Thursday, March 19, 2015

4th Graders Use Google Sites To Create K-5 Digital Portfolios - It's A Beginning!

For the past few weeks 4th graders have been learning how to create their own Google website! I created a template for them to begin with. Students were able to select the website template and then customize it with their own digital projects. Their websites will be their Elementary Digital Portfolios and will provide them with a place to share for years to come! They are so proud of their ability to create and edit their own websites! Using Google Sites gives us an easy pathway to upload our projects from Google Drive to our websites!

The lessons provided a great opportunity to have conversations about online safety and password security, a conversation that we revisit many times each year. It was also a great opportunity to talk about their digital footprint. We talked about their need to remember that every piece of information they add to their online presence (including social media) is a reflection on their character. They seemed to grasp the significance and contributed to a great discussion!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Votes Have Been Counted - The Elite Eight Books Have Been Chosen In The Oak Hills March Madness Tournament of Books

The students have spoken!  Last week students voted and eliminated eight books from our March Madness Tournament of Books! We are now down to just eight!  More suspense to come, as students vote on their final four!
To see the books we began with, check out last week's March Madness introduction blog post 

2nd Graders Narrate Wordless Books With The Shadow Puppet App!

2nd Graders are just finishing up their wordless book narration project!  They began this project by reading through some of our favorite wordless books and discussing the stories! I had never really taken stock of how many great books are wordless until they were gathered all together.

After reading these beautifully illustrated and imaginative books, each student chose their favorite and took photos of the pages of their book.  (We learned a valuable lesson when importing the images into the Shadow Puppet App!  It is better to take a photo of each page separately rather than one picture of two open pages at a time. Each side works better in the square format in Shadow Puppet! Also, the camera on the iPad offers an option to take the pictures in a square and this helped the students take pictures that fit into Shadow Puppet. )

Once students were done taking their photos, they used the edit feature in the iPad's Camera Roll to edit any extra unwanted bits around each photo.

Then students opened the Shadow Puppet App and imported the pictures.  Shadow Puppet allows the user to reorder and delete images once they are imported.  This was helpful for students who had a mistake in the order of their photos.  

Once students put their photos in order, they added text and background music.  The last step was narrating their wordless book page by page. It took students time to plan out their narration script, and it was great listening to them tell the story in their own voices! They weren't always able to explain what they were seeing on the page perfectly, but their narrations demonstrated personality and their own interpretation!

Friday, March 13, 2015

1st Graders Create Their First iMovies!

First graders are putting the finishing touches on Caldecott iMovies! They have been working hard on their videos each week in media class.  Anyone visiting our library would have seen them under tables, under the circulation desk, and any nook and cranny available to create their own little recording studios!

We began the project by using the Chirp App to share the images of this year's Caldecott Award winning books. Once every iPad had the images, students imported the images into iMovie and added background music.  Then they added the Ken Burn's scrolling effect on each image.  They added vocal tracks by recording themselves saying the name of each book.

Their last step was a self recorded video sharing their favorite Caldecott for the year. Along the way students learned how to turn the volume up and down on the audio and video tracks. They were real experts by the time they were done!

Our final step will be to save their iMovies into Google Drive.  When they are older they will create a digital portfolio website and will be able to use this video as an example of their early digital work!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Celebrate Selfies and the PicCollage App with Kindergarten!

Kindergarteners get so excited when they create something on an iPad.  They love it even more when it includes a picture of their own sweet faces!

This week, kindergarteners learned how to take a selfie on an iPad, which is surprisingly hard for most kindergarteners to manage.  They have to switch from the rear camera to the one in front, hold the iPad up, and take their picture while trying to look at the camera not the shutter button. I find they have more success when they can set it up on one of our library tables.  

Next, students opened the PicCollage App, inserted their picture, chose a background and a few stickers!  They were so excited about the results! We are adding their PicCollage to their Google Drive.  When they are in 5th grade they will love to look back on their kindergarten digital work!

Monday, March 9, 2015

5th Graders Are Hard At Work With "How To" Projects And The Storehouse App!

I've had a front row seat to watch our OHE 5th graders create their "How To" Projects!  I was so excited by what I was seeing that I just had to share it with all of you!  They aren't quite finished yet, but their journey has been full of learning!

To begin the process, students were invited to collaborate in groups or work individually, their choice. I believe that students need options to optimize their learning.  There is no such thing as "one size fits all"! Many students had a passion for their topic, so I just let them run with it! Others needed time to brainstorm and look at our collection of "how to" books to get their creative juices flowing.

Students planned their projects with a planning worksheet before they began documenting each step with video or photos.

This project has been time consuming, but full opportunities for students to bring together their knowledge and creativity into one project - planning, writing, sequencing, supporting details, learning a new digital tool, creating and sharing!  It's been well worth the time! Stay tuned to see it all come together!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Madness Tournament of Books - 2015! Let The Games Begin!!

This week, Oak Hills students are completing their 2015 March Madness Tournament of Books brackets and voting for the Elite Eight using a Google form! This book tournament was so popular last year, that I decided to bring it back for another year!  

To select the original list of sixteen books, I surveyed a few classes for an initial list of favorites. Then I cross-referenced the list with our checkout records in Destiny, our library database, to find the books that have been checked out the most.  I wanted to choose books that were already popular among the students.  Students with the highest point total will win a book from the BOGO Scholastic Book Fair on April 21st!

Once students filled out their brackets, I had them vote on the "Elite 8" to determine the winners of that round of the tournament.  Below is the ballot for the Elite 8.  If you are familiar with a few of the books, you are invited to vote too!  (Filling out a bracket and choosing the subsequent student winners will be reserved for our Oak Hills students, but we would love your help in determining the winning books for each stage of the bracket!)