Being a digital learning coach, this year I have been fortunate to be involved in all elementary, middle and high schools for the Los Lunas District. I have especially enjoyed the rollout at the middle schools and the possibilities happening.
At Valencia Middle school teachers have been working closely with our district Apple Professional Learning Specialist. This first round of educators stepped up to the plate and shared a lesson integrating iPads, shared effective strategies and the learning process. I was totally impressed that I just had to create a video! These teachers are so inspiring and it is amazing how much they have pushed expectations and taken the risk to integrate iPads to personalize learning and engage ALL! Thank you Valencia Middle School! #WeRockLLS
What an amazing experience students had when augmented reality creation was introduced. Using the 6th Generation iPad, middle school students were in the middle of their civilizations unit. The assignment was to create their own town with specific requirements. The choice was given to build some kind of realistic model. This year a group of students used the AR MAKR app to build that town right in their classroom! They created images, shapes and drawings in Keynote and transferred them to the AR MAKR app. Next they were able to record and publish as a video to share. Some even had time to create their own background music on Garage Band.
Since the "Hour of Code" was a big push nationwide, it became a huge interest of mine as well as hobby. I got invited into a third grade classroom to model how to connect coding into the curriculum. I took this opportunity to do "Coding with Multiplication," "Retelling with Dash," and "Santa Around the World" using Spheros and Dash robots. Students highly enjoyed this hands on experience. I was amazed to hear the vocabulary of using the words factors, product during the multiplication coding. The problem solving skills were amazing and students wanted to succeed beyond expectations. This is a must do!
After reading short folktales and fables, students created puppets of the characters and retold the story in their own words on the DoInk green screen app. They were able to pick a picture of the setting as their background. Some students preferred to freehand draw their characters, while others would rather print off a cartoon coloring page and use it as their characters. In this example a group of 3 students worked together as a short reader's theater play. DoInk allows the backdrop screen to be any solid color so we used blue partition folders as our screen and blue popsicle sticks so student's hands were not shown moving their characters in and out of the screen.
Seesaw now has a new feature that allows teachers to assign activities to students! Activities can be picked from pre-made ones or created on their own. Today I assigned students a Fable Passage and questions. They were able to open the file, read the passage, then type out the questions with the label option. It worked out great because they didn't have to jump around from app to app.
I am hoping to use this activity option to assign students their center work, because directions can be given audio, scaffolds are provided in front of them if needed and I can quickly check who still needs to finish what activity.
Students love the "Write About This" app. This app allows students to choose a writing prompt from the numerous options, type a response, and record their writing. They are able to showcase their work to SeeSaw or export it into their Camera Roll, create a QR code and share amoung others. They can also create their own writing prompts with a related picture. This can work great as a writing sample, in a center or for a final draft.
This month we have started our fable unit. Students must be able explain how the moral of the story is conveyed through key details in the text. To do this students were given a fable, read it and highlighted on the paragraph that wraps up the lesson learned. Using Book Creator and picking the comic mode students are able to add stickers, speech bubbles, voice recordings and pictures to help connect to the text. These "Book Snaps" continue to be made throughout the unit on different fables highlighting on the moral. Students really enjoyed creating this digital book to be shared with others.