This week we completed another arty activity on the iPads using the Brushes App. The students started by taking a selfie and opening it in the app. They could take a smiling image or one that had an attitude to it. They then converted it to black and white by “desaturating” it. This was important because the next phase was to add lots of colour to create an expressive and balanced image. The students had to keep in mind the balance between the colour they added and the photo beneath it – too much colour and the photo would be obscured and the image would look cluttered; too little colour and it would appear bare and unfinished. The students experimented with layers, brush styles, colour and balance. Below are two examples from Jordan and Samantha.
Recently, the students have been creating incredible animations using the I Can Animate app on the iPads. We’ve generally done a stop motion projects for the last few year, however this year it was a little different due to the app. In the past we’ve used webcams and a claymation programme on the laptops, but now we have our set of class iPads we thought we’d use the app and see how it goes. To be honest, the animations this year were as good as any we’ve done in the past, and the quality was excellent. The students planned their animations, storyboarded them then filmed. Using iPads made setting up much easier, although we had to overcome some problems, such as an inability to stand the iPads up easily for filming. However, we did overcome all the little issues and ended up with some great examples. Check them out: Sam, Lily, Bianca, Shantelle, Keenan, Joe, Chloe, Cooper, Lisette.
Term four has seen everyone in LA19 learning together and planning for the future. When I say “everyone”, I mean just that – myself as well as the students. Education is such an ever changing environment that we as teachers must be prepared to stay up to date and evolve wherever necessary. By doing this, not only do we learn new skills, but we ensure we put ourselves in the best position to deliver the skills and understandings for the future of our students.
In LA19 we’ve been enjoying getting to grips with Lighbot and I Can Animate, two great apps on our iPads. Lightbot is a fabulous way to introduce the concept of coding through problem solving and understanding processes. I Can Animate is another great app that caters to the creative side of the students, allowing them to create stop motion animations. The students have to plan out the whole process in sequence, prepare their models (where necessary) and carry out filming. There are a huge number of problems to overcome and the process is quite time consuming, but the results are already impressive.
With technology becoming a major part of our lives we owe it to ourselves as teachers and to the students in our care to evolve with the times. To be honest, it’s all so much fun you’d be mad not to try!
I didn’t think it would, but the weather just about held off and gave us enough time to do our QR Code Maths test. If you’re not sure what a QR code is then check out the one below by scanning it with your mobile or iPad; they’re on lots of things nowadays. I created 10 codes and each one had a maths problem relating to the topics we’ve learnt in class. In pairs, they used an iPad to scan the code and then they worked out the answers. The answers to these topics were generally the room numbers of the next code in the process and the students had to follow the map of the school to get to that room. They also had to answer the question correctly in order to get to the right class. However, some of the problems were a little more complex and required them to work out the clues they were given. It sounds complicated, but it’s pretty simple and the students seemed to enjoy their “test”.
During our in-class Art activities we looked at the way light can be used to create great images. The students took their photos and converted them using Pixir, an app attached to their Google Drive accounts. They then downloaded them from their Drive folders to use on the iPads. Part of our learning was to develop an understanding of the use of layers in image manipulation applications. The students created layers and worked on them, rather than the photo itself. As I’m sure you’ll agree, the results were amazing.
The students from LA 19 have lately been in great demand due to their expertise in all things technological. Last week we buddied up with some of the year 2s to help them with a QR code maths treasure hunt. The students used iPads to read and answer maths questions and follow clues around the school. We’re working with the remaining year 2s this week. We’re also helping the year 1s to create artistic masterpieces of themselves with the Brushes app, again on the iPad. With school photos and interschool competitions also happening this week it promises to be as hectic as usual.
Last week we spent a little time revising some of the mathematical topics and concepts we’ve been learning in the classroom. However, we didn’t simply open up our books and start reading (I’m much too kind to do such a thing), instead I created a set of QR codes with maths problems on them and put them onto laminated A4 sheets. I also wrote clues for the students to follow (like a treasure hunt) and an extra code on each card. The extra codes were all a part of an order of operations problem so they had to be placed in the correct order for it to give the right answer. It all sounds tricky, but the students enjoyed it. The cards were placed around the school and the students, in groups, set off with their maths books (for reference) and an iPad (to scan the codes) to follow the clues and solve the problems. I’d have to admit that it was tricky to set up, but I’d also say it was worth it. Check out the photos.
We recently applied our skills with technology to demonstrate our understanding of rotational symmetry. First, we all grabbed an iPad and went for a walk around the staff car park; we were trying to find car wheels that demonstrated rotational symmetry. When we found them we used the iPads to take photos and uploaded them to Google Drive for use later. During one of our laptop sessions we were then able to use the Draw application on Drive to create and present our work. Have a look at the two examples below from Demi and Pharyn.
Towards the end of last term, LA19 buddied up with the year 1 students to create a series of podcasts. The benefits of this collaboration were extensive. The senior students had to develop their interpersonal skills, planning questions and adjusting their tone of voice to suit the younger students. They also had to be very patient and use their listening skills to ensure they allowed the younger students to have their say. Also, they had to monitor the conversation and try to ensure it continued to flow without any long, empty spaces. All in all it was a very difficult task for the students, but they managed it very well. Check out the two examples below from Georgia and Abbey.
Last week the caring, sharing students from LA19 buddied up with our wide eyed year 1 classes to produce some art on the iPads. This was very exciting for both groups, but particularly for us. Every time our year 7 students buddy up with the younger students they come over all caring and parental, it’s great to see (though I don’t think they’ll thank me for writing that). The point of the activity was to give the year ones an idea of the creative potential of the iPads and to help develop their skills in using them. We used the Brushes app (as we have on many occasions) and used layers to create a painted picture of a photo that was also taken with the iPad. The year 7s are only allowed to use their voice to explain things to the year ones, in that way the year ones will gain the most from their experience. It will take us a few weeks to work our way through the year ones, but check out the examples below of what we’ve achieved so far.