It is hard to believe we are getting to the end of January. This is parent teacher conference week for us so it has been hectic getting all the progress reports written. In between conferences I usually have a chance to make changes on the bulletin board for February. I decided the antonym bulletin board worked really well last year so I would do it again. I liked the way the directions for the paper ornaments worked on the Story Kit so I decided to make some for the glitter hearts using the same program. I thought that some of you may find them useful as well. You can find the directions on this link. Glitter Heart Directions
I find that many of my students have difficulty telling a story. I usually start with sequence cards. They start getting the idea of sequencing a story and understanding a story has a beginning, middle, and end. At this point they get bored with the sequence cards and still need work on being able to elaborate from that basic structure. I am always looking for ways to expand their experiences from the typical sequence cards and allow for more imagination and story plot development.
Just before winter break, I found an free app for my iPad that allowed students to develop story plots much like using puppets. They were able to make animated stories and the structure of the program encouraged them to construct a story with sequence and plot development. The best part was they could replay their creations and critique them. The program has built in flexibility allowing them to add their own drawings and speech. It also allowed them to add music and set a mood. I was impressed that it was child friendly and allowed for imagination to develop. This is a program that actually allows for imaginative play.
My daughter and I had a fun time trying the program out. The app came from toontube.launchpadtoys.com. I want to thank this company for providing a high quality program free. It runs with little interference from advertisement, although they would like you to purchase more characters and scenes.
Currently my employer has restrictions on purchasing apps for our iPads until they get the logistics worked out. This leaves me exploring the world of free apps. When this restriction is lifted, this app will be on my list for more characters and scenes.
Here is an example of my daughter’s creation..
Happy New Year! It is hard to believe we are this far in our school year. I will be putting up a new bulletin board when I get back to school. I thought some of you would like to get a head start too. This is not a new idea for me, but for some reason I didn’t get a picture of the bulletin board from last year.
I keep to a winter theme by having students make snowmen. We have a paper cutter that cuts out snowmen. If you don”t have this you could probably just cut 3 circles small, medium, and large, for the students to stack and make a snow man. They then use scrap paper to make props and clothes for them. Finally they make a sign with sentences written on it for the snowman to hold . This gives them a chance to formulate relative clauses using descriptive phrases. An example for a sentence would be. “I am a snowman who is wearing a striped scarf and black hat”. They get quite creative with this and can usually come up with several sentences that will apply. I have seen flying snowmen with wings and snowmen who look like football players.
This year I will make sure I take a picture of the bulletin board and post it.
This is really an update for the paper ornaments mentioned below. I had so much fun learning about this tool that I wanted you to be aware of it also. It is a free app for the iPad called StoryKit. I didn’t have the opportunity to explore its capabilities until now. I was trying to figure out the best way to provide directions for the paper ornaments and it came to mind. I am impressed. It was easy to use and I can see a lot of potential for making sequences and having the students make their own stories. The stories can then be saved on a server for future use. Here is the link for the directions for the ornaments. On your iPad it will actually look like a book that you can turn the pages on. It is also possible to add audio to each page.
It is time for a switch on the bulletin board again. I try to make it look festive for the holiday season and the students always request to decorate it. In the last few years our school has become more culturally sensitive which makes it more of a challenge for what I can actually put up on the board. I continue to search for materials that have speech therapy value and are not time intensive.
I already have a tree set up from November’s bulletin board. I will change the limbs of my tree so it looks more like a fir tree. I will have the students trace their hands on green paper and cut them out. I staple those on the tree to provide the fir part of the tree. I will then have them make and add paper ornaments.
I found this great paper ornament that meets the requirements. It is a simple activity that even the youngest children can complete and it allows practice following directions and retelling a sequence. It is found on http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2008/12/paper-flower-ornaments.html I have access to plenty of colored paper and glue sticks so I won’t need to get additional materials.
Our winter break is only a few weeks away so we will have to get this started as soon as we get back from the Thanksgiving break. I will take a picture of the bulletin board and post it when it gets started.