Monthly Archives: November 2015

Retelling Stories as Comics

This week working with Grade 1 classes we have integrated technology into retelling stories on the iPads. Some classes chose to use the classic apps of Puppet Pals 2 and Toontastic, while others chose to experiment with the new ‘comic’ style layouts in Book Creator.

Using the built-in camera on the iPads, the students chose a few key illustrations from their favourite story books and took photos. These photos were then inserted into the comic layouts, along with captions, speech bubbles and ‘wow’ text. Students also then could retell the story verbally and record their voice for different sections of the comic. The different format encouraged students to really think about the important aspects of their story and to summarise the plot effectively.

Minecraft Erupts!


This week we had the opportunity to engage with a grade 4 class and their experiences with a volcano simulation in Minecraft. The upper elementary ICT Integration teacher demonstrated anĀ authentic use of Minecraft in context. The volcano simulation involves students as a class building houses and decorating their town. Then, all building ceases, three nearby volcanoes erupt and students have to scramble to save their houses and characters lives. It was an amazing experience watching the students help each other survive the natural disaster.

The student-driven inquiry that led from this simulation was phenomenal. Students had amazing insights, questions and ideas for further research, all based on their ‘first-hand’ volcano surviving experience. Following this, we’re keen to find further examples of authentic links to use Minecraft in various Units of Inquiry.

Using Kidspiration to organise ideas

Throughout many lower Elementary classrooms we have used the Kidspiration app with students. It’s a simple app (EC 3-year-olds use it) that has a plentiful image library. It can be used for younger students finding their favourite things, objects that they identify with and making connections. For older students: maybe planning a project, showing a process of events or retelling a narrative.

Enjoy a variety of photos.



Parent Workshop – iPads in the Early Years


Parents at the iPads in Early Years workshop

This week we hosted a morning workshop about iPads in the Early Years at IST. All our classes from EC-Grade 2 have access to sets of iPads. We ran this workshop to encourage parents to come and hear, see and experience the learning that takes place on these devices.

All parents were welcome – although this was particularly relevant to parents of children in EC – Grade 2. Please see slideshow below (links may not work due to student-work-privacy concerns)