Creating Digital Books & Student QR Codes

Hi Everyone,

It has been a while since my last blog post, I’ve been rather busy adapting to full time work after returning from maternity leave this year. I feel I’m managing quite well but my blog has been sadly neglected. Until now!

Recently I stumbled across this link to Julie Smith’s Blog called The Techie Teacher:

https://www.thetechieteacher.net/2019/05/how-to-create-audio-qr-kids.html?fbclid=IwAR1t01mnr_1RIsjgwJvc4tKLyT3-spPyt_UTmfi42Xa6zKlJbhltUCYMqvo

I have always wanted to do this with my students and thought Term 3 was the time to start this process. I have had staff at my school ask me about sharing how my class did it, so this blog is dedicated to my coworkers at St Andrew’s School.

Firstly, I decided what my intention for learning would be for this task. I have been focusing on developing greater fluency, expression and pronunciation when my students read aloud. With this in mind, I decided to create audio books for our school library. I told my students they needed to choose a picture book, read it for a week and practise their reading, keeping their fluency, expression and clear pronunciation in mind. We would be recording their voices, reading their chosen books and sharing them in the school library. Their books needed to be suitable for young children (ELC to Year 2), however older children may also enjoy listening to them.

After reading their books at home all week, they were ready to record! We used iPads and an app called Book Creator, which is a way of creating digital books. If you’ve never used it, I would highly recommend giving it a try.

Students took photos of each page of their picture book and then recorded their voices on each page. We then shared our digital books from Book Creator to Seesaw. Our school uses Seesaw as a tool for communication with parents and to document student learning in a digital format. If you haven’t used Seesaw before and would like to learn more about it, please visit my previous blog post about it. I presented at EdTech SA a few years ago about using Seesaw as digital portfolios. Here is the link:

http://jadevidovich.edublogs.org/2016/07/20/edtechsa-conference-2016-seesaw-and-digital-portfolios/

We exported the book as a video to Seesaw, which meant it would automatically play for our viewers. All we needed to do from here was share the QR Code, which Seesaw generates for you.

I screen shot their QR codes, printed them to a suitable size for our display and the children stuck them on top of the photos I’d taken of them, holding a mini whiteboard as shown here:

Once this was done the children cut out their pictures, glued on their QR codes and we laminated them and attached a large black binder clip to the feet to help them stand up. I also asked my students to write a brief summary of their book and a 5 star rating, we used Comic Life to get the speech bubble template.

Here is what our library display looks like:

I also created a step by step instruction guide for students to help them learn how to view our stories using the iPads. You can find the attachment of that document here and download it and adapt it to your task. It’s as simple as opening the camera on the iPad, holding it up to the QR code and then clicking the link that pops up to take you to the story.

Read a Digital Audio Book

I hope you can see the value of this task and adapt it to suit one of your learning intentions within your classroom. The possibilities are endless! I was speaking to our school Italian teacher, she could record students speaking Italian and share their dialogue with students and parents, create a translator or a set of phrases to assist with Italian pronunciation. Then I was talking with a passionate science teacher and suggested he use it for recording the methods of experiments, videos of the experiments, documenting the scientific process along the way. What about Music lessons, Art, Dance, PE? So many possibilities.

ACARA Links: English Content Descriptors:

  • Use software including word processing programs with growing speed and efficiency to construct and edit texts featuring visual, print and audio elements (ACELY1685 – Scootle )
  • Use interaction skills, including active listening behaviours and communicate in a clear, coherent manner using a variety of everyday and learned vocabulary and appropriate tone, pace, pitch and volume (ACELY1792 – Scootle )
  • Understand how to apply knowledge of letter-sound relationships, syllables, and blending and segmenting to fluently read and write multisyllabic words with more complex letter patterns (ACELA1826 – Scootle )
If you have any questions please post them in the comment thread below.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about digital books and QR codes.

Thanks.

Jade Vidovich

Lest We Forget. The ANZAC Centenary in 2V

This morning we had the ANZAC Day Assembly. Students of every age across the school campus Reception-Yr 7 all seemed to understand the significance or importance of showing respect during this time of reflection and remembrance. The stillness in assembly was something unlike any other day in your typical primary school.

Following the assembly we returned to class and watched this clip on You Tube about the significance and symbol of the poppy. This helped students to understand why we make poppies on ANZAC and Remembrance Day.

