My Story is a fantastic app that can be used in many different ways across all curriculum areas. Below are 5 different ways I have used MyStory with students fro Prep to grade 6.
This lesson was completed with Prep students who had their grade 6 buddies helping them as it was their first time using the app.
The students were asked to make a My Story showing their understanding of the numbers 1-10 (and higher if time permitted).
The students were asked to create a slide for each number that included them writing the numbers using the drawing tool and the number in stickers or photos.
Once completed the students were able to share their My Story with their parents using the app Seesaw.
As a tool for teachers
Open ended math questions
I have used this opened ended question many of times using blocks, farm animal toys, work books etc. This time I mixed it up using My Story.
On the board I displayed the slide above.
Students took a photo of this and it became the first page in their My Story.
Each student or pair of students was given a number that was differentiated to suit their learning abilities.
The students had to create as many slides as they could showing that around of legs in various ways.
We had a discussion about how all animals had all their legs and none had any mutations giving them extra - there is always on student who will try it!
The students loved this activity and once again it was an was one to share home on Seesaw.
This activity can be adapted to suit students personal interests such as wheels on vehicles, legs on insects etc.
My Story is great to use for publishing writing and it one of its most common uses.
It allows students to put each paragraph on a new page, allows them to add their voice reading the text and allows them to add images, drawings, pictures and stickers to make into an actual book.
If you add the students voice over you can save it as a movie is a fantastic way to share their work with families.
Demonstrating mathematical understanding
Using My Story as an assessment tool is a great way to keep track of students understanding of many different concepts. I frequently use this in numeracy lessons to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of an activity or concept. They can show me in numerous ways with various numbers and be able to share their work with myself and their families.
At home this app can easily be used on computers, iPads or smart phones. My nieces love to play on my phone (what 3-6 year olds don't love technology?) and this is the app they are allowed to use. The first time my niece who was 4 used it I was amazed! Within half an hour she was recognising the sounds that s and a could make and was able to work through the app independently.
I have also recommended this app for parents with students who are struggling readers to help them practise their sounds at home, with those parents raving about how easy it is and how they feel it has helped their child's reading and understanding of sounds improve.
This app does cost however it is well worth the price! At times it also becomes available for free- so keep a look out. If you are looking for a free option the computer version is for you!
For more information about this app check out their website by clicking here
Please note we were not paid for this review or asked to do it we simply wanted to share this great app with you!
We have been working on persuasive texts this term and my students are loving it!
It is my favourite genre to teach as it can be so much fun and the students can get very creative with it!
Being a 1/2 class we start with a basic structure that all the students use- introduction with their thesis, 3 arguments with sequential language (firstly, secondly. thirdly) and a conclusion that relates their thesis and summarises their arguments. We also discuss the use of basic persuasive language and using punctuation to enhance the writing.
As it is getting closer to christmas I got my students to write a letter to Santa persuading him why they should be on the 'nice' list. My students used the app PicCollage to publish them and Seesaw to add their voices reading their letter.
There were some fantastic responses! We shared them with our parents using Seesaw and they absolutely loved them!
Here are some for you to enjoy
I love using open ended questions and challenging my students to use various strategies and problem solving skills to find answers in maths.
Today I used one and had a fantastic math lesson! All my students were engaged and focused on getting as many answers as they could. They were also have great discussions about what strategies each was using and lots of peer teaching on how to add money was going on! One of those lessons that makes you as a teacher feel very successful and just proud of your students!
I wanted to share the lesson, as it was simple and easy to do at any time!
I had a fellow teacher tell me about a game she had played where she put 3 coins in her hand and asked her students to ask questions to work out what coins she had. I loved the idea and wanted to take it further so I developed the below open ended question.
As promised here they are!!! New QR Library packs! We now have 8 packs plus a bonus Roald Dahl book The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me.
I have put all the packs on this post so those who have not used them before can have easy access to them all!
We would love you to share photos of you and your students using them!
Pack 9 - Walker short novels
This pack includes 10 short novels read by Miss Keating an Australian Primary School Teacher.
As our schools eLearning leader, I love exploring simple and new apps and thinking of creative and engaging ways to use them.
Here is a list of my go to apps how you can use them in your classroom! Some of these I have already written about so I have included the links so you can see examples of the activities!
