Sure, our kids created comics using Google Draw and Google Slides, but we were lacking a true to form, free, and save-able comic creator.
STORYBOARD THAT to the rescue. Our district purchased a license to the program and boy, are we loving it! Students and teachers have really taken a liking to the endless possibilities within the platform. The built in library is super extensive and the ability to manipulative little details of the comic (character expression, scene colors, and more) make for work that really captures student creativity.
It's been a great way for teachers to incorporate formative assessment in a non-traditional manner. Students think outside of the box and have really created some stellar representations of their understanding and learning.
want to learn more? See the magic? start here (site includes tutorials, student examples, videos of classroom work, instructional ideas, etc.)
check out some of the comics and reflections about the program below!
Our students have become very comfortable with designing slidedecks with lots of text. Well, it could actually be anything- a poster, video, card, brochure, etc- with too much text.
We are trying to veer our students away from including text that could distract the audience from the intended purpose. When watching a video on a historical event, for example, we've had conversations about the viewers not wanting to read large chunks of text.
So, if no text... then what? Hopefully, students are gaining experience with expressing ideas in different ways that promote "out of the box" kind of thinking. They've been engaging with Videos, audio recordings, symbols, charts, graphs, and images to represent information.
It's been difficult for the kids to share their ideas in a new way. However, we all understand the power of such a skill. Infographics, videos, and other forms of media in today's world really capture the essence of less text! In this case, the phrase, "Less IS MORE" really does hold true. Furthermore, synthesizing information into concise and clear ideas also proves to be an important academic and life skill.
Check out the portfolio slides with LESS TEXT!
5th Grade infographics to come....
The ability to access virtual manipulatives is a necessity in the classroom for our kids. One of the biggest benefits of each student having their own device is the fact that the kids could just open a new tab when working and access the resources needed to set themselves up for success. However, On our chromebooks, the math virtual manipulative sites/resources are limited.
So... we've created many templates on Google Drive. Google Drawings and Google Presentations provide a great "canvas" of sorts for kids to work with as they learn. Students could turn in their work for teachers to be able to view and understand their thinking.
Here's Just a few templates:
Base Ten Blocks
Ten Frame MAT
Glencoe Manipulatives is a site worth going to. We've had a lot of success with this one.
However, I just came across this new one: Math Learning Center Apps.
Our mathematicians may engage with these sites just for the sake of additional support. However, we often hold our students accountable and do so through having them take a screenshot or even screencast over their work. They may share with their teachers & peers, reflect upon their thinking and more... the sky is the limit!
All students continued working on their digital portfolios for the month of October. Teachers gave students the choice of which piece to include. In addition, students had design rights to their slide. However, the main focus this time around, was the creating of an audio reflection.
We used the program, Soundtrap, to record our reflections. Students used brand new microphones to help with sound quality. It was a great opportunity for the students to express themselves in a different way. Just talking through their thinking is an important skill. Moreover, the using of a new tool will only open up more experiences for their future work. Perhaps a student may choose to create a podcast for another instructional project, now that they're familiar with the program. Perhaps the classroom teacher would recommend that specific or all students use Soundtrap to capture their thinking. The possibilities are endless!
Our hope remains to empower students to use tools that are meaningful to their purpose and that they identify with.