We've been lucky enough to be part of the CSER Lending Library this term. Included in our mixed kit were a set of Ozobots. Although tiny, these are some massively engaging robots! They can be used in many different learning areas, enhancing and broadening thinking skills.
Below our Year 4/5 Students were exploring multiplication and devised a set of coding which demonstrated this.
The CSER Lending Library information can be found here: csermoocs.adelaide.edu.au/library/
Anyone who know me, knows I am the queen of buying things on a budget! I've managed to get robots for my classroom just by raiding garage sales or looking online at discount stores. My Sphero cost me $30 and works perfectly (used). Beebot and a mat were a little more expensive, coming in at just over $100 (new).
So, I've got these nifty robots at the ready to connect with learning and get kids engaged, but also to integrate coding and problem solving! How on earth do I do this with just a singular robot in a class with 24 students?
Looking through online pages, there are so many wonderful ideas from schools and teachers who have access to many robots (usually one per table group or 1 between 2). However, my budget bots aren't nearly enough to match what they're doing in the examples or to cater to suit the amount of students I have. So I've come up with a solution. It embeds KAGAN cooperative structures and iPads too (we have 1 iPad between 2 students available).
As our learning intentions are about directionality and the vocabulary surrounding this, I thought it would tie in nicely to use robots and embed foundations of coding.
Here an example lesson structure:
Introduce WALT & WILF. Discuss positional vocabulary with students on the mat. Demonstrate Beebot and how he/she moves (maybe also give Beebot a name). Give examples of how Beebot can get to positions on the learning mat. Have students make predictions with a shoulder partner about the direction Beebot needs to travel in, to get to a particular point (using the vocab words).
Students will work with their shoulder partner (in mixed abilities) to scan a QR code and connect with the Google Slide questions, before record their coding answers. They will do so using the KAGAN Cooperative structure 'Rally Coach'.
Person A discusses their answer to the question with their partner, before Person B either agrees or coaches. Person A then records the answer on their communal board, before they continue with the next question (swapping roles).
At the end of the session Partners will bring their code with them to the mat. Students will be selected to trial their code on the class robot, discuss the solution and their reasoning (embedding the positional vocabulary), presenting their work to peers. Mistakes are encouraged because it means we are learning. Of course, before we finish we also revise the WALT and WILF for the day.
Below are some resources if you're interested! We will continue our learning, using more coding resources, Beebot, Sphero and Apps as we progress through our sequence of lessons. Another post will be available soon about using Beebot in a Literacy and Numeracy centre.
- Miss Dodds
I'm awaiting the day that Google has functions to generate QR codes for all items in a folder. I've been making QR codes the long way (one by one through QR Generator). I began wondering if there was a faster way I could do it, as I'm making lists of words for students to access online. So, I got Googling and this way seems sufficiently faster than the old individual QR code generator.
Click here: Bulk QR Generator
The only issue is that the QR codes are not labelled. Maybe there is a different website out there to do this function too? But for now, this website is free and functioning okay for what I need.
- Miss Dodds
Ever since my second year of teaching, I have been really into displaying the Curriculum links, learning objectives and student work via QR Codes on the wall, next to the work which students have complete. The reason for doing so, is that it is a reflective practice for myself, it advises parents or observers of what the students were expected to do, and now being in a technology enhanced environment gives access to the work which students have created digitally.
So far this year, students have submitted homework electronically and in paper format. Now that most children have an iPad, I wanted to ensure they all submit their work in one format, while still allowing differentiation. I decided I need to monitor homework more closely, so thought I would use Google Classroom to do so. This allows me to monitor homework in one stream, as well as give feedback to students.
Here are some documents I created for parents, to assist in the process of using these apps for homework submission. All homework is compiled in Book Creator, with voice instructions and follows up on concepts learnt from the prior week to offer consolidation practice. Students collate their work by taking photos, screen-shotting or typing in each task.
- Miss Dodds
Recently, we focussed on a unit of work about positioning, directionality and location.
I read the children the book, Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins to initiate theirs thoughts and language about the topic. We used rally robin to brainstorm words to describe position and location.
We created puppets and this tied in with our KAGAN cooperative learning, where children made their own chicken to represent the main character and they introduced their chicken to the team, as a team builder.
Students then formed partners and planned for their Green Screen project, representing each scene with pictures and a brief script. Person A decided on two parts, Person B decided on two parts and then they finalised the story with a combined scene together. I found that this planning was very important, because it ensured they thought about the directions, planned their scene and puppets before we started. Click here to download the proforma.
In the future, I would plan to use puppets with green straws and blue tac, or alternatively green string. This was the only issue that popped up, because students ended up wanting to manipulate their puppets for each scene.
After each scene was filmed, students merged their project in iMovie and submitted it through Google Drive.
Stay tuned for some examples of the final display we created.
- Miss Dodds
After recently attending the Leading Digital Schools conference I wondered how to incorporate the elements I'd learnt into our Year 1 classroom. With Information Texts, on my plan for the next few weeks I decided that I could use this writing structure to engage the strategies I'd learnt at the conference including flipped learning, Genius Hour and 21st Century learning.
