. Students in Mr. Wade’s French III class at NBHS used it to create animated children’s books “en français” to be shared with younger children. The group project included researching their topic, writing in French and illustrating the book with images that do not infringe upon copyright.
Judy Griscom, 5th grade Math teacher at Walnut Springs Elementary, has students use iTunes U, Notability, and iMovie in a Math PBL project that covers adding and subtracting decimals. Students are put into groups and then must work together to plan a trip and gather all of the necessary information to create a budget of their expenses. The students were given project documents through the teacher’s iTunes U course. Students annotated the documents using Notability. Students then presented their final budgets and trip plans to their classmates using iMovie. Students were able to reflect their own devices to the teacher computer using the Reflector 2 app which allowed them to project their presentations to the entire class.
In October, librarian Jennifer Shafer used Kahoot to kick off a discussion on genre with a trivia contest at the Ninth Grade Center. Winners were selected each lunch period and received a book as a prize.
Kahoot is a free app that lets teachers turn their curriculum into a game show. Teacher-generated quiz questions are projected and students use their iPads in a race to respond. Students use it to review for tests, get introduced to new materials, learn about school programs and challenge each other. According to their website, Kahoot’s method of only displaying answer choices on the projector encourages student interaction and participation.
Kristen Bryant at Oak Run Middle School uses Quicktime Audio Recording and Garage Band to record an audio version for math tests and assignments. Students access the PDF and the Audio in iTunesU, then inserts the PDF into Notability. Students then swipe up on their iPad to rewind, pause and/or fast forward the audio. This is a powerful tool to help students gain success especially for the auditory learners. Mrs. Bryant also uses Reflector 2 in order to record a math lesson so students can watch the video when she has a substitute.
Teri Sides, a teacher at Oak Run Middle School, teaches her students how to create their own Kahoots and then share with others. Kahoot is a platform that students can find quizzes on a plethora of subjects and topics as well as the ability to create their own quiz! This is the generation of content needing to be “gamified” to encourage engaged learning. Using Learning Ally helps any type of student to be successful in reading. 80% of Learning Ally consists of textbooks that correlate with state standards. Students are able to listen as well as to read the text at the same time. What a powerful tool for students with Dyslexia, vision impairments and/or a learning disability. Mrs. Sides also helps her students fill in the gaps of their learning by utilizing Moby Max. Students log in and choose his or her lesson of the day. Moby Max assesses the student in each content areas and places them on their own individual grade level. They practice the current grade level with lessons spiraling back to previous grades until they have mastered all skills with a 100% mastery.
Amanda Hunt, Librarian at Walnut Springs Elementary, uses Play Osmo kits and Osmo Apps with small student groups to review literacy and critical thinking skills. Students can use the Osmo Tangram app with the Tangram kit to build tangram models. The Osmo Words app and Words kit can be used to practice vocabulary and spelling skills. Osmo also has a Masterpiece app that students can use to develop art skills and a Newton app that can be used to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Mr. Kruse’s art students at the Ninth Grade Center print 3D objects created on their iPads using apps from the 123D line. 123D Sculpt is an app that lets beginning students design realistic 3D shapes. Students looking for more of a challenge can use the more advanced 123D Design for their creations. Objects created can be printed in 3D using a special printer.
The journalism/media teacher at Oak Run Middle School, Traci Owens, has really grasped the concept of student-led Project Based Learning. Students in her class use iMovie, Adobe Suite and Google Slides to create an exciting Unicorn Express (morning announcements) experience! Students choose their own jobs, manage the calendar for upcoming deadlines and collaborate together in order to create the next morning announcement. The students use the Teleprompter Pro Lite App to help them use a home-made teleprompter that a student created out of a glass picture frame so the words would scroll up in order for them to be “real” reporters!
Lydia Willingham, NBMS Spanish teacher, had her students use the Book Creator app to create children’s books using Spanish reflexive verbs. The students had fun, worked hard and then could share their finished work with each other to practice the verbs each had chosen. The students first read the passage aloud, and then clicked to have the iPad read it back to them. Of course, it was a recording of the student who created the project. This really encouraged the students to read well, since others were going to hear it. Check out the attached iBook for an example of what they did.
