Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2nd Graders Publish 24 Days of Winter Slideshow With Help From Buncee!

It was a long journey, but 2nd graders have finally completed their slideshow/wBoo, The 24 Days of Winter in Lakeville!

Our project began with the reading of a fun book by Minnesota author, Constance Van Hoven, The 12 Days of Christmas in Minnesota.

After reading the book, my students and I began to discuss some of the things in the book that we could really related to and a few that we really didn't know much about here in Minnesota. As we discussed, we began to talk about our experiences living in Minnesota. Most of our experiences are similar and occur right in our home town of Lakeville! That is what inspired our project! What are the special experiences that we share here in Lakeville? The discussion was a loud, boisterous brainstorming session of all of our favorite things about Lakeville, many of which turned out to be places we have in common. I didn't edit my student's list, I was their scribe as they shared. It's a bit messy, but here is a look at the results of our brainstorm - 

After we had a list, we began a script for our book - 24 Days of Winter in Lakeville using the 12 Days of Christmas as our guide.  Students began by finding images of our popular Lakeville spots around town.  My students were surprised to see the city of Lakeville in pictures on the internet. These are places that my students go to all the time...how exciting to find them on the internet!

The next step in our process was figuring out the best web tool for our collection of pictures. I often let students choose which digital tool that they feel will fit the project, but this time I wanted us to work together to make our project. I recently began playing around with a presentation web tool called Buncee that was on the AASL Best App for Learning list for 2015.  I liked the application. It worked in the browsers on our computers as well as an app for our iPads. It has fun slide backgrounds, ready to go clipart and animations, voice recording, drawing tools, embeddable links, sound files and an option to upload our own files! What really set the tool apart was the animations. My students went crazy for these! So we started using Buncee for this project.

Only after I started did I realize that Buncee doesn't allow students to collaborate on the same project simultaneously. As much as I really love the Buncee interface and ease of use, having students collaborate on group projects is a "must have" feature for me. I am told that Buncee staff are working to add this and I am excited for this option!  Until then, I had to have students come to the computer to assemble their projects one at a time.  This really contributed to the length of time it took to finish the project.  

Once students assembled their Lakeville images, chose a background, added text and an animation, they seemed really happy with the final project! They got a chance to try a new digital tool. Also, the tie to their community was fun and gave us the opportunity to bring a little of their life outside of school into our project.