Saturday, November 23, 2013

Global Read Aloud Projects

Thanks to Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp for organizing a great project, the Global Read Aloud.

My class participated in the Eric Carle author study. My students loved Eric Carle's art and stories, and I loved discussing the central message of each story with my students.  We were excited to see another class joined our discussion on Twitter!

GRA also gave us opportunities to connect and collaborate with other classes.  The classes we connected were:
Karen Lirenman's grade one students in Canada(@KLirenman) "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
Amanda Cavin's first grade students in Georgia (@CavinAmandacav) "The Rooster off to See the World"
Melvina Kurashige's sixth grade Japanese class in Hawaii (@mkurashige) "Where Are You Going?"

We met them via Skype to read the stories together as a kick-off for a collaboration projects.  Ms. Kurashige's sixth graders read the story "Where Are You Going?" in Japanese to us.  My students' eyes were as round as could be to hear a different language!  We tried reading the story in Japanese after the Skype call:)  We want to know more words in Japanese.  We hope to connect with them for another Japanese lesson in the future!

With Karen and Amanda's classes, we co-created books that followed the pattern of Eric Carle's books. Each student created a page and saved them in the shared Dropbox files.  We put the pages together on iMovie.

One of six "The Very Hungry Student" books
**App used by my students for this book; Explain Everything 

One of four "First Graders Off to See the World" books

**Apps used by my students for this book; PicCollage, Doodle Buddy & Explain Everything 

The students are so proud to be such wonderful authors and illustrators.  Collaborating with other classes made this experience even more special.  I'm so fortunate that I have gotten to know these great teachers through Twitter.  When I approached them with these projects, they were so open to discuss via Skype or over GoogleDoc, and bounce some ideas around to make it successful for all students.  I am looking forward to future collaboration!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Augmented Reality

I have been wanting to use augmented reality in my classroom quite some time, and we finally did it! I have to say that I am pretty excited, and so are my students.  We used an app called Aurasma for this project.
We have been studying about plants last few weeks.  Last week we learned about the importance of plants.  First we watched a short clip that explained some of the ways people and animals use plants.  As the students watched the clip, they partnered up and recorded the ideas on the Padlet board.  (We used a QR code for an easy access to the Padlet.)  We also read a few books to learn more about why plants are important to us.

After collecting information, the students worked with the same partner to draw a picture, which became a trigger image for the Aura.  Then the students recorded themselves explaining why plants are important to us.  We could have made a video within the app Aurasma, but since this was our first time video recording ourselves, we decided to use the camera app.

Here are some trigger images.  If you have the app, tap to view my Aura.

If you don't have the app, this is one of the overlay videos that you would see on your devise.

The students enjoyed learning from each other's Auras.  What I liked about using augmented reality was how easy it was for my first graders to share their learning.  At this point, it is so much easier for them to talk than write down sentences.  It also allows us to add a bit of personal touch.  For example my students used their own drawing as a trigger image.  I like the app Aurasma since we can create all on an iPad.

One question you may ask... augmented reality or QR code?
Here are my thoughts:

Augmented Reality

  • more personalized
  • easy to share video clips
  • first graders can create the whole project
  • need the app and join channel to view
  • need to keep a devise over a trigger image (could be challenging with first graders at times:) **You can double tap on the video once launched then it will stay on even if you walk away. 
QR code

  • scan and go! No need to stay at the code.
  • any app would work
  • easy to share the codes
  • more steps to create (especially video clips)           

My answer is... it depends on the activities! I can see us using both augmented reality and QR codes in our classroom in the future!  If you have some great ideas, please share them with me!