After being introduced to SWAY in our Holly Springs Elementary STEM MIE certification course, a first grade tremendous trio, Ms. Hemphill, Ms. Hausler and Ms. Russell approached me about working with their first graders on a project. I said, “YES!!!!!!!” Remember, first graders are usually under 4 feet tall and under the age of 7! Students researched animals in Ms. Hemphill’s class and famous Americans in Ms. Hausler and Russell’s class using PebbleGo, a subscription service our district provides for pre-K to grade 3 database for reading and research. Each student had already researched their animal or person and had an outline with title and headings. (Smart teachers!!) Each teacher created a class SWAY account and added a blank Sway for each student with their name on it to make getting started a little easier. (I wanted to kiss them for that!) To add a little more fun to the project after they were completed the teachers then turned their Sways into a QR Code for parents to scan. Now, I am going to issue a warning, doing anything in the computer lab with 25 – 4 foot tall 7 year olds is not for the faint of heart BUT it is so worth it!! Unlike 5-7 years ago MOST students today do not come to school knowing how to use a mouse or keyboard. (The days of reader rabbit on the computer are gone….) They are SWIPERS Not TYPERS!!! So there is a learning curve. Things like Shift key, space bar and “Mrs. Adams, where is the dot?” are common. BUT if we don’t let them learn it with us, when will they? But, I digress!! Back to SWAY. The lab was logged in to Sway under the teacher account and set to My Sways. (yes, we logged in to the same account 25 times and nothing exploded.) We started with each student clicking on their name and adding a Heading card for their famous American. After carefully t y p i n g their title, they searched for and added a picture of their animal or famous American from Bing. Then it was a matter of adding a text card and then a heading for each of the outlined topics. The students were super engaged and while there was a lot of assistance initially, some actually figured out to go to the next step on their own. They loved choosing their images from the assortment Bing offered them. The best part was when we were wrapping up and I asked them to click REMIX. There were lots of “ooohs” and “That is so cool” They remixed over and over until they found a mix they loved and then shared.
I asked them what they liked best about Sway and here are their thoughts.
Here are a couple of samples from Our First Grade Classes. I will post more when they have completed all of their cards.
If you have not explored SWAY, now would be a good time! Appropriate for all age levels.
The resources listed below will give you a good start.