Sunday, 12 January 2014

Back to School

It is still a couple of weeks ago but I'm sure there are some teachers thinking about what they will do with their students in that first week. With this post I will focus on some ideas for those "getting to know you" and "what I did in my holidays" type activities.

Just starting with some basic ideas -students could use:

PicCollage to introduce themselves by including a photo of themselves, images of their favourite things and text that describes the things they enjoy. The teacher would make one first to model the expectations. Once each student has created their own and sent it to the camera roll, they could be made into an iBook using Book Creator. Students could add audio to their page and you have an iBook to keep for the year.

Popplet to create a mind map about themselves, adding photos and information. This could also be made into an iBook.

Popplet to create a timeline of their holidays.

PhotoCard to create a postcard of somewhere they visited during their holidays or, for those who didn't go anywhere, somewhere they would like to visit.

Other apps that are excellent for first day activities include iMovie, PuppetPals, Explain Everything, Strip Designer, Tellagami and iFunFace. So many possibilities.

The simple video camera is also very useful. Students in their groups of three could take turns interviewing each other and ask questions about their holidays, themselves and their hopes for the year. (One interviewer, one interviewee and one filming - then swap)

The thing I like best about all of these ideas and apps is that the creations can be combined and published. If I had my very own class this year I think I would have each student make three projects - one that introduces them, one that retells their holidays and one that describes their hopes for the year. I would then combine their three projects into an iMovie. I would then have them create a self portrait (using real paper and pastels). I would use this as the trigger for their movie, using Aurasma or stick a QR Code link to their movie on the sheet. Voila! The first of many interactive displays for the year.

One idea that involves a bit more collaboration is to create a wall on Padlet and have students make "wall posts" about their holidays or about themselves. If they include their aspirations for the year this would be something great to reflect on during or at the end of the year. Padlet would also be a great place for students to post personal learning goals.

These really are just some basic ideas and I'm sure you, the readers, will have far more creative ones. I would love you to share them!

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