Recently Brianna, an elemetary teacher I was working with in Orange County with Teacher Created Materials contacted me with this quesiton:
"I teach first grade and we've already done much of modules on Code.org and Scratch. Without spending much money, what are some other ideas I can have my students participate in?"
I reached out to some of my Ed Tech friends in the community and got some great ideas back and thought I would share them not just with teacher which asked but here as well.
* Try to NOT be "techie" at all and have them try out the CardBoard Challenge. Check out the hashtag #cardboardchallenge and see what kids can create using design thinking.
* Look into giving them choice in their exploration by trying Genius Hour. Here are few places to start
* Try doing class "Google Expeditions"
- These were originally designed to use phones and VR headsets like Google Cardboard but now they can be used with iPads as well. Get the free app on the iTunes store and then you can guide them through noteworthy sites of both historic and scientific importance. As the teacher you "guide" them and the app gives you prompts and I've seen it used with lower grades with teachers creating a "I WONDER vs I NOTICE" chart. Here's more about it Google Expeditions from Richard Byrne. Below you can see some photos I took of one of these Expeditions at West Lake Charter in Natomas CA.
* Try Adobe Spark using iPads. It is my favorite tool for having elementary students (and for that matter any age) make simple yet beautiful looking videos and posts. For awhile it was a challenge since Adobe only woud not allows students under 13 to log in using their own GAFE accounts but they have dropped that restriction on iOS devices. They said they are "working on doing the same" for the web based platform as well, which would allow for classrooms with Chromebooks to have kids create their own. Here is a link to the web based version and here is the one on the iOS app store.
* Using Google Drawing, have them create Silhouettes of themselves with descriptive adjectives. This lesson idea was from Nicole Delasio and you can find the lesson idea here. You can see an example below I did of myself. This was both fun and great way to learn some skills too.