Category Archives: Visible Thinking

Making student thinking visible is a key concept in integrating technology into the classroom.

Share Facts With ChatterPix and Shadow Puppet EDU

Share Facts With ChatterPix and Shadow Puppet EDU

Last week we explored lots of turkey facts, turkey art and more in preparation for Thanksgiving. One of the ways we were able to study turkeys was through a distance learning program from the Texas Wildlife Association.

Turkey Talk with the Texas Wildlife Association
The whole group of 1st graders walks over to our administration building that’s set up with conferencing equipment. Then the TWA broadcasts to many different schools in the area through our Education Service Center. While Skyping is usually much more interactive, my teaching partner and I love to take advantage of these opportunities. Students bring their iPads and a recording page of some type. They stay really engaged in the presentation and recording their new learning. I always doodle the facts too. It helps us to look at lots of different ways to record thinking.

Recording Facts with the Paper app

Then, each student planned a fact to share using the information they recorded. The process is really almost exactly the same as the Salamander Project from last year, but it’s just too much fun not to share!

Step 1 – Turkey Art & Picture

Fingerprint Turkey Art

Step 2 – ChatterPix

Each student uses their turkey art and ChatterPix to record something they learned. They each save their movie to Photos. *We have a shared Photo Library on all our iPads so it’s really easy to combine the videos in the next step.

Step 3 – Put It Together With Shadow Puppet EDU

I usually use iMovie to do this, but wanted to try out the video feature in Shadow Puppet EDU. Just select the videos you want to add, you can even trim each video if you want, and order them as you wish. Then we added text (student names) and music. Upload or save your video as you wish when you’re done.

We’ve done a few projects with Shadow Puppet EDU this year, and I think there will be more in our future! It’s so easy to use, and there are really a lot of great features. I really like that you can choose the position of the text, and upload the video straight to YouTube if you’d like. You should try it out if you haven’t.

MZ Sig

Place Value App Smash: Lessons Learned From A PBL Fail

Place Value App Smash: Lessons Learned From A PBL Fail

So, I’ve finally been able to share many of the items on my “To Blog” list. This project has been on my list to share for quite a while. Here comes the details of a project that was, in many ways, not a smashing success, and my reflection on what I’d do differently next time. Place value is a… Continue Reading




Informational Text Features With Explain Everything

Informational Text Features With Explain Everything

Breaking down and understanding informational text features is crucial to a reader’s and writer’s understanding. So, this past year as we dug deeper and deeper into informational texts, we used Explain Everything to help us remember what each feature was, why it might be included in a book, and how it could help us as readers… Continue Reading




Gathering Information for Research: On & Off The Page

Gathering Information for Research: On & Off The Page

I love informational texts, and so do my students. But, we also love informational videos. We can gather information on just about any subject from both types of resources. Think about the way you learn – besides a person standing in front of you. I’m guessing you mainly use two forms of media, text (of all… Continue Reading




Paint, Paper & iPads: Informational Text

Paint, Paper & iPads: Informational Text

Have you ever read an interesting informational text with a group of first graders, had amazing discussion, then asked them to share something new they learned? If you have, you’ve likely heard this from at least one student: “I already knew all that!” 1st graders can be a tough crowd occasionally. Fortunately, we utilize the thinking… Continue Reading




Character Traits: Sketchnotes & Word Clouds 

Character Traits: Sketchnotes & Word Clouds 

Since my last two posts have been Mo Willems themed, I thought I’d share this Elephant and Piggie project from earlier this spring. In addition to loving The Pigeon, we also LOVE Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books. So naturally, while working on inferring character traits, we used these two hilarious characters. As we read multiple… Continue Reading