Wednesday, October 30, 2013

iBooks Author Reflection for Class Books

After compiling all the students' Pages documents into an iBook, here are some tips that we will try next time for our November class iBook. (This was my first time doing a published writing piece on the MacBook during the fall of 1st grade!)
  1. Brainstorm (with students) a list of words they might use in their story. Then, add the words to a word wall or a pocket chart in the front of the room. Add words as students' ask, "How do you spell spooky?" 
  2. Have the students write out their stories first, and the move on to the typing. This way students can focus on the story and not where the letter "t" is located on the keyboard. 
  3. Once students are ready to "publish their piece" on the laptop, choose a pages template that will format well in iBooks Author. (We chose text page with 1 image on the Visual Report template in Pages, and we chose the Basic template in iBooks Author.) It didn't work seamlessly with this template, so we'll test out a few more before our next class iBook.    
  4. I loved that we had the students choose ONE word to change the font, color, and size. It was also  meaningful to show the students a sample writing piece using the same Pages template. We showed the students what it would look like to make every word a different color. The students were the ones that realized "that looked bad." 
  5. Before students met with a teacher one-on-one or read it to a partner, they highlighted the text, right clicked and chose "Speech." Students were able to complete a quick self-assessment with how their writing sounded. This was beneficial to the student, it but also helpful to the teachers who had less editing to do during one-on-one time. 
  6. To make your class book even more meaningful for your students, use pictures that your students take in the iBook. Students in 1K brought iPods to the Pumpkin Farm (each chaperone was in charge of the iPod), and took a collection of pictures. We used those pictures for the cover of the iBook, and we added a Gallery Widget on the last page of the iBook. 
  7. The district learning management system is eChalk. When students dropbox/submit an assignment in eChalk it automatically adds the student's username in front of the name of the document. ie shannons1234pumpkinwriting. This is a great tool to have when you download your students' assignments because each document has it's own specific name. However, when we dragged the Pages documents into iBooks Author, it named each section "shannons1234pumpkinwriting." We had to delete "s1234pumpkinwriting" 28 times, so that each section was titled by the student's name. ie Shannon 
  8. For November's iBook, we will have the students' Air Drop their writing right after their final one-on-one check in with the teacher. Students will name their document with just their first name. This way we won't have to delete any section titles. The best part is that the Table of Contents is based off your section names, so when you tap "Shannon" on the Table of Contents, it will go directly to Shannon's pumpkin writing page. 
  9. Finally, after the iBook is previewed and exported, I'd recommend uploading the .ibooks file in Dropbox and then post the link on a classroom website. This way anyone with an iPad can tap the link and download onto their device. 
  10. Ms. K plans to share her class iBook on Curriculum Night in November. Parents will be able to read their student's story on 1 of 5 classroom iPads that will be out on the tables. 
Stay tuned for the exported version of 1K's Pumpkin Writing, and please download it on your iOS device! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

iPods at the Pumpkin Farm

We are ready to start bringing our Pumpkin Writing "above the line" on the SAMR model. Ms. K, 1st grade teacher, gave each chaperone an iPod to document the field trip to the Pumpkin Farm. We're using Photo Stream to share the pictures from the iPod to Ms. K's laptop. Once Ms. K has selected the perfect photos from the field trip, we'll be adding the pictures and pumpkin writing stories to the class iBook.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"This is why we do, what we do." -Steve Jobs

Monday was an inspirational day for many special needs teachers. Apple hosted a free seminar in Chicago to share Accessibility features for iOS and OS X. I was incredibly inspired by Bill Ziegler student success stories. Photo Booth and using Multitasking Gestures were game changers for simple ways to communicate.  For example, there was an autistic boy who wouldn't (and his teachers thought couldn't) communicate more than a few words at a time. Once the student was placed in front of Photo Booth with effects on, his personality came to "life." The effects provided the simulation the boy needed to look at in order to communicate. He recorded himself counting, singing his ABC's, and even carrying conversations back and forth.

Learn more about iOS for Special Education and OS X for Special Education on Apple's Special Education website.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Speech- Augmentation

1st grade students using "Speech" to listen to their pumpkin stories before they submit them to their teacher. If something "didn't make sense" to the student, he/she made corrections to their writing, and then listened to it again. Talk about self-assessing your writing! 

Student bringing Keynote Above the Line

5th grade student (and winner of the October D100 Steve Jobs Mac Pro Award) created an Explorer Keynote on Christopher Columbus. He researched facts from creditable websites his teacher gave him, and then got to work. Not only does his Keynote include facts and images, but it has a Google Earth Screencast recording that shows Christopher Columbus's route. Finally, he extended his Keynote even more at home. He watched GarageBand how-to videos I created, and made his own soundtrack for his Keynote. Talk about an explorer report!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Writing Part 2

With the help of the classroom teacher and an Instructional Coach, 1st grade students produced their digital pumpkin stories (CCSS W.1.6) this week.  Students learned how to use a secondary click to help them choose the correctly spelled word. When students had 4 sentences typed, they added features to their writing to make certain words "stand out" (bold, font, color, size).  Finally, students used the check list on the SMART board to self assess their writing. (CCSS RF.1.1a)


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Writing Part 1

1st grade students listened to a Pumpkin read a loud & then used Pages to Augment their writing! During class last week, students downloaded the template, chose a pumpkin face to write about, and began their stories. Students used the pumpkin face they chose to describe how their pumpkin was feeling. (CCSS SL 1.5)


Keynote Recordings

Recording Keynotes in the Play mode can be a very powerful tool in the classroom. 5th grade students created a Homophone Keynote that included pictures and definitions of several homophones.  Then, the students recorded the Keynote reading through their slides. I can still hear a student saying, "Bear and Bare. This is a picture of a teddy bear. This is a picture of your bare feet."

Keynote for Presentations

Keynote is my best friend! My favorite Keynote was one that I created for an Apple Executive Briefing. It displayed my district 1:1 Journey thus far. It had photos, movies, hyperlinks, tables, and even a Garageband recording. The best part was that I flipped through the slides using the Keynote Remote App on my iPhone.

Pages for OS X

One way I use Pages is for taking notes during workshops and meetings. I'm a visual learner and relate much better to content with images and videos, so I choose a template like the "Visual Report" to include photos within my notes.
One of my favorite Pages lessons was for the 2011 March Madness Basketball tournament. My 4th graders chose a team to follow in the tournament, researched the school, and then put everything together using one of the Newsletter templates. Within their newsletter, they included where the school was located, the population, the mascot, the classes and programs they offereed, etc. Then, they wrote an article summarizing how the team did in the tournament.