Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Favorite Apps

Book Creator for iPad - Book Creator For iPad

Sketches - Sketches

Stop Motion - Stop Motion

Green Screen - Green Screen

iMovie - iMovie

Comic Touch 2 - Comic Touch 2
Monday, February 2, 2015

BookCreate - Genius Hour Second Quarter

BookCreate has become one of my favorite apps. My students love it and it is very easy to use.  Most of my Stop Motion groups used it to document their research which was then added to their videos.  Three other groups decided to create books about topics that interested them.

One of my students is into art. He likes to draw, a lot. He created a picture book, and did all his drawings using Sketches.  He is working on creating a story to go with the art.

Two students wanted to learn more about pirates.  They then created a book about pirates using the information they learned. Some of the illustrations that go with the book are their own, while others are found images.  

Probably my favorite book project is about landforms.  A small group of students researched various landforms and bodies of water.  They then did illustrations using Sketches then added the text from the information they gathered.  The end product is spectacular, both the art and the information.  

Stop Motion - Genius Hour Second Quarter

Several students chose to do a stop motion video on various subjects. They also used a variety of materials to create there stop motion videos.

Last quarter one group of students created a stop motion claymation video.  A group of students thought about doing the same, but their video was going to demonstrate the how the water cycle works.  Clay and the water cycle ended up being difficult to manage.  They ended up doing digital drawings using Sketches on the iPad.  In the end their video turned out great.

Speaking of cycles, a group of students decided they wanted to create a stop motion video, showing the life cycle of a frog.  They created all of the pieces they needed to show the life cycle with construction paper.  Then they laid everything out in stages and took pictures as the went.

The last group who used stop motion wanted to learn more about dinosaurs.  They researched various dinosaurs and the ages in which they lived.  They then created a skit with toy dinosaurs.

For all of theses videos there is some serious app smashing going on.  Students used StopMotion for the stop motion portion of the video, they all used BookCreate to write about their topic, and iMovie to create the title screens, and put it all together.  They all like the feel of the iMovie Trailers, but the format rarely fits how they need it too.  So, students put all the credit and title information into a trailer of their choosing, then hack it to pieces to a fit within their movie.   

The Bot (Genius Hour Quarter Two)

The second quarter attempts at Genius Hour, were much more successful. So much so, that I am breaking down the projects into individual posts.

The Bot

A group of my kids said, "Ms. Perkins, we want to make a robot." That's how it starts. They decide what interests them, and then they have to figure out how to do it.  In this case, the original idea was to make a beetle bot. It is something much bigger than what we ended up making.  Due to the lack of resources available, we ended up missing a few key components to make the beetle bot come together. We did however stumble across a video of these little bristle bots.  (They remind me a lot of those little hex bugs.)

So what did they learn from this? Well they learned a lot about circuits. They also learned about motors and switches.  There were several structural problems with the original design, and they had to brainstorm solutions to solve those problems.


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