Story telling supported by video technology.

As we have mentioned previously, the children have been using Wallace and Gromit to explore settings, characters and simple stories. Mrs Lynch set the children the challenge to create their own Wallace and Gromit adventures.

The preps were up for the challenge and they worked together in pairs to plan a setting and characters for their stories. They then watched a video of Mr Ramage telling a Wallace and Gromit story to the camera and went to find a quite spot in the classroom where they could tell practise telling their story on the video camera. This was quiet a challenge and after a few takes and some teacher guidance they returned to tell their stories to the class and this was captured onto the video as a plan for writing.

What do you think of these stories Mrs Lynch?

Wallace and Gromit video plans from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

Watch students use flip cameras to help record stories about Wallace and Gromit.

In the following writing session the children were set up to write ‘Interactively’. This process involves both student with a different coloured pen writing collaboratively together with teacher input when needed. The children were able to re-watch and review their story from their flip camera or ipod touch video as they progressed through writing their stories.

Talking tin lids to enhance oral language

The prep children are starting to explore the key elements that make a narrative story, such as the beginning, middle, end of a story and settings, characters and plots. We have used the talking tin lids to provide the students with an opportunity to use their oral language to record the beginning, middle and end of a familiar fairytale story. Working in small groups this gave the children an opportunity to use their oral language and to practice summarizing parts of the story in their own words. They then had to move to another story and listen to another group’s recording before deciding how to order the talking tin lids as beginning, middle and end of the story.

Using talking tin lids to enhance oral language from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

This is a great way to allow children to use oral language while also building up their understanding of how to retell and summarize a story.

Introducing Flip and ipod video to enhance oral language.

The prep children have been learning how to use flip camera’s and the video and camera function of our ipod touch’s during the last couple of weeks. The children then have access to this technology during Investigations learning time and we have been modeling and encouraging them to use the technology to help develop their oral language skills and to articulate what they are learning and why.IMG_0185IMG_0186

learning how to use the flip camera and ipod video from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

As they have gown in confidence with using the technology we have noticed that the act of recording what they are saying and hearing and seeing themselves speak is helping them to use clear and accurate language to express what they have to say. They can play back what they have recorded either on the camera itself or to the whole class on the Interactive Whiteboard which gives immediate feedback to the child and allows further opportunities to model and reuse their oral language, changing what they say or adding new vocabulary if necessary.

The short video below demonstrates how two children have worked with very little teacher support to create a short video which explains what the student has been doing during Investigations. The questioning is wonderful to listen to, as are the creative rules of the game!

Using a flip camera to reflect on learning from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

Creativity, Literacy and Space Inquiry

A number of children have recently been keen to find out about space during our Investigations session. This arose from one student’s interest bringing the topic into the classroom and has spread through the class. The teachers have supported the interest area by bringing planet and space books into the classroom and purchasing some great Apps for the I-pad which allow the students to access the topic through speaking books and engaging planet displays.

This student wanted to explore space and started his learning in the 3d creative area, designing and building a space rocket and base. He then wanted to write about what he had done and was happy to attempt a genre of writing, so with some teacher guidance he has put together a set of instructions for how to build his rocket. He then presented the instructions and his rocket to the class using our visualiser camera linked to the IWB.

Riley instructions from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

So proud of his learning.

So proud of his learning.

Following this he has now taken his research into space further both in the classroom on our I-pad app and at home, where he has been demonstrating his learning putting together a poster about the planets and space.

This is the beauty of Investigations, where another students passion for a topic can inspire others to learn, to develop creativity of expression, literacy skills and confidence to try new learning in a meaningful, engaging and authentic student led context.

‘Investigations’ -using a flip camera

We have recently purchased 8 flip mino camera for our classroom, which we will be using to enhance all areas of learning,with a particular focus on developing our children’s oral language skills. Our plan is that eventually the children will be able to use the technology to record and reflect on their learning and that they will begin to edit their video recordings before they are played to an audience or published. To encourage children to be able to film themselves we also purchased 3 small tripod camera.

This student was quick to see the benefit of using a flip camera and tripod stand to record his Investigation into floating which led from his interest in designing and building a raft out of paddle pop sticks in our 3D construction area. He worked with a partner to independently film what he was doing and then the flip camera was used to reflect on his learning at the conclusion of the session.
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Using a flip camera to record during Investigation from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

A student uses the flip camera and tripod to record his Investigation into floating and reflect on his learning.

This particular student Investigation then continued with the students taking photos with a digital camera of the objects used in their experiment. During the following session they then used a template created by the teacher to put together a lift the flap book to share with the rest of the class. This involved them planning the layout out of the book and using their literacy skills to organize and read back the book when they were finished.

Developing Literacy and thinking skills through Investigations from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

We think they have done a fantastic job…what do you think?

Introducing I-pads and I-pod Touch

We are incredibly lucky to have 2 i-pad’s and 3 i-pod touch for the independent use of our children in the classroom to support their learning. This is a very new and exciting development for both the teacher and the students and we are working together to explore the best way of incorporating them into our curriculum. We have also purchased 8 new robust headsets with microphone headsets so that independent activities can be undertaken without disrupting the learning of others in the classroom.