We then made a poppy using this template:

Poppy template

To do this in your class you will need the template, some red and green paper or card, scissors and glue sticks.

We have been looking at procedure writing in English so we also watched a video about how to make a poppy. This was quite handy.

This is the final display in our classroom of our ANZAC poppies.

IMG_0384

Some children chose to look at and draw or colour in pages of ANZAC soldiers and nurses like this image below.


soldier-and-nurse-anzac_1

 

After recess we returned to class and read a book about the ANZACS.

I was fortunate to have a parent find and lend me this lovely book called “Lest We Forget” by Kerry Brown. We read in it class today to give the children some context as to why we say Lest We Forget and why it is a day that we choose to remember the ANZACS. It has beautiful illustrations and puts things into perspective for children. The link below takes you to a review of the text.

http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2015/04/review-lest-we-forget.html

Following the reading of the book there were many questions and discussions about the soldiers, nurses and animals in war. We reflected on the importance of acknowledging all those brave men and women who served Australia and fought for our freedom and rights today.

We had a lovely day reflecting on the significance of ANZAC Day and many students were keen to attend ANZAC services tomorrow for the centenary.

The Ode

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

 

 

A useful resource and good read for anyone interested:

http://www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au/

End of Term Confidence Builders

Towards the end of a term I find that many students are feeling a little run down and tired (as are the teachers!). The result of this tends to be students who are a little less tolerant of others. Small things that usually wouldn’t bother them before now really irritate them. So towards the end of the term I like to do a confidence building activity to boost the confidence of students and assists in developing an awareness of how they are interacting with each other.

Lesson Overview

Students brainstorm as a class as many Confidence Builders or (Boosters) and Confidence Busters we can. This comes from the You Can Do It Program (http://www.youcandoiteducation.com.au/)

Here is an example of the brainstorm the Year 6’s did today:

photo 5

 

Students were then given this template and asked to write a Confidence Booster on everybody else’s page in their class.

photo 4

The Confidence Booster needed to be specific, genuine and considerate. We discussed what each of these meant before allowing students to start the task.

I posted the following instructions on Edmodo for my students to direct them in the process.

photo 1

Once each child had commented on each other’s pages they could decorate their image and post a reflection on their personal learning blogs.  Some lovely examples:

photo 2

 

The reactions from my students have always been positive ones. Faces light up when they read the comments made by their peers. Each comment is genuine, specific and considerate. It makes a real difference in attitudes towards each other at the end of a busy term. I noticed students being a lot kinder towards one another after this task.

I also think it is important to participate in this task as their teacher and comment on each page. I created a page and had my students give me some feedback too. Gave me what I like to call “Warm Fuzzies” meaning a happy feeling in my heart. I too hope my students experienced this feeling today.

photo 3

So if you’re looking for something to do with your class to boost their confidence and build on positive attitiudes and interactions, you might like to give this one a go.

 

Language and Literature Unit: Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence

For the last two years my team and I have been developing a Middle Years Programme (MYP) unit of inquiry in Language & Literature based on the novel and film “Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence” by Doris Pilkington and directed by Phillip Noyce.

I was introduced to this inquiry unit by my colleague Andy Peartree (http://anderspearz.edublogs.org/) who had historically taught this unit to Year 6’s in previous years. Paul Huebl and myself enjoyed team teaching this unit in 2013, but this year I have been teaching the subject to all students across the year level on my own.

I have adapted the unit and made some changes and thought it was worth sharing with others. I have attached the following documents:

1. The MYP Unit Planner: Language & Literature T2 RPF 2014

2. The Task (Comparative Essay) and Assessment Rubric: Rabbit Proof Fence Rubric 2014

3. The Novel & Film Study documents:Rabbit Proof Fence Novel & Film Study 2014

4. Essay Planning Document: Individual RPF Essay plan

5. Rabbit Proof Fence Display Posters: Rabbit Proof Fence signs

Within this unit we have been exploring the MYP Statement of Inquiry: Films and novels convey the same message to an audience.

We have been comparing different texts to see if the same messages can be conveyed. I have used the film and novel, “Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence” and the picture book, “The Rabbits” by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, to see if the theme and messages about the Stolen Generations were conveyed similarly and which medium was the most powerful.

