You have assigned activities to your students to work on Activity Spot. Now, is there a simple way to view student interactions and responses for an activity? Can you gather all their written answers & drawings in one place? Can you take a step forward towards a student portfolio using their work on iPads? Yes!
This is how you access reports & responses:
- Login to Frolyc.
- Click on “Manage Activities”.
- Select the activity you want to view reports on and click on “View Student Performance”.
- Step #3 will take you into the reporting view for the activity.
- For each page in an activity, you will see reports or responses. Select the activity page and click “Show Reports” to see the responses.
Here are some screenshots of the types of reports you will see.
Activities that are automatically graded: You will see percentage correct for all activities that can be auto-graded. Example below:
For open-ended answers and drawings, you will see the actual response from the student. Examples below:
In summary, Frolyc makes it incredibly simple to
- assign iPad-based activities to students
- inspire them to learn, demonstrate & create
- and view reports & student responses in real-time.
My oldest son was not an avid reader at first. We went to the library every week, and he picked halfheartedly among the shelves. I love books, so imagine my chagrin when we would get to the end of a library visit (and at least five supportive book talks from me!) and he would say, “I didn’t find any books that I liked.”
In the middle of second grade, something changed. We found the airplane and flight section of the library. My son started checking out books—books that I was pretty sure were too hard for him, but books! I wasn’t sure how everything was going to turn out until one day he said, “Do you know the three basic principles of flight?”
"No," I said. "Do you?"
"Yes," he replied, and he went on to talk about what makes powered flight possible. Something was working! Even though I hadn’t been confident that he could understand the books he had chosen, motivation and background knowledge pulled him through. And we started to see a snowball effect—his reading about flight impacted his overall reading, and he transformed from a reluctant reader into a student who is never without a book.
The power of related texts
Related texts help readers to develop vocabulary and content knowledge. When readers see the same ideas presented in different ways and across different media, they build strong connections. For young readers, the power to follow personal interests can create a lifelong love of reading.
As it turned out, my younger son followed a similar reading trajectory—he didn’t want to spend any time or effort reading the primer books. Instead, he wanted big cat books with new information and interesting details. Reading about cheetahs and their spots helped him to learn the concept of camouflage; reading about how lions live in prides helped him to understand social groups.
With Activity Spot, you can create informational text sets and send them to student iPads. Connect text, videos, and activities like drawing and graphic organizers. Students can hear text read aloud for them, which makes this a great tool for readers who long for more complex text than what they can decode on their own.
You can create text sets for students or small groups, or create a text set for a class to share. It’s amazing to hear students talk about ideas that they have seen, and the different ways that these ideas are presented.
Here are some texts sets that are already created:
Polar Bears and Black Bears
Digging Mole Crabs
Exploring Tide Pools
The Mimic Octopus
Cheetah Cubs in Zoos
What Is a Creek?
Emily Kissner discusses facets of online reading that make it vastly different from reading a book or magazine. She says “No two readers have the same path to understanding from an online post”.
So, how do we build comprehension from reading online. See presentation below!
I love to teach literacy skills with sets of related high-interest texts. In science, texts about different ecosystems give students a glimpse of different habitats and experience with new vocabulary words.
In my classroom, I keep a set of picture books for each science unit. I get them out to use for morning work, sponge activities, and reading time. (Most of the books come from library used book sales…a great source of reading material!)
Here are some of my favorite books for teaching about ecosystems:
Who Eats What? Food Chains and Food Webs: This book is a great introduction to food chains.
A Place for Butterflies: In this book, author Melissa Stewart shows problems and solutions in the butterfly’s habitats.
A River Ran Wild: Beautiful illustrations highlight this story of the Nashua River over time.
One Small Square: Backyard: Many of my students know more about coral reefs and tropical rainforests than our own neighborhood ecosystem! This book has detailed illustrations that show the wonder of the habitats that students can find in their own backyards.
Aliens from Earth: When Animals and Plants Invade Other Ecosystems: The idea of invasive plants and animals is new to many students. This book presents the concept in an interesting, easy-to-read format.
The basic concepts of ecosystems—energy flow, habitat components, decomposers, and the changes that can happen in ecosystems—underlie many science texts. It’s so important for students to encounter these concepts, again and again!
