One of the most exciting days of the year for my Kindergarten English as a Second Language students is our field trip to Patterson Farm. The field trip to the farm is a fun-filled day for students to experience a new place while learning about content standards and vocabulary. This year I asked some of my students to take their classroom iPads with them on the field trip to document their experience. Throughout our day on the farm, students took pictures using the iPad camera to capture special moments, the series of events, and their perspective on the excursion. I collected all of the pictures taken and created an album which I then shared with all of my students using Apple Classroom. One of the unique things about being an ESL teacher is that I serve my students in pull-out groups of 9-12 students, so I decided to have each pull-out use a different App to create a presentation featuring our field trip on their iPad. After learning about their features I decided to use the Apple Apps: Clips, Pages, and Keynote.
As an ESL teacher, I enjoy finding creative and innovative ways to integrate the content vocabulary and our technology while supporting student growth within the language domains of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. These three Apps allowed my students to practice these language domains while being creative and incorporating their perspectives through their pictures. With the group of students working on the Pages App, I began to model and guide students on how to add color, fonts, shapes, images, pictures from camera roll, and video. Students were immediately hooked and loved creating using the new book creation feature. Students were able to practice their writing skills with the new drawing feature in which they wrote on the iPad using their finger or a stylus. This was a challenge for students because they had to focus on letter formation and concentrate on making their writing legible. We also added videos to practice our speaking skills and drew on top of our pictures to emphasize our typed text.
The group of students using Clips on their iPads had more speaking practice within the project and really enjoyed the different filters, posters, background music, and stamps/labels. The live titles feature of this App supported my ESL students with practicing speaking loudly, clearly, and using complete, detailed sentences. To support my struggling speakers we created sentence starters on sentence strips for them to use when recording. These students were also actively using their listening skills by listening to their narration and descriptions of their pictures and experience on the recorded slides within the Clip.
Students using the Keynote App did a fantastic job creating their presentation and the animation feature was by far the highlight of the project. These students also used the new drawing feature to write sentences on their slides and annotate over pictures. Students were required to add videos within their presentation and we discussed appropriate images to use. For example, I chose to add a picture of a goat because on the field trip we fed the goats. Once all of the projects were finished students were excited to share them with parents and other classmates through our Seesaw account.
I am amazed and proud of my young ELL students completion of this task and look forward to using these Apps for different projects next year. It was so powerful and engaging for students to take their own pictures during the field trip and be able to tell a story about their experience through their photography. No matter our age, background, or ability we all can create!
Katie Gardner has 6 years experience as a Kindergarten English as a Second Language teacher in Salisbury, NC. She has presented at the district, state, regional, and national ELL and Tech conferences. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2017 and received her certification as a National Board Certified Teacher in English a New Language in 2017. Follow her on Twitter @gardnerkb1
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