Saturday, March 15, 2014

solsc: #eduwin 15/31

March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join us for a month of writing!

Friday afternoon I had the laptops checked out for my intermediate small groups.  The students know when they walk into my room, see the laptops on the table, that we will be blogging.  My fourth graders walked in excited to see the laptops waiting. 

Recently we read Love Monster by Rachel Bright An cute story about a monster looking for someone who will love him just the way he is.  That same day, Jocelyn went home and created her own little version of the book.  It was adorable and I wanted her to be able to share it on her blog.  

I  took pictures of each page, but I thought there had to be a better way to share her creativity.  I debated using the Vine app, but there was the thirty second time constraint.  Then I remembered learning about the Educreations app from a teacher at my building.  I grabbed my iPad and started to think out loud while my fourth grade group gathered around.

"I've been thinking about how to share your book, Jocelyn," I said and explained the other options I had already rejected.  "I think I have an idea.  I learned about this app, Educreations."

"Hey, I learned about that with Mrs. T. She just came into our class and showed us," Chris politely interrupted.

"That's great!  Will you be able to help us out?"  I asked.  He smiled, but I wasn't sure if he was just happy to know what I was talking about, or if he was going to be able to help.

I opened the app on the iPad and let the kids take over.  The four students worked together and started to take a picture of the cover of the book.  Jocelyn's finger continued to cover up the camera.  Chris carefully rotated the iPad in her hands.  I looked at him questioningly and looked at the back of the iPad.

"Ah, I see what you did," I said with a smile.  He turned the iPad so that the camera was in the opposite corner, away from any lingering fingers.  Simple, thoughtful solution.  He smiled again.

"Let's take a picture of each page individually," I said to the group.

"Have you thought of taking a picture of the two pages together?  It might fill the page," Chris suggested. 

I stopped, looked right at him, and said, "I love how you worded that question  'Have you thought about ...'  You are doing some great thinking!"  His smile was still there.  (I also LOVE when the students are doing the thinking and sharing of ideas!)

Chris continued on.  He jumped in to show us how to add a new page.  He reminded us about adding a text box and the variety of color choices.  He explained additional options, like while recording, you can write on the screen.

He guided us every step of the way, even though his only "training" came thirty minutes prior.  I was so proud of Chris for being a leader.  This is not a role he would hold in his classroom with his peers.  He's a developing reader, new to our school this year, and started the year more than two years below grade level.  

"OK, now we have to save it.  Click here," Chris directed.  

Chris has made tremendous growth this year and today he truly shined.  We celebrated our completed project with high fives and watched the video again and again.  

Our time was up.  Blogging was put to the side, but the learning, growing, sharing, and engagement was at a high level.

Chris stood up and boldly stated with a huge smile, "My job is done here."

We all laughed.  And this is what you would say is an #eduwin (education win)! 


The finished project:


As this was quite a celebration, I'm also linking up to 
Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres!


  1. I love how technology spurs learning in this post and every day! You captured the excitement of your group!

  2. How special you made Chris & Jocelyn feel! Even though it wasn't in your plan for the day, your group worked together and learned. I'm sure this will help Chris continue to thrive in his new environment. Now you know who to go to for help with some of your technology problems! Love ya, Mom

  3. Adorable . . .perhaps you could also have used the Story Creator app! I used it with first grade!

    1. Oh, I'll need to check that app out with you! Thanks!

  4. Kids always amaze me when we give them the chance...I am so happy for Chris and Jocelyn. The story was so cute and knowing the background of how he helped made it even more special. Thanks for sharing this celebration!

  5. I need so much help with technology - I should be in your classroom! Thanks for sharing this, it gives me inspiration to try something new!

  6. So nice that this student was able to shine and to help out so much! I had not thought of this use for educreations before. I like the idea of having students create something that can be shared on their blogs. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Love this story and his growth mindset! Thanks for sharing.
    Clare and Tammy

  8. Love that your student was able to step up to lead-wonderful for him. And thanks for the Educreation app-I don't know it, & will try it out! Have a good weekend, Michelle!

  9. What a great story! I love his self confidence at the end - well earned. And thanks for the app, too.

  10. What validation for Chris to be a guide in the learning process. There is so much that technology can do, we have to get out of the way and let the students discover the how of it. Then they will need to teach me. :-)

  11. I love when the students that struggle surprise you the most! I treasure these moments!

  12. I feel so inadequate when it comes to technology. All of you collaborating and problem solving is what true learning is all about.

  13. I think that Chris won't forget this technical expert moment! What a great day for your fourth graders!

  14. What an awesome story! Kudos to Chris!!

  15. I'm glad that you shared the links to accompany the story. The slice on its own was great, but I enjoyed seeing glimpses into the blogging you are doing with your students, seeing the scaffolding you are doing such as talking about quality comments. It was fun to see the finished product with the student voice as well.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.