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

The YouTube Classroom: using videos to grab attention

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Our children are now growing up wired for visual and sound with all the technology that is available to them.

We as teachers are need to learn how to embrace this shift in our classrooms as well.

TV adverts are full of quick visual stimuli and attention grabbing music and this is what our children are being taught as the medium to grab people’s attention.

My son spends as much time searching YouTube for his favourite music or TV program as he does playing games.

Have you thought of  utilising this in your classroom?

Video as Attention Grabbers

Put a YouTube clip or TV Advert at the beginning as a lesson starter to grab their attention. 

We’ve all gone to conferences where presenters do this – and the attention grabber helps us to connect that visual stimuli to the learning we did that day.

Here’s one played at a recent PD day I went to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIeZg0-Tc9M 

Play one in the middle to give them a break from work or re-grab their attention – just like a TV advert.

I love showing snippets of music concerts or music videos that relate to our Unit of Inquiry, the students seem to respond to this better than just listening to a music track.

Do you have the issue where the internet isn’t reliable or, like I do, you have been moved to a room without internet access?

The simple fix to this is download a YouTube ripper. These programs can, in some instances, not only download from YouTube but from any website that has a video embedded in it. This will mean you can play the video without having to connect to the internet.

The 3 FREE programs I use are:

YTD-Downloader

YTD (both PC & MAC): http://www.youtubedownloadersite.com

VDownloader

VDownloader (iPad): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/v-downloader/id590259505?mt=8

videoder

Videoder (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rahul.videoder

Without fail I always get asked to play the video again – and this is where I use it as a reward for the students to complete their work for me in the allotted time.

I don’t believe in using video or technology ONLY as a reward. There will, at most times, be a student in the class who can’t help but muck around and then we are punishing the good students for one student’s poor behaviour.

Therefore, play it once, wet their appetite for more, and use video as a motivator to start and finish work.

Some teachers in the high school classroom play video clips at the start of the lesson as not only an introduction for their topic but to motivate students to get to their lesson on time so as not to miss out on the video.

Some use YouTube tutorials to not only give the teacher a break in teaching but the students some variety in delivery – and why reinvent the wheel! And lets admit it, we can’t be the expert at everything so why not bring the expert into the classroom via YouTube. Also set a YouTube tutorial as homework – using the ‘Flipped Classroom’ method of delivery.

These are all great and efficient use of video in the classroom.

I hope this inspires you to utilise video in your own teaching.

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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