Still working with vocaulary and pronunciations, Spanish III students made memes. Using the Mematic app, they were able to tap into their creativity to show what they knew in a new and fun way. Everyone had a great time. See a couple of our favorites below.
At the beginning of the school year, Megan Treager, NBMS ELA teacher, wanted her students to get to know her, her classroom, and operations of the class. She had them form groups (based on what card they chose walking in to the class). They were then given a scavenger hunt list where they would have to find and photograph the answer to the puzzle. Using all of their pictures, they used the app Corkulous to help put all of the pictures together. They had fun running around the classroom finding everything and then creatively placing them on their digital cork board which allowed for media, texts, and other little gadgets.
Brinda Soto, 1st grade teacher at Klein Road Elementary, uses Nearpod, live video cameras from the San Diego Zoo, and the Doodle Buddy app to create a virtual field trip experience for her students. Students view the teacher created Nearpod presentation to learn about animals and their special characteristics. Embedded within the presentation are links to live video cameras in the San Diego Zoo so students can get a live look at each animal that they learn about. Students then use the Doodle Buddy app, which is a basic whiteboard app, to draw the animal characteristics they learned about so the teacher can quickly check for student understanding of the standards covered.
Here are pictures of my class using the website conjuguemos.com. This website allows students to practice vocabulary from our textbook by accessing their database of Teacher-made activities, exercises, and quizzes. The website also offers flashcards, crossword puzzles, and inter-active games. I enjoy using this website, because it provides a list of vocabulary words that students can use by practicing online or printing out a hard copy. Parents have commented that they like being able to print from home as well as logging in and practicing for themselves.
I also use the exercises as a daily grade. The website grades it automatically and sends me a report.
Many teachers at the high school record their lectures to post in iTunes U. The chemistry teachers post their lectures and all related content at the beginning of a unit, then give their students instructions to access and complete it at their own pace, with mini-deadlines to keep everyone on track. Since the lectures are pre-recorded, the teachers are able to use their class time helping students individually.
iTunes U lets teachers share their content with students to be accessed anytime, anywhere. This includes assignments, notes and videos. Students join each of their teachers’ iTunes U courses when they join a class, then have access to all content that has been distributed. This allows students to access materials as they are ready for it, with no wait time. It is especially helpful for students who are missing class due to illness or extracurricular activities.
For many students who love reading, the joy comes from the text coming to life. Heather Mayer gave her students an opportunity to give life to their own writing. Students began by creating a heart map of important events in their lives. From the heart map they chose one event to develop into a personal narrative. The students created at least two illustrations to accompany the writing, but not all students chose to include the drawings in their final project. Students discussed the many ways writing can be presented: visually, orally, and print form. It was also noted that voice and expression can enhance the story, and music and color can help set the mood.
Using Adobe Spark Video, students recorded themselves reading their story. The students were expected to read their writing with expression, to use audio and visual elements that complimented the story. Their visual elements were to be correctly timed with the story. The final product had to include recorded voice, music, and at least 8 slides – a title/author slide, 6 story slides, and a closing slide. The students were able to submit their work into eBackpack or Google Drive if the file size was too big.
With budgets and time playing factors in the number of field trips that can be taken, Mrs. Summerville needed a way for her students to be able to experience cultural landmarks of New Braunfels. She decided to send her students on a virtual scavenger hunt of the town, while using their studies as a review and closing activity. Pictures of local landmarks that had been studied were posted around the school building. Students were partnered and given an iPad with the Klikaklu app already downloaded. Mrs. Summerville had prepared a scavenger hunt for her students beforehand. She gave her students “clues” to a destination around town. Once students solved the clues and could identify the location, they would find the photo that matched the answer, and scan to get the next clue. Once all of the clues had been solved and pictures found, students were “rewarded”.
