Thursday, June 18, 2015

Using Selfies in the Classroom

Hi,  Anita here from I Live to Learn I Love to Grow. I'm enjoying my first few weeks of summer vacation and hope you are enjoying your vacation too. If you aren't already on summer vacation hang in there it's coming.


Why do we love selfies so much?  

1- They are pictures of ourselves and we love to see ourselves in pictures. Be Honest. I know there are times you wish you weren't in a photo if it is a bad one, but the "JOY" of selfies is you can delete the bad ones and take another.  

2- It's a great memory. You're making a memory of a memory just by taking the photo. I remember trying to get our whole family in a photo at a restaurant and we were having lots of trouble and then the waitress stopped and asked us if we wanted her to take a photo of us. We agreed to let her take one and after it was over my son said, "That wasn't as fun as the photo we were trying to do." It's fun trying to squeeze everyone in and then squeeze and take that "PERFECT" photo.

3- It's just plain fun. Acting silly with friends, family, or by yourself is just what makes taking selfies so entertaining.  It could be a photo of going to a movie. an ice cream run, shopping, Mother's Day, or enjoying the different seasons of the year. No matter what it is selfies will always be lots of fun.


So why not use selfies in the classroom? The camera is free and comes with every iPad.



There are many ways you could use selfies in your classroom.



1. Take a selfie of you with your class. I started taking more selfies with my students towards the end of the school year to post to our class twitter account. You can never get all students in the photo (unless your class is super small) but students love to try to squeeze in.

2. iPad Screen Saver We are lucky enough to have 1:1 iPads so the students take a selfie to use as their screen saver. We have a little mini lesson on the camera the first time we get our iPads out to use them for the year and then I let them take a few selfies. They get to choose their favorite and delete the others. This makes it easy for me to identify the iPads right away when I look at them.


3. Selfies with different facial expressions. Use the selfies for helping to develop character traits when writing. Make a book about different feelings and use it to help students learn to get along with one another.


4. Label a selfie with parts of speech. Think about your face it has lots of features. You could label all the nouns on your face. Then label it again with the action that each part of your face does. This would be labeling verbs. For older students have them turn the simple labels into sentences and require them to have certain parts of speech in the sentence like past, present, and future tense verbs. Educreations is a free app that you could use to make this selfie with labels


5. Acrostic Poem Take a selfie then write a poem using your name. You could use many different apps for this but these students used the free app Canva. I made one class account and signed all my students into it on their iPads. I didn't help them to much with this app. They learned most about it on their own. Don't be afraid to let your students learn by trial and error. Have a class expert that has figured it out and have them help other students.



6. A Selfie Comic In December Elf always visits our classroom. This year we had 2 elves. The students were surprised one morning when they came to school and the elves had taken selfies on their iPads. Each iPad had a different selfie. There was also a day when they were allowed to take their own selfies with the elves. They could chose to make a comic with the photos. We like to use the Halftone 2 app for our comics.  It is a paid app but it does go free periodically. You can read more about some comics apps here on a blog post I did about popsicle comics. You could have students take selfies with a class mascot, stuffed animal or figurine and make comics on different skills you are working on in the classroom.



5. Selfies with any object. Take a selfie with any object and write about it.  You can write, type, blog or record all about your favorite valentine, book, stuffed animal, writing utensil, product, candy, toy, etc. The list could go on and on.



6. Selfies holding up things to represent numbers. Make a collage with the selfie photos and add some math facts to it.  Use 2 friends to represent tens and ones.  Four friends for ones, tens, hundreds thousands, etc.  Make a math comic or use educreations to write on your number photos. Fraction selfies with a person up and person down. I'm sure you get the idea and now your creative juices are flowing.




7. Make a Selfies Digital Book My second graders made selfies books with one selfie and one sentence about it on each page. We used my Selfies Snaps digital writing unit to do this. (read all about it below)  We were focusing on complete sentences and simple writing at the beginning of the school year. A fifth grade teacher friend used the unit to have her students turn their sentences into a paragraph. She explained how this worked well at the beginning of the year because many of her students had forgotten how to write a good paragraph. See one of the student's sample video above. Using these lessons was as a great way to teach my students about the app Book Creator. If you don't have the app you will want to get the free one to try it out.


I hope you have lots of new ideas about how to use selfies in the classroom. Would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.


Selfies Snaps is a mini unit of digital writing. It includes step by step lessons to make a digital book using the free app Book Creator. Students then publish their book to the free iBooks app and share it with the class.


Students take selfies with suggestions given to them on one of the photo grids. Grids include ideas for the classroom, playground, and around the school. Then they write sentences, make a digital book, grade their book, and share it. Step by step videos help students follow along with their iPads to make their digital book.


The unit includes half page cards that can be used as a Writing Station or Center for many weeks after doing it as a class. Students can chose from 8 different grids to make 100's of different books.



Here is everything included in Sefie Snaps my first iPad Mini Unit.



You may also like my newest clip art set iPad Selfies Photo Booth.





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