This is one of the most versatile apps out there! You can add images, search for and add internet images, add text, edit images, backgrounds, stickers and use different fonts. The possibilities are endless with this app! I use it as a publishing tool for my students written pieces. They then email them to their parents so they can share their work. I use this app often when creating posts for our Instagram account!
A free app that comes with your iPad! I use notes as a whiteboard for my students. The simply press on the squiggly line in the corner and it comes up with a drawing page. My students can then write on it using their stylus. I use it for students to answer questions on if we are working as a class or during word work/ to practise letter formation.
I love this app! I have shared how I have used this app several times! I use it as a coding app for students to bring their written stories to life. I also use it in maths when talking about location and mapping. I get my students to code their character around a maze using directions such as left, right, up and down. They become so engaged and love it!
The possibilities are endless with this app!
Below are just some of the ways I have used it;
Bible for kids
Great Math Apps!
The following are great maths apps to use in the classroom that my students love.
Math slide This has lots of different versions which is great as it can be used in all year levels! You can use have multiple students playing against each other using the 1 iPad- which is handy if you have limited devices.
Targeting maths and Teachley Apps
Targeting maths and the Teachley apps are like having a mini teacher in an iPad. They help the students learn strategies and give explanations to help them understand a variety of mathematical concepts.
Other apps my students and I love to use in the classroom
So there you have it a sample of the apps I love and will be using in my classroom this year
It's finally ready! Here is the link to our QR library version 3.
Please continue to share with us what your students think and feel free to give us some suggestions of books you may like. We are about to start progress on Version 4! Find links to version 1 & 2 below.
I love QR codes! I use them for so much and my students love them!
I use the website www.qrstuff.com to create all my QR codes.
So here is 5 ways I have used QR codes and links for you to use them too!
1. To give students websites.
Instead of asking students to type in a website I simply create a QR code for them to scan and within 1 minute my students are all on the correct website- no typos and no Miss Keating it didn't work!
2. To listen to books.
I have a QR code library wall in my classroom that students can scan and listen to stories from the Two Teachers One Blog YouTube channel or www.storylineonline.org
My students are constantly asking if they can scan a book to listen too.
Recently our Prep teachers created folders with them for their reading stations.
3. As a way to engage my students
We recently did a lesson on Authors Purpose. In the past (in a device free classroom) I would give students different books and ask them to find the purpose or alternatively give them images of books and have them sort and glue them into their books under the headings Persuade, Inform or Entertain.
This time I gave my students QR codes and they scanned them and then circled the answer on their sheet. They got double the work done and there were less behaviour issues or students saying I don't get it.
4. QR Code Trivia
As eLearning co-ordinator I have been lucky enough to have been given time in each classroom, in my school, from P-6 to help introduce students to different ways of using technology.
As an introduction activity to QR codes, I created a QR code Trivia hunt for the 3-6 students. Needless to say they loved it and were engaged and able to complete the tasks independently.
5. In school newsletters
So this isn't exactly in the classroom but I have put QR codes into our school newsletter to link to storybooks for our students to listen to at home.
I have also used them to give parents easy access to website links, forms or extra information that couldn't fit in a normal newsletter. All parents need is a QR code app on a smartphone or tablet and they are set!
I hope this has given you some inspiration as to how you can use QR codes in your classroom to engage your students in their learning.
We have been looking at retelling. This week we created retelling movies of the Three Little Pigs using the app iMovie. Students were read a version of the story and given finger puppets.
In groups, they had to create a story board of their version of the story. Then create the set and film it. They then added the movies into iMovie and added sound effects and music.
My students were so engaged and so proud of their achievement. As a teacher I took a back seat and let my students find out how to use iMovie with limited assistance. I wanted them to explore the app and find out for themselves how to make things better. I didn't teach them much about how to film correctly either as I wanted them to see what good and bad filming was and how they could fix it. This for me proved to be highly effective and my students got so much more out of the week than I had anticipated.
I love QR codes and using them in the classroom. They are so useful for 1000 reasons that I could list (and will list in a future blog post!)
For now though I want to tell you all about my new creation, a new version of my QR library pack. The QR codes in this pack link to our YouTube channel and myself reading popular books.
I have created packs that can be turned into a QR library book or that can be laminated and hung in a classroom as posters.
In the past I have had them hanging as posters in our school library so all students could access them and made them into books for each classroom to have a copy for students to use there as well! I also put a copy in our school newsletters so parents and children at home could listen to them.
