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Continuing to Learn with the iPad- Storytelling in Hebrew

5th Grade- Storykit- Creating a story in Hebrew

One of the Hebrew teachers, Morah Liat, approached me with an interest in having her students create a story book in the target language on the iPads.

We chose to test the free app Storykit with this project.

Students read a poem by Leah Goldberg called: (That’s Not Me). Based on the poem, students wrote their own story and created a storyboard how they could illustrate their story.

We had the Hebrew letters added to the iPad keyboard by going into: Settings> General>  Keyboard> International Keyboards>Add New Keyboard> Choose Hebrew

Once the International keyboard is added, a globe appears on your keyboard. Tap the button to cycle through all the different keyboards you have installed.

Once the storyboards were finished, students were ready to work with the iPads. The app allowed users to create their own illustrations, import images from elsewhere or take photos with the built in iPad2 camera and insert them into their story. Students could also add audio recordings to their story.

I showed students how to go to Microsoft Office ClipArt, search for images and download or take a screenshot and edit the image.

Students also used each other to stage scenes from their story to take a photo.

Problems we found along the way:

  • students could not re-order the pages of their story in order to imitate leafing/swiping through a book from “right to left” (opposite from the way we turn pages in books in English).
  • students were not able to place punctuation at the end of a sentence, since the Hebrew keyboard in Storykit (maybe because it is an iPhone, not an iPad app) does not include a period.

Once the stories were completed, students

  • shared (tap share button) their story
  • emailed themselves the story link
  • went to their emails to click on the generated URL
  • took a screenshot of their story pages
  • wrote a blog post about their experience
  • inserted the story pages into their blog post

I will probably not use the Storykit again, since I want to be able to easily embed the stories on the student blogfolios, as well as export them into our school iBook library.

Take a look at some student samples.

Sarah’s Story

A blog post from Sarah, one of our 5th grade students:

Today in Hebrew class we made a story on an app called StoryKit. We made this on the IPads. My story is called , or in English the name is: It’s Not Me. Our Fifth Grade Hebrew teacher, Morah Liat read us a story about a boy who is acting bad, but is usually a good child. Everyone had to make a story based on that one. Typing in Hebrew on the IPads is very tricky. In English the words go left to right, but in Hebrew the words go right to left. That makes deleting letters difficult. I  spent a lot of time on this Story.

Sydney’s Story

Rachel’s Story


Working on iPad Fluency in First and Second Grade

We want our students to :

  • use apps on the iPad to create, not just consume
  • fluently pick apps that will serve a purpose
  • fluently switch between apps, then insert, embed, share and disseminate their creations

We have to expose students to a variety of apps to help them gain skills in iPad Fluency

By fluency I mean the ability to:

  • connect tasks effortless together (ex.creating and editing a video, then uploading, embedding and disseminating on several platforms)
  • CREATE and then being able to COMMUNICATE- the ability to create and communicate your creation is one of the main characteristics of fluency
  • record, edit and then publish a movie that automatically posts to my blog
  • take an image…edit…then automatically post to my photo stream as well as embed into a blog post
  • work within several apps, then remix content from each one by being able to import them from one app to another.

In the first few weeks after the iPad deployment, we are concentrating on allowing students to test and explore a variety of apps, as well as work on that fluency piece.

Here are a few examples of our lower elementary school students.

In first grade, students practiced their Hebrew letters in Doodle Buddy.

They then drew illustrations and learned about emailing the finished image to the teacher.

In second grade, we are helping students create an image, then saving it into the Photo Gallery (by an in-app function, via the built-in camera or taking a screenshot) and then edit and email that image to their teacher.

Second graders were learning to introduce themselves in Hebrew. We decided to create an eBook with each student contributing their own page.

The image can be created in a drawing app, such as Doodle Buddy, or being taken with the iPad’s built in camera, then imported into Doodle Buddy to write or type over it.

By adding an International keyboard to the iPad, we were able to easily switch between the English and Hebrew letters.

Here were the instructions for our students, which we modeled by mirroring the iPad display via projector:

  1. Take an image with the built-in camera
  2. Go to Photo Gallery and edit if needed
  3. Go to Doodle Buddy app by finding the app icon or by searching for app by name
  4. Import image from Photo Gallery as background
  5. Choose a marker, color, thickness and write your name in Hebrew on the image
  6. E-mail the image to your teacher

We are realizing that after a few run throughs of creating- saving- sending, our students are picking the sequence up easily.  (The hardest part for these early elementary school students is to spell my name in the email correctly :)

We are also making it a point to have students explore the apps we have loaded on our iPads. As we are discussing, at the beginning of class, WHAT we want to CREATE, we are asking for input from the students:

  1. What app would be best suited (any alternatives)?
  2. The sequence from creating to saving and then the best way to share it with others (email, publish, classroom blog, etc.)

It is crystallizing itself clearly, that the iPad lessons are building on each other. The best success, I have been able to observe, is when students had explored an app in one class, worked with the app to create, in another class and finally pulled the sequence together for a larger project by remixing, sharing and collaborating.


Kitah Gimmel Skyped with Memphis, TN to celebrate Tu B’Shevat

Our third graders connected with Margolin Hebrew Academy from Memphis, Tennessee. We had the pleasure to hear them present to us several songs and a play about the holiday Tu B'Shevat- The Jewish "New Year for Trees".

Both classes learn Hebrew with a curriculum program called "TaL AM". Each unit ends with a celebration of what was learned. It was a wonderful connection for our students to see and hear the other class sing and perform the same songs, read the same books and use the same vocabulary as they do.

Students were shy at first, but it did not take them long to chime in and sing the songs with the kids on the other side of the screen.

The possibilities are endless to connect language learners (especially for less commonly taught languages) , allow collaboration among teachers who teach the same curriculum and give students the opportunity to experience that the language they are learning is NOT only taught and spoken within their classroom or school walls.


Celebrating Language, Culture & History via Skype

Students from MJGDS and Amirim School from Binyamina, Israel celebrate Jerusalem Day together: Language, Culture & History.

Yom Yerushalaim- Jerusalem Day from MJGDS on Vimeo.