Stop Motion with Pic Collage


This project will use Pic Collage Kids App  and Slideshow Studio to make a simple stop motion project. Since it is so close to Easter this project has an Easter theme but you could to it with any theme you want.



Have you always wanted to try stop motion in your classroom but a little nervous? This simple project will be a great way to start. Stop motion is a series of pictures that are strung together to make a movie and my students love making them. You can use legos, paper, digital photos, and more to make a stop motion project.



Here's what you will need to make this stop motion project. Just follow these 3 easy steps.



Step 1: Find photos using the free png website. You will want to download all the photos from the site that you want to use in your project. You will also want to find some cool patterned paper and screen shot it so you can cut eggs out of it.

Note: If this free png site happens to be blocked at your school you could save the pictures for your students in google drive or dropbox and then airdrop them to your students. I always turn the photo search off in the settings of Pic collage Kids App. The photos searched in the app Pic CollageKids don't go through our school's filter so our school requires us to do that.




Step 2: Use the Pic Collage App to make your scene and take your photos. Add all the photos you want into a Pic Collage free style page including the scrapbook paper photos. Use the digital scrapbook paper to cut out your eggs. You can do this by double tapping the photo paper picture and then tapping the clip tool that looks like a scissors. When you do this some shapes will appear at the bottom of your screen. Tap the egg shape and then the checkmark and you have an egg. Continue to do this until you have all the eggs you want. When you have your scene how you want it save a photo to your camera roll, next move your rabbit a little, and then save another photo to your camera roll. Continue doing this until you have a series of photos. (This is demonstrated in the You Tube link at the end of the post.) TIP: The stop motion project looks really nice if you chose a square shape for your size to create your project.



Step 3: Add your photos to the app Slideshow Studio and create your stop motion project. The app even has some nice music choices. I love that you can set the app to make all the slides a small amount of time and select no transitions in one simple step. If you want to speed up your project and make it even more smooth you could add it to iMovie and speed it up. See the video below to see how to add your photos and change settings in the Slideshow app. You may even have your own stop motion app that you can add your photos too. For most apps this is a paid feature so that is why I chose to use Slideshow Studio since it is free.


I hope you have fun making this simple stop motion project. To see the project demonstrated check out the video below to see step by step directions.







Green Screen in the Classroom: Getting Started



Green Screen can be used in any classroom. All you need is a few simple things to get started.
I have been using Green Screen in the elementary classroom with my students for the past 6 years or more. When I first used green screen in my classroom I used the program iMovie on the computer. I had to do most of the work putting it together and now my students use iPads and they can do everything themselves.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about getting started using Green Screen on iPads in the classroom.



Here are the 4 THINGS YOU WILL NEED to get ready.

1. An App that Creates Green Screen Projects
To get started you will need an app to create your Green Screen project. We use the app Green Screen by Doink It is the easiest app for elementary students that I have found and is well worth the $2.99. I have tried other more complicated apps that are also paid and this one is by far simple enough for even lower elementary students. (I don't receive any compensation from Doink for this post. I just absolutely love their app.)



2. A Green Background
A green background can be created out of anything from a large piece of green fabric to a small piece of cardboard painted green.  To start out in my classroom I bought an actual green screen cloth that was 19.99. (This is pictured in the bottom left draped over a table and stool.) It is great to hang up behind students to film 2 or 3 at a time. I hang it from out magnetic whiteboard with strong magnets. I bought mine at a local ACE Hardware store but they are similar to the link posted. I don't hook the cloth on them I just place the magnets on top of the cloth so they hold up the fabric on the whiteboard. We have used this green cloth for many years and it has held up really well and is still like new. Some people use large pieces of felt fabric from fabric stores because it doesn't wrinkle as much. Green bulletin board paper is another thing that can be used. Green plastic table cloths work well and are a very inexpensive option.  I also like to use green tri-fold science boards because they are easy to store since they fold up flat. (shown in top right corner) I also painted pizza boxes that were donated by Pizza Hut and they work well for filming smaller objects. The paint I used is called Luscious Green by Clark and Kensington. There are other colors that work well too. I took my phone to the paint store and tried out the app on the paint strips to find a color to use. You can even use green playdough. Get creative and look around for things you already have that are green. Actually with the Doink App you can use any color as your background color but I have found that the colors green and blue are the best colors to use.




