Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Using Digital Storytelling Apps to Enhance Readers Theater

This session will spotlight the use of digital storytelling apps, such as Toontastic and Puppet Pals, for a modified version of Readers Theater.  Specifically, the session will focus on Readers Theater and reading instruction, it will demonstrate how teachers can connect this type of instruction to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, it will supply the teachers with online resources for Readers Theater scripts, and it will also exemplify how to use digital storytelling apps for Readers Theater in their classrooms.

How can I find quality apps? (Where do I begin?) -
Apps evaluated by Educators –

Student Toontastic Examples
Teachers can use premade scripts or have students write sripts based off of stories/novels read in class.  The examples below showcase both.

Students were Supplied Scripts to Use

Resthaven Script:

Narrations Written by Students Based Off of Stories Read

 Once Upon a Folktale

Readers Theatre Scripts
Reading A-Z Leveled Reader’s Theater Scripts

Reader’s Theater Editions

Readers Theater
Digital Storytelling Apps for iOS and Android
Toontastic - free
Toontastic Jr. Pirates - free
TeleStory - free
Comic Life - $4.99
Puppet Pals - free
Tellegami - free
Animoto - free
Chatterpix - free
Voicethread - free

Comic Strip It! (lite) - free
Clayframes Lite (stop motion) - free
Book Creator - $2.49
Explain Everything - $2.99
Tellagami - free
Animoto - free
Note - sign up for a Animoto teacher account
     Animoto - create account
     Apply for Animoto Educators Account
     How to Use Animoto for Educators - 4 min. YouTube

Podcast (Spreaker) Student Project 

Podcast Apps for Android and iOS

Droid - Gooogle Play Store
Spreaker Studio (run live or record and upload to
Podcasts upload to  Terms of service: for users to be 13 or older.

iOS - iTunes
Spreaker Studio

Audacity - upload to free hosting site
podomatic - free

6th Grade CCGPS Standards and possible objectives.
Many of the 7th and 8th grade CCGPS standards also apply.

ELACC6RL2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

Objective: Students will create a script that summarizes the story, and focuses on character actions.

ELACC6RL3: Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves towards a resolution.

Objectives: Students will create a digital story showcasing multiple scenes from the text following the plot structure of the story.

ELACC6RL5: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

Objective: Students will select and analyze various details from the assigned story and will decide which scenes to portray in their scripts and digitized story.

ELACC6W3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
c. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.

Objective: Students will learn how to create a script depicting major scenes from their story by filling out a graphic organizer and using the information gathered to write their scripts.

Objective: Students will incorporate transitional words in their scripts.

ELACC6SL1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

Objective: Students will collaborate and come to a consensus when selecting scenes to portray, deciding how to write the scripts, and deciding what settings and music to use in their digital play.

ELACC6SL5: Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

Objective: Students will use Toontastic to depict their scripts. They will include appropriate digital graphics and music to enhance their script/play.

ELACC6SL6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Objective: Students will read and audio record their assigned lines fluently and with expression.

ELACC6L3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.
b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.

Objectives: Students will use appropriate punctuation in their scripts. Students will write and read sentences appropriate for the characters portrayed (showing personality traits) and the audience (those that will view the digital play).

Monday, March 9, 2015

Apps to support Pre-K through Kindergarten

Screentime for toddlers - 2016

How Toddlers Thrive - Good Morning America - 2015

Fred Rogers Institute Article

How do you find quality apps?

Apps - Blooms Taxonomy
Interactive Ladder to assign apps to Bloom's Taxonomy:
Kathy Schrock Bloomin Apps (Where do I begin?) -

Search for App by Content Area, Grade Level
Apps evaluated by Educators –
Common Sense Media -
Children's Technology Review -
Education Apps Store -

Pinterest - search for Reading Apps, Reading Apps Lesson Plans

20 iPad Apps to Teach Reading
15 Apps to Improve Reading Comprehension
50 Popular Apps for Struggling Readers

Reading Comprehension Strategies Chart

Ideas for Integrating into Classroom
Whole group instruction - connect mobile device to projector, students take turns reading and discuss scene
Pairs - students read story together, take turns reading narration and dialogue
Reenact story
Ideas for integrating app on - (check under How Can Teachers Use it)

Learn with Homer App

Bluster! (builds vocab skills)
Students select activities based on grade level
Pair students - play in Versus mode to see who can make the most matches first.