Below is the links for you be able to download our QR packs
One pack has QR codes that links to the stories on Storyline Online.
The other pack links to our YouTube channel where we read stories we love!
The best part about our packs is they are completely FREE!!!!
Please send us your photos of you and your students using them, we would love to hear your thoughts and see how it goes!
We have added to our YouTube videos! Our students love when we read to them so we asked them to choose their favourite books and we created our YouTube clips. The students love it as they can take them home and listen to them.
We first added 3 books and now we have recently added another 7! We will continue to expand our online library this year.
Below is the links to the stories.
If you have any books you students would love, let us know and we will see what we can do!
This term our grade 1/2 integrated theme has been 'how does your garden grow'.
as part of this unit students have explored how plants grow and have been growing different types of plants and vegetables. We have also looked at different types of gardens and what they have in them.
As a celebration of the end of our unit we designed a minecraft garden project for the students to complete.
They were given a set criteria of things their garden must include and were told to be as creative as possible. They also had to design a piccollage to show their parents and family members on our 'minecraft garden showcase' afternoon.
(More on our project below the images)
Below are images of the students pic collages they made to show off elements of their garden.
This was such successful project! The students were so engaged (being minecraft we expected nothing less!) They all followed the criteria well and were amazing peer teachers. They were so supportive of each other and helped push each other to make the best gardens they could. As teachers we even got in on the action and it was great for the students to be able to act as our teachers and help us. They even said they were proud of our efforts!
creating a garden in minecraft was fantastic for our students problem solving skills. A lot of them tend to give up easily when faced with problems and challenges and for some this really did make them think and have to find solutions to many design problems they faced. it was also fantastic to hear our students change from saying i play minecraft to saying i create and problem solve in minecraft.
Above are the checklists i created for the students. I made a decision to not get the students to design their garden on grid paper first as I thought it would limit their creativity as they were limited as to what they could create on paper. I am so glad i made this decision as their end products were so much better than i could have imagined and their creativity and imagination was amazing!
Before the commencement of the project i sent a letter home to parents explaining the project and asking them to download the app on their childs iPads. If parents could not afford the app (which is $8.99) we put the app on the students iPad for the week before deleting it off.
When we began the project students set their worlds onto flat and in creative mode. This meant students were not having to get rid of hills, tress etc and also meant that they were not being attacked by creepers and zombies etc.
It allowed students to have a world where creating was their main focus.
I was so proud of our students work and focus as were the parents, family members and other staff members that came and saw the students work during our showcase afternoon.
I would certainly recommend using this app in the classroom as there as so many ways to use it! this is the second project i have done with students on Minecraft (we had students create woodwork games in it) and am already thinking of and planning the third!
we would love to hear about how you have used minecraft in your classrooms!
Little Zebra shopper Gold is a great app for learning about adding money, giving change or even for play based learning.
Their website www.littlezebrashopper.com has downloadable, printable shopping items that you cut out and build and when scanned in the app, show the price.
There is the free app version called Little Zebra Shopper and only a few of the downloadable set work. We have the Little Shopper Gold version and it works with all the downloadable sets and is the one I would recommend! With Little Zebra Shopper Gold you can have a breakfast, party, chemist, pet supplies set and more!
I have used this app when teaching money. The lessons are easily differentiated to suit each student’s ability. I set up a ‘supermarket’ in the classroom and give students a shopping list. There are different lists that total different values. Each student starts at a different list to avoid congestion. I also printed out doubles/ triples of each set so I had enough for all my students.
The students then shop for and scan their items and write down the price of the item and the total that is tallied by the app. Unfortunately if they scan something twice they can’t exclude it from the list and have to start again, however this is a minor issue and the kids are always happy to rescan just more carefully.
Some students will also be given lists that say change and they must work out the change they would get if they gave the cashier a certain amount of money.
We also have blank lists where the students can create their own shopping lists and they love using these even in their free shopping time!
The kids love using this app to learn and get really into it, they even use their best supermarket manners and have supermarket ‘chats’. We did this lesson with 40 students this week and all students were on task and completed their work, which in itself is amazing!
Scratch Jr is a fantastic app that introduces students to programming language that enables them to create their own interactive stories or games as well as many other amazing things!
Students can join programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance and even speak! They can design and modify characters and backgrounds making their creations as creative as they like!
