Mrs. Thomas’ first graders (PKVES) delivered a huge dose of valentine cheer to Sheila Johnson’s class on Valentine’s Day with their virtual valentines. Each student chose between their favorite apps—Draw and Tell, ChatterKid, and PhotoSpeak to create their valentine. Not only did the first graders hand deliver their valentine messages, but they also joined Mrs. Johnson’s Valentine party to enjoy each video with their valentine. Happy Valentine's Day!
Pen pals are not uncommon in elementary schools. With the addition of iPad labs in elementary classrooms, teachers are finding ways to connect with classrooms digitally in a unique approach to pen pals.
Josh Eye, first grade (PKVES) and Erin Eye, first grade (JWES) are using Seesaw, a free digital portfolio app to connect their classrooms as pen pals. With Seesaw, students can send a video message, a written message, a photo, a drawing, or a digital project. Seesaw keeps all student posts private.
Mr. Eye says, “My class has used laptops, iPads, and of course paper and pencil. Erin and I have done Pen Pals between our classes for several years now. We were brainstorming ways to take it up a notch with digital conversion and all. We decided to use SeeSaw as new means to communicate. It's all important, learning now to write a letter, learning new technologies and making connections to the outside world. I love the project and can't wait to see how it will grow.”
Both teachers introduced their class through the video feature inside the app then started sending written messages to each other.
There are currently nine paired classes in RCPS. Middle school students are paired with a class in India and elementary classrooms paired with classrooms in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Illinois. Most pen pal classrooms introduce themselves through a Google Hangout before writing inside the Seesaw app.
Earlier this week, third graders in Mrs. McCoy's (LEES) classroom studied famous Americans by playing a new game called Breakout EDU. According to the official Breakout EDU website, "Breakout EDU games teach critical thinking, teamwork, complex problem solving, and can be used in all content areas." Mrs. McCoy created her own game, which was tailor-made for her students. It focused on famous Americans who played a role in increasing social equality in the United States. Students worked in groups to find clues hidden in plain sight around the classroom, and then collaborated to investigate the purpose of each clue and how it fit into the larger puzzle. The energy was electric, and the excitement was palpable - even amongst the teachers! Watch how this group solves a clue about Rosa Parks!
Kindergartners (and their teachers) are practicing their green screening skills in Mrs. Estes' (PKVES) and Mrs. Rice's (CRES) classes. After reading The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, students shared what they'd share, just as the rainbow fish shared his scales. Concluding their butterfly unit, students collaborated to retell science facts about the monarch butterfly's magical life cycle. Enjoy the final project from each kindergarten classroom below!
For her unit on feelings, Mrs. Rice (CRES) used an app called Recap to record her kindergarteners responses. Recap is a free student video response and reflection app used for exit tickets, mostly in upper grades. Students were asked, "What makes you happy?" Recap combines all the student videos into a 'daily reel.' Teachers can share individual video links or the combined video. Here's a small sample of what makes these kindergarteners happy. Get ready for some mega cuteness!
Third Graders in Mr. Smith's class (PES) are enjoying the opportunity to use robotics within their curriculum. After receiving a REFI Grant, Mr. Smith purchased Ozobots for his classroom. Ozobots are tiny robots designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of programming. Students collaborated to learn how to control these tiny robots, and then they used them to make their fairy tale studies come to life. What a unique way to integrate programming technology into the classroom!
Students in Ms. Beller's 2nd Grade reading group at Cub Run completed book reports using an app called Aurasma. On the final day, they had a museum to show off their work. Pictures of the book cover or author were posted around the room. Each student could use an iPad and the app to scan the picture and a video would appear of the student doing their book report. So much fun!
2nd Graders in Mrs. Lindsley and Mrs. Evan's Class (JCMES) used Book Creator for a cumulative project on the Famous Americans they had learned about in Social Studies. Students learned the basics of the Book Creator app and then had the opportunity to let their creativity shine with other apps such as Chatterpix, GreenScreen, and PicCollage. They recorded a read aloud of their book and exported their finished product as a video to share. The students loved having a choice to showcase the information they had learned throughout the unit. Check out a few samples below!
First graders in Mrs. Thomas' class (PKVES) learned to use a new app called Font Candy to create adjective word collages on pre-selected pictures of nouns. Students had been learning to add adjectives and details to their writing. They selected three noun pictures and created adjective webs to plan for their project. The students selected their favorite one, created a word collage and then shared a sentence about their noun. All of the collages and narrations were put together into Book Creator, a class favorite. Check it out!