Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sonic Pics - I did it!!!!

January is bucket filling month in my grade one classroom.  All month long we have been talking about how to treat other people and how to make others feel good.  We have been recognizing and acknowledging the things people do or say to make us feel good each day.  We are bucket fillers!  If you've never heard of this idea before, check out the link.  It's a perfect way to explain our feelings to young kids!

To conclude our unit, I wanted to interview the kids with some very specific questions to see what they learned about bucket filling.  I shared this idea with our school counsellor and she asked if she could use the video for a school wide anti-bullying assembly.  The pressure was on, so I had to prompt for some more specific answers to get the details we needed.  In the end I think my informal interview turned out well.

I used the sonic pics app.  It was very easy to use.  I was able to add photos quickly from all my idevices using the icloud photo stream.  We also took a few photos and screen shots of the books and our favorite videos.  Lots of ipad learning of skills going on there!!!!

Once we had the photos in place, I called the kids 2 at a time to be interviewed.  They rehearsed their answers with me before speaking into the record button.  *****  This was important because the biggest flaw in the app is a mistake in the recording causes you to have to start the recording over!

We were able to easily add photos to our project.  We were also able to rearrange the photos with ease.  We finished the product in about 30 minutes!!!!!  It was very easy to share.  There were options to share to any computer on the same network, share to you tube, or share to the photo stream on the ipad.  The option to email was also there, but our file was too large.  

I definitely have a few more things I want to find out about the app, like saving and working on it again later. But for now, I am impressed.  I have a few more ideas of how I am going to use this app in the coming weeks.  It is definitely easy enough for kids to do on their own with a little training!

Here is our finished product!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

I LOVE Mo Willems!

I have to say the pigeon is one of my most favorite characters to read about in grade one.  It just so happens that my own children have that pigeon passion as well.  These wonderful books teach so much expression and voice when reading.  It does not take long and these books have become memorized.  Emerging readers see themselves as "readers of REAL books",  and then I bump it up a notch and turn them into authors of their very own Pigeon book!

So when I stumbled across the pigeon app for $6.99, I only hesitated for a moment and then clicked buy!  I have to admit I have never spent $7 on an app before but I don't regret it for a second!

The app has a few features....
1.  Mo Willems teaches a step by step lesson of how to draw the pigeon.   I have his paper instructions and have always done a good job of teaching it myself, but there is nothing like hearing right from the illustrators mouth!  The downfall of this is once you are done you can take a picture of your pigeon but the app only saves 1 picture.  So with multiple kids it just does not cut it.
2.  There are 3 story modes where the bus driver walks you through creating your own pigeon story.  SOOOOOOOOO cool!  My kids have created numerous books.  Some of the stories even allow for your own voice recording which is super simple for young children to do independently.  The downfall here is I can not seem to figure out the saving procedure.  Sometimes the bus driver comes on and just saves it for you, other times the bus driver pops on and reads you your story once then when the book closes, your story is gone.
I am hoping these kinks will be worked out in some upgrades but my recommendation is if you love the pigeon, you will love this app!

Valentine's Day Apps

I like to find a few apps that are thematic for the kids to use just for fun.

Biscuit is an absolute hit with my kiddos so the Valentine Story was a must have on my list.  It's $2.99.  It has all the same options as the other Biscuit Apps:  Read to Self, Read To Me, Auto Play.  It also has a coloring book, sticker collection, memory game and puzzles.

iPhone Screenshot 1

Valentine Memory App - free

It's your classic memory game.
iPhone Screenshot 3

Cooper's Big Bear Hug App - free  An interactive online story with puzzles and games.
iPhone Screenshot 1

I have a few others as well that I have not yet checked out.  I just simply searched Valentine's Day in the app store and chose apps that were free.  Here is what my organized folder looks like:

Lots of time to get these organized before Valentine's Day.  If you have any favorites, feel free to share.

Snow Apps

I absolutely love this blog.  Our class theme this month is snow so guess how excited I was when I read today's post??????  She created a website linking to everything SNOW!!!!!!  How perfect!

I quickly went to the site and pasted it to my wiki, that saved me hours of work!  Then I went back to explore the site.  She has a link of just snow apps!  Even more exciting!  I just might need to add to those January apps.  Here is the link to the apps just for you!


Monday, January 7, 2013

January Apps!

January will be a month of trials and tribulations with the ipads... we are learning to live without the pod! What will this mean in our grade one class??????   I am not sure just yet!

I talked with the class and we decided that it means ipads can not be part of our guided reading time any more.  We still want to use them, but we need to figure out a way to schedule them in to the day so we can all have access.

I do know I will be using the ipads to modify the learning for some of my students on adapted programs. We are working at scheduling that in too.

Since we are down to 2 ipads, I was not going to worry a whole lot about what apps were going into my folder this month.

BUT... today I discovered a 1/3 of the class got an apple device for Christmas, so I might as well push the academic apps for them to try at home:)

We once again kept some old favorites:

Teach Me Grade One
Teach Me Kindergarten
Spelling City
Monkey Word
Kindergarten Arithmetic Invaders
Max Doodle
Hungry Guppy

And the new educational ones are:

AB Math Lite (free)- the full version is 99 cents
iPhone Screenshot 2

Math Bingo - 99 cents - totally worth the money!
iPhone Screenshot 1

Kissing Hand book - this app is STILL currently free.  Get it now!
iPhone Screenshot 3

And then since the ipad will be used for some free time, I threw a few just for fun apps in this month:

Lego Fire Hose Frenzy - it's free search for it in the app store (I am having trouble linking this app)

Lego - Creationary - free
iPhone Screenshot 2

I'll keep you posted on how the ipad schedule goes or we might go borrow the resource room's pod:)  I have not shared that bit of inside information with the class yet! shhhhh......


Sunday, January 6, 2013

SonicPics App

As I was enjoying my coffee this morning, thinking about all the prep work I have for back to work tomorrow, I stumbled across a blog entry that really caught my eye.  I am resisting my urge to stop everything right now, download the app and give it a whirl myself - only because my to do list for the day is longer than anything I will ever complete!

However, this app will be at the top of my check it out app list!

If you check it out - let me know!  It looks like it might be worth getting excited about!  The full version is $2.99!

Link to app review


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Are your kids lego crazy?

I have a lego crazy boy at my house!  It was a Christmas full of lego kits!

Well lego has it's own Creationary app and it's free!  The newest version has a 2,3 or even 4 player mode and you can play connected to apple tv!  How cool is that?  There are 4 different modes to play in.  My son even likes to take screen shots of the lego creations and build them himself with his own lego!

iPhone Screenshot 2
Lego also has about 5 other apps that are all free for your "lego crazy" kids!  I have never used any of them but they are all linked from the itunes page for Creationary!  Enjoy!

idress WINTER Scene.............. finally!

We love to use the idress app in our classroom.  I have blogged about it a few times!

It was always my pet peeve that unless snow was falling from the sky, the picture was a lovely green scene.  Not so friendly for us northerners where we don't have green for 6 months of the year!  Well in the latest update there is a winter scene!  Now the ground is still not snow covered and clothes are still hanging on the line BUT the trees are bare winter trees!

To turn on the winter trees hit the i button in the bottom left corner, click the tree season and switch it to winter.

If you have not already done so this is a good time to adjust your temperature levels as well.  I have mine custom set to match what we northerners think is Really Cold and what we think is Hot.

Looks like today is a little Cold but feels balmy after the week of -30!  I guess we will have to do something outside since we are still not back to school!  Happy New Year everyone!