bookcreator_epub_blog_post

Creating ePubs in the Music Classroom

Book Creator is one of my favourite apps to use in my music classroom.

One of the advantages to using a general classroom app in music lessons is that the students already know how to use the app and therefore most times I do not have to spend time teaching them all the skills needed. On the flip side I have also worked together with their classroom teacher by introducing the recording side of the app in my classes while they have already learnt to write, type and insert images in class.

One activity my students love to do with Book Creator is make their own ePubs.

Below are 3 examples from my classroom that has served different purposes.

Whole Class ePub ‘The Animals in the Class’

First we looked at, and sang along to, a few nursery rhymes and songs that had been written into books e.g. The Wheels on the Bus, I’m a Little Teapot,  Old McDonald Had a Farm.

Next we rewrote our own version of The Wheels on the Bus using the title of ‘The Animals in the Class’.

Each student wrote and illustrated their own page on a piece of paper. Then in groups with a shared iPad, they inserted a photo of each students’ illustration on a separate page in Book Creator, adding their name. Next their group helped each person record using the ‘Add Sound’ audio tool in Book Creator, singing and playing instruments to their verse.

Each of the group Book Creator ePubs were then airdropped to my iPad and merged together into one class ePub.

Here is the result which they were extremely proud of:

Instrument Families ePub

To learn about the instrument families, My Year 1 (6 year old) students created an ePub showing each instrument family and recorded what each family sounds like.

Since the latest Book Creator update allows GarageBand files to be imported directly into a Book Creator page, this enabled my students to record their own track for each family using the virtual instruments in GarageBand and then inserting it onto the relevant page.img_1702

To save time I created a template for my students with the instrument family images already inserted and sent this to each child via airdrop.

img_1701

 

 

 

 

I stepped the students through recording in GarageBand and then sending the soundtrack to Book Creator, inserting it as a button.

The students also took a screenshot of their GarageBand recording and inserted this from the camera roll.

Here is an example of their work.

Artist Project

One project I have done with my Year 6/7 classes is to review a song from their favourite artist.

The students inserted the lyrics of the song and then the song itself from their iTunes music.

The final task was to write a reflection on the meaning of the song, those that struggled with writing used video or audio to record their reflection instead.

Here is an example:

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Book Creator has allowed me to transform previous paper, pen and oral presentation activities into interactive projects, capturing my students performances into ePubs, creating an archive we can keep for years to come.

I hope these examples from my classroom inspire you to use Book Creator in your teaching too.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

video assessment

Gathering Video Assessment for Reporting

It’s that time of year again in Australian Schools with mid year reports due.

Now that I have finished and sent mine through, I would like to share with you how I use video observations to help me with my assessment.

Taking video footage in the classroom is really easy now that we have it readily available on iPads, iPods, phones and cameras. I have found that since taking footage of my students it is so much easier to assess, and I feel a lot more confident in the evidence I have gathered to back up my assessment grade.

There are 2 ways I gather video assessment in the classroom:

Teacher

I record using either my iPad or iPhone and keep this for assessment.

This is an example from my Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 classes tapping rhythms using their magic wands (pop sticks with foam stars glued to them) and pipe cleaner notation.

This example is from my Year 6/7 class playing their arrangement on their own coded music instrument apps in Hopscotch

Student

I ask my students to record themselves, or a partner records them on their iPad.

The files are sent to me via Airdrop or Dropbox.

Sometimes we combine this footage  in a Digital Portfolio using Book Creator or Explain Everything for parents to view.

BC&EE_example

This example is a Year 4/5 class creating a recorder portfolio.

Gathering video footage as evidence for assessment allows you

  • the flexibility to assess in your own time rather than grading on the spot
  • to view the students performance multiple times, especially helpful when there is more than one student in the performance
  • to review your original assessment for final reporting grades
  • to provide the evidence for parents if they question your assessment.

Are there activities that you can assess via video in your classroom?

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Hopscotch_Instruments

Coding Music Instrument Apps in Hopscotch

Why should we bring coding into the music room?

Because not only is it cross curricular and ticking the STEAM methodology of teaching, it is also asking our students to think about the fundamentals of music. What is it we need to consider when making an instrument? Pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo and tone colour.

hopscotchThe best iPad app I found for coding music is Hopscotch. While it does not have as much scope as the Scratch coding program on a computer, it still gives enough scope to create both a melodic and percussion musical instrument and an authentic unit of work covering these objectives:

Knowledge: Musical instruments are invented and designed to play the pitch, melody, and/or beat, rhythm, tempo, tone colour.

