Sunday, April 14, 2013

Community Project


Here is a book that we made about our community.





Please take a few minutes to answer questions my students have.  Thank you!



My original plan was to ask my students' families to go out and take pictures of our community, however, the weather condition in our area was AWEFUL this week.  We had ice & snow storm go through.  I decided to use images on the web instead.  My first option for image search is http://www.pics4learning.com/ which has copyright friendly pictures.  However, this site was not a best option for us today since we were looking for specific photos of our community.

Do you have your students search images in your classroom?  If so, what site do you use?  Do you teach your students how to cite the sources?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spirit Hour and 30hands App

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about sharing students' learning and thinking. Click here to read the post.  I have chosen a name for our sharing session.  Inspired by Genius Hour and also taking part of our school name, I chose Spirit Hour!
Also, I have decided to dedicate one hour a week for Spirit Hour instead of spreading it over two days.   I have to be honest.  I haven't been able to take 30 minute slot two days a week.  We always had something we had to finish.  One of my goals till the end of school year is to keep Spirit Hour going!

My students are still getting used to the idea of "they can share anything they want."  I have to say that my students are used to choices.  I believe in giving my students ownership of their learning.  However, when I give them no choice, they go blank... I encourage them to take a risk! Any thinking, any learning, anything they are proud of!

Starting next week, I will put a chart paper on the wall so that the students can jot down the ideas for sharing during the week.  Can't wait to see them running to the chart to "save" their thoughts!

Today I would like to share my new found love, 30hands app.

This year my students are into writing a story.  They love making a book with paper and pencil.  30hands app allows my students to take a photo of each page and record their voice.  Publishing is so easy since they can save it to the camera roll.  

One think I learned about this app is that you should not use any symbols such as ?, ', in a title. I had a problem uploading photos a few weeks ago.  The support staff from 30hands were VERY helpful.  At the end we figured out the problem.  Other than that, I just love the simplicity of the app, and it is so easy for my first graders to use.