A place for elementary tech teachers to share.
This year I'm looking forward to trying out a project called Monster Exchange with my 3rd graders. This is a computer project that focuses on descriptive writing, reading comprehension, and computers as a means of communication and publication.
Students create their own monster picture and then write a description of it. Later, another student from another class must interpret their directions and recreate the monster without seeing the original. A full description of the original project is here: http://www.monsterexchange.org/
The original program functions in much the same way as virtual pen pals. Student drawings and descriptions are uploaded and published along with the attempted recreation from another student. The only downside to the program that I've heard is rumors of teachers who fail to commit on one end or the other, leaving students waiting eternally for the other class's output.
For the sake of controlling the flow of time and commitment, I've opted to try this locally. Students will work on monsters with students from other classes, but all will be my students.
I'm very curious if other teachers are doing this or have interest in it and would be happy to discuss it more. I'm also hoping to find someone who'd be willing to help me brainstorm kid-friendly software to use for the various stages of the project. Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like to discuss Monster Exchange further!
For fun, a sample monster from today's class is attached.
I think this is a wonderful idea! If you are looking for a web-based online drawing program Kerpoof is great. We use KidPix also. Keep us posted on your progress.
Thanks Stephanie! The picture above was actually done with KidPix. It's great for that grade too. The tricky bit is the tech side - exporting the pictures out of KidPix in such a way that they can see it while they type the description. If it was just me doing it, I'd export it as a JPEG and open the image in Preview then create some sort of text editor to compose the text. Then I'd tile those two windows so that I can see both the image and words. However, that is a LOT of steps. Tomorrow is an early release day and I'm hoping to use the time to fine tune this step!