Monday, August 1, 2011

iPads & Summer Learning Camp

Imagine are three weeks to the end of your summer break. You might be bored, having a blast, or somewhere in between. But, you are pretty sure that one of the LAST things you want to do is spend two and a half hours each day for the next two weeks reviewing parts of speech with your former 5th grade Science teacher...

Yep. It could be that bad. BUT, it's not.

Seriously, I promise!

Because, even though I am the 5th grade science teacher, I also have a masters degree in literacy...

Better? No? Really, you don't think that is impressive to a 7, 8, or 9th grader?

Ok. You're right. That really doesn't make the situation that much better.
I do think that our district does a great job with the learning camp...keeping it fun, light, and a great review...
But, still!

In any case, I decided to avoid passing out the workbooks and go with an ALL tech/iPad edition of summer school. (I'm still giving the students a refresher on reading, writing, listening, and speaking. We are still working!)

This is how I'm doing it:

In just the first day, my students set up their accounts, browsed around, and changed their profile picture. (within the first 5 minutes...seriously that easy!). We did this all with the edmodo app on the iPad.

I used this setting to get to 'know' my former students by asking them to practice posting by introducing themselves and telling about their summer so far. To be truthful, they didn't write too much here...surprised? Ha! Hey, they were writing and reading each other's post.

Then, we used some time to google the read-aloud book, Dread Locks by Neal Shusterman. To preview the book and get background, my students were sharing book reviews on Amazon, book trailer videos, and other sites. They seemed to be pretty interested in the book. So, we dove right in with my reading out loud the first two chapters while they followed along.

The book was already loaded on to their iPads, so we did a quick iBooks tutorial. We practiced highlighting key words, checking word meaning in dictionary, adding notes to the side, and adjusting font/color. Can you see where I'm heading with this?

Using the iBook features I totally rocked out the reading/thinking strategies that I was going through as I read. I modeled what good readers do t make meaning of text as I read. We talked as a group and made connections with the text.

Back to edmodo....
We jumped back into edmodo to make predictions about the book.

Then, to gauge student interest in projects to complete with Dread Locks, I had a survey posted in edmodo. I asked them to select between:

You can see the spread in votes. Which is totally awesome! Variety is the best way to go! We will start working on these after we get a couple more chapters read.

So, after introducing ourselves, working with our read aloud book, and gauging student interest in projects, it was time to throw some good old grammar and writing skills at them. Mwah ha ha!

Kidding, but not really.

I took questions from the workbooks that we were given to use regarding sentence fragments, parts of speech, and types of fragments. I put these questions into a google form which I linked to our edmodo site. The kids worked in partners to answer them. Tomorrow, we will review the answers, and I found out that you can award students badges on edmodo...WICKED COOL!

Finally, I linked a site and PDF of possible summer reads to the edmodo page for them to check out tonight for homework, which I hope they do! (I actually had a student message me on edmodo about one of the characters in our read aloud already tonight! How about that!)

From here....
Continue using edmodo for our class discussions, links, and home base.
Rock out the google docs w/forms and review slides in google presentations.
Utilize iBooks for reading/thinking aloud strategies w/Dread Locks.
Projects on iPads...oh yeah!

And, possible author skype? Hmmmmmmm?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So glad I found you on the 4thchat. Love the technology you used with your students. I am so going to borrow your ideas to use with my students. I am getting 10 iPads for this school year and can't wait to use them and explore the possibilities. Can't wait to read more.