ABC Books with Story

Story has quickly become a very popular app amongst teachers. Students can quickly create a high quality presentation or digital book with the app. It allows the user to put in pictures, captions, and full pages of text within the book.

Here is an example that Mrs. Yoder had her first graders build. For several days, the students collaborated and built a list of animals for each letter of the alphabet. Mrs. Yoder sent the list to me and I used Morgue File to gather royalty-free photographs. I then sent her about four or five letters worth of pictures to her so that she could forward them to her students. (Yes, teachers can email fairly large amounts of photos to students. In this project, I was able to send 26 pictures.) The first graders downloaded the images to their camera roll, imported them into the Story project, and if students had additional time, they added facts about animals.

There was one little hiccup though. Mrs. Yoder quickly found out toward the end of the project that the user can only make twenty two-page spreads. So to solve that problem, Mrs. Yoder had students use Pic Collage to cluster together the last few animals.

Here is the direct link to the Story example by Lauren.


Face on Coin Booth and Pic Collage

I have two sets of examples to post today. The first one I had blogged about several weeks ago on the presentation tools section of this blog. It is called Face on Coin Booth. Mrs. Sibert invited me into her class knowing she was going to cover decimals involving money. This provided a great opportunity to use Face on Coin since it was a really obvious application. Here we had students take their own picture, write the sentence “decimals separate dollars and cents,” and write three different ways to write a cents amount. Check it out for yourself:

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I also picture this application useful in areas such as writing character traits, telling import parts in a chapter, or even recording quick facts that were learned about a topic. I like to think of this app as a good one for quick projects to share knowledge and understanding. It is without a doubt not for upper level thinking, but it does make for a more engaging experience in the classroom.

Another set of examples is from Mrs. Abbs’ first grade classroom. Her students used the stickers in Pic Collage to demonstrate subtraction story problems. I hadn’t even thought of using the objects that were already available in Pic Collage for the math manipulatives.

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Mrs. Sims’ Field Trip to the Zoo

Zack recently posted about the field trip project that Mrs. Millus’ class was able to complete earlier this week. I was able to follow up with Mrs. Sims today to go a little further into the project. This time we had students create a title page with their name, add five photos, and add a fact that they know about each animal.

I took roughly ten minutes to orient them through the app. I taught them how to start a new Story, edit the title page, insert photos, and insert more text boxes. Along with that, I also had to teach them how to move pictures or text boxes that may seem out of place. The students quickly caught on surprisingly well since this is the first time that they have ever used the application. If you are uncertain of how to do all those steps, I do have a video that will help orient you with the application. 

One downfall of this application is that we had to type in the teacher’s entire email address. Typically when students email work to their teacher, they can just start the beginning part of the email address and it pops up for them so they do not have to finish it. For some reason, it is not accessing the contacts list from our school district. (This might be an issue that is only exclusive to East Noble School Corporation.) I think what will need to happen is to actually add the teacher’s email address to their contact list manually if this is going to be an app the kids will use on a regular basis.

Here are the results:

If you would like to see a few more examples, please follow these links:



Compound Words with First Grade

Today I had the pleasure of helping the media specialist at North Side utilize the iPods with first grade students. (Thanks for asking for help, Mrs. Valenti.) I gathered together a bunch of pictures from Morgue File that would make great options for compound words. For example: I found a picture of a dragon, a fly, and a dragonfly. Altogether, I had 26 pictures in the email.

This process only took me about five to ten minutes to gather all the pictures into a folder and send them away. How long would it have taken me to make copies of all the examples, get paper ready, glue, scissors, and coloring utensils?

As the students came in, I showed them how they can download all the pictures at once by clicking on the “save 26 images” icon when the user taps on just one picture. This saved all the pictures to their library so that they would be able to access them for their Pic Collage project. I would love to get to the point where we could use a classroom Dropbox, Box, or Skydrive account so that I could just dump the photos into a folder for all the students to access. Hopefully that option will be available on our school network in the future because it would save teachers a lot of time.


Next step was to show the kids how to get pictures into Pic Collage. I demonstrated this by using the pictures of butter + cup = buttercup so that the kids understood that they needed to match the pictures so that it would make a compound word. I also showed them how to add in text, change the color of text, and change the background on their collage. In the end, I was pretty satisfied with the results. Here is my example that I did with the students:


Now I will share with you some student examples. Keep in mind, I only had a few students share and they were completely random. We ran out of time so I quickly pulled a few students aside so that they could email me the results. I by no means kept the best of the best. These students were very engaged and excited in the activity. Next week, Mrs. Valenti plans on having them continue the project since we only had time to complete one collage.