Skills: Code a music instrument which, when tapped, changes its look in some shape or form and includes more than one sound/tone/note.

Summative Task 1:

Play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together as a class, each student playing on a correctly coded melodic instrument matching the Boomwhacker notes and colours.

Boomwhacker Piano

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xy3g0pu9q

Boomwhacker Spin Piano Note Names

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xyxy4anpx

Summative Task 2:

In groups, arrange a composition to perform a simple song using your own coded musical instrument app in an iPad Band.

Hot Cross Buns_4 part arrangement_Sample

class_snapshot

Here is an example from my students.

Check out some Hopscotch instrument apps my students have created and yours can too!

Piano and Percussion App

Tap the squares to play the piano, tap the circles to play percussion/abstract sounds (N.B. this project is best played in the iPad app as it does not play so well in a web browser due to its complexity)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xvtzpj372

 

Sound Effects Pad App

IMG_1289

Tap the emoji images to play the abstract percussion sounds (plays fine in a browser)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xstfaq6r6

Drag to Play App

IMG_1287

Drag the parrot on top of images to play sounds (plays fine in a browser)

https://c.gethopscotch.com/p/xtt56eofh

folder_download_100Purchase this Unit of Work from my

Music Room Tech series

Includes:

  • IB Unit of Inquiry
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Step by step visual instructions
  • Charts
  • Scores
  • Arrangement worksheets

What is Hopscotch?

Hopscotch is a coding app designed for students to learn to code by creating their own games.

Website: www.gethopscotch.com

It uses a simple jigsaw puzzle method of dragging blocks of code into the window to create an instruction for your character to do, eg move or play a sound.

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It has multiple coding fundamentals including, conditionals, variables, loops and many more.

Hopscotch works with an online account, students need a username and a password, but they do not need to put in an email address.

While it is online, you can choose to publish your work in the Hopscotch community or just keep them as drafts.

As drafts, students can not share their project with you, you will need to view it on their iPad.

My students publish their work, copy the weblink, and send me a message in Showbie with the link for me to view. I can then save their project as a draft to my account.

Have a go at coding instruments in your music classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

 

folder_download_100Purchase this Unit of Work from my

Music Room Tech series

Includes:

  • IB Unit of Inquiry
  • Australian Curriculum links
  • Step by step visual instructions
  • Charts
  • Scores
  • Arrangement worksheets

21 iPad Apps for the Music Classroom: General Education and Music Specific

apps for the music room

Your school has purchased a class set of iPads or implemented a 1-1/BYOD structure, so which apps should you deploy or ask your students to purchase?

The following 21 apps are the ones that I have found over the past 4 years to be of great value in my classroom (Kinder-Grade 7) and is my current app deployment list for 2016. This list varies from year to year depending on my program.

seussBandDr. Seuss Band by Oceanhouse Media $1.49

https://appsto.re/au/JlWtC.i

Used for: practicing playing rhythms along with music

 

RealXylophoneReal Xylophone by Gismart (google and app store adds) – free

https://appsto.re/au/vCWx1.i

Real Xylophone by Gismart without adds $2.99

https://appsto.re/au/VBWx1.i

Used for: exploring all the different types of xylophones, also is an inter-app audio app for Garage Band

 

percussionsPercussions by CRIMSON TECHNOLOGY, Inc $5.99

https://appsto.re/au/dZdmt.i

Used for: virtual percussion instruments that can be played multiple different ways

 

Rainbow Music Notes by Tie Zhong $1.49RainbowMusicNotes

https://appsto.re/au/rguJx.i

Used for: learning note names

 

 

YPGOrchestraYoung Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten by The Britten-Pears Foundation – free

https://appsto.re/au/ft2ON.i

Used for: information instrument families and the orchestra

 

madpadMadPad HD – Remix Your Life by Smule $ 4.49

https://appsto.re/au/Ys8BB.i

Used for: creating your own live and recorded loop music

 

garageBandGarageBand – free

https://appsto.re/au/zQgxy.i

Used for: playing and recording music

Check out these blog posts for some of the projects I have done

 

Novation Launchpad by Novation – freenovation_launchpad

https://appsto.re/au/QNk1I.i

Used for: creating loop music and record directly into GarageBand via inter-app audio

 

propellerheadFigure by Propellerhead Software AB – free

https://appsto.re/au/NLvEE.i

Used for: creating loop music and record directly into GarageBand via inter-app audio

 

GrooveMaker 2 FREE by IK Multimedia – freeGroovemaker

https://appsto.re/au/YXaYS.i

Used for: creating loop music and record directly into GarageBand

 

yellofierYellofier by Boris Blank $4.49

https://appsto.re/au/l3ehL.i

Used for: creating music using matrix format is also an inter-app audio app.