We have had some pretty amazing and powerful reactions from students, especially after watching the film and looking at the following clip to anaylse the director’s work about the abduction scene:

My students are now in the process of analysing the film, doing guided reading sessions and making text connections with “The Rabbits” by John Marsden and Shaun Tan.

RPF photo copy

The final assessment and response to this unit will be a written piece (comparative essay) responding to the following questions:

Did the novel or film communicate the story “The Rabbit Proof Fence” better? Why?

        

         Compare the ways the film and the novel explore your chosen theme.

 

Explain why you think that one communicated the theme better than the other.

This is the first essay my Year 6 students have written so quite a bit of scaffolding has been required. I’m looking forward to reading their completed responses and final reflections about the inquiry statement after this assignment.

My Personal Pedagogical Profile

Personal Pedagogy

As part of my school’s development of school vision, staff have been dedicating time to explore their personal pedagogy. This has been done through our IDEAS program to assist staff in developing a Professional Portfolio to benefit school direction.

These are some of the questions we have been asked to consider and respond to:

How do my personal talents and gifts shape my pedagogy?

What counts as a specialist ‘knowledge’ in my work?

What is my personal pedagogical philosophy?

3D Dimensional pedagogyhttp://www.eqa.edu.au/site/powertotheprofession.html

We were asked to participate in four tasks to assist us in discovering and refining our personal pedagogy.

This post will explain each of the tasks undertaken personally and my professional stance on my personal pedagogy.

 Task 1: My Motivation for Teaching.

Teaching for me has always been about developing relationships and bonds between students, families, staff and teachers. Once relationships are built we can work together to achieve common goals. Teaching and learning involves making connections with individuals to assist them with their personal development. I believe in the development of the whole child, not just the ability to meet curriculum outcomes. As an educator I am passionate about realising the potential and strengths of each child to assist them in achieving their goals. I believe in valuing the individual and helping them to contribute to our world in their own positive ways. The process of learning opens the world and mind. We are all on a learning journey and as a teacher I love to inspire, motivate, navigate and join in on the journey of lifelong learning.

Task 2: My Experience.

I have been teaching in primary schools for ten years. During this time I have taught across all year levels. I am a R-7 teacher and an Apple Distinguished Educator. I am currently working at an independent school, teaching Year 6 students.

I am continuously working towards developing my knowledge and understanding of the International Baccalaureate program in order to assist me with my teaching strategies. I have been working in the MYP( Middle Years Programme) for the past two years. In particular I have been developing my MYP planning skills and exploring the possibility of taking on specialty subjects across my year level. At this stage I would like to specialise in Humanities, Language A and Personal Development. I have been encouraged to explore the MYP further, attend more professional development and take in as much as possible, whilst also making sure that I am meeting the National Curriculum standards.

During our IDEAS session we were asked to reflect on an event that changed the way we teach. In the last three years I have been working in an Independent School, previously I worked in public education. This change of workplace has had profound effects on my teaching and learning. I went from working in a low socio-economic school with underprivileged students, with challenging behavioural and learning needs (full classes of 30 students) to a highly accomplished school with privileged students varying in academic abilities (Average class size of 20 students). This had huge ramifications on my teaching practice. I have had more time to focus on my teaching skills as opposed to my behavioural management strategies. I have also been able to cater for individualised learning, smaller class sizes have allowed more time to refine my strategies to cater for differentiation within my class.

I have identified that there are similarities between my students from both schools. Every child is an individual who requires guidance on their learning journey, in particular their social and emotional development. I believe that social and emotional well-being is of significant importance within education. Developing students ability to be resilient, confident, organised, persistent and get along with others (You Can Do It Education. The Five Keys of Success: http://www.youcandoiteducation.com/whatis.html) is of great importance within all areas of learning. I have been teaching using the YCDI Programme for the last 5 years and have noted that the majority of my students have made academic improvements as a result of developing themselves in these areas. Using the positive habits of mind and developing self-confidence, setting personal goals and aiming to achieve them. It is due to my experience within this area of teaching and learning that I have developed a keen interest in studying counselling, to understand and assist my students with their development. I am considering studying part time in the near future to further my qualifications within this field.

Task 3: My Personal Profile

Part of the IDEAS staff task was to use the Myers Briggs model to identify our personality profile.