This term I used Scratch Jr app for iPads, with my 1/2 class when teaching mapping, location and grid co-ordinates.
My students completed a different scratch activity with different maps over the week. They took photos of the images and set them as their backgrounds in the app. They then followed set instructions to move their characters to certain locations, in certain directions etc.
Below is a description of how we used each map.
This was our first map after discussing positional language. The students had to follow the directions to get their character the the end of the map.
This was tricky for some students and they needed to really count how many programming blocks they needed and which block they needed to make their character move the right way.
Below is some videos of their amazing efforts!
Scratch is a great app to use for a variety of curriculum areas. In literacy students can make their narrative stories come to life, tell stories using their characters and They can retell stories using characters from books. You can also use it in a variety of ways in numeracy including the way we did.
My students also love just programming their own things in scratch and often in free time are as we call it 'scratching' away.
So download it and give it a go its awesome (don't forget to share it with us!)
I love technology as a teaching tool! There are so many ways I can use it engage, motivate and extend my students learning!
Here are just some of my favourite ways I have use technology in my classroom;
I love this app! My students use it to present their work in creative ways all the time! They can add text, images, gifs, borders, backgrounds etc. They can even edit their images and find images from the internet without leaving the app!
It is great for a 5minute quick add images and text or as a more detailed, imaginative way to present their work. I even use it to when posting on our Instagram page! It’s so simple to use!
Stop motion animation
This is certainly one of my favourite projects to get my students to do. We use an app called iMotion. The students love creating their ‘sets’ and characters and then creating the actual Stop motion. It can be tricky for some of them to grasp the idea of moving things so slightly, but they have created some amazing mini movies! Once my students create their Stop Motion they transfer it into iMovie where they add sound effects, music and voice-overs.
iPad as a student whiteboard
This is just one of those little things that has a big effect on my students engagement. When asking students questions that have a multitude of answers (or in maths) the answer to a sum, I get my students to write down the letter or number on their iPads using the app Doodle Buddy and hold it up. This allows me to see all my students’ answers and encourages my students to want to write and show their ideas.
QR codes are so easy and versatile to use! I frequently use them instead of writing up a URL address, I just get my students to scan the code and it takes them straight to the website. I have also used them to differentiate student’s work and sort them into groups.
I recently created this fabulous QR library display and book. Students scan the code and it takes them to the book shown in the image. The books are all from www.storylineonline.org and are amazing! The students absolutely loved it and we are know going to introduce them to our school community by putting a book of the week QR code in the newsletter weekly!
As we are a 1:1 iPad school and I have a Mac computer I could not live without my Apple TV. It allows my students to beam their work up onto the screen so they can show their work immediately. It has saved us so much time not having to connect and disconnect devices or putting work onto USB’s. It is now as simple as flicking up and pressing the airplay button. The students love being able to share their work with the class at the touch of a button.
This is one that I am still exploring but LOVE! Games are a great way to engage students using something they are genuinely interested in. We have used the app Minecraft to create word work games and this year we are going to be using it as part of our ‘How does you garden grow’ integrated studies theme. We will have our students from years Foundation to two create their own Botanical garden within Minecraft. I will keep you posted on how it all goes!
We are so lucky at our school to have YouTube open and useable (a lot of schools have it blocked). It is a great educational tool when used correctly. I use it to introduce topics in much more exciting way! What would kids prefer me sitting their talking to them? Or an engaging movie clip where there is colour, singing and humour- I know which one I would prefer. It is great for my visual learners and those who have difficulty concentrating and listening for extended periods of time. It’s also great for those recess, lunches and wet day timetables where the students wont sit down quietly and eat or play; I pop on a YouTube clip and presto- perfectly behaved children!
I have had student’s blogs in the past and found them so useful! I love www.weebly.com it is so simple and easy to use (we even used it for our blog!) I have used them in a variety of ways such as:
· for students to post on and have discussions with each
· for parents to comment on their students learning in positive ways
· to share students learning
· to share website links with students
· to make student homework accessible
· to share YouTube learning clips with students
· to share classroom timetables, notes and news with parents
· and much more!
This one is so simple yet effective! My students are constantly taking photos of their learning and using them in different Apps to present their work in new and interesting ways.
These are only a few of the main ways I use technology in the classroom! There are so many more engaging ways it can be used and I am constantly finding new and exciting ways to use it.