How have we been using the technology?

Initially we introduced the technology and allowed the children to explore how to use the apps in small group setting. This was a great social skills activity and we modelled how to share the technology fairly and make sure everyone could see the screen even if they were not operating the device.

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We are now using these devices in two ways.

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During our Investigation sessions the students have the choice to select either an i-pad, i- pod touch, flip camera, digital camera or i-pod from our technology table.

They are responsible for signing their name against the equipment being used and explaining to the teacher how the technology will support their ‘Investigation’ and learning. For example, ‘I need to find out about the planets as I would like to make a poster about the planets and I know there is an app on the i-pad I can use’ or ‘could i please look for a video about motorbikes as I am planning to make one in the 3d making area’.

researching about space to make a poster

researching about space to make a poster

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Finding out about paper beads using a u-tube video

Finding out about paper beads using a u-tube video

Using Ipad to support Investigations from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

In addition to this we are also using specific Literacy and Numeracy apps to challenge the children and help them practice key skills during Literacy and Numeracy session. For example, while the teacher is reading with a small group another group of children may be using a phonic app to practise blending and segmenting words, or a handwriting app.

Wireless USB Microscope

We have recently purchased a wireless USB microscope. This is becoming a real favourite piece of technology in the classroom and is complimenting perfectly our Developmental Curriculum and leading and supporting natural curiosity and Investigation and Inquiry from the children. We have set up the camera in a quiet corner of our room using a notebook computer attached to a 15inch LED screen. The area has been enhanced with materials, objects (natural and man-made ) that the students can examine under the microscope, together with writing, drawing and recording implements so students can reflect and record about what they have discovered. We have only had the area set up for a few days and already the students have fascinated by it and have come up with their own idea, for example comparing and contrasting different hair under the microscope. The device takes photos too, so with a little support the photos have been saved and printed, so the students can annotate them with labels and sentences about what they have found out.

Another incidental learning opportunity was the fact that when the microscope is plugged in the same software also runs the notebook’s build in webcam, so the students and the teachers have discovered how to switch between the two camera, so they can see themselves using the webcam. This will lead perfectly into the Skyping we plan to do later in the term…and we can see this area turning into our own little ‘Internet Cafe’!

Please enjoy some photos of the learning.

Talking Tin Lids

We have been using Talking Tin lids for a couple of years now in our classroom program. They are a wonderful tool that enable young learners to easily record up to 40 seconds of information that can then be played back, erased, recorded. The talking tin lids are magnetic so they can be used on whiteboards and can compliment displays around the room and be used in an interactive way by the children. We have used them regularly to compliment our Literacy program and our Developmental Curriculum. For example, a child might make a model and record what the model is and its special features, the recording can then be displayed with the model in class. Alternatively, a talking tin lid might be used by a student to record their writing as they read it back. If their writing is for an audience, such as a story, the talking tin lid can be displayed next to the writing, bringing the written work to life with the oral reading. This is great when a child who cannot yet confidently read wants to listen to and enjoy the story.

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We have just purchased 20 extra talking tin lids purchased from a company in the UK with lots of other interesting voice recording technology products …check out www.talkingproducts.co.uk.

Children independently select a talking tin lid, sign it out and return it when they are finished. We also have created a ready made and purposeful number game board as the talking tin lids are numbered 1-25.

Children independently select a talking tin lid, sign it out and return it when they are finished. We also have created a ready made and purposeful number game board as the talking tin lids are numbered 1-25.

We are now able to use the talking tin lids to compliment out Literacy program, both by enhancing oral language development and as an aid for the children to use when writing. For emerging writers they are great to help them remember what they wanted to write and then to listen and check back to see if their writing matches their spoken words. These short videos demonstrate how the children have been using the technology to support their recount writing this week.

Students using talking tin lids to support writing. from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

Using talking tin lids to support writing from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

Using our new technology

As part of our DEEC research project exploring Contemporary Literacies with Early Learners we have been lucky enough to use some grant money to purchase some new technology for our classroom which we plan to use in a number of ways during this term to help assess the impact these technologies will have on our students as learners in a modern world of contemporary literacies. One of the first piece of technology to arrive was a Visualiser Camera from Hovercam. This acts as a live scanner, video recorder and presentation tool which will enable us to show students work on the interactive whiteboard and to make quick and simple recordings of children’s work produced in class which can be easily shared using our blog and the Ultranet. I wanted to share these examples which were quickly generated, just a few minutes after the camera had been unpacked..the students loved seeing the work they had created during their Developmental Curriculum being on the large Interactive Whiteboard and quickly understood what the new piece of technology enabled them to do…an exciting start.

The Combine Harvester from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

This student had made a combine harvester in our 3D area, he then worked independently on a computer to find images of combine harvesters as he wanted to make an information book. The pictures were printed for him and he organised and wrote the book during our ‘Investigations’ sessions.

The King from Mr Ramage on Vimeo.

This student started his ‘Investigation’ by building a large bed for a king out of large wooden blocks in our construction area. He then worked with three friends to plan a story about the king which he drew on a story plan. He then organised himself to write and publish his book including a front cover and matching his pictures to his writing.

Check out the Hovercam  T3 at     http://www.lwt.com.au

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