Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Classroom and Beyond with Augmented Reality

Although augmented reality is not a new concept it is slowly creeping into many classrooms, libraries, and hallways.  Third and fourth grade students in my building recently stepped into the world of augmenting and took our learning beyond our 4 classroom walls. For our first augmented activity I thought the project turned out amazing.

The Project

Step #1:
I contacted our amazing art teacher and asked if she would design a Valentine project that students could use to trigger the augmented reality video.  Of course she said yes and helped our students create an amazing art project.

While the students were completing their Valentine projects in art, we started working on a writing project in our classroom.  Students created a graphic organizer and identified items for their topic, "20 Things I Love".

Step #3
Students edited their writing and prepared it to publish.

Step #4
Students used the Chatterpix app to record a video of their writing.

I love this app as much as my students.  It allows my students to be creative but also adds a twist of fun.  Students take a picture of themselves, draw a line for their mouth, add character features (crowns, hats, or glasses), and record their video.  Check out the Chatterpix website.

Step #5
The video was inserted into the Aurasma app.

Step #6
We created our art display in the hallway.

Step #7
The students used the Aurasma app to watch the video with their parents during student led conferences.

What do I LOVE about augmented reality?  

  1. I love the collaboration among our teachers to connect classroom activities such as writing beyond the 4 walls of our individual classrooms.
  2. I love how it allowed our students to connect their artwork to writing in our classroom.  
  3. I love the excitement of students as they were creating.
  4. I love the excitement of parents (and the students) as the students "showed off" and took ownership of their work.

If you are interested in stepping beyond your classroom into the world of augmented reality please check out this great post by blogger Kleinspiration.  The post has some fantastic tips and ideas for using augmented reality in our schools.

As you reach BEYOND your classroom and into the world of augmented reality please comment on this post and share the "awesomeness" happening in your classroom...and beyond.  Share your ideas, pictures, and videos.  

Happy Augmenting!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Quadblogging Partners

I remember when I was a little girl I had a pen pal in Singapore.  Occasionally I would write to her. By the time I got a return letter in the mail I couldn't remember what my letter was about in the first place.  My apologies for sounding like a broken record, but I can't believe the opportunities technology continues to give my students (especially when it comes to communicating with students in other countries).

During the past week my class was able to Facetime with grandparents of one of my students who were visiting Israel.  After the stories about their day and showing us the scenery from their hotel, I couldn't help but be in awe. Some of you remember the stories from parents or grandparents telling of their childhood.  The story always ended with walking to school (through snow, up hill). We always laugh when we hear those stories. My stories will include sending letters through the mail.  Now, we send electronic letters and connect using Facetime, Skype or Google Hangout. Amazing!

Throughout this school year I've been looking for ways to encourage my students to write and searching for an audience.  Over Christmas break I stumbled upon Quadblogging.  I was intrigued and started researching.  It almost seemed too simple to get involved.  I could not fathom how easy it would be to give my students the opportunity to share their writing with other students their age.  Before technology, communicating with other classrooms all over the world was not even possible.

After questioning some of my 4th grade friends that I met through the power of Twitter and hearing their encouraging words, I decided to jump in and get involved. Sunday evening when most Americans were excited to be watching the biggest football game of the year, I was extremely excited to receive a Twitter message that our Quadblogging assignment had been made.  I'm also honored to be the coordinator of our group, #Quad2.

Now for the "super bowl" of excitement...our Quadblogging classes are located in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.  I've added a link below to each of their blogs along with a picture of their flag.

How does Quadblogging work?  One classroom will blog each week while the other 3 classrooms comment on the blog.  The classrooms rotate through a cycle of blogging and commenting. Students have the opportunity to share their work globally while receiving feedback from peers. If you would like more information or would like to become a Quadblogger please visit their website.

Yesterday my class used their National Geographic World Atlas app to research the location of Whangarei, New Zealand.  We learned that New Zealand is located off the coast of Australia and consists of two large islands.  Whangarei is located on the north island.

As I continue to reflect on the places technology has taken our class this year, I can't help but wonder what the excitement will be next year as I sit and watch the Super Bowl game. Where will modern technology lead our class next? I can't wait to find may be way more exciting than the Super Bowl.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Valentine Printable

FREE printable from my favorite TPT store, The Moeller Express! 
I love it and had to share!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Literature Response Graffiti Wall

Recently during a snow day I was able to join a fabulous Twitter chat #mck4thchat with some awesome teachers in Texas.  It was a little scary to be joining my first chat with teachers I did not even know...but fun and exciting at the same time.  The chat teachers made me feel at ease. It was a great hour filled with sharing and learning.

During the chat one of the teachers suggested having a literature response graffiti wall.  I thought it was a fantastic idea!  I couldn't wait to share the idea with my 4th grade teammate in my building.  We decided to line a section of our hallway with the graffiti wall.  One side says, "Lit. Response" and the other side says, "Graffiti Wall". Our students loved the activity and were excited to collaborate and answer questions on the wall.  We will definitely use this again!

Since my first chat I would say I'm hooked.  I've visited several educational chats.  My absolute fav is #4thchat on Monday evenings at 7 CST.   You may even find me at a basketball game with my phone in hand, chatting to my tweeps, and learning more ways to make learning fun.