Earth Day Unit-{Day #4: A Public Service Announcement}

Although Earth Day has gone and passed, we have continued on with our learning on taking care of our planet. We began by reviewing what we have learned about taking care of the earth with this wonderful freebie from Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade.

We then put our pencils away and went digital. Yesterday my class blew my mind with their abilities to create Earth Day books using the Book Creator app on our iPads. Today they made me even prouder when we created public service announcement videos using iMovie on our iPads. 

When deciding this was a small project I wanted us to complete this week, I worried about how I was going to pull it off because we hadn't ever worked in taking videos or on iMovie. I also worried about how I was going to be able to help every single one of my students with their video; I mean, after all, I am only one person. When I went to bed last night, while trying to fall asleep, I came up with a plan on how we would be able to do these videos without any tears...from me. Here is how I decided to do it. 

I began by splitting my fifteen students into four groups. These groups had two tasks to complete in their first five minutes of meeting: decide on a group name and designate someone as the director of the movie and the rest would be actors. Now let me tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed (and still am!) the group names they came up with. Can you guess which one was is my favorite from our list below? Yep, The Combustible Lemons! I asked one of the group members in that group if she knew what combustible meant, and she did! #unexpectedproudmoment 

{Knee to knee collaboration at it's finest!}

After this short grouping process, I had students grab their iPads and head to a table with their group. While I went around working with each group, my students were able to get on their favorite iPad app, Toca Builders.

I first met with The Rockstars this afternoon, but I also had time to meet with The Super Sanders. The process for making their videos went very similarly. We began by writing a "script" for their movie of what they wanted to make sure they included about taking care of the Earth. They had seven items on their script and it went like this (both groups had different items they wanted to include):
*turn off lights
*recycle glass
*plant flowers
*pick up trash
*walk or ride a bike

Each item on the list needed an individual video taken of it. The group's director decided on who was going to be in each video, and they recorded it. After each video was taken, they returned to their script and figured out what video they needed to do next and who would be the actor for it. I gave them all creative rights in decided how and where they wanted to do their video. I was there to just provide support when needed. This was the best part for me. Not because I didn't have to do anything, because that was definitely the farthest thing from the truth possible, but because I was able to see raw collaboration of my sweet Kinders. It made my heart so happy, but also a little sad to think about how far they all have come this year and how they are preparing to move on to first grade and leave my class. I'm not ready to let them go!!!! Okay, sorry for that slight tangent... back to business...

After the group had all of the videos they needed for their movie, we went to our iMovie app and created our first project. They decided on a theme for their movie and added their video clips to their movie feed in the order they wanted them. We then went back and added titles, or captions, to each video. 

I'll be honest, it seems like it is a lot of work, but broken down into smaller parts, it is and was completely feasible. One group specifically was able to finish their entire movie on their own after me just showing them one time how to add a video clip to their feed and a title/caption. That made it SUPER easy. I was just there to help with finding letters on the keyboard, if needed. Seriously, if my Kinders can do this now, can you imagine what they will be able to do when they are in fifth, eighth, or twelfth grades?! So. Exciting!

Okay, so now that you know what our process was for creating our movies, here are the two that were created today.

I'm so pleased with these movies, and even prouder of the sweet kiddos who created them. I'm thoroughly looking forward to the movies that will be created by our other two groups tomorrow.

Earth Day Unit-{Day #3: Getting Digital & a FREEBIE!}

Holy cow! Today has got to be one of my absolute favorite days we have had this year because my students seriously blew me away with their abilities. I'll get to that in a moment, but first...

Happy Earth Day from Miss Law's Kinders!

We began our third day of our Earth Day unit by completing a super fun and adorable Earth Day craftivity. This craft has three hearts attached to the earth, each one with one of the three Rs on it: reduce, reuse, and recycle. We reviewed ways we can do all three in order to take care of our Earth, and then students wrote one way on each heart.

These made a great addition to our Earth Day hallway display. If you would like to grab this Earth Day Craftivity FREEBIE for your class, click here

After getting our arts and crafts on, we decided to go digital and write our own Earth Day books using the Book Creator app on our iPads. Now, this is where my socks were knocked off by my students. I told my class that I wanted each of us to create our own book on Earth Day and we orally brainstormed some ideas of what our books could be about. Since we have been spending quite a bit of time discussing the three Rs, it wasn't really any surprise when several of them said, "We can write about ways we can do the three Rs." They took that idea, and ran with it. I literally gave them all creative rights in making this book. They titled it Earth Day and decided that the most appropriate image to go on the front cover was the earth. 

After we typed and added our title and names to the front cover, we switched apps to our Kidrex app. What is the Kidrex app you ask? It is a kid-friendly search engine that you can feel good about your kiddos exploring in. My students typed in Earth in the search bar, clicked on one of the links, found an image of Earth, and saved it to their camera roll. They then returned to their book cover and added the Earth image. 

I then allowed them to play around with changing the colors of their text and page backgrounds, which they LOVED!

We followed our cover page with an introduction page into what we really wanted to write about (the three Rs). This part needed a little scaffolding and I had to lend some serious ideas to get them to understand we needed to set the reader up for what they were going to read on the following pages. I made sure to use words that my students would be able to write type on their own, and with a few reminders of the silent e rule, they produced a great sentence. They then went back to Kidrex and typed in "the three rs" in the search bar and looked for a picture that would fit with our sentence. Every single student ended up with some sort of version of the recycle sign after exploring the links that Kidrex produced. They added it to their page, changed their colors around, and voila! Now on to the part they were itching to get to... the three Rs!

We paired up and took pictures of our partner showing examples of ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle.

{Reducing our use of energy by turning off lights when we leave a room.}

{Reducing our water usage by turning off the water when brushing our teeth.}

 {Reducing energy by turning off the television when we leave a room or go to bed.}

 {Reusing plastic bags from the grocery store.}

 {Reusing other items for other uses. In this specific example, we use laundry baskets to keep our toys categorized for indoor recess.}

{Reusing old books by giving them to others or taking them to Goodwill.}

 {Recycle items such as glass or paper.}

Students then went back and made a page for reduce, reuse, and recycle and added their pictures to each page.

Check out this finished book by a sweet girl in my class. 

Was that not amazing?! 

Tomorrow we will be trying to learn iMovie to make a public service announcement on the three Rs. I'm hoping it goes as well as this did; however, it'll be our first time working in iMovie, so we shall see. If it goes well, you'll surely read all about it tomorrow. 

After working so hard on our Earth Day books, we went back to some crafting time and made Earth Day headbands, thanks to Danielle Mastandrea from Krazee 4 Kindergarten.

Thanks for stopping by!

Earth Day Unit-{Day #2: Reading Up on Earth Day}

Today we began day two of our Earth Day unit by reading our story of the week Michael Recycle. The rhyming nature and colorful pictures made this story an instant favorite in my classroom. 

After reading through the story, we went back to our seats and completed an adorable glyph created by one of my teaching partners, Brittany Banister from Mrs. Banister's Kindergarten Kids

We wrapped up our Earth Day discussion for the day by exploring Earth Day related stories on the MyOn app on our iPads. If you have devices in your classroom, you should most definitely check into purchasing the MyOn license for your class. It is well worth every penny!

Today was a fairly basic day with some scaffolding from various book resources.

Tomorrow we will be writing how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle to help the Earth.