I try to find ways to use Perler beads as often as I can. They are colorful, fun and really great for fine motor practice. This week I decided to pair them with some q-tip art sheets I had seen before (download them here) This activity is not as creative as I prefer their art jobs to be but overall I think it worked really well. The kids work on fine motor by practicing to put a perfect sized dot of glue in each circle, when they pick up and place the bead and of course cleaning up all the beads after the center is over.
Here are three other posts I have about Perler beads…
I sent a Mother’s Day video card to all the parents today using the Explain Everything app (example below) The first thing I did was to take a picture of the card they made using their hand print (I will post that printable here soon so you can use it if you want) Next we took two videos per child. One video they said something nice and then I love you and the second clip they said “Happy Mother’s Day.” I have found that breaking up what they say into segments is actually faster to get done because we have fewer retakes but you could of course record it all in one clip. Then I imported the picture into Explain Everything along with the first video and recorded that video playing. After that I imported their second video and just placed it in top of the first one and recorded that video playing. The last step was saving it to the camera roll. If you need some more details on using the app try this post. Happy Mother’s Day to all!
I continue to find fun way to use Popplet. The past two weeks we have used the app for the kids to show they understand a concept we have learned in the classroom. For the example above they made a noun word web and we also used it to make a word web of insects (example at bottom of page.) To set up for this center I first search for the images they will need and save them on the iPad. Saving them is a simple as doing an image search in Safari and then holding your finger on top of an image for a few seconds until “save image” pops up. Those images are saved to your camera roll. Another option is to create a folder through syncing, you can find more info on that here. For the insects activity I even added some pictures that were not insects to the camera roll so they had to think before adding images. They really liked that challenge.
As part of the center for both of these activities I printed a “starter sheet” so the kids would be able to write the center part the Popplet correctly. You are welcome to use those if you like. To create them I took a screenshot of the iPad and inserted that image into Microsoft word.
One thing you might notice is the noun example has invented spelling and the insect one is spelled correctly. For the noun center I only gave the kids the noun starter page, but for the insect center I also gave them a sheet with all the names of the insects. I switch back and forth from letting them sound out words and letting them find the correct words from a list because I see value in both.
After the kids are done creating the Popplet I save their finished product as a .jpeg and email that to my computer. Their favorite part is I print those finished images( black and white) onto a half sheet of paper and they get to take them home. Again, I use Microsoft word for printing the finished products by simply inserting the .jpeg.
Quick tutorial on using Popplet. Orange arrow is how to add text to a box. Red arrow is for adding images. The white dots around the box is how you add new boxes to create the web. Saving the finished project by pressing export (blue arrow)
We made this video today for Earth Day. This was my teacher table activity and I worked with each kid individually to help them think of a sentence and write it. The audio was recorded during our quiet reading time. A great feature of the app is you can create each page and then go back and add audio as needed. If you need more info on using Explain Everything check out this post.
Here is another example of how I am using the interactive notebook (read more about it here). I am really in love with this new tool for showing learning in my class. We are discussing insects this week and the first thing we did is go outside and look for insects. We found crickets, pill bugs, ladybugs and a few crawly things but the highlight was the stink bug pictured above. I know we were lucky to find such a great insect but using a real example that the class found themselves really added to the excitement. Once we had them in the room we used those discoveries to begin to learn “what is an insect.” Through discussion and by sharing the “rules” to be an insect they learned that some of the things they had found were insect and some were not. To demonstrate their knowledge of the topic we used the interactive notebook. The image above was printed for each child and they glued it on the teacher side of their journal. I also printed a set of images for them to organize on their side of the journal… some were insects and some were not (printable below). My instructions to the kids were show me what is and insect and what is not. A few examples are below. Since I didn’t give specific directions on HOW to show their thinking you can see that the kids had several ideas that all are creative yet show they have an understanding of the topic. We used the Skitch app to label the image above and the insects are spending some time in ourliving center so we can observe them more.
Last week my class had a fun experience. We used Google docs to play a live tic-tac-toe game with our twitter friends in Montana (@JonFines class) We had already played a few games with the class over an extended period of time, each taking turns and tweeting once we had played but never at the same time. That was a great way to start but the live game was amazing. As you can see from the picture they were a bit excited to win the first game. Jon’s class won the second game and he sent me a few pictures of his class playing so I could show my class their “setup.” On my side of the game I let one child decide where to move each time it was our turn. The entire class was scheming and planning on how to win but the one child had the final choice each turn. The picture below shows our setup. We are already scheming what is next for our two classes, my ultimate goal is to have Kindergarten kids playing chess against friends across the world.