Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year from First Grade and How We Used Our iPads to Review Classroom Community

In all the reflecting I was doing yesterday, I went into school today ready.  Really ready.  Bring-it-on-we-are-going-to-rock-the-second-part-of-this-school-year ready.

So we started today by getting excited about what we are reading.  One of the best things I did today was show them that the baskets come off of my book shelves.  

It looks like chaos, but this is the buzz I've been hoping to see all year when we are "shopping for books!"  
Lots of "Whoa!" and "Look at this one!"  
I'm so hopeful that this small shift in giving permission to move the books off the shelves allows for more engagement when the kids are shopping for books.  
One of the things we were asked to do this short week was review school wide expectations.  I was thinking of a hands on way to do this-this is how my class learns best.  So last night as I was reflecting and thinking, I devised a project to help review expectations and engage students.  And It Worked!  Here's how it went down:
1.  We divided our day into 5 areas that we need to be "amazing."  (Hallways/lines; lunchroom; with friends and adults; recess; and the classroom.)  Then I divided the class into 5 groups to work on developing this part of our movie.  
2.  Each group made a plan of some things that we need to do to be amazing in each of these areas.  They worked together to use pictures and words to develop an idea of what they were going to capture on the ipads.
Some notes from our work.

3.  When it was time, they got to work capturing their photographs of amazing choices of each part of our day.  
Students took turns photographing and being in the pictures.  

Collaboration on how to capture line basics.  

Collaboration on how to be amazing at recess.  

4.  As students finished, they brought their iPads to me, and I uploaded the pictures to Smilebox, where we added text together.  I would love to send you the link, but have some kiddos who have chosen to be non-published this year.  So a screen shot from our final product.

With a little upbeat music, each frame has a picture of a student making amazing choices, with the text that they helped me create.

My take on the final product is, it was a great way to review our expectations without me doing all the work!  The students were wholly engaged in this process.  I think this will be a video that will be playing each morning as they arrive.  It can easily come back as needed, and I am hopeful because there is ownership in the project, my class will only continue to be amazing at displaying positive behaviors, simply because they captured each other showing them!
Happy New Year!

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