Tag Archives: science

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 stems from Tanny McGregor’s book Comprehension Connections to help us verbalize what we’ve learned or want to remember. These starter sentences make it easy to dig into informational texts, and give students the words they sometimes need to get them started on sharing their thoughts.
Informational Text Research

Inspired by our class pet, Slick, the perfect topic for us to test out these thinking stems on was salamanders. We dug into informational text and videos to learn about salamanders and other amphibians. As we researched, students used pictures and words (our 1st grade version of sketchnotes) then we complied pictures of our notes onto a ThingLink – with Slick as the feature.

This engaging style of recording our thinking produced a storm of interesting facts that we wanted to share. Enter the paint, paper and iPads. We painted paper, Eric Carle style, with salamander colors.

Paint, Paper & iPads: Informational Text

The paper was cut out into salamanders, and we glued on googly eyes. Don’t you just love each unique salamander!

Beautiful Salamander Art

Paint, Paper & iPads: Informational Text

Each student chose at least one interesting fact to share from our research. Then, they photographed their own salamanders on “land”, brown paper, or “water”, blue paper. Next, they used ChatterPix Kids to make their salamanders “talk” and share an interesting fact from our research. The goal was to put all the videos together using iMovie, but we had one more part to complete. In order to give credit to our references, we made a video bibliography with Explain Everything to add at the end.

Informational Text

Here’s our completed video. I wonder what you learned about salamanders?

This video was so easy to put together in iMovie, and does a great job of sharing facts we learned. My favorite parts are the incredible salamanders that my students created! I would say that they definitely understood the concept of picking out important information, but they also were able to express their thinking in really fun and creative ways. I would highly encourage to let your students record their thinking through pictures, words and art.

We put all our hard work outside for everyone to see, including a QR code to each student’s individual video, and our collaborative one.

Sharing Salamander Fact Videos

MZ Sig

Earth Day: Precious Creatures Poem

Earth Day: Precious Creatures Poem

We’re celebrating Earth Day all week and we actually get to visit a small Zoo on Earth Day! What better way to learn about the animals that are so important to the ecosystem! Everyone is SO excited! To kick off our week we read some beautiful bug books to honor our newest class guests, Monarch Butterfly… Continue Reading




Inquiry, Creativity & ThingLink

Inquiry, Creativity & ThingLink

Since it’s almost spring … Here’s a hibernation inquiry project that I’ve been wanting to share for a while. Now seems like the perfect time (even though it’s almost Spring!) since ThingLink just came out with some great updates to both the app, and their educational accounts. Click here to read more details from Susan… Continue Reading




Pumpkin Fact Task Card

Pumpkin Fact Task Card

So I have been a totally remiss blogger the past month or so! I keep writing up posts, then not getting to finish them up! I’m so sorry! After writing my last post, Carve-A-Pumpkin – App-tivities for Fall, I made a pumpkin fact task card for my students to use, and wanted to share it here.… Continue Reading




Welcome to the “Book Creator is Awesome” Club

Welcome to the “Book Creator is Awesome” Club

Yesterday was a Flex Day in our district, so my teaching partner and I had a very small group of first grade students to do some very focused instruction. It was a great day, but was made even better through a mid-morning surprise! Our kiddos discovered that both classroom’s praying mantis egg sacs had hatched… Continue Reading




SkyView – Augmented Reality For The Sky

SkyView – Augmented Reality For The Sky

Have you played with SkyView Free yet? It is a super cool augmented reality app that allows users to point their iOS device in any direction and “see” what is in space. Using SkyView Free you can look at space & “see” what’s in the sky. Trajectories for each object can be turned on or… Continue Reading