In math we have been working on understanding addition concepts. In reading we read the story The Hat. In this story Pam’s hat blows away and her friend Dan retrieves it for her. This week we cover the short a vowel sound, so in addition to the word “hat” students also had the word “cap” on their spelling list.
I love reading to my students at the end of the day, and I like to find stories that relate to our reading story for the week. I shared the book Caps For Sale with my students, which also served as the inspiration for our cross curricular project for the week.
The Technology Tool
For this lesson I wanted to use a kid-friendly paint and drawing program. I was looking for something that allowed you to use your own photographs for the background. I was also looking for something that had hat and cap stamps. I thought about using Kid Pix, because we have this program installed on our school computers; however, I thought it would be nice to use a program that was free and accessible to everyone. For this reason I choose Tux Paint. You can download this program here.
Behind the Scenes
For this project I took photos of my students standing side by side with a buddy against a white wall using my iPhone. I then uploaded these to my Dropbox account using the app. From there I had to convert the images from JPG format to PNG format. (You have to have the pictures in PNG to use the in Tux Paint). From there I had to save them into the directory for Tux Paint in the “Saved” folder. You can change where your Tux Paint files are saved by going to Tux Paint setup. (Progams>Tux Paint> Configure Tux Paint> Saving > Click “Use Alternative Save Directory” then browse for the folder you want to save your work in). This process is a bit inconvenient, but if you run Tux Paint in Linux rather then Windows, I believe the importing pictures is much easier. (The makers of Linux created Tux Paint as well. My students love the silly Linux Penguin!)
We used our Epson Brightlink interactive projector for this project. We focused on doubles facts (ie: 2+2=4) and doubles plus 1 facts (ie: 2+3=5). I wrote a number on the abdomen of each student in their picture. Then I called each student up to the board and they stamped the correct number of hats or caps on their head. Then we completed the number sentence. Below is an example. Out of respect for my students privacy I used a photo of my stuffed animals instead.
The Final Product
I took the final photos into a digital scrapbooking program called Smilebox. I compiled our pictures in a slideshow, and I embedded the presentation on our class Kidblog and on our Edmodo page. At Open House students were able to share the presentation with their families. They were well received, and the students felt proud to share their with an authentic audience.
What ways can you use art to help your students develop an understanding for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division concepts?
Up next: Using QR codes