With social skills, modelling, accountability and cooperation being of a high importance, I decided that I would take pieces of the strategies and merge them together to infuse the learning program. This also gave me a chance to experiment and see if these pedagogies would suit our class and engage students more in their learning.
To begin, I started with the Curriculum. I asked myself, 'What is the best way to engage students in the learning and how best can I offer them opportunities to succeed?. I decided to start with a backward planning approach, I thought of the end outcome. I needed students to be able to write an engaging and interesting information text with detail. My next step, was to determine how I'd get them to that point, they'd need to know the content (hence came in the research element of Genius Hour and flipped learning), they'd need to know how to structure their text and also what was expected of them in their final product. I also wondered at the beginning, how would I motivate students, keep them on track and also engaging with their peers.
This thought process lead me to decide upon framing the assignment through Book Creator, using Explain Everything videos to fuel the flipped learning. I also decided that I wanted the students interests to pave the way for the assignment.
We started with a whole class discussion, a week prior, where I asked the students what they'd like to learn about. Their questions about the world were exciting, they were so curious and jumped with anticipation at what they'd like to learn about. We came to a conclusion that they'd like to learn about rocks and other things in the earth, why they're here and what they're used for.
We discussed that to assist them in their research and to ensure there were videos to help them engage in learning, we'd narrow it down to three items. To guide their learning and also allow for experimentation with this structure of teaching and learning, we came down to a framework for research.
Below,I have attached a screenshot of the backward planning approach that kicked off the assignment with basic ideas to build on. There are also examples of videos used to fuel the learning and the setup of the assignment for students.
So far, we are half way through this learning and the ideas, writing and excitement has amazed me! I will definitely consider using a similar framework again to support students and engage them in learning.
Access the planning template here.
- Miss Dodds
I am currently writing from Florida, USA where I am here for the KAGAN Summer Academy. Check out Twitter for updates @kaganonline
I have enrolled in the Brain Friendly Teaching course and there are some fabulous new structures, as well as new additions for the bread and butter structures featured in Level 1 KAGAN.
After meeting some wonderful KAGANites and practising the structures, I put together a brief Popplet with ideas of how I could use the structures with my Year 1 class for Term 3.
Do you have experiences with using these structures or a stand out lesson? Tweet to me @misshdodds or comment below, I'd love to collaborate with you!
Since posting about Flipped Learning, I have conducted more research and am excited for the opportunities to use it with my students to enhance their learning as they become more familiar with technology. I have started using this popular, and increasingly publicised strategy slowly and simplistically to ensure that it works for the students within the class.
One way, that I have integrated Flipped Learning, is linking my Classroom Blog with tutorials and videos that support the learning each week for procedure writing. Students have access to the videos for how to do the procedure, so that they can learn it before the lesson. This has been fabulous so far, because the skills they're practicing with the video tutorials are age appropriate, which they need to learn about anyway. The students have been excited for lessons and more importantly, to write what they know, because they have practised and mastered the skill.
Many articles, describe Flipped Learning to be more about grasping a difficult concept rather than procedures. However, as many Flipped classrooms tend to be Upper Primary or High School environments, my judgement as a Teacher, is to integrate this Pedagogy slowly and simplistically into the Early Childhood setting. Especially as it has worked so well, thus far as a prompt for writing.
Next Term, I will continue our Literacy Friend program which has some elements of 'Flipping' (One plush toy is sent home with a student each week) as a separate prompt for writing and consolidating Narrative text structures. However, I am very conscious of integrating Flipped Learning minimalistically at this stage, because the Year 1 students already have a decent amount of homework.
I look forward to hearing more ideas and engaging in utilising this pedagogy for other learning as the year goes on.
After watching my amazing colleague, Lindsay, use the Chatterpix app I was completely inspired with ideas for how we could use it in Year 1.
To trial Chatterpix, I used it as a team exercise. Students asked their partner several questions to find out more information about them (it would be great for an activity on posing questions too!). Students then made a Chatterpix video from their partner's perspective, eg: 'Hi, my name is ____ and I like ____' (also a great tool for perspective taking too). It was a timed activity, as this was their structured exploration to see what they could do with app and familiarise themselves with the functions.
The team activity was very successful and students could easily use the app and understood the functions, so I decided to use it for our lesson on rhyme. Students were Airdropped a picture (for those who didn't have Airdrop, as their iPad is older, they downloaded the image from the Drive). They discussed a rhyme with their partner first and brainstormed words they could use. Then, students recorded themselves and created the Chatterpix video before saving their final project to their Camera Roll.
Some other ideas for using Chatterpix
(Click the image to view my example):
-Shapes (describing features)
-Measurement (describing features)
-History - my family, past vs present
-Science - describing various topics, fact recall
-Word origins and explanations of vocabulary
-Perspective taking (Literacy or History)
-Text structures and conventions
-Science reasoning and understanding
Old fashioned teaching and learning has a time and place still in the classroom. However, our students are growing up in a world immersed in technology. Not only do we need to provide them with skills to cope in this growing tech-filled environment, but we can also enhance their ability to learn content through creative, digital formats.