Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learning Skitch

My Christmas present to my 68 students is decorating a sugar cookie. I've been doing it for 3 years and I actually had students ask the first day of class this year if we'd be doing it agin this year. This year as each student finished I used their iPad, since their fingers were a little sticky, and took a picture of their cookie. During the next class I had my second-fifth graders open their cookie picture in Skitch and learn how to add a title, labels and arrows. I took some screen shots of skitch and made a quick intro to the app on the Smartboard for easy reference as they worked. I also had them sit together on the rug so they could help each other out if needed. In January some of the groups will be working on inference. I'm thinking about loading pictures on the iPads and having them select one and writing a couple of sentences about what they can infer from the picture in Skitch.
How are using Skitch with reading or writing in the classroom? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Working on Writing

Third graders at work on the iPads again. This time we used the  Photo Card by Bill Atkinson app. The students selected a photo that showed their favorite season and then wrote an opening sentence, 3 details and a closing sentence. The trouble with this app is that it can't be saved to edit or finish at a later time. so the students need to stay focused to get it completed in our 30 minute class time. Not all students were able to do that.  I'll try to remember to get back here and share a completed card later during winter break.

Working on Fluency

Third graders used the iTalk app to work on fluency. I had them select a good fit book they had not read and then record themselves reading for 1-2 minutes. Next I gave them a checklist and they listened to their recording a couple of times to fill it in honestly. This was a good time to work on some new vocabulary words, omitted, substituted and inserted when it came to their reading. I also asked about their pace and expression. The next class period they practiced the same passage until they felt they could record it fluently and they tried again. Once again they listened and filled in the same checklist to see if there was improvement. 
The students did a good job of filling in the checklist and they did show improvement. I'll be having other grade levels do this and they'll be doing it again as well. I'm going to make one change to my checklist. After the second recording I'm going to have the students add a fluency goal based on their reading.
What ways do you use iPads to work on fluency? I'd love to hear your ideas.