Monday, September 2, 2013

3 free apps to create a mini project to learn weekly vocab words

Check out these 3 free apps that we used to make a mini project to help us with our weekly vocabulary we are required to learn.

App smashing is the Art of smashing apps with other apps to create a detailed and thoughtful learning project. Click here to read more about it and see other fun app smashing ideas. We used the following three apps to smash together these awesome looking projects.

Day One We used story maker app to make 4 characters, took screen shots of characters, and cropped them in our photo app.


Story Maker HD is a really cool looking character/setting making app that is free. It is really suppose to be used to make characters and settings to print and play and make up a story. It comes with one free character (and others for purchase) but the character possibilities are endless with the one character as you can see from all the characters in the projects shown. We started out the week by making 4 characters with the Story maker app. You can name them and save them in a little gallery on the app.  We then took a screen shots of each character. The next step was opening our screen shot photos in our photos app and cropping the extra stuff off the sides of them. Making 4 characters, taking screen shots of them, and then cropping them took about 20 minutes of time the 1st day.

Day Two We used Balloon Free to add speech bubbles to each one of the four photos from the day before.


Balloon Stickies Free The next day we added our photos one at a time into the Balloon Free bubble app. I like the ease of use of this app out of many free ones I tried. You insert a picture to Bubble Free, double tap to get a speech bubble. Tap inside the bubble and you get a new screen. Tap text at the bottom of the new screen, then a white box appears. Tap inside the white box to type your sentence.

We made sentences in our speech bubbles using our vocabulary words (or forms of them). Our words for the week were: share, aside, culture, language, scurries, fair, invite, and plead. We had worked on learning a little about them 2 days before starting the project. This was the 2nd day working on this project and some students were still finishing up taking screen shots and cropping characters from the day before. They caught up quickly. I worked with the speech bubble students while others who had the characters done helped those that needed help finishing them. This took approximately 20-30 minutes of time the second day.

Day Three We used the app Pic Collage to add the final touches to our project. We added each of the characters to the app, then cut them out, changed our backgrounds, and added our names.

Pic Collage The last free app we used was pic collage. This app is going to be used for so many projects in my class this year. It has a lot to offer for free.

We opened the app and tapped the + button in the bottom middle of the screen and tapped Add Photos. We then selected all our speech bubble photos. If we weren't sure we added extras because it is so easy to trash the extras. There is a trash can in the corner of the app and you can drag anything you don't want on top of it and it disappears. After the photos were loaded on the screen we double tapped a photo and a menu came up. We tapped clip photo (it looks like a scissor) and then cut out our characters by tracing around each one with our fingers and tapping done. Then we arranged them on our page like we wanted.  We tapped the + sign in the bottom middle again and tapped Add Text. Then we typed our name and tapped Done.  We also tapped the collage looking button on the bottom left to change our background and Presto these our the cute little projects as a result.

I was so impressed with how well my students did. They worked diligently to get this finished. It took us 3 days to finish completely. I am hoping the next time we do this they will be faster at completing it. You will notice some students have more than 4 characters and some had less. The ones who had more were finished and I told them to add to more vocabulary sentences. The ones who had less were the ones that took a little longer and I just told them to finish up with what they had done.

What did we learn from this project?  The sentences are not completely spelled correctly but they had a pretty good idea of the meaning of these vocab words. Students asked questions like, "Which word means when we move books to one side?" "How do you spell scurry?" the form of our word scurries. We talked about the spelling and why we spell in like that. "How do you spell invite?"  We talked about it's spelling and why you spell it that way. Students checked to make sure sentences had capitals and endings and one tap on the space bar between words. One student used fair incorrectly. I am going to the fair. I asked her if that was what we talked about our word fair (making things equal) meaning this week and she quickly fixed her sentence.  A lot of learning took place and we even learned a lot about using these apps which we will use for many other projects this year.

Not one student complained about writing their words in a sentence which is what they would do on the worksheet other years.  Not one student complained when they had to fix sentences and make new ones because they used the same word in all of the sentences and they were suppose to use four different words. Student 100 percent engagement + Mini vocab project + app smashing= SUCCESS!

 Would love for you to share your ideas on app smashing! How do you use free apps together to create fun and learning for your students?
















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