Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Text to Selfie"

For the past few weeks I have been talking to a 5th grade ELA teacher about implementing technology into her classroom. About a week ago, I showed her the app "Pic Collage" which is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It is so universal in how you can use it and it is also not really tied to just one subject. We had been talking about this app in passing for the past few days, however we really never created one that we wanted the kids to model. Well, today was the day that we rolled it out to the kids using it in an assignment. In 5th grade, we had been talking about "Making Connections" (text to text, text to self and text to world.) Today, as the teacher was reading the selection, I was messing around with the app to see what other features we might be able to find- sure enough as she was wrapping her selection up I showed her the template feature. The template feature lets you create different frames on the canvas. I whispered this to her and we were both like, "Let's use this with the kids!" My job is to help introduce apps and how to work the various tools in apps, once the kids and teacher is comfortable using it, I hand it over to the teacher so she can take care of integrating the content with the technology. I honestly do not remember the name of the story, but the main character was named "Emma." From here, students had to list other characters from previous reads and see how they related to this story. One of the kids brought up a really interesting point, they said something like, "This character reminds me of myself!" That's when another student was like, "Hey! That's a Text to Selfie connection!!" Feeding off of the student's energy we then encouraged them to find characters that related to them, list them in the Pic Collage, and then take a selfie next to the name of the character! The students were so excited to do this! EVERYONE was on task! The teacher and I were so excited that students were working and really "thinking out of the box" that I started inviting random staff members from the hall to come check out what we were doing! I really dont know how to explain it- it was just a special moment where everyone was excited to learn and where they really took control of their learning. It also helped that they were able to show their creativity when working on this assignment. Below is a picture of someone's collage. I was so excited that I went to Office Depot and printed this class' pictures out in color. I think they will be pleasantly surprised when they walk into class tomorrow!

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