I have written about how we use this app in my class to document and share our weather (see here) but I wanted to remind everyone about this great app and share the new options available. The one I am the most excited about (seen above) displays the weather on a thermometer with both Fahrenheit and Celsius. This is very valuable for us because we share our weather with classes around the world using Twitter. Other options I am excited about are shown below. The kids love helping to take the picture and keeping track of how the weather changes during the seasons.
** I always blur out the part of the image that shows our location using the Skitch app because I don’t like to share our exact location on twitter.
The first week of school I am going to make a picture (see above) with each student during teacher table time. My goal is to get to know them more while also providing a display that can be used for writing in our classroom. After I make a picture of every student I am going to hang them around the room. This will be a fun way for the kids to get to know each other better while also giving them some great words to write in their journal when we start our journal the second week. Since I teach Kindergarten many of the kids can’t write much more than their names and I always encourage them to copy words from the wall as practice while we are learning how to write. My hope is these pictures will give them words they like as well as a resource of words that are important to their friends.
To make this picture I used the app Explain Everything (more info here). There are many storytelling apps that could do the same thing. Skitch is an option if you want to make one with just words (see here.) This could also easily be done with Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
What activities or games do you do with your students the first week of school? Would appreciate you adding your ideas here -> First Week Activities
This FREE app is so much fun. All you have to do is download the free flashcards, print them in color and then use the free app. When you open the app press “get started” and it opens a camera viewer. Place one or more of the cards in view of the camera and watch the magic happen. When you touch the screen on top of the animal or card it also tells you the letter name and animal. I know we are always looking for interesting ways to get kids to learn letters and I think this could be a great addition to the bag of tricks. Check out the video below if you need to see the app in action.
I also love that it will recognize more than one card at a time. I am going to have my class use this app to spell their name and practice spelling sight words.
I am passionate about integrating tech into the classroom and feel that should start day one. Here are my goals for the first day…
- Show parents/kids that tech will be a big part of our learning
- Allow kids to be part of the tech process.
- Show the kids that it is their learning and tech gives them a voice
- Begin to build the home/school connection by giving parents a “window” into our day
These are the three things I plan to do on the first day…
#1- First day of Kindergarten picture (seen above.) I did this last year and the parents loved it! The key part is getting the image to the parents during the first day. Pictures are priceless and I think it set the tone for our year. Parents knew I cared about sharing our day and learning as well as understood I plan to use tech daily. I got all their emails during open house and told them to expect a fun picture the first day.
#2- Video walk: We will take a walk to meet some of the important people in our school (librarian, principal, custodian, nurse, office manager) and ask them about their most important job in the school. The kids will help ask the question and take the video. Then that video will be our first post on our classroom blog. This will give them something to talk about with their parents and show that the blog will be as pace to share their learning. I use the iMovie app to take all the videos and combine them into one video. Sample video at the bottom of this post.
#3- Pictures, pictures, pictures: My class has access to a digital camera every day (see here) and that will start day one. I will take the pictures taken by the class along with the ones I take of the first day and share those on our classroom blog. It is a quick and easy way to share our day with parents. Don’t have a blog or not allowed to blog. I wasn’t either until last year so I emailed all the pictures to my parents each day. I know that sounds crazy but it was fast and simple with Microsoft word. Check out this image to see the quick way to do this, the only difference is you would save the file as a PDF instead of printing it. Then email the file to parents. It would take me about 5 minutes at the end of each day.
How do you plan to integrate tech the first day?
This is an edit of a post from a while back…
My favorite technology tool in the class is the digital camera. My kids have access to it all day. They are allowed to get it anytime to take pictures of things they want to document or share. We constantly use the images to review our learning and also share that learning with parents and friends around the world.
A few things I love about the digital camera (when kids are given control)…
- it is a way for the students to share learning (gives them a voice)
- we get to see things from their perspective
- it is a review of their learning
- they are practicing how to capture a thought with an image
- the students learn how to use a camera
The next step is of course sharing these images. I have a post coming soon that will describe the ways that we share pictures from our class using a class blog.
Aurasma is a free app that is similar to QR codes except the QR code part can be any image instead of a code. What that means is you can set the “trigger” to be just about any image you want. My mind has been racing with the amazing possibilities this app provides. Since I found it close to the end of the year I decided to use it to slightly improve an idea I already had planned for the last weeks of school. I wanted my current Kindergarten class to make videos explaining the classroom expectations to the incoming Kindergarten kids for next year and Aurasma was perfect for this project. Here is how it works (detailed pics below)…
First, you need to decide what the overlay is going to be. The overlay is what happens when the app recognizes a trigger. For our project the overlays were the videos explain the classroom expectations. We made all of those videos first and saved them on the iPad camera roll.
The next step is deciding the trigger image. This is the image that the Aurasma app will recognize and then show the overlay you decide. The image at the top of this post is an example of a trigger image I created. The trigger can really be any image you want. I decided to include the Aurasma logo in all the trigger images so the kids would know what to look for. Since I want my class to be a print rich environment I also added text to all the trigger images. I used a google image search to find the pictures and Microsoft Word to make create all the trigger images.
I posted the trigger images all over my room and next year we will explore them the first week of school as I introduce things to the class. We have videos for bathroom expectations, Texas Pledge, our one rule, locker expectations, how to log onto the computer, and many more. I also plan to make an interactive word wall using the app next year. My plan is to have a kids say each word and use it in a sentence, then the kids can use the iPad to “read the room” as a literacy center.
Here is a video showing what the kids will see on the iPad. They will open Aurasma and hold the iPad over the trigger image and this will happen… (Be Brave Rule Video)
Another Example (Texas Pledge)
Here is a step by step guide to creating an Aura
** Note the indicator at the bottom of the image below, this will help you make sure you choose a good trigger image that the app can recognize. The goal is to get the indicator to the green side.