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.

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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

10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom

Introducing one-to-one iPad’s into classrooms has become one of the hottest topics of conversation. I thought I would share with you the benefits I see of this new form of technology in schools. The 10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom is written through the lens of the Learner Profiles from International Baccalaureate (IB), in the context of the Primary Years Program (PYP).

In my teaching and research I see iPad’s developing students to be…

inquirer

Iquirers

  • They are able to ask and present questions verbally and in written form (Siri, search engines, word processing, voice recording apps eg notability)
  • with one-to-one devices students are able to be independent in their learning, not only working in working by themselves instead of sharing devices/computers, but teachers are able to tailor the use of apps and activities to cater for individual needs. This provides excellent opportunity for differentiation in learning. For example iPad’s give students the opportunity to watch a video, listen to text or read text and then respond through a video diary (iMovie), voice recording (Garage Band), word processing (Pages) or even just presenting dot points or observation/key words (Visual Poetry).
  • students are quicker to engage with technology and don’t give up as easily on tasks set using iPad’s

thinkerThinkers

  • They use what they know to research, create, write & publish
  • They use their prior knowledge to link with new; technology, information, and understanding how to use universal & content specific apps
  • they make decisions on content they view and create

communicator

Communicators

  • follow directions eg. how to use an app
  • express ideas in more than one mode; visual (art, photo, video) , aural (video, voice recording), written (word processing, note taking, visual poetry)
  • work together with others eg one group creating sound in Garage Band while another group works in iMovie and then merging the 2 projects for final presentation

knowledgeableKnowledgeable

  • explore; locally using note taking apps, videoing or voice recording interviews, viewing local websites or globally using the internet or You Tube
  • use a range of disciplines to get an in-depth understanding (viewing, reading, listening, interviewing)

risktaker

Risk takers

  • iPad’s enable students to make mistakes, there is always the ‘back’ or ‘undo’ function
  • they encourage students to explore and do or present things in new ways (written, video, image, oral)

principled

Principled

  • the opportunity to learn how to act with integrity and honesty in their use of iPad’s (publishing content, social media, taking photo’s and video)
  • the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and use of the device, accepting any consequences that come along with misuse

caring

Caring

  • the opportunity to show responsibility for an expensive piece of equipment
  • the opportunity to act thoughtfully using blogs and social media in critiquing peers work (Edmodo, Social media, Instagram)

openminded

Open minded

  • listening to, viewing and commenting on other’s work (Edmodo, Web browsers, Youtube, blogs)
  • accepting that you can present information in a variety of ways (written, oral, visual)
  • acknowledging that you can look at things and interpret different meanings or points of view (eg Youtube, music)

balanced

Balanced

  • understanding that not all your time and all your learning should be spent on the iPad
  • being organised and using time wisely (organisation apps eg calendars, time logs, timers)

reflectiveReflective

  • about their learning (blogs, video diaries, written diaries, Edmodo, social media)
  • thinking about how things could have been done better eg. could we use a different app

Using iPad’s in my classroom has enriched and diversified my teaching program. I believe they are definitely a fantastic tool if used to their full potential in catering for students needs.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Combining Garage Band & iMovie in the Music Classroom

midi keyboard setupOn a student free day last year my son inspired me to combine Garage Band and iMovie as a fun way to fill a rainy day spent inside.

It started off as any normal day teaching Oscar his piano lesson until he decided he wanted to record the song he was practicing ‘Icecream’ in Music for Little Mozarts Book 2 (we have a KeyControl 49 XT MIDI controller keyboard attached to my iPad though a camera connection kit and played through the Apple App Garage Band) .

So we had a few practices and then hit record, thankfully for a 6 year old he has a pretty good understanding and grasp of beat because it took only 2 to trys and we had a recording of him playing the melody we were happy with.

I then taught him how to add himself singing the song with the audio recorder and then showed him how to add loops in.  I can not claim to have helped him choose because as any mother of a 6 year old will tell you, you are not allowed to offer suggestions… “MUUUUMMMM I can do it myself!”

This is the result of what he composed: oscar garage band song

  • Classical Grand Oscar played & recorded himself on the keyboard
  • Kit & Elec Guitar are loops he chose fom Garage band library
  • The Audio Recorder is him singing

Now he was quite chuffed with his result but oh no it wasn’t finished there… now we had to do the music video so I sent him to to organise his props & dressups and to practice performing, by now his little sister, Natalia, had joined in the fun and Oscar decided she was to be his backup singer.

I filmed them performing and then Oscar helped me design his music video using iMovie and this is the result

*The Icecream Rap by Oscar

(*he wanted to call his arrangement “The Icecream Rap”. The original is ‘Icecream’ from Music for Little Mozarts by Barden, Kowalchyk & Lancaster (c) MCMXCIX Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.).

I have just started a project similar to this in my music classroom this week and it is working really well.  I won’t show you the outcome as I don’t want to post images of my students online and you get the idea from what Oscar & I did. The project is based on Bushfire Press’s Music Room: a developmental classroom music program, Book 6 Module 3 Pacific Harmonies Lesson 4.

I have split my Year 6/7 class (of 18) into 2 groups, one is creating video & still shots for the opening credits of a Hawaiian movie using iMovie, the 2nd group will record the background music in Garage Band. They will be using a backing track supplied by Bushfire Press and then adding their own recordings; a glockenspiel harmony, bongo beat and instrumental/non-instrumental sound effects and maybe some loops already available in Garage Band.

This is part of their IB PYP Unit of Inquiry into performance and will be shown at their end of year concert. What is fantastic about this is that all students are actively engaged in a project and those that are not all that enthusiastic about music are enjoying being part of the project in another way.

I hope this inspires you to not only use Garage Band in your music classroom but combine it with iMovie to broaden the classroom experience.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Displaying iPads in the Classroom

Reflector_iPadInsightI have found a great software package  called Reflector which you can download onto your computer to allow students to mirror their iPad’s onto your screen.

The free trial allows you to use it for 10 minutes  and the full version costs  $12.99.

Your computer will need to have a wifi connection.

For me this is fantastic because I do not have Apple TV in my classroom but I do have my laptop, Data Projector and wifi.

I love using this because it not only allows me to display my students work for the whole class to see, it also allows me to take screen shots of their work and save to my computer straight away instead of trying to get my students to email it to me.

I have created an instruction pdf for you to download. Download here Reflector display Instructions.pdf

I would love to hear your thoughts on how you have used this or similar software in your classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl