During the 3rd and 4th units in Kindergarten and Grade 1 there was a real focus on teaching the kids how to be fluent in Puppet Pals so that they are able to use it to show their learning without the having to be “taught” the app while they are working. My focus was to have both the Kinder and Grade 1 students to be able to independently add backdrops and characters into puppet pals.In kindergarten students began using Puppet Pals to retell the Fairy Tales that they have studied in class.
The students were shown the basic of how to select characters and backdrops (settings). They were then shown how to move, resize and change the direction of the characters. Then they planned their retell with their partner and recorded themselves retelling the story. At this point, they were instructed to use the characters already in Puppet Pals in order to learn how to use the app. Below is a video produced from that lesson.
You will notice that they were still working on the idea of sharing the talking and knowing which curtain pull corresponded with which background. The did a great job of identifying characters from the Puppet Pal list that were close to the characters that they needed. They have begun to understand the way the characters move and can be manipulated.
During the next unit, the Kinder students move to adding their own backdrops and characters to show their understanding of how the water cycle worked. You will notice that they did a better job sharing the speaking parts. They had planned out their characters (the pictures that need to move) and their backdrops (the pictures that don’t need to move).
The modern language teachers asked me to come and show the grade 1 students Puppet Pals. The lessons were done in a similar way to what I did with the Kinder students. You can see that the first lesson was completed in a similar way to the Kinder students.
Unfortunately, the second lesson in grade 1 includes images of the students doing weather reports in French/Spanish, so I can’t include videos. What I noticed while I was teaching is the fact that at the moment all of the Kinder and grade 1 students are at the same level in their learning and understanding of how to use this app. This is something that is universal across the grades this year for the most part. Because the iPads are new the students and the teachers are all learning about how the apps work. I am very much looking forward to next year to being able to use apps without the pausing to learn how to use them.