For more information about the Myers Briggs Model follow this link: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm

An online Myers Briggs Test can be found here:  http://www.personalitypathways.com/type_inventory.html

I formally completed the Myers Briggs test in 2010 and was identified as an ENFJ. After our IDEAS session I still identified with the ENFJ preferences. This is what the letters stand for and how I identify with them.

The E stands for Extraversion:

This means I focus on the outer world of people and things. I am energised by what goes on in the world and I prefer to communicate more by talking than writing. I need experiences in the world in order to help me to understand it.

The N stands for Intuition:

This means I look for meanings, relationships and possibilities that go beyond the information from the senses. I look at the big picture and try to grasp overall patterns. I am an expert at seeing new possibilities and I value imagination and experiences.

The F stands for Feeling:

I make decisions based on person-centred values. When making decisions I consider how important the choices are to myself and others. When conversing with others, I tend to become sympathetic, appreciative and tactful. I value harmony and work hard to ensure my environment is harmonious.

The J stands for Judging:

This means that I prefer to live in a planned and orderly way. I endeavour to regulate and control my life by making sensible decisions, setting up routines and structures, being organised and settling or resolving issues when they arise.

I believe that my personality profile adequately mirrors myself privately and professionally. The main characteristics that reflect my teaching strategies are as follows:

  • Learning lessons through experiences- hands on learning, real life lessons, relevant and engaging content where students experience and participate.
  • Building relationships and developing students personally, especially in regards to their social & emotional well-being.
  • Balanced- organisation, planning, structure, predictability and routines which lead to consistency.

Task 4: My Assumptions, Beliefs, Philosophies that inform my practice.

This task saw us identify our personal beliefs about teaching. Here is an image of the task completed:

Personal Pedagogy

We also studied five different philosophies of teaching:

Type B: Behavioural Education- education for compliance and standards. People: Skinner & Tyler

Type C: Comprehensive Education- general education for life. People: Aristotle, Socrates, Plato & Piaget.

Type P: Progressive Education- education for problem solving in society. People: Dewey, Sizer & Spady.

Type S: Social Change Education- education for transforming society. People: Freire & Illich.

Type H: Humanistic Education- education for self actualisation. People: Carl Rogers, Maslow & Montessori.

My dominant philosophy of teaching lies within Type H, however I have strong identifications with Type S too.

Here are some links to information about educational philosophies associated with Type H:

Carl Rogers: http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html

Maslow: http://web.cortland.edu/andersmd/maslow/homepage.html

Montessori: http://www.montessori.org.uk/what_is_montessori/the_philosophy

Here is my personal pedagogical philosophy based on the work I have done over the course of Term 4:

My Educational Philosophy

Students learn in a variety of different ways and as a teacher, I plan to meet individual needs. I am willing to learn new practices and teaching methodologies to assist my students with their learning goals.

To ensure I cater for the diversity within a classroom, I plan and program individual student learning goals to allow for differentiation. I work with students to set their own learning goals as well. I believe students should be aware of their personal achievements at school and also have input to what they want to learn about. I am keen to use structured and purposeful inquiry methods to teach students how to be life long learners to make relevant connections with our world.

I believe it is important to know where students are beginning in their learning journey in order to assist them with where they need to go. Therefore, frequent assessment and testing is critical in a child’s development. It is vital to keep this data to measure student successes and to build upon those successes. My assessments enhance accurate reporting to parents and fulfil my teaching duties and accountability.

It is my duty within the classroom and school setting to provide a stable and friendly learning environment for my students.  A nurturing and collaborative classroom environment will enhance student learning opportunities. I want my students to experience their own learning journey with some direction and guidance from myself to keep them on track with their learning goals and to extend them further. I want to be the facilitator of learning but also learn from my students. They have a world of knowledge and understanding from their own experiences in life. We are life long learners in a connected world.

Most of all I want student learning to be relevant, fun, engaging and purposeful. We never know what kind of world our students will be living in in the future, so developing life skills such as problem solving, creativity, ingenuity, cooperation, collaboration, risk taking, inquiring and effective communication can play an integral role in the development of a child for success in their adulthood.

Please leave me some feedback, I’m new to blogging and appreciate constructive criticism. Always craving to learn from others, please retweet me to educational professionals.

Jade Vidovich