We would love to hear the ways you use technology in your classroom, just leave a comment below!
We had such fun in maths today creating 3D shapes with Jubes and toothpicks.
The students used one of my favourite apps targeting maths as a guide for shapes names and how to make them. The students had to make 5 different shapes and create a pic collage out of them.
It was a noisy lesson, however all the noise was about the maths and we had so much fun!
We love technology and next year Sarah takes on the role of eLearning Co-ordinator at our school. This means that Sarah is in charge of all our school iPads and netbooks and with the staffs assistance is leading the creation of our whole school approach to ICT.
Our 1:1 netbook program runs in the 5/6 classes and the teachers that teach 5/6 have it running like a well oiled machine. The 1:1 iPad program however was new this year and needed some tweaking for 2015. At the start of the year their was over 50 apps put onto the students iPads- this was way to many!
Sarah spoke to our staff and each year levels app list was condensed down to around 30 apps that we have trialled this year and that we know are beneficial to our students learning.
We have attached the lists below so that you can take a look and use the apps in your classroom. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know how we use the apps or if you have any questions regarding our 1:1 iPad program.
(Please note that the prices are Australian iTunes prices)
We saw a fantastic idea a while back that was to draw a superhero and then write verbs around it. We thought this was great and decided to adapt it and take it to the next level. We have 1:1 iPads in our school and we love to challenge the students to see what amazing things they can create. We asked them to firstly draw a action superhero and then write 10 verbs about what their superhero was doing/ does.
We then had our students use the app Comic Life to create wonderful posters of their action hero. They took a photo of their drawing and then typed in their words. They resized the image and words to make it look how they wanted. They also changed the font colour and the colour of the backgrounds. We think they did an amazing job and its so great to see what they can create using their iPads.
For the past few weeks our students have been exploring homophones, we have had some wonderful activities that have engaged them and made learning about homophones extremely fun. Today we created Pairs of Pears and both Sarah and myself took a different spin on the activity. Sarah's class created green pears form coloured card and on one pear wrote a word and on the matching pear it's homophone! I decided to allow my students to use their iPads, they found images of pears on the internet and completed the same activity but using the iPad app Pic Collage. The children loved this activity, it was also a wonderful little assessment task as they emailed their images to me and I could see which students had grasped the concept of homophones and others who may need some additional support. Here they are!
Retelling is a skill that comes naturally for some students, they can tell you every detail (even some you don’t pick on!). While other students cannot tell you who the main character is or sometimes even the name of the book.
This week we focused on a story all the students’ knew- The Three Little Pigs. We watched the Disney short version of the tale in order to show students a different version than they might have seen/ heard.
The students, in small groups, then completed a storyboard on their version of The Three Little Pigs. They could add in new characters, different house etc. however they had to keep the major storyline aspects- 3 little pigs, 1 wolf, 3 different house (2 that get blown down).
The students then used their iPads and the app iMovie to film their movie using finger puppets they created.
The student’s movies turned out wonderful and there were some fantastic variations of the story.
It was an amazingly engaging activity and a great assessment tool, as it enabled us to confirm who has a strong understanding of retelling and who needs more work in this area.
If your like us then I'm sure there are times in your classroom where you cannot even hear your self think let alone listen to the student who is sitting next to you read. Also if you are like us and you have tried almost everything to keep your students quiet and on task but somehow it still doesn't work then we have a wonderful app that you will LOVE.
Meet 'Too Noisy Pro' this app costs $2.99 but I have no doubt that you and your students will love it! The idea of the app is to monitor the noise level within your classroom, it begins with a background that is all happy and the louder your students become the higher it goes on the gage, if the students make too much noise the iPad screen 'cracks' and an alarm is sounded. If the students are quiet they can earn themselves a star based on a time limit of your choice, this can range from every minute to every 15 minutes. The app can be personalised to set the backgrounds, gages, time limits, alarm sound and adjust the sensitivity of noise that the app picks up. The more sensitive the harder it is for the students to gain the stars they require, my class love this app and love earning their stars for a quiet noise level but also get a giggle out of my iPad screen 'cracking' because they have been too noisy.
I project the app onto my Interactive Whiteboard using an Apple TV which works great as the students can see it from where they are sitting. I also like to place my iPad that is running the app near those few students who like to use their outside voices inside, as it keeps them in check too! Have a try of this wonderful app and let us know what you think!