3. An Idea
This is probably the most important part of your project. What do you want to make for your green screen project? Do you want to have a little puppet show, explain a math problem, travel to a place around the world, or recite a poem.  The ideas are endless. When you are thinking of your ideas you will want to think of what you will have for your background photo or video. Check out the video of students reciting a poem about books and they just use a photo of books for the background. Here is another simple project of students explaining a math problem and they used a picture with numbers in the background. Math Problem Explanation Green Screen, (number photo credit) A great place to get pictures to use in your projects is Photos for Class  or Picts 4 Learning. Another way to get background video or photos is to film or take your own. In this video about Force students filmed their own video footage for the background and then told the information they learned about force in the layer on top of it.



4. Stand or Tripod (optional)
Once you have the first 2 things things you are ready to create your own production. I highly recommend getting some type of tripod or stand. My favorite tripod mount to hold our iPads is the Grifti Nootle and any tripod works well with them. We use these 50 inch pro tripods because they are inexpensive. I bought 3 sets because we usually make films with the whole class at once divided into groups. One stand and tripod would definitely be all you would need for a classroom. A stand is not necessary as you can see in the bottom right it is just a child holding the iPad. It is super hard to get it still for filming but can be done until you can afford to get stands. (The sample math problem video  that I talked about earlier is filmed by a student holding the iPad so you can see how it moves around a little.) Also the top right photo shows the first holder (white) I got for iPads. I don't like it near as much as the Nootle one and it cost me more. We have also used iPad stands from the store Five Below and set them on a table of floor. They work well for filming smaller objects.


I hope you have everything you need to get started using iPads and I will share how to make your first Green Screen Project in my next blog post.



*This post contains some affiliate amazon links to products.


Digital Citizen Tips for the Elementary Classroom



Digital Learning Day is almost here and there's no better time to review Digital Citizenship. Keep reading to find FREE ideas to promote Digital Citizenship in your elementary classroom.





I always like to start a discussion with my classroom when introducing Digital Citizenship. I ask them what kinds of devices, games, and social media they are using at home that require access to the internet. I type a list on my computer that is projected on the wall for the students to see.

I am always surprised that even though I teach second grade my students are using all kind of social media like Snapchat, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Lots of students also use YouTube, Netflix, and Google Searches. They usually mention many video game devices like Play Station, Wii, and Xbox and other networked games like Growtopia and Minecraft.



After we discuss all the types of digital devices and social media they are using we start to talk about using it safely. I love the freebie on Internet Safety from Brainpop Junior. It is especially appropriate for elementary students and always creates lots more great discussions.

I also recently came across another great free resource for Digital Citizenship. Common Sense Media. There are free posters to access here. Also another very age appropriate video for elementary students called Pause and Think Online


Be sure to download my Digital Citizen Brag Tag FREEBIE. You can print them off to give your students once they have learned all about how to be a good Digital Citizen. You can also check out all my iPad lessons here which would also be a great addition to your Digital Learning Day activities.



I hope you found some ideas to help you infuse digital citizenship into any online lessons. I've linked up with 5 other incredible technology-integrating educators from the Tech with Us Facebook Community to share more digital citizenship lessons and ideas in honor of Digital Learning Day on February 23rd. While the obvious goal of Digital Learning Day is to see digital learning find a place in schools all year long, it is also the perfect time to revisit digital citizenship a second time if you haven't yet this year.    

Click the links to learn more tips, ideas, and lessons for teaching digital citizenship on Digital Learning Day and beyond!










Augmented Reality ABC App Ideas

AR Flashcards Animal Alphabet is a FREE app that includes animals for every letter of the alphabet. Use the app to learn your alphabet or take it to a whole new level and app smash with other apps to teach students of all ages. Students get so excited when they scan their card and their animal comes to life.




This app doesn't have to be about learning your ABC's especially if you teach older grades. Try using it in other creative ways and app smash with other apps. As you scan the animal there is photo option that comes up on your card and you can take a picture of your animal.  Use this photo in your app smash.