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First Grade Plural Nouns Using Pic Collage

Mrs. Abbs and Mrs. Yoder sent me a cool idea today. Their students showed plural nouns using Pic Collage. They had them take pictures of the singular form and the plural form of the noun. The students added the actual words to the collage. This activity looks like a whole lot more fun than what I did to learn plural nouns when I was in school. I can’t remember that far back, but my guess was that involved a pencil and workbook. 🙂

Next Abbs and Yoder plan on having them do the same thing, but they will be doing it for words that end in “es” and “ies”. If they send them, I will plan on adding them to this post.

Thanks for the great idea, Mrs. Abbs and Mrs. Yoder!

(Click on an example to get the full view.)

Here is the later product created by a first grader to demonstrate when to add “es” to a plural noun:
add es


30 Hands – First Grade How-To Pieces

Here are a few examples of “how-to” pieces created by first grade students in Mrs. Yoder’s class. This activity took place over a couple of days to work with their devices.

Steps in the activity:

  1. The students created their rough drafts on paper with illustrations. The paper included four boxes and four spaces for text to make the piece a grand total of four steps.
  2. The students then used Pic Collage to snap a picture of the illustration and type their text in order to make “slides” for their presentations. It was then saved to the camera roll.
  3. The slides were imported into 30 Hands. Recordings were made for each slide as the students read their pieces aloud. The final product was saved to the camera roll as a video.
  4. The last step was for students to upload their video to Kidblog using the title of their work for the title of their blog post.

After finishing this project, the students were very excited and engaged in the process. The students love the opportunity to create a high quality publication using their iPod touch. So much potential lies within those devices. When students are given the opportunity to share their work through a creative means, it becomes very motivating for them. The amount of students off-task in other applications or in the settings was kept at a minimum due to the nature of the activity.

How to Write a Story

How to do University Time

And my personal favorite…

How to be Good

Me by Numbers – Skitch

“Me by Numbers” is an activity developed by Mrs. Yoder that she performed with her first grade students. In studying measurements and how they are a relevant to our everyday lives, she utilized the Skitch application on her class set of iPods as a means to produce a recording of the students’ work. The students had a partner take a picture, and then they proceeded by finding their weight, date of birth, height, etc.

Skitch is a great app for both iOS and Android devices. It is a simple app that gives students an easy way to demonstrate their knowledge about any subject. Imagine how long it would have taken you as a teacher to take pictures of every kid, print them off, and have students hand write these tidbits of information about the subject?

I recall doing activities like this prior to going 1:1 when I taught fourth grade. I also recall thinking that it really didn’t take that much time to gather all the pictures, print them, and get them passed out to the students. That is just the preparation of the materials alone and we are talking about a considerable amount of time spent on this project. Yet, did it anyway because I found the value in it and I was excited about the activity the students were going to complete.

Using Skitch eliminated almost the entire prep work that went into this lesson. Technology makes completing tasks faster than ever before.

(I used Skitch to blur out the faces in these images. I felt it was necessary due to the nature of information listed in these examples. Another handy use of the app that would have taken me longer to do with a PC.)

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Pic Collage Examples – First Grade

I posted about Pic Collage last year, but had not said much about it since. I didn’t mention it much because it has a feature that allows it to search the internet for images. For the most part, it filtered things fine. However, if the search language got specific, then it would provide some inappropriate images for our young ones.

This year, our filtering system is blocking the image search. This is not such a bad thing because you as the teacher can provide them with a collection of images so that they can safely gather materials for their projects.

Pic Collage allows the user to gather a collection of pictures and add text all to one board. This application could be used in all subject areas and at a rate that was previously inconceivable.

It is available on iPod Touch and the iPad.

Here are some examples created by first graders on their iPods:

The image was emailed to the students. The students wrote their inference based upon the picture.
The image was emailed to the students. The students wrote their inference based upon the picture.
Author study example.
Author study example.
This student drew pictures in Doodle Buddy and saved them to the camera roll.
This student drew pictures in Doodle Buddy and saved them to the camera roll.

30 Hands – Example of 1st Grade Math

I had a pleasant surprise yesterday in my inbox. It was close to the end of the day and there was a video sent by a student in Mrs. Yoder’s first grade class. This is using the 30 Hands application that I recently blogged about in the Presentation Tools section.


Here the student took pictures of his math manipulatives, and recorded his voice telling what addition number sentence he was solving. The students not only sent it through email, but also posted it on their Kidblog.

The real benefit was when I went home and Mrs. Yoder was able to watch each video. Instantly, she was able to determine how well each student understood the lesson. It was as if she was able to check-in with every student all from one location.

Let me know what is working for you. Have a few students send me a sample from time to time. I think all teachers could benefit from seeing the products that our students are capable of doing with their devices. When you share, we all gain.