Tuesday, January 26, 2016

3rd Graders Research Snowflakes & Share Results Using A Variety Of Digital Tools!!

Snow. Is there a more fitting research topic for those of us living in Minnesota? This week, I am recycling a lesson that I first posted several years ago because it gave students an opportunity to research a topic that effects their everyday life here in the Minnesota winters. Plus it gave us a chance to read a favorite Caldecott Award winning book!

We began by reading the book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.  Snowflake Bentley is the true story of Wilson Bentley, famous for being one of the first men to "micro" photograph snowflakes. His camera was considered a new technology of it's day, and he used it to find and share new information with the world! Much of what we know today about the formation of snowflakes was first discovered by Wilson Bentley before 1930!

After reading Snowflake Bentley, we did further fact finding using a variety of resources.  Student read the MyOn digital eBook Flakes and Flurries: A Book About Snow.

Students used the tools in MyOn to highlight, make notes and use the dictionary to look up terms. Being able to interact with the text seemed to solidify their new knowledge about snowflakes!

We watched a few videos about the formation of snowflakes. 

After gathering background from our sources, 3rd graders brainstormed a list of all of the facts they gathered on a Padlet wall.

Finally, using the Snow Creator App, students were able to create six sided unique snowflakes.

Once students heard that it is unlikely for snowflakes to be alike, a few students wanted to challenge that assertion! They were sooooo cloosssssseeee!

2nd Graders Use The Doodle Buddy App To Share Their OK Talents!

My 2nd graders recently discovered a great book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. I use the word discovered because The OK Book has been in the Oak Hills Library collection since 2007 when it was first published. Even so, it was the first time many of my students had read it. We love Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld books! My students were familiar with many of their other creative titles, but we had managed to overlook this one!  This creative author/illustrator team do a wonderful job of teaching life lessons by creatively using shapes in our everyday world. Their books remind students to look at things from a unique perspective, something that students will need to do throughout their lives!

For those who haven't read this book, check out this book trailer for The OK Book!

Students used the Doodle Buddy app to create their OK poster. They added a simple sentence and signed their name.  They added their poster to a shared Google presentation, with each student getting one page of the presentation.  I then downloaded their collaborative presentation as a pdf and uploaded to AnyFlip.com and created our own Oak Hills 2nd Grade OK Book!  Thanks so much to Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld for showing us it is OK to be OK on our way to greatness!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. With A Student Created eBook of His Famous Quotes!

I am happy to say that our Oak Hills 5th graders know a great deal about the civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.  This week, they took a look at other less famous quotes attributed to him during his life.  He is most known for his "I Have A Dream" speech, but he had many additional poignant things to share with the world. My students were amazed at Martin Luther King Jr's eloquence. He was an inspiration to people everywhere and an example of the impact that one person can make.

To create the eBook, students researched Martin Luther King Jr's most notable quotes and selected their favorite from the many choices.  Then students used the iPad app, Haiku Deck, to gather images and quotes to share with each other. Once students created their "poster" in Haiku Deck, they took a screenshot.  Each of them added the screenshot of their poster to a shared Google presentation. Once they were added, I downloaded it as a pdf and uploaded the pdf to AnyFlip.com to create the eBook. The results was an eBook that gave students insight into the voice of a great man.

Images from http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086
Quotes from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/martin_luther_king_jr.html

Friday, January 8, 2016

OHE Students Embrace The Force With New Star Wars Books!

When it comes to inspiring students to read, educators and librarians have to take an opportunistic approach! With the release of the latest Star Wars movie, many of my students are looking for ways to extend the fun beyond the theatre.  It is the perfect time to tempt them into our libraries newest additions! I just finished processing (creating a library MARC record for our library database, barcoding and spine labels) and I am excited to watch these fly off the shelf! YEAH READING!!

1st Graders Share Their New Year's Resolutions With Help From Dragon Dictation & Pic Collage!

A new year gives all of us an opportunity to begin fresh, and 1st graders had fun thinking of resolutions to change something for their new year. I knew that my 1st graders would need lots of help with spelling if they were going to successfully write a New Year's Resolution Poster. I decided it would be a great time to share the Dragon Dictation app with them!  Dragon Dictation is a voice to text app that gives students the freedom to share their thoughts without the limitations of their spelling skills. 

Students learned how to edit the text with the pop up keyboard, so if the app wasn't perfect at catching their every word, they could change little bits of it. 

Next students learned how to copy and paste their text from the Dragon Dictation app into Pic Collage, our "go to" poster creation app.  Students are familiar with this app, though it was new for them to paste text into a text box.  Once the text was in, they were easily able to add a background and a few stickers.  Students shared their final resolution posters with each other and saved them into their Google Drive for safe keeping!