Saturday, February 15, 2014

Collins Big Cat Story Creator

Collins Big Cat Story Creator from Southfield Christian School on Vimeo.

Originally posted March 2013
Today, Miss Young’s first graders helped me test out a new app.  We used a free app called Collins Big Cat In the Garden.  This app has a storybook that students can listen to and read while they interact with the beautiful illustrations.  It also has a Story Creator feature that is pretty cool. Our students picked a background, added objects and characters, typed in text, and even recorded their voices reading their text.  Above is a short clip showing the students in action.
The students really enjoyed using this app.  It worked great with pairs of students.  I do think the interface for adding the text is a bit confusing, but the students seemed to figure it out.  Unfortunately, there is no way to share or transfer the stories that are created on the app.  Even so,  I think it is good for students to use just to experiment with being creative and is wonderful to help students write, record, and then listen to their own language.
Here is a link to the Collin's Big Cat website.  Scroll down for links to all of the apps:

Collin's Big Cat Website

PopArt Wall using the CamWow app

Originally posted September 2011.

As part of a unit on Pop Art, we created this Andy Warhol style pop art wall for our hallway using the  free CamWow app.  Each student in the elementary school took a picture of themselves using the front facing camera on an iPod. They selected which filter in CamWow they wanted to use for their photo.

This is a great activity for Open House at school!  It created a kind of "Where's Waldo?" wall where students could bring their parents to search for their photos and their friends.

To print the images, I connected the iPods to my laptop and downloaded them all into iPhoto.  I was able to select all the photos and print them off in sheets with 9 photos per sheet.  I glued the sheets onto a long strip of paper before hanging in the hallway.

New Year's Goals using the LabelBox app

This project was originally posted in January of 2013.

Label Box is an excellent free app to use with photography projects in the classroom.  Here is a simple example of using the front facing camera and adding labels to represent goals for the new year.  Each student added an example of a physical, mental, social, and spiritual goal.  

This is an easy project that took under a half hour to complete with 4th graders.  It would be a great activity to do at the start of school to give goals for the school year.  It would also work great for showing descriptive adjectives.

An Apple Eaten

This project was originally posted in October of 2011.

One of the wonderful features of having iPods and iPads available for students to use is the ability to document and save projects while they are in process.  I found this particularly helpful when doing a drawing lesson with 4th and 5th graders.  Students were asked to make 4 sketches of an apple being eaten: the whole apple, a few bites, more bites, and finally the core.

The challenge with this assignment was that I know students would not be able to complete all four steps of the project during one day.  And those half eaten apples would get rather gross if we left them around for a week!  So they used iPods and iPads to record the four stages of the apple for use during the following week.

During the first week students were able to sketch using both the real apple and the photograph.

The following week, we did not have the iPads and iPods available for the students to use, so I printed out black and white copies of their apples for them to use with their drawings.  The black and white images greatly helped them with the sketching and shading as they drew the apples.  Unfortunately I lost the images of the finished projects when my Pixels and Paintbrushes blog caught a virus, but I think you can see how the photographs were a valuable part of the project!