Friday, April 26, 2013

Multicultural Goes Mobile

Working on a Title 1 campus brings such diversity in student culture. Each year, more and more students enroll from all over the world. We have many continents represented on my campus from the staff (bilingual teachers) to the students themselves. So we celebrate that diversity by learning about each others culture. This year for our Multicultural unit, my class chose to study the country of Ireland. Our ipads went mobile and the reflection from todays events took my breath away. We brainstormed a list of things that we could include on our "quilt" that we were going to piece together. So I assigned the task to my students and for the next hour and a half, I watched them in AWE as they used every resource I had taught them using their ipad. The conversations I heard and the collaboration I saw was MAGICAL! I saw students "chirping" out links to others who needed images, Doodle Buddy app in action, one student said "email" that image to Mrs. Lackey so she can print it out. I also heard, "that image is too big. You need to crop it before you save it to your camera roll". One student noticed how busy I was trying to "piece the quilt" that she took over my desktop computer and started printing the images the students had emailed me from my google account.

The Gmail interface was familiar to them because they check their email each Monday morning. Unbelievable and truly my most proudest moment in my 23 years of teaching. How is this possible in a 3rd grade bilingual classroom? It's possible because my students have taken "ownership" of their learning and they are fearless when it comes to technology learning! They continue to amaze me each and every day! Here are my students in action as they continue to pave the way for others to follow. 


Monday, April 22, 2013

State Testing Has Not Slowed Us Down

State assessments are here! What does that mean? It means that students will show what they have been taught all year in reading, math and science. It's just another assessment that seems to bring so much anxiety, stress and much more. Seems like it would slow things down but in my class, we continue to march forward with mobile device learning to create our "own kinda learning" using ipads. Learning in our classroom has not slowed us down one bit. As the year comes to an end, our last and final project is almost complete. The students have been using the Book Creator app to publish their first iBook. We began our study of maps in Social Studies and the many features of a map. So they began designing various kinds of maps on Doodle Buddy and importing them into Book Creator adding text and customizing each page of their book. The finished products will soon be revealed here on my blog after "testing week" has passed and been forgotten (no ipads for 2 days) what shall we do? I tell them this too shall pass.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mapping Our Way Using Doodle Buddy

This past week in social studies we have dived right into maps and geography terms that help students comprehend various kinds of maps and their features. Vocabulary terms were introduced at the beginning of the week so that students would be able to design their own map using one of our favorite apps...Doodle Buddy! It has basically become our best friend in all subject areas. I read a book titled "Mapping Penny's World" to introduce the unit. We discussed the various components of maps like symbol, map key, compass rose, etc. Then I had the students work in groups using Doodle Buddy to design a map of their bedroom. They were to label their map and upload it to their google drive where I would compile them in a shared folder I had created. I am always amazed at the level of creativity these students show and how the app enhances a level of high engagement and learning! Here are a few samples of those "bedroom maps". This project will help students next week when they begin to design their own island/or country using all the components of a map (vocabulary terms) that they have learned. Doodle Buddy again, a big hit with ELL/Bilingual learners.