I asked only one thing from the teachers, “What is one ELA standard that you are teaching that you don’t think the students are understanding?” One teacher replied “Collective Nouns” and the other teacher replied “Prefixes and Suffixes.”
I started off the way I traditionally do, looking for books to read to the students. I found two great books for collective nouns that I could quickly access. Prefixes and suffixes though didn’t yield a book that would attract my students. But I knew the books I did find would not engage the students. I had two questions, “How can I promote the library and reading?” and “How can I get the students actively involved in their learning?” running around in my head. My eyes fell to the two Ipads our school had been given by Limitless Libraries. E-book! I hadn’t used the Ipads in a class yet. It was about time. Out came google and my search for a story creator began. I found three that had great reviews. I looked at them all.
StoryJumper (www.storyjumper.com) – I loved the review and did a test book to try the tools, but it was computer based. My computers are not situated in an area that lends itself to classes. Also, I wanted the students to be able to move around. Free and physically publishable.
Book Creator (http://www.redjumper.net/bookcreator/) – available on Ipad, Android, or Windows devices – I opened it up and found that the creator was photo based. With elementary students I wanted them to be able to draw and use pre-made stickers or props. Free and paid versions available.
My Story (http://mystoryapp.org/) – available on Ipad – I opened it up (free version) and did a test book. The options I wanted (stickers, photo, text, audio recording, and drawing) were available on the free version. It was easy to use and edit. I wanted all of the stickers that were available for my students, so I chose to purchase this app for the lesson.
How did we use My Story?
I have to say it was a chaotic and wonderful experience. The students were all over the place taking pictures for the prefixes, suffixes, and certain collective nouns. The students needed very little instruction on using the app. I limited my instruction to “here are the tools” and “hand it back to me when you are done.” Each student was limited to 5 minutes to create their page. Even the most meticulous of students was able to complete the project in this time.
The students were assigned a letter then they created a page for the alphabet book using either a collective noun or a collective item with that letter.
Prefixes and Suffixes:
The students were partnered and asked to visually represent a prefix and a suffix.
How the classrooms are looking at the video:
These teachers are using these videos during class as a break or refresher on the topics. The students enjoy watching their creations and hearing their voices.
How the library is looking at the video:
In a school that is not yet 1:1 in technology it is often difficult to ensure that all students have proper instruction on becoming digital citizens. These two second grade classes are sharing what they are learning outside of the four walls of the building.