 

The following apps are generic education apps. I use then to techify my music activities and to display work samples, research and project work and sharing/gathering files. The best part about using generic education apps is that often the classroom teacher has already taught the students how to use these apps so you don’t have to do this, saving you time!

showbieShowbie – Paperless Classroom by Showbie Inc. – free or purchase upgrade for extra tools

https://appsto.re/au/Lu4TG.i

Used for: gathering student work, assessing work, providing resources to the students, communicating with students.

 

Pages – freepages

https://appsto.re/au/EysIv.i

Used for: presenting research and projects

 

iMovie – freeimovie

https://appsto.re/au/r0rFw.i

Used for: recording soundscapes, presenting music, filmscoring

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

Explain Everything™ Interactive explaineverythingWhiteboard by Explain Everything – $5.99

https://appsto.re/au/E_aUz.i

Used for: digital portfolios, gathering student work, assessing work, providing resources to the students

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

Book Creator by Red Jumper Limited – $7.99book-creator-icon-large

https://appsto.re/au/wDIxA.i

Used for: digital portfolios, gathering student work, assessing work, providing resources to the students

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

Popplet Lite by Notion – freepopplet

https://appsto.re/au/1FxVv.i

Popplet by Notion – $7.99

https://appsto.re/au/uNrtw.i

 

Used for: brainstorm presentation

 

inigma-qr-code-readeri-nigma QR Code, Data Matrix and 1D barcode reader by 3GVision – free

https://appsto.re/au/d9Nlx.i

Used for: scanning QR Codes

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

DropboxDropbox by Dropbox – free

https://appsto.re/au/63ZHt.i

Used for: providing students with files, students uploading files for assessment

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

photodicePhoto Dice by MachWerx – free or $1.49 no adds

https://appsto.re/au/kgwUC.i

Used for: creating your own dice using music or notation images in your photo roll. A roll the dice to create rhythm patterns to compose or to play games like yahtzee, bingo etc.

Check out this blog post for some of the projects I have done

 

hopscotchHopscotch: by Hopscotch Technologies – free

https://appsto.re/au/f2cYK.i

Used for: coding virtual instruments, simple composing with Code.

 

I would love to hear about the apps you have found to be essential in your classroom

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

MIDI_instrument_blog

Create your own MIDI musical instrument with Scratch and the Makey Makey

STEMvsSTEAM-GIRL

Coding is the new buzz word in primary education with many schools starting to teach it with the emphasis on teaching STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

It is also possible to add in the Arts, with new research showing  that teaching STEAM (STEM + the Arts) projects significantly impact learning.

Intrigued by this, I attended a workshop on coding in the classroom run by Stephanie Kriewaldt @stephkrie to see if I could add coding into my music classroom.

I was introduced to a computer and web-based program called Scratch, which is a simple coding program for use with students as young as Grade 3.

Percussion_codeit_bells_cropped

MaKeyMaKey_kit

We were also shown the Makey Makey Invention kit, invented to be used as a fun, electronic circuit MIDI controller using conductive materials as the triggers for computer games.

Seeing the Makey Makey attached to fruit and controlling a very simple piano coded in Scratch (the fruit being the piano keys), I came away from this workshop enthused to write a 10 week unit of work for my Grade 6/7’s titled

SC_Makey Makey_FC_smallScratch Coding for the Music Room: Makey Makey Edition

as it would fit perfectly with their IB PYP classroom Unit of Inquiry on inventions.

DSC_0264cropped

I started by creating some projects in Scratch myself, connecting them with the Makey Makey, setting up stations around the room for students to investigate.

 

See the slideshow below.

We also talked about virtual instruments coded for use on iPad’s and computers and discussed how MIDI instruments are played.

Check out my Scratch  Percussion with Metronome project 

 

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I created a Scratch tutorial for my students to learn to code music sounds into scratch. Then sent them off on the summative assessment task to invent their own musical instrument, by coding a virtual instrument in Scratch and then inventing their own MIDI instrument to play their virtual Scratch instrument using the Makey Makey.

The result was fantastic, my students were extremely proud of their work, so much so that they wanted to share their projects with their parents and the school community on Graduation night. Below is a slideshow of my student’s projects:

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Scratch Coding for the Music Room: Makey Makey Edition

is part of my Music Room Tech series with Bushfire Press. It includes everything you need to teach, including tutorials, scratch project files and more.

View my introduction video below.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

 

Scratch Coding for the Music Room- Makey Makey Edition