Monday, January 19, 2015

Re-telling with Book Creator

One of the skills we work on in grade three is learning to re-tell stories well. It is a good way to check for listening skills, comprehension and speaking skills.

Before we had iPads, we did the work on paper with the students writing the story. It was never a favorite activity of theirs.....nor was it a favorite of mine. There were pages and pages of details to write. We sometimes got distracted by spelling and grammar and punctuation rather than focusing on whether or not they were re-telling the story well. Some kids got bogged down in the writing and I wondered if, as a result, I was really able to determine if they were bogged down with the writing or if they really could re-tell the story.  Some became really prolific writers and seemed to make up their own story rather than re-telling the story we were focusing on.

Book Creator has changed all that for us. The kids love working with the app. We stream lined the process today so that everyone was quite effecient. We have done projects on Book Creator in the past and sometimes it's easy to get distracted on editing background and text colors and adding all sorts of extra pictures. We were able to avoid that today.

One thing that surprised me when they were re-telling today was their expression. I didn't expect to hear so much fluency. Some of them used great expression and fun voices when they were re-telling the story.

These are some of the pages we used in the past when working on re-telling skills.


Today's instructions:

1. Plan your words: To stay organized we first made notes about the six pages of the story. We wrote down key words that would help us remember what they needed to say for each page. It didn't take too long, likely because everyone wanted to hurry up and get to iPads. The nice things about the boxes on the planning sheet was there was room for some words, but not a lot.....just enough to remind them hat they wanted to say for each page.

2. Make the title page: I had them simply write the title, the author and "retold by....". No pictures. Just the necessary details.

3. Take pictures: The next task was to take all the pictures. Focusing on one skill at a time made things a little more effecient. I was amazed at how quickly some kids took the pictures and got them situated on each page.
4. Add your voice: Instead of writing their re-telling, they were just able to re-tell with their voice. I had them use the notes they took to re-tell.
5. Fancy it up: Once the recording was all finished they could go back and start making everything look fancy. In the past some kids spent hours editing text color and background. The way we laid it out they got the work done right away and then got to get to all the play involved with editing. Time well spent!

I thought it might be tricky having many people recording at time same time, but it worked out famously. Everyone was very focused and the noise level was like an old fashioned quiet library...without the cranky librarian shushing everyone.

We uploaded the stories to Showbie to hand them in and I put them on Vimeo so we could share them with our parents. Most kids were able to finish in the hour they had to work on it. A few will need a bit of time tomorrow - but not a lot.
I will grade them using this rubric: 

All in all it was a great afternoon!!

No comments:

Post a Comment