This past year PBS Kids worked with the MIT Lifelong Kindergarten Group to create an awesome PBS Scratch Jr App for the iPad. Students love creating stories and games with familiar PBS Kids characters. We ended the year with a fantastic series of Passion Projects. These projects allowed students to select a topic of personal interest and gave them time to dive deeper in their knowledge and related skills about their topic. At the end of their research they selected a way to showcase their learning for others and present it to our class. Each student spent approximately 2 hours a week for a month working on their projects.
One of my fourth graders, Antonio, loves coding. He joined our class this year just as we were learning to code with Scratch Jr and Hopscotch. I recorded a video of him as he showed his project and explained the coding sequences he used to build it. The video is about 4 minutes long .
One of the best and most important things about these projects was the opportunity for students to present them in front of our entire class. A big part of their presentations was the opportunity to get feedback and answer questions from classmates. One of the students favorite questions to ask was “What inspired you?”
Since we had created a variety of media projects throughout the year, students were able to select their own media product type to demonstrate their learning. These included:
- Enhanced E-Book using Book Creator
- Photo Slide Show w/music using iMovie Trailer
- Narrated Slide Show using Shadow Puppet Edu
- Stop Motion Video using Lego Stop Motion
- Quick Edit video using iMovie
- Green Screen video using DoInk Green Screen
- Photo Collage using PicCollage
- Video Diary using SeeSaw
- Music composition using Garage Band
- Audio Recording using Voice Record Pro
As I look back on this list, it is exciting and rewarding to see how much app literacy my students developed through out their time in class. Some of my students were with me all year, and some only a few weeks. The show and share time was an essential part of these Passion Projects. Since the student projects were recorded videos, and saved into their Seesaw learning journals, this took a lot of pressure off of them when it was their turn to present. The feedback students received and were able to give each other helped further build our supportive classroom culture.
Check out more of our Passion Projects in this Youtube playlist.