Lauren Roeling (Problem Based Instruction teacher at Oak Run Middle School) is using Blendspace to deliver a Problem Based Learning Assignment. Students work in groups to create a one-hour program for Primetime T.V. to air at 7:00. Their goal is to create a four minute presentation convincing the Director (teacher) why their show will become a long lasting program and have potential to be ranked in the top 10 for prime time tv programming. Students will use Blendspace to read articles, do research, watch videos and to complete pdf’s in Notability, then turn them into eBackpack. Students will be using Keynote, Toontastic and Animation Desk to present the final product.
Students in Shannon Duffy’s class at Oak Run Middle School were given opportunities to choose how they were going to present their autobiographies to the class. Giving students the freedom to choose helps them take control of their learning, gives them purpose and empowers them to want to succeed. Students scripted their own autobiography and then were instructed to choose a how they were going to share their project through technology. Prezi, Keynote Presentations and Quicktime Movies were the most popular tools used to show off their projects.
Karen Jaramillo, teacher at Walnut Springs Elementary, used the Aurasma app and Shutterfly to create a digital shapes gallery with her 1st grade students. Students first used their iPad cameras to record short videos about shapes. The teacher created a “shapes gallery” by finding clip art of each of the different shapes and then printed the pictures out to display. The shape pictures were linked to the student created shape videos using Aurasma. Students used the Aurasma app to scan each of the shape pictures in the gallery to reveal the student created shape videos. The teacher then put the same shape pictures into a Shutterfly book that can be kept in the classroom and scanned with Aurasma again and again.
Karen Thias, an Oak Run Middle School teacher, used Google Docs, Google Drive and eBackpack for her Thanksgiving Virtual Tour assignment. She created a Google Doc with links to websites that would allow students to explore the history behind Thanksgiving. The document also had questions on it that students would answer as they toured the websites. She uploaded this Google Doc to a shared folder that she created for each class period. The students went to the shared folder, opened the document and made a copy of it so they could edit it. After touring the websites and answering the required questions on the Google Doc, students then turned in the assignment to eBackpack. This technique keeps students engaged and maximizes class time for more active student participation and teacher facilitation.
Students in Mrs. Flores’ 8th grade ELA classes have always been expected to write in their Reading Response Journal on a regular basis. To make it more fun and engaging, they were to use iMovie on the iPad to create an iMovie Trailer that would represent their Reading Response.
You can see in the attached sample product, these 8th graders did so much more than what could have been done by simply writing their response. Everyone enjoyed the process as well as the results that were shared with the rest of the class.
Jennifer Anaya, 2nd grade teacher at County Line Elementary, uses the Aurasma app for a writing assignment titled “Superheroes in Training.” Students each created a paper “superhero” describing themselves and their “super powers.” The paper superheroes were then used to create a bulletin board in the hall. The students then used their iPad cameras and the Chatterpix App to create short videos of themselves describing their “super powers.” The paper superheroes can be scanned using the Aurasma app to reveal each student’s video.
Working through the order of operations in math can be challenging for both students and teachers. There are only so many practice problems you can do before students lose interest and teachers have no more hair to pull out. Michelle Simmonds, 5th Grade Math teacher at Seele Elementary, was able to find a solution that worked for her class. Students used iTunesU to download a BINGO board into Notability. Students were asked to write numbers into the blank boxes that correlated with the answers to the 50 practice problems they were about to work. Ms. Simmonds posted QR codes around the room that linked to the problems that practiced order of operations. Students would scan the code, work the problem with their table mates, and then mark off the answer on their BINGO board, if it was on their card. Teams that were able to correctly solve, check, and mark answers in a row scored a BINGO. For a further challenge, teams were then asked to take one of the problems and create a word problem that matched the context of the given equation.
“This was quite challenging for them. They really liked the activity. I will for sure do something like this again!” -Michelle Simmonds
Ashley Moore, 4th grade Math teacher at Klein Road Elementary, uses Google Docs for the intro to a PBL project. She used Google Docs to create a list of student generated “Need-to-Knows” that will be referred to throughout the PBL project to gauge what student instruction is needed. She projects the Google Doc so the entire class can offer suggestions on what she should add to list. After the list of “Need-to-Knows” is finalized, she shares the document with each student in her class. Students can refer back to the list and can add additional “Need-to-Knows” to the doc throughout the project.