Last week, Mrs. Frederick began a unit on the zoo.  The zoo has hundreds of different species of animals.  Most of the animals at the zoo we do not come into contact with every day.  The University of North Alabama has two lions on campus, so this provides children with one example of a zoo animal.  We began to create Doodlecast presentations on what we knew about the different animals.  The children knew a lot of valuable information about many animals.  I began to notice that most of the information consisted of "I love...", "I like...", or "You should also like..." instead of facts.  I quickly looked up an app on the zoo and zoo animals.  The first one to pop up was called Pocket Zoo.  Pocket Zoo is by far my favorite app that we have used so far.  The front page is a map much like on you would see at a zoo.  The different animals are all over the map.  Once you click on the animal, it opens up a page about that animal.  When you click on the animal, it makes the real noise that the animal makes.  There are facts below the animal and on the side that are great for learning about the animal.  There are tabs at the top that can be clicked.  The next tab beside the one that shows the animal shows different educational YouTube videos.  This prevents the children from having to actually go onto YouTube to look up videos.  Sometimes the videos on the actual site are appropriate, but the ones on the side frame are not.  This app provides only pre-chosen educational videos on each animal.  The last tab is my favorite part.  It shows live feed from different cameras at zoos across the world.  Children can watch zebras, whales, tigers, meerkats, and many other animals live on camera.  The children were ecstatic to play with this app.  I would recommend the app to anyone and everyone.  Once the children learn more about the animals, we will use this information to create Doodlecasts about them. 
    This week was an amazing week for Kindergarten.  Now that the children know how to use the different programs, we would like to incorporate different concepts of creating a story into each lesson.  This week, we learned about prewriting.  Amazing writers think about what they want to write, sketch a picture, write words down, and color their pictures.  Mrs. Frederick's class used their knowledge about symbols of the United States and presidents to prewrite and create a Doodlecast.  The children chose a symbol or president, drew a picture, and then wrote a sentence about their picture.  Students took their pictures and created a Doodlecast from their pictures.  We hoped that by prewriting, some of the rambling would be eliminated.  The results were phenomenal.  The children knew a tremendous about of information about each symbol.  We also had a variety of results.  They wrote about the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell, the American Flag, and George Washington.  We now have a YouTube channel called kilbykindergarten.  We will post our Doodlecast creations daily as they are created.  We will continue to prewrite and tell stories through our new unit on the zoo.
    Last week was an extremely busy week for Kindergarten.  Mrs. Frederick's class worked with Puppet Pals and Doodlecast.  Puppet Pals was easier to navigate than Toontastic, but it was very limited in what the children could do.  There were a few different backgrounds and characters to choose from, but the children were limited because Puppet Pals requires you to buy any extra characters and backgrounds.  The children made one major scene for Puppet Pals, and it allowed the children to develop the characters.  It was very funny to see some of the voices that the children came up with.  The characters were those of a fairy tale, so children were limited in the type of story they drew.  They enjoyed the app, but they were more interested in getting done with Puppet Pals to work with Toontastic.  The children also worked with Doodlecast.  We showed more examples of how to work Doodlecast, and the children were set free to create their own.  The more they played with the program, the better their stories got.  I was amazed at some of the products.  The products show just how creative the children are.  Coleen even used comparisons in her Doodlecast.  The outcomes were fantastic, and the more that the children get to play with the apps, the more their stories will develop.  February was all about creating stories in literacy centers, and students excelled at creating stories beyond my original expectations.  At the end of the week, students got to hear an interactive story telling group.  The presentation went right along with our focus of creating stories.  We will continue with the focus of developing stories to see how the children respond to apps as they get better acquainted with the iPads and software.


    My name is Kaitlin Ashley.  I am a few hours away from being a senior at the University of North Alabama.  This blog will be about researching the impacts of iPads in the kindergarten teaching and learning environment.  It will follow this process from the very beginning, and it will keep everyone up-to-date on what is going on in Mrs. Frederick's Kindergarten class.


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