Friday, November 16, 2012

Sharing YouTube Links With Students

As we continue our  project with The One and Only Ivan global read aloud, I shared videos with my students on the real Ivan at the Atlanta Zoo and Shirley the Elephant so that they could make the connection to the characters in the story. These videos were found on YouTube so I shared the links on a google document with my students so that they could be able to watch the videos any time they wanted to or refer to them for further research. The problem with this lesson is that the students will not be able to view videos because they will be blocked from YouTube. So another solution could be to upload the videos to and take that link and share it with the students. Just one way to share YouTube videos with your students. The students loved making those connections to the characters in the book and gave them a sense of closer to Ivan and Ruby. We were saddened to know that the real Ivan at the Atlanta Zoo had passed away this summer at the age of 50. The students felt like they had lost their best friend and so did I!

Character Analysis for The One and Only Ivan

Last week, I finished reading the book and my students began looking at four of the major characters in this story. We had discussed various character traits along the way as I read the story. So I came across a public link that was shared in the Edmodo group for The One and Only Ivan. After I had finished reading the story, the students began to analyze the characters and how they changed. I used this document to share with my students as they filled out their responses in spanish. Just another great way google docs is being utilized in reading/language arts to analyze character traits of any story.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

QR Code Template for The One and Only Ivan

Well, we finally finished the book "The One and Only Ivan".  The students did not want the story to end and neither did I. I then began sharing videos from YouTube on the real Ivan so that the students could make that connection to the character in the book. Yet the story is fictional, Ivan was real! I also shared with my students that the real Ivan had passed away this past summer and they were very sad. I also shared videos of Shirley the elephant who was separated from her companion almost 25 years ago and were reunited after all those years. These were found on YouTube part 1 and 2 and showed the relationship between Shirley's caretaker and his last goodbyes as he bathed her for the last time. So we began to brainstorm ways to honor the real Ivan and what we could do to teach the community about endangered animals. So now we wait but in the meantime, here is the template I created in google docs and shared with my students to begin their research on the animal they chose.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Google Drive on iTouch's

Utilizing all mobile devices in my classroom is a goal I strive for each week. Last year my grade level wrote a grant for itouch's to improve reading fluency and we were selected as a winner that year and each one of my team members received 5 itouch's per class. So as we continue our learning with google docs, I had this idea to install google drive on those devices to get the benefits from using a mobile device. Students already knew how to login into their gmail account from previous activities they had worked on in the computer lab. Well it didn't surprise me how quickly students opened up google drive and uploaded a picture from the camera roll straight into their drive. We were working on adjectives last week so I read them a book titled "Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert, one of my favorites by her, and students were to create their own leaf boy, girl or leaf animal using real leaves collected from home the day before. Here you will see students working in groups using google drive to upload a picture right into their google drive. Steps taken for project:
  • Read book "The Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert
  • Brainstormed a list of adjectives describing the leaf pictures in the book and wrote on the board
  • Created their leaf boy, girl, animal, etc. using real leaves collected from home the day before
  • Students wrote a story to go along with their creation describing their leaf boy or girl
  • Students worked in groups of 5 and took pictures of their creation at the teacher table using camera feature on itouch's
  • Students each uploaded their picture into their google drive and checked to see if picture was uploaded
  • Students typed their story the following week in their drive under the picture that was uploaded and shared with another partner to peer edit each other's story. 
Here are a few pics of students working in groups using a mobile device. Utilizing these devices in our classrooms in more ways than one will benefit our students greatly and teach them how to use a variety of tools to effectively carry out their plan of action. It was indeed a great week of digital learning!

Project Launch with Google Docs

As we begin our project launch project with the global read aloud "The One and Only Ivan",  students quickly learned how to use google docs for their research on the  "One and Only Ivan. Here are the steps:

  • We began our project with a little research on the animal the students chose (an elephant or gorilla). Students also checked out books from the library
  • I created a simple fill in the blank template on the animal's habitat and shared it with the students in google docs
  • Students filled out a hard copy of the template first before going to the lab by using their books, sites mentioned
  • Students logged into their gmail account and went to their "shared with me" tab on the left side
  • The students made a copy of the template and added it to their drive so that they could have editing rights
  • They began typing their research by going to two sites shared previously in class: and National Geographic For Kids. These sites are also written in their technology folder where sites, logins and passwords are kept to use throughout the past 2 years (I am a looping teacher). Students used the hard copy they filled out in class prior to going to the lab to transfer research onto their template in google docs
  • Students began typing into their document which took about 30-40 minutes in one of our two computer labs. 
Here you can see students working in their google doc and using the sites to gather their research for their story.