Creation Apps for the Upper Elementary Classroom

Have you ever have one of those weeks where you were so close to NOT trying something? You know, the feeling of....well, that sounds really cool but will my kiddos be able to do it? Will we get to the middle and then scrap the entire project? Do we really have this much time to spend on the content at hand? I came very close to that thought process this last week, but instead I took a risk and it paid off in a BIG way.

I recently had the opportunity to hear Wes Fryer at a district professional learning event.  If you are an upper elementary teacher, you must follow him.  If you have the opportunity to go hear him, please make it happen! He can be found here and here.  He asked a question that really stuck with me.  "What will your students create TODAY?"  Did you hear the key word? TODAY. Not next Monday, or after your state assessment, or even once you lose the fear of the "what-ifs" and "can-theys." Today!

A friend recently shared with me a really cool app called MyCreate {same software also available for download on computer here}.  I jumped over and download the $4.99 app.  If you would rather have a free app Lego Movie Maker will work!

 I decided to try and incorporate this app with my current science content: sound energy.  First let me say, diving into this process was by far a perfect, fail-proof process.  I was asking myself, my kids and co-workers questions the entire time.  I started with the question, "What learning do I want my kids to show in their creations?" We started simple since a bulk of learning would need to be put towards the learning of the new creation app.  I decided that students needed to show me what they knew about sound energy, and I asked them to use vocabulary to support their knowledge in their creation.  I put my students into groups and let them each have a 20 minute planning time for brainstorming.  The next day, we met and I was surprised to see that each group had a very strong start with what they wanted their creations to be and "show." Students worked to create a script and decided how they would "act" out their creation.  Leggos were by far the choice of most groups. I also had a group that used Playdough to create their people.

You can explore the journey through pictures below and see two of our creations.   I hope to add the others next week. We have a long way to go in keeping the iPad still when we are taking pictures, zooming in to see our backgrounds better, etc.  Overall, for our first attempt I think the kiddos did a great job with content and with production!

You can find some examples of how to utilize MyCreate in your classroom by visiting their website.

What apps do you use to engage your students in creative learning opportunities?

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