Animal Adaptations!

When I taught third grade, my favorite science lesson was animal adaptations. It was so awesome for students to discover how different adaptations help animals. Ms. Michanco and I wanted to do something a little different with her 3rd graders. We had them imagine that they had frog legs or horns and how that would help them adapt to their environment.

We first had the students go to the website Build Your Wild Self. They had so much fun giving themselves horns, long baboon arms, or spider legs.

Once they created their wild self we started the conversation about what environment they would be best suited for. We then transition the conversation online using Schoology.

Students uploaded their pictures into a media album. Once the pictures were uploaded they made comments about the type of environment their wild self would live in. These conversations can now continue outside the classroom using Schoology.

Want to try out this lesson or something like it? Sign up, and let’s get planning!

iPad Wallpaper

Here is a wallpaper you can set to the lock screen of your classroom iPads. You can download the image as is, or you can download the template and make any changes you want.

Wallpaper Image (I don’t want to make any changes!)

Wallpaper Template (I can do a much better job than you!)

Word Wall Fun!

Using the iPads during literacy stations can sometimes be hard to incorporate in first grade. You probably put your students on a game app and they get bored with it quickly. Once the student is bored that’s when they start acting up and your stations fall apart. Mrs. Reese and I worked together for an engaging activity that keeps students accountable, during the reading block at Glen Lea Elementary.

One station activity is having the students read the word wall. Instead of having the students just read the wall and hope for the best, we introduced an app on the iPad to keep them on task. We had the students take a picture of the word wall and then using the app PuppetEDU they recorded themselves reading the words. The best part of this app is when they touch the word on screen it lights up. Check out an example!

Now Mrs. Reese can check on student progress and make sure everyone is on task. This can also be used to show student growth. It’s powerful to show a student where they started and where they ended.

This activity can be used beyond the word wall. Students can take pictures of a book page and record themselves reading. They will love to hear their fluency!

If you want to try a lesson like this let me know! Click Here to sign up!

Welcome Back

I hope everyone had a restful and relaxing summer. This summer my family grew by one and I got to spend a lot of quality time with them.

With my paternity leave I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself at your faculty meetings during teacher work week.

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Jim Covais the ITRT (Instructional Technology Resource Teacher) at Adams, Ratcliffe, Baker and Glen Lea Elementary. I’m here to plan and coteach lessons with you. Everything we do is centered around SOLs and how to make learning exciting for your students.

Just like a reading specialist focuses on the reading part of the curriculum; I focus on the use of technology across all subject areas in the classroom. Now I’m not just talking about putting kids on a website during rotations. I’m talking about using technology in a meaningful way that encompasses 21st century skills.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Yeah sounds great, I don’t have time to figure out what technology to use.” That’s why I have a job! When you set up a meeting to plan out a lesson all you need to know is what SOL you want to teach. I’ll help you choose the right piece of technology to incorporate in your lesson.

If you’re ready to start planning out a lesson click Sign Up at the top of the page and set up a planning meeting.

Be sure to like my page of Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

Have a wonderful school year!

How to Use Tinkercad!

I love 3D printing with students! I continue to be amazed by student creativity in what they design. Check out some 3D cells 5th graders designed and printed a while back.

Tinkercad is an easy way to start the design process. Check out the video below to get started.