About Me

Monday, February 18, 2013

Multiply the Magic!

Happy President's Day to you! Did you have the day off? Not me. Professional Development for us today. Today was a pretty good day, though.
My district is at least trying to make our PDs more useful and productive. And since they can't really let us just work in our rooms which would be the most beneficial thing they are trying to let other teachers guide our PD. So, we were given a catalog of several different 1 hr workshops to choose from and we signed up for our choices online. I only got to sign up for 4 because I presented at the other two sessions. So I got to wear this awesome t-shirt.

Can I just tell you how much I love t-shirts?! I think I started running just so I could sign up for races and get their t-shirts. (My favorite, not mine but one of my BFFs, it says, "I thought you said Rum!!" Love it!)
Anyhoo...this shirt turned out pretty cute. The name of all our elementary schools is on the back.
What did I present, you ask? Well, earlier in the year, our Technology Specialist came to my classroom and shared this awesome story making app with my class. I used it and shared our finished product with her and she was so excited she was like, Could you present this with me at our workshop in February?!  You will just have to share your finished product. She was right and what an easy presentation.
I shared this app called Story Kit. Do you know it????

This is actually an iphone app but it works well with iPad, too. It allows the user to create a story using pictures saved to your device or you can illustrate digitally if you are so inclined. So what my class did, was we were working on our Animals unit. In the past, the students did their own research on an animal of their choice, wrote a report about it, and illustrated it. I would then make it "fancy" by glueing  it to construction paper and laminating it. Well, this time, I took a picture of their illustration with my iPad, (except the cover of the book is just an image off Google the kids chose) typed in their text and then recorded each child's voice reading their own report. It looks like this...

You can't hear it of course, but if you tap on the little gold speaker on each page, it plays the child's voice reading their own story. What I love about it, is that each child participates and is successful, no matter what their ability level may be. My highest students could elaborate a little more, my lowest could dictate one fact. They were all able to illustrate and record, which I helped them with. I will say the recording of course takes a lot of time, but the finished product was so worth it. If you use it, do know that when you select to record the student's voice, the text disappears, so your student needs to have whatever they're recording, written down in front of them. Your non-readers can simply tell you their fact and you can add the text later. When your product is complete you can read it on the ipad like a book and even email it to whoever you'd like to see it! Really cool!!!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes or if you have any questions. I'm really no expert, but the app is so simple to use that I almost feel like one!

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