Here are 10 ideas to get your creative juices flowing...

1. Research your animal and record what you learned.
2. Make a little story about your animal.
3. Write a poem about your animal.
4. Think of verbs to describe your animals actions.
5. Make an ABC Book using all the animal photos writing sentences about each one.
6. Practice writing a paragraph that includes a little adventure about a couple of the animals.
7. Sort you animals according to science characteristics. Explain
8. Make up some math story problems about your animal.
9. Tell why your animal would be a great pet. Persuade your parents to let you get one.
10. Find out what your animal father, mother, and baby are called. Do this with other animals too.



Here is a sample (photo on left) of what we did with our animals in our second grade classroom. We made alliteration sentences for each animal photo.  The sample (photo on right) shows a fifth grade student's work. They went into even deeper details to explain simile, alliteration, idiom, and personification. We used Pic Collage Kids app to smash our projects. So download the app. Visit the site AR flashcards.com to print your flash cards and have some fun being creative with Augmented Reality and app smashing. You will notice in the sample projects that we used black and white printed cards.

(Note: They suggest printing your cards in color. I have had great success printing them in black and white too, as long as it is the original sent to the printer and not a copy.)





You can also check out AR Flashcards Space FREE where you could take pictures of the planets and app smash with planet research.





Check out more iPad Lesson ideas here















Mentor Text Lessons with a Science Twist



Happy New Year and Welcome to the Mentor Text Blog Lessons and Give Away. You will want to be sure to enter at the end of the post for a chance to win all the books.  My mystery word is SNOWBALL.



Book Summary: 
The book Snowballs is a beautiful illustrated short story about how snow is made into snowmen and then they melt and disappear at the end. It is a really simple book but we had lots of very meaningful discussions about its simple text. The book also goes more in depth and talks about how water takes 3 forms, solid, liquid and gas. It also includes is a very detailed description of how snow is made.




Lesson Introduction: To get ready to read this book with your students show them the cover and ask what they think the book will be about. My students had lots of discussion about why it would be called snowballs. There was also discussion about the bird and the food on the snowman face.

Before Reading: The title page also can bring about discussion too. What is happening with the birds, what do you notice, etc. How does this build on the cover page? Be sure to let them predict from the cover on the very first question of my freebie before reading the story.



During Reading: The book starts with a question and we talked quite a bit about how birds would know it is going to snow. Migration even came up with my students. I was very impressed with their deep thinking about this simple little question. My FREEBIE includes questions to use while reading the book. Copy the page front to back and students will write answers to questions as you stop while reading and give them time to do so. Also take time to discuss their answers as you are reading.


After Reading:  The book lends itself well to be split into a two day lesson. The first day read the simple large words and the next day go more into a Science lesson about Solid, Liquid, and Gas as you can focus on the snow info section of the book. Even the back cover works well for the Science part. There are many weather reports that can be looked at and discussed. Copying the back so all your students have their own copy to read works well.




How to Use My Resource: My FREEBIE resource is also included in the Snowballs Book Companion. It is used during the 2 days reading the book. Students will write down answers on the pages while you are reading the book and pausing to give them time to write the answers and then discussing as a class. The rest of my resource  has lots of other fun activities to use after reading the book.





Lesson Extension:
A Science Experiment you have probably seen before but now with a twist becomes the Snowman's Magic Hat Experiment. Supply list, patterns, and step by step directions are all included in my Snowballs Book Companion resource. I will be featuring videos on my Instastory at my Instagram account today.













More Lesson Extensions:

Making a weather report and recording on Telestory app is another fun extension activity. (The photos with the weather reports on the back of the book shows a iPad and what this will look like.) Creating snow families with Faces iMake app and writing stories about them. Recording weather, weighing and recording a melting snowball, verb hunt, adjectives using a thesaurus, other extra ideas include map skills, and recording learning from listening to a video.






Thanks so much for stopping by.

I hope you enjoy using this fun little book for all subject areas in your classroom. Be sure to enter the giveaway and check out all the other great posts on Mentor Text Ideas. Remember my mystery word is SNOWBALL.







