Cedar Creek is currently redesigning its former computer lab into a flexible learning space now known as the Learning Lounge. You can read more about the transformation here. The room has been painted a very relaxing shade of blue, and we are now looking at furniture to put in the Learning Lounge. Our criteria for furniture is:
- it has to be comfortable for kindergarteners, adults, and every size in between
- it has to be moveable
- it has to encourage flexible grouping
As we have researched and sampled various types of furniture, we realized that our furniture choices can fit into the SAMR model. The SAMR model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentadura to explain how teachers use technology in a classroom setting. You can read more about it here.
We could buy new chairs with seats and four legs just like the chairs we had. This would be a substitution because it's the same chair, only a different color.
A chair with wheels is still a chair, it just has something added to it. The wheels make it easier to move around the room, but it is essentially still just a chair.
The Node provides a chair with wheels and an attached desk. Students can easily come together in groups and break apart for independent work. The chair swivels so students can remain moving while sitting. The desk can move in a variety of positions and has a tablet holder at the edge. The bottom provides a storage space under the chair.
The Panto Move Chair has wheels, plus it has a special seat that allows for pelvic and core movement. Although a student could move around in a regular chair, it was noisy and distracting to others. This chair lets students move silently in their chairs without disturbing others. Since movement increases brain activity and focus, this chair can actually help a student learn more effectively.
We'll keep you posted on the progress of the Learning Lounge! Check the blog for updates!
In celebration of Valentine's Day, we invited classes to come check out our freshly painted Learning Lounge and join us for a quick poetry lesson.
Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students used their five senses to write about things they love to touch, smell, taste, hear, and see. First they traced their hands to use their five fingers as reminders of their five sense. They wrote what they loved on hearts, then glued it all together. Here's an example:
3rd, 4th, and 5th grade learned about concrete nouns (nouns that you can sense with your five senses) and abstract nouns (like loneliness or fear), and how they can be used to write poems. We discussed that abstract nouns are often symbolized by concrete nouns. Here is the presentation we used to teach students about concrete and abstract nouns:
Since it was Valentine's Day, we chose to use the abstract noun "love" as the topic of our poem, and students wrote 10 concrete examples of love. We used this website, http://www.festisite.com/text-layout/, to make the poems into a heart shape. Here are some examples of a finished product:
Students had the option to email their poem to their parents. Some super creative students even put their poems into the Pic Collage app and made special Valentines for their parents or teachers. Parents and teachers loved receiving these special Valentines!
Animoto is one of our favorite apps for creating amazing movies! We've blogged even blogged about it before here.
To use Animoto and create a movie, just pick your photos, add text, and choose a background theme and music.
Educators are eligible to upgrade to a pro account for free. Click here for more details.
Kindergartens are learning to use their iPads independently! We got this idea from Eanes Elementary (see their blog post here) and adapted it for our students. We used checklists to teach students about using the iPad camera, Chirp and Skitch apps, and gestures on the iPad.
We modeled each task and checking it off on the task card, then students completed the checklist on their own. One kindergartener even told us, "This was the best lesson ever!"
Cedar Creek now has its own Aurasma channel! Aurasma is an augmented reality app that allows you to scan a picture or object, which triggers another image or a video. Fourth graders in Mrs. Raygor's social studies classes made videos of themselves giving information about a Native American tribe that lived in Texas on their iPads. After creating their video, students chose a trigger image that was posted in the commons. Trigger images were tagged with the Aurasma logo so visitors would know where to scan. Students presented their projects to a live audience as well.
Here's a quick demonstration of Aurasma:
Examples of Trigger Images:
This video will show you how to follow an Aurasma channel; just search for Cedar Creek Elementary to find us. Come to the Cedar Creek commons to see the students' projects!