Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom-- iPad to the Rescue

Anyone involved in primary education knows Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I'm sure there is a more indepth plot than what I'm going to tell here, but essentially the lower case letters go up a coconut tree until the tree collapses. The upper-case letters come to help.  It's all written in a catchy verse.  The book has won very pretigious awards such as the Caldecott medal for its brilliant illustrations.  It's also been put to music and animated which you can find on YouTube very easily. 

model project!
Teachers love to use this book as a teaching tool, and today a first grade teacher (in fact the whole first grade team of teachers) had the kids craft coconut trees from construction paper, and then glue on letters in order to make words.
Here is an example to the right from a model student who followed directions very well!

In one first grade classroom, I work with sweet little girl with a language impairment, so I checked out her tree pictured below.
Maybe needs a little intervention?

She obviously tried very hard, but seemed to not understand that she needed to form the letters into 'words'. I think she forgot what the word 'word' meant.  (I'm also not sure she knows what a coconut tree is, but I let that one go for now).  This was all completed before I came into the room.

screenshot of the app
Anyone who knows me also knows that I like to carry an iPad around in school, and after taking a look at her project, this became an iPad teachable moment!  I have a great app---ABC - Magnetic Alphabet HD - Learn to Write!  It was really nice to immediately start it up, and have my student pull out letters onto the screen, and then make the letters to form words, all the while I was emphasizing the concepts "letter" and "word". She was so motivated by the iPad and this app, that she focused on the lesson incredibly well and loved the hands-on component with the touch screen and the dragging of the letters.  By the end of our little impromptu session, she was able to identify letters from words, and then show her teacher.     We then returned to her tree, and put a few words on it.  I was so proud of her.  (Sorry I didn't take a picture of her revised tree.)  

I'm always amazed by the impact of a language impairment on a seemingly simple craft project. 

Here is a video of students using the Magnetic Letters app at Frank Porter Graham Elementary in Chapel Hill. You can see this app has potential for many uses, and the kids love it.  It's well worth the price-- $1.99

1 comment:

  1. I loved the clip. Intentional and purposeful. The teacher demonstrated and practiced the app with names first. Thanks for the post....I am a preschool teacher. I have a Preschool PLC that meets once a month, I plan to share this!
    I also work in a district that uses ipads. I would like to invite you to Our district site:

    Thanks for the post. I have a facebook page too! Learngrowbloom! I will check back to see if you have responded. I would like to network with you---I am from Kansas!