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Math QR riddles & Win DJ inkers Clip Art

My newest Math QR code product is hot off the press. Place Value Holiday Themed QR Code Riddles and more. These can be used with any Math Series or Place Value Unit of study.



My students love solving these fun riddles. First they solve the place value math questions. Then they find the card with the correct answer that they have written on their paper. They scan the QR code and write the word onto their paper. Each answer will help the students solve a fun Holiday themed riddle. The set also includes some quick checks to assess your students place value knowledge anytime throughout your Place Value unit of study. Cards can be hung around the room for a scavenger hunt type activity or placed at a math work station.





DJ Inkers Holidays Around the World Clip Art was used to make this product and you have a chance to WIN my newest product and a set of the DJ inkers CLIP ART by entering the Rafflecopter at the end of the post. The set includes some of the countries above and lots more. Check out the link to see all that is included in this set. You won't want to miss your chance to win.





Do you love great holiday SALES and cute stuff for FREE?  Be sure to visit DJ Inkers for their annual 12 Holly Daze celebration!  Every day from December 1-12, 2016 they’ll have a special holiday FREEBIE and awesome discounts on their clip art, fonts & printables!   Sign-up for their email list & join in the fun!



So what are you waiting for sign up and join in the fun!


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Number Sense- Part 2

Building Number sense requires lots of playing with and exploring numbers. This post is all about Odd and Even Numbers. Check out Number Sense Part 1 all about 10 and 20 here.



The first few days of exploring I set out all kind of manipulatives at table groups. Some of the things I included are pictured above. Pokemon minifigures were a big hit since Pokemon Go is popular right now.




The blue and red numbers are weighted numbers by Learning Resources. They can be used with any scales to test out numbers that add up to a certain amount.  You can find them here.  They are also fun to use with "Making Ten" from my Number Sense-Part 1 post.


Manipulative Ideas
1. Weighted numbers
2. IKEA wooden numbers
3. 1 inch squares
4. Teddy Bears counters
5. Linking cubes
6. 2 colored counters
7. Pokemon minifigures
8. Hundreds charts with 1 inch squares
9. Number tile squares


1. Free Play Sorting with Manipulatives. 

Manipulatives were spread around the room and I put small groups of 3-4 students at each table to explore odd and even. I let the students spend time sorting them into a group of odd or even and then I went from table to table and asked students to explain if they had a group of odd or even and how they knew. It was really interesting to listen to students as they explained why it was odd or even. I was really surprised how many students sorted into groups of 3 to sort instead of groups of 2. Many students remembered what odd and even numbers were from first grade but not many could tell me how they know if it was an odd or even number if it wasn't 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 or  2, 4, 6, or 8.  Students rotated through manipulatives every 10-15  minutes or so. I recorded observations and discussions. I even videoed a few explanations from students.

I also started having them sort their daily snacks so they could tell me if they had an odd or even amount, There were always lots of arguments about this until students started to realized that even means you would have 2 piles with the same amount and none left over.


2. Books to Read



Odd Todd and Even Steven is one book I always read to my students. While reading have students draw some of the objects that Todd and Steven have in the book.

Bears Odd Bears Even This book has different amounts of bears doing things throughout the book and you need to decide if the number is odd or even.

Other Ideas- You could bring your own socks from home and have students pair them up and see if they have odd or even amounts. Also having students think of other things that come in pairs.
(mittens. gloves, shoes, boots, earrings, etc)


3. Technology
If you have a membership to Brainpop Jr. they have a nice odd and even movie.
Use Doodle Buddy to make photos with odd and even.
Take photos in the room of things odd and even.



4. Games

Deck of cards (with face cards removed) -Students flip over one or two cards. Students can make single and double digit numbers and decide if they are odd or even. When students play to win they could decide before they flip the cards if odd or even wins for that round and whoever gets odd or even cards wins all the cards turned over. The one with the most cards at the end wins.

Dice-Roll for odd and even. Students decide before they roll if odd or even will win. They get a tally mark if they win. Play the first player to get 10 tally marks wins. Use 1 die or more dice to make bigger numbers.

Also check out the print and play Odd and Even games in my Numbers Sense Math Practice Activities Set here.
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***This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.  By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase.*** 




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