The seniors created a Prezi presentation based on their understandings of gardening and gardens. The purpose was to allow them to showcase their current understandings (half way through the inquiry) using a different medium. Prezi is a very interactive presenting tool that they thoroughly enjoyed using. The best part of Prezi is the commenting ability. Teaching students to post appropriate comments that are professional and do not hurt others feelings, is an important part of being a positive digital citizen. This online tool allowed for that and gave students opportunities for practising their posting and commenting skills.
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As a follow up to 2D shapes, students chose an image of choice and created these shape animals. They identified and classified the shapes, its properties and angles. The children really enjoyed this activity. There was rich discussion, as well as problem solving, as the question of how many triangles can you find in this photo made them really think.
To create these shape animals, Poly (iPad app) was bought for $0.99. It took about 2 minutes per child to make these shape animals.
To link in with the school’s community garden, preps designed a garden label using MS Paint. Their focus was on utilising some of the tools in Paint, such as the fill tool, shapes and marker. Students viewed a Pinterest board that had lots of examples of garden labels. Utilising Pinterest boards is ideal in the classroom as the work has been done for you and is extremely visual. Great for all learners.
There is a skill to Googling. There are special skills involved in being able to generate the right answers once the SEARCH button is clicked. One of the most common skills I am asked to teach when visiting schools is how to Google EFFECTIVELY. Here are my tips for research based Google searching:
- No HFW (high frequency words) in searches.
- Specific keywords only. For example, Australia Immigration Transportation.
- Use quotation marks if you want exact phrases, e.g. “Caterpillar lifecycle”.
- Google has their own formulas to work out what’s relevant for you so if it is not on page 1… Google search again!
- If you are typing in the correct keywords your search results should not be in the trillions or billions. Less is more.
- If searching for something local, make sure pages are from Australia only.
- Type site:tserlin.com before your search term if you want Google to just look at a specific site, e.g. ‘site:tserlin.com blog’.
- Don’t ask Google a question. Always phrase searches as an answer. For example, the largest plant in the world is.
To link in with the Seniors Harmony Inquiry Unit, students created their very own stained glass window that reflected harmony. Students inserted, manipulated, positioned and orientated shapes to create their black outline stained glass window.
They used the Snipping Tool (available on PC Windows 7 onwards) to crop their designs and save it as a JPEG. They copied and pasted their designs in MS Paint and from there used the fill tool to decorate their windows.
During the season of Advent, students read the picture book Email Jesus @ Bethlehem written by Hilary Robinson. The book is about how technology would be used if Jesus himself were born today. That is, in the 21st century. This book was published in the early 2004 therefore a big emphasis on emailing.
Students were allocated a page each with their partner and had to visualise an image to represent the text. They created their pictures using art materials. This took about 2 lessons at 40 minutes each.
Once they finished their page, they used a photocopier scanner to scan their work. Once scanned, students imported the image in paint and added text from the story. Their work was then collated and made into visual picture book movie. The senior students read their adapted version of Email Jesus @ Bethlehem to the junior students who thoroughly enjoyed the cleverly crafted book.
The detail of the art materials is represented really nicely in the pictures. Click on each image to view full details.
Using a digital camera the junior school children took photos of one another. Their ICT focus was taking a clear photo of their partner whilst ensuring that the photo met strict criteria.
- The subject must be in the centre of the photo
- The subject must be facing the camera
- The subject must be in good lighting
- Photographer must wait for the lens to focus before taking a photo
- Photo must be clear and not blurry
Once their photos were taken, they were printed and used as visual prompts to help students create their self portraits. The junior students used a free Windows program called Art Rage to create these wonderful masterpieces.
The children enjoyed ArtRage as they were able to mix colours. They exported their images to JPEG (picture) format which made it easier to print in 6X8. The images were framed then used in the school Art Show.
It took 4, 40 minute sessions to complete this activity.