Friday, September 26, 2014

The Little First Graders that Could, and Did!

Yesterday and today I had the awesome opportunity to work with two First Grade Teachers in ELA centers. Before I go on, I got this idea from one of my brilliant co-workers. It seemed like a lot of work but once he walked me through the process it took about 5-10 minutes. Anyways, we called it the "re-telling station." Basically, in this station, students would have to re-tell a story that they had previously heard from their teacher. Since 1st graders are just learning how to read, I thought it would be best to re-tell a story rather than to just have them read it. Anyways, since research shows that working in pairs is an extremely effective way for students to learn, I work with two students at a time for about 15 minutes each. I have them sit a table with one iPad (the iPad has the teacher's email account contacts- more on this in a bit.) I also provide the book that was read to serve as a visual reference to make prior connections. Finally, I have the app "SoundOScope" open and ready for the student to use. SoundOScope is basically a recording app that records in .WAV format. .WAV formats are raw, uncompressed audio meaning that they are not directly compatible with iMovie. At the station, I have one student press the "record" button and the other student re-tells the story. This app gives the student 2 minutes to record. From my experience, this was plenty of time for the students to re-tell the story. Once they student is done recording, they email the file to the teacher. I have the teacher's email address typed out in large fonts so they can see the "@" and "." signs. Once the first file is emailed, I switch the student roles and do it again. Once both files are emailed, I go to the teacher's computer and show the students the email that the teacher has just received. (They get a kick out of how they can see the file they just sent!") By the way, I highly recommend emailing these files to a Google Email address. Each file takes up about 10 megabytes which can quickly fill up a smaller inbox. Once the sound files have been emailed, I then take pictures of all the pages in the book and crop them to make sure that no excess is showing. Once they are cropped I import them using Windows Movie Maker (in Windows 7.) I know that using the XP version of Windows Movie Maker was a nightmare, but it seemed like Microsoft got it in gear with the Windows 7 version. Anyways, once all the pictures are imported, I then import the audio file so that it overlaps the pictures. From there it's just a matter of tinkering with picture times so that you can try to get the picture to match up as closely as possible to with what the student is saying. This doesnt always work out right if the student is all over the place in re-telling the story. Once everything is done, I export it directly into YouTube and then E-Mail the Teacher. The end result looks like this:


Here is what the SoundOScope app UI looks like:

1st Graders in Action:

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