Shape Hunts with Pic Collage

Last year I used Padlet as a collaborative tool for shape hunts around school. It was really effective to use a collaborative tool and create a shared document that displayed all of the 3D Shapes we found around school. You can read about that here.

This year Padlet released a free app for iPad making this resource much more stable on iOS, but it requires the latest iOS and we are using iPad 2 which I don’t want to update to iOS 9. So I had to rethink how I can make use of technology to enhance the traditional shape hunt.

“This adult led activity happens in so many foundation classes, and I have led shape walks many times. During these walks, we carry a bag of plastic shapes and we match the plastic pieces to real objects. This happens for 2D and 3D shapes. The children might even mark off on a clipboard the shapes they spotted, like bingo, or draw pictures of the shapes they have seen. By the end of the walk, they have all recorded the same shapes in the same places. I wanted to enhance this experience, to make it more personalised”

So this year we used the free app PicCollage. It makes use of children’s photography skills which they are all secure with when using iPad but creates a very simple and effective poster showing the shapes they noticed around school. They also like it because they get to take a selfie instead of writing their name!

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Teaching Skills.

Before heading off on the shape hunt I gave each child their iPad and a blank Pic Collage board. Together we walked through the steps to add a photograph and the first photograph we added was the selfie!

-Tap anywhere on the screen

-Tap the green gallery icon

-Tap the camera icon

-Tap ‘Use Photo’

Then the photo appears on your Pic Collage board, can be resized using pinch/zoom gestures and moved anywhere on the board.

Observations and Outcomes.

All the children were independent in both their use of the iPad and also their shape hunting. They were digitally documenting their shape hunt, linking the real world to their recording in this visual way. By photographing the real object and shape they found, rather than drawing it or ticking it off, they are able to talk about it back in the classroom. It really shows what they know! They are also creating their own Pic Collage, every piece of work is personal to them rather than a generic template for all children in the group.

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