If your library is a flexible learning space, you may be wondering how students can document and share their learning. The first- and second-grade students at Colchester Elementary School have fallen in love with two apps, Book Creator and Seesaw, and they frequently use these apps to present their work.
The Seesaw app is an electronic portfolio for children to record their learning process and share their best work. By scanning a class QR code, or by manually finding their class, students can keep track of their learning process by taking pictures, videos, recording their voice, drawing an illustration, and typing what they learned. There are options to let others see student’s work and make comments. There is also an option to invite parents to see their children’s work, and they can leave comments as well. All work can be approved by the teacher before it is published.
One second-grade student said that the app is “cool” because it saves all of her work and her parents can comment on what she submits.
We recently had a Junior Achievement Day at school where students learned all about maps and communities. This was the first time our school participated in this event, so one class reflected on their day using Seesaw to evaluate the program. From their recordings, it was evident that they had fun learning a great deal of information.
Students in the library who work on projects reflect daily with Seesaw to make sure they stay on track with their learning. They often explain what they will tackle the next day. Students also talk about the problems they ran into and how they solved the problems.
These recordings have proven to be valuable when teachers and parents ask what their children are learning in the library.
The Book Creator app allows children to create electronic books that can be opened in iBooks and saved as a PDF or a movie file. The children get so excited when they see their books on the iBooks shelf along with popular books they know and love. Children can take pictures and videos, draw illustrations, type text, and record narration on the pages of their books.
Book Creator Examples
A first-grade student recently toured Alcatraz and was full of interesting information from his trip. He is using Book Creator, complete with a Table of Contents, to publish a book for children about the famous penitentiary.
Two second-grade students created an electronic book about their recent tour of the State Capital. They borrowed an iPad from the library to use during the tour and took pictures for their books. After they got back from the tour, they spent two Genius Time sessions to write an informational book for students to read.
What apps do your students love to use when they present their learning?
Author: Maureen Schlosser
Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades published by ALA Editions