Monday, May 27, 2013

Having Trouble with Students Writing?

As a bilingual teacher, one of the challenges I continue to have each year in my class is how to get students to develop good writing skills as second language learners. A couple of weeks ago, I did a little investigating on the internet and came across an app called "Write About This". I downloaded the free version on my ipad and realized how this app could get my students thinking about their writing. I loved the many wonderful features it provided for students especially the voice prompts. As second language learners, this feature appealed to me as an important part of the app to help with english language development. The students can also create their own stories by uploading photos from their camera roll or from the internet. What a great way to get students writing about their own personal experiences. I have integrated the use of this app into math and science which has really helped my students with problem solving and science investigations. This app can also be incorporated into a writing center or into a Daily 5 Classroom Management model. Since we are a 1:1 ipad classroom, I purchased the app for all my students and they write and work on their stories everyday in our Daily 5 Language Arts rotations. Stories can be shared with classroom teacher which allows for a default email in the settings. The pictures below were from our grade level field trip to the Planetarium at the University of Texas in Arlington, Tx. The students wrote what they had learned on the field trip. I am so excited about using this app with my new 2nd graders next year as I loop back down and start with a brand new group of students!! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Popplet Lite App in All Subject Levels

As the year is coming to an end, I am constantly evaluating the apps that seem to be versatile in all subject areas. The Popplet Lite app is one of those apps that students use to organize their thoughts when they are writing. I continue to use this app in all subject areas especially in reading when students are identifying the main idea of a story. Here, I read the book titled "Peter Rabbit", one of my favorites to read around the Easter holiday. I asked the students to choose one or two sentences from the story and identify the main idea. Students listed 3-4 supporting details along with their main idea and emailed their completed Popplet to me when they were finished with activity. Here is one example of how Popplet can help students in reading language arts.