In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it. -Rose Tremain
With only 74 days of school remaining in this year, (wow, that totally seems like I’m counting) I’m feeling the urge to mix things up a bit and try some different things. I’m a self-confessed organization evangelist and I don’t like messy things (no glitter, ever). I’m also a big planner and to-do list person. Call it our ridiculously warm winter this year or perhaps early, early spring, but I’m up for a bit of whimsy. A bit of spontaneity.
This week, our unpacked standard in math, is addition is putting things together and subtraction is taking things apart. Another kindergarten teacher and I thought it would be fun to put 2 groups of our children together and let them come up with a number story with a partner from the other class. They would plan together and write it out on paper first. The partners would decide if it was an addition story or a subtraction story first, then they would decide what object(s) would be used in the number story. One of the stories went like this: We had 4 flowers. We gave 2 flowers away. We had 2 flowers left.
After the story was written out and illustrated on paper, the pair opened their Educreations app. Educreations is a free interactive whiteboard for iPad. Students can create a video tutorial, record and play their voice, add photos from the camera or their own drawings, and can animate their images by dragging them around the screen while recording. Each pair of students, decided who would read the story problem first and who would illustrate the story problem while it was being read. Then they reversed roles and recorded it on the other student’s iPad. This way both students had their work to show.
My planning only went as far as the partners working on the story problems together and then recording. These students took this assignment and ran with it. The partners came up with great story problem ideas and did a wonderful job collaborating and taking turns. They loved taking turns and putting the story problem on each iPad. I’ve mentioned how much they love to talk!
This app has so many possibilities and is so easy to use. I can even create lessons on the app and have students watch it as needed to work on a skill. Lessons can be shared via email, Facebook and Twitter if needed. By having a target plan in place, but allowing the students to take charge and turn it into their own, I find the results usually far exceed even my high expectations…and THAT is definitely a happy ending!
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