Frolyc Ecosystems Activities
These activities are ready to send to student iPads. They could be used as activities for the whole class, remediation for kids who are lacking some key prior knowledge, or as enrichment for students who finish assigned tasks. These are also perfect for tutoring sessions!
Each activity includes text, videos, and photos. Students interact with the text and then complete the accompanying activities.
What Is a Habitat? In this activity, readers learn about the four components of a habitat.
Decomposers: Delightful or Disgusting? This activity introduces readers to decomposers and their importance in ecosystems. I love the videos, especially the compost time lapse!
Raising a Stink About Stink Bugs: In this activity, students learn about the impacts of the brown marmorated stink bug, a bug that was accidentally introduced to the eastern US.
Invasive Species: This article explains the effects of invasive species on ecosystems.
-by Emily Kissner
The compare and contrast text structure can be maddening to teach. On the one hand, the structure of the compare and contrast text structure is often very obvious. The transition words “on one hand”, “also,” “both” and “on the other hand” can be very easy for readers to find. On the other hand, the text structure can be difficult for readers to understand. Text structured this way has two topics. Given that the average person can keep 7 (+/-1) ideas in working memory at one time, compare and contrast text can put a load on working memory.
Entire books in this text structure are rare. Usually, authors use this text structure for short asides within a longer work. Paragraphs of compare and contrast often show how a place has changed over time…how you can distinguish one animal from another…how one historical event was different from another…how two colleagues or enemies shared traits.
As students read compare and contrast text, I like to have them use a chart to keep track of similarities and differences. The chart helps them to look at what aspects of the text they are comparing and contrasting. Here is an example from “Vernal Pool or Puddle?”
As you can see, it’s pretty simple. But it helps to show readers what aspects they are comparing. When readers can use a chart like this to compare items in text, it’s not hard to help them use the chart as a pre-writing tool and carry the same skills over to their writing.
If you’re looking for some compare and contrast texts to use in the classroom, here are several that are ready to assign to student iPads:
Polar Bears and Black Bears: This narrated text shows how two kinds of bears are similar and different. Grade 1.
Palm Trees and Pine Trees: An easy introduction to compare and contrast text, this article compares the two kinds of trees. Grade 3.
Cooking in a Colonial Kitchen: This text shows how colonial cooking compares to cooking today. Grade 3.
Vernal Pool or Puddle?: Readers learn how to tell the difference between vernal pools and puddles in this text. Grade 5.
Happy Australia Day!: In this text, readers see how Australia Day compares to Independence Day. Grade 5/6.
Hurricanes and Nor’easters: How do these storms compare? This text shows their similarities and differences. Historical accounts and firsthand recollections enrich the text. Grade 6.
A teacher posted this question on an iPad community today:
“Does anyone know of an app that will allow students to take a photo of a worksheet (math) and then write over the photo? I am needing an app for a 2nd grade special education student. Thank you in advance for your suggestions!”
There were several responses but none of them actually solve this classroom issue quite as easily & seamlessly as Frolyc & Activity Spot.
This screenshot below is 2nd Grade student Ben’s answer to the question above. Its a picture of a Math worksheet taken on iPad, annotated with Ben’s words and sent to his teacher. All of this accomplished in a few minutes without Ben having to switch between apps.
With Activity Spot iPad app, Ben, a 2nd Grade student, can
- read or listen to the question posed by his teacher
- take a picture of his Math worksheet easily
- Mark the green circles on it
- Write his name
- and send this to his teacher by clicking “Save”.
How does this all work?
Step #1: Ben’s teacher Jessica, creates a simple activity on Frolyc in 2 minutes and assigns it to him. Click here to see the activity.
Step #2: Ben opens Activity Spot and sees the activity.
#Step 3: Ben touches the activity to open it. He clicks on the icon to take a picture of his Math worksheet.
Step #4: Ben then marks the green circles on his picture and touches “Save”.
Step #5: His teacher Jessica instantly sees the annotated picture on her reporting console on the Frolyc website.
That’s it. Frolic!
Note: This post is dedicated to J. Miller who posted the question.
The text structure of problem and solution is always interesting to teach. Because problems don’t just happen, these texts often have a paragraph or two that are in the cause and effect structure. This makes them interesting and complex to read.
When creating problem and solution graphic organizers, I always talk with students about what we should put between the problem box and the solution box. A simple arrow just doesn’t feel right—after all, there is not necessarily a cause/effect relationship between the problem and the solution. Sometimes a simple line works well; sometimes students have another suggestion.
