This was Leo’s homework just a few minutes go. We used the Clicker Sentences app to look at the difference between their, they’re and there. We created a number of model sentences together using the articles and people around us. The settings allowed us to have the sentence read aloud, before Leo recreated it using the word grid.
Just a digital worksheet? No I don’t think so. We co created these exercise and the task/ app still allows Leo to continue freely writing. I am loving Clicker Sentences more and more.
Furthermore, clips like these could lead to more than just a written piece, they offer opportunities for digital presentations and tribute animations themselves . Remember to embed videos in a blog or VLE, rather than asking children to visit Vimeo directly. All of these videos have been watched and though I deem them appropriate you may disagree. It is of course always essential to watch anything before you show it to your class!
Last night I tried out Stories About Me. a new app aimed at writing Social Stories with children with autism which was released earlier this week.. The app is described as follows:
Stories About Me allows parents and teachers to create their own social stories for their children and students. Blending photos, text, and voice recordings into a talking picture book, children can playback rich media stories of their own personal experiences.
Swiping advances the pages and tapping plays the audio; simple as that!
Creating, editing, and ordering stories is easy and simple. Sharing stories and backing them up is made possible with Dropbox integration. Parental lock feature prevents accidental edits or deletions.
Another very popular app in our house at the moment is “Create a Car ” from Abcya.com. It is billed as a creativity app for children aged 3-9 and I would agree with this description. Reflecting on the boys using this app, it struck me that it is unusual for Leo to be making and creating on the Pad rather than gaming or gaming to learn.I’d like to see him and his brother use more apps like this one.
What does it do?
The app comes with a range of car, truck and van bodies which users can then add to in order to make their own vehicle. These drag and drop elements include everything from simple wheels to nuclear jet packs. The propellers and engine thrusters are very popular with both boys. These customised autos can later be saved in a user’s garage.
Both Charlie and Leo have enjoyed making their vehicles, most notably adding an abundance of add ons to their police, fire and “blue” cars. Aside from the creative experience, they have also helped each other to type in their name and the rather random names they come with for their vehicles.
i have noted there is a built-in tool to allow user to write a description of their vehicle without leaving the app. using prompts and a word bank based on the parts you have used.this does provide a strong and authentic stimulus for writing and would work well in upper Key Stage 1 and into Year 3.
Once the cars are built they can be shown off in the garage and both my boys enjoyed turning the ignition key and watching all the add ons animate. Exciting though that is, I would have liked to have seen the wheels move beyond a spin and then have the vehicles drive away. My other feature request would be the ability to customise the cars further. Drag and drop is great, but what about the ability to pick a colour for the cars/vans? Or how about being able to photo import a driver image or a texture for paint work?
This is a creative app which also includes opportunities for writing, and as my own boys found it so engaging, then I would include it within my category of recommendations for Key Stage 1 apps.
By the way If you don’t have access to Ipads in school, then you can still play the game using the web based version, click here for this site.
I simply have to share this video with you all. I used it today with my class to inspire their writing and you could hear a drawing pin clatter to the ground they were so engrossed. Though when I stopped the video at 3:29 the mood changed as they were all desperate to find out what happened next.
This is one of a number of excellent videos you can find at Vimeo, which is more of a grown up Youtube. By that I mean real film makers post there and there is non of the “lol cats”, “Mentos and Diet coke shaking fun” or awful lip syncing to Justin Bieber etc or other memes. When at 2Simple I spent a long time searching for great videos there and found some real gems, which I know would inspire great writing, drama and discussion. Here is another one which never made it to Purple Mash but would be good fro children in Key Stage 2.
Just a note of caution – I would always check out any video throughly before showing it to children. I would also not recommend sending children to video sites to search endlessly for videos. This is not just about inappropriate content but more because it can take so long to find anything of great value.