A Sixth Grade Window

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows." ~Sydney J. Harris


The more weeks that go by, the more it seems that the iPads are becoming less of an “extra” or “different” way to do things and more just a part of the way we learn, construct, investigate, display, etc..  I started out writing about how we are using the iPads, and now we are using the iPads more and more, that I feel like I’m just writing about our day.  My family has even stopped asking “what did you use the iPad for today?” ;)

A couple of simple thoughts I had today:

*sometimes students forget their homework, lunch money, permission slips…no student has forgotten their iPad

*the students seem to have more pride in their work lately…in the past, unless I posted their work on a bulletin board or passed them around the room or group, students were not always able to see each other’s work…when they put work on a blog, a network, an app, etc., not only can classmates can see it, but the whole world can see it…that provides a motivation that I couldn’t have provided without technology

*we’re saving tons of paper

*I could go on and on ;)

Today, the students summarized the plot of two chapters of a fiction novel by creating a Storyboard.  My favorite part was the thought processes that students used when they chose illustrations to match their “sum-it-up” statements.  Students knew the story took place during the 1930’s and that their pictures should somehow reflect that time period.  Kali chose her pictures very quickly and they were a great fit…I asked her how she found them so fast and she said, “I just googled the pictures, but then I used an app to turn them all to black and white to make them look old.”  I never would have thought of doing that!  Way to use your resources, Kali!  The storyboards will be on student blogs.  Great work, sixth graders…great way to start out the week!  You guys are awesome!



What’s Your Angle?

Our Zoo Investigation is coming along nicely.  I’m excited to see the students’ finished products!  The first part required the students to begin developing their blueprint of the zoo, they were to make sure that each space met the specific area and perimeter requirements.  Many students were ready to move on to part 2 on Friday.  Part 2 required students to incorporate 20 different angles in their blueprint.  Students used graph paper, rulers, protractors, and their iPads to measure lines and angles.  The free app, “Angle Meter”, allowed students to place their angles below the camera on the iPad and measure the angle.  After finding out the measurement of the angle, they had to decide which type of angle it was in order to incorporate it into their zoo blueprint.  Part 3 involves elapsed time and many students were ready to start making their animal feeding and cleaning schedules.  Good work, sixth graders, I think this is our best investigation yet!

Using Angle Meter


Student blogs are up and running.  On Friday, students had just a moment to add an introduction.  Tommy and William added a snapshot of some quick poetry they made using the free app “Poetry Creator”, this app displays random words which the students were to try to make poetry from.  It was a fun word work exercise we investigated before reading a poem in class together.  Some students demonstrated quite a natural ability for poetry…

During library, Mrs. Hernandez showed the students how to maneuver some great search websites. –  Encyclopedia and Searchasaurus  – The second search engine allows elementary students to search articles by lexile, cool!

We continued to work on our informational essays that we want to turn into digital essays.  Students are really helping each other find good sources on the internet.  Blake shared a great example of how to find organized information about a college he is interested in learning more about…(too bad it’s Duke and not UNC! ;))





For the class blog challenge, I have been visiting other classroom edublogs.  The challenge asked that we visit each other’s blogs, leave comments, help add to their conversations.  It’s amazing what’s out there; lessons, strategies, use of technology (I have found some really cool virtual field trips tonight)… This blogging has opened up a whole new world for me and the students! :)