Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Using Evernote with One iPad to Build an Online Learning Community

Having only one iPad in the classroom presents unique opportunities and challenges.  I feel that a resource is at the height of its usefulness when it is accessible to all students; however, 28 students can't simultaneously use one iPad.  While many of the resources an iPad brings to the table can be found on computers (and often in more powerful forms), the mobility and freedom provided by the iPad create new opportunities for student utility.  Specifically, I like to have my students use Evernote to create an online learning community.

Each day, a different student on a rotating schedule is responsible for being the "Class Chronicler" -- the student who uses the iPad to record in-class notes.  This student records everything done and takes any notes presented in class.  The student can take pictures of class activities to serve as visual cues for students who are reviewing the class notes.  Being a science class with a lot of demos, my students love to record videos that we can post to the notebook.  Thanks to the open sharing settings of Evernote, students can access the class notes from anywhere -- including their phones!  Teachers are able to review and edit

Students enjoy documenting in-class demos.
Using Evernote in this capacity is particularly useful for students who are absent.  An absent student knows that he or she is responsible for checking the notebook before class to overview any notes and watch any demos that were performed in class.  The Notebook also serves as a great tool for reviewing before quizzes and exams.  Above all, using the iPad to create a classroom notebook stimulates a sense of community, connectedness, and ownership in the classroom.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Read Across America!

It's no secret to those that teach with me and to my students that reading is my favorite subject to teach! So, when I get the opportunity to spend a whole day doing activities to celebrate reading, I jump at the chance!!! Friday, March 1st as we celebrated Dr. Suess' Birthday, we, of course talked a lot about his influence on reading, but we also took the occasion to discuss other great authors. My favorite part was my 5th graders teaming with a 1st grade class to work on the book, "A Bad Case of Stripes", by David Shannon, one of my favorites. We begin by listening to the book being read aloud on a very neat website, My fifth grade students then helped the first grade students create a poster of the food that they like the most. The posters looked like this:
Yes, we got the idea from Pinterest! I just love that place!!!
We completed our projects with an imovie of the book. Mrs. Fulbright painted her first grade students faces just like you see in the photo. After the imovie was complete, the whole school got together for a Character Parade in the gym on Friday afternoon. A perfect ending to a perfect week!

Check out the iMovie we created on youtube!