Problem and solution texts can be tricky for readers. Authors can play around with the structure based on the topic. Authors sometimes state the solution first, and then flash back to reveal the problem. In other texts, authors spend a great deal of time developing the problem, alternating chronological and cause and effect text structures as they do so. The structure is also tricky because some texts don’t include explicit cue words like “problem” and “solution”—instead, the transitions are more subtle, like “sadly” or “fortunately”.
It’s fun to work with problem and solution texts in the classroom. By reading multiple examples, students can start to see the characteristics of the text structure. Then, problem and solution text can find its way into classroom writing.
Here are some problem and solution texts available on Activity Spot. Assign them to student iPads for an instant differentiated problem and solution text structure literacy center.
Saving Cheetahs: Grade 2. This text shows how people are working to save cheetahs in Africa.
The Flooded City: Grades 2-3. This text explains the problems of flooding in Venice and how people are working to solve the problem.
Cheetah Cubs in Zoos: Grade 3. Zoos are working to raise cheetah cubs.
The James River Ferry: Grade 3. This text shows how a ferry solves several problems at the James River in Virginia.
Black Bears and People: Grade 3. Black bears and people don’t always mix well. This text shows the problems caused by habitat loss and how people have worked to solve these problems.
Peregrine Falcon: Problems and Solutions: Grade 4. Peregrine falcons have faced many problems, but people have worked to bring these birds back.
Colonial Cooking: Problems and Solutions. Grades 4-5. Great for building background knowledge for colonial times, this text shows how colonial cooks solved everyday problems.
Measuring Intelligence: Grade 5. How do scientists measure the intelligence of ocean creatures? This text explains how scientists attempt to determine creature intelligence.
Working with the text structure of problem and solution gives students insight into how texts are built. These lessons are some of my favorites to teach!
by Emily Kissner
Texts with the structure of cause and effect can be represented in different ways. When I teach this text structure to my students, I use a variety of graphic organizers to help them visualize the ideas in the text. Sometimes, a generic graphic organizer will do:
As you can see, the big arrow in the middle shows that causes lead to effects. This kind of generic organizer can easily be made by students on their own. Different texts will have different orders of causes and effects. While most historical texts will show the causes first and then the effects, some science texts will start with an effect, and then show the causes of the effect. It’s interesting to compare these two arrangements with students to discuss the author’s choices.
With younger students, it’s often helpful to scaffold the process of learning cause and effect by using text-specific organizers. (The examples below can be found as a paid download here.) This organizer shows how several causes lead to one effect. In this case, the readers have to find the effect that is given in the text.
More sophisticated texts often show a series of causes and effects. In this case, separate boxes can help readers to see the distinct causes and effects.
One of my favorite ways to have students match causes and effects is with sorting cards. In this activity, students cut out cards with causes and effects, and then match them together. It’s always interesting to hear the discussions that develop as students engage in this activity and see them spontaneously go back to the text to find evidence to support their thinking.
Of course, this cutting and pasting can be time-consuming. Which is why it is so nice to have a way to create cause and effect graphic organizers with the iPad.
In Frolyc, you can create a cause and effect graphic organizer for students to use on the iPad. Simply choose “Cause and Effect-Visual Organizer” as the Activity Type.
Then, type in the causes and effects that you would like students to match.
Here is what the activity will look like for students once you have published the activity to the iPad and assigned it to students.
Students can drag and drop the causes to match the effects.
If you would like to try some prepared cause and effect articles for Activity Spot, use these links:
Raising a Stink About Stink Bugs
The Reason for a Rainbow
What Is a Tsunami?
What kinds of activities do you use to help students find causes and effects?
Research has shown that student engagement, comprehension and retention improves significantly when using multimedia in learning.
Multiple representations of content (text, video, audio, images, interactive elements) effectively cater to the different learning styles of students.
Common Core Standards emphasize comprehension and analysis of information using different modalities.
So, how can a classroom teacher incorporate multimedia in daily lessons?
Frolyc makes it super easy for teachers to create interactive lesson-based activities using different media - text, images, videos. Being able to create lesson-based activities easily and have students work on them in real-time, empowers teachers like never before.
Click here to view a playlist of short videos where Teacher Emily shows you how to create a lesson-based activity like below with text, images and video. You will see for yourself how easy it is to create an activity that inspires your students to learn!