I just finished the tutorials for the app Stick Around and after learning how to use it, I added it to my list of favourite apps for the iPad. This $2.99 app allows students or teachers to make interactive diagrams / pages in which students sort words or label diagrams with draggable stickers. These stickers and diagrams are custom made so teacher or students can tailor their creations to any lesson being taught in class. While I was learning how to use the app, I thought that this is very much like a smart board activity, except instead of one or two kids doing the work in front of the class, all students can participate at the same time.
So how does this work, and what can you do with it? In a nutshell, you make a background (the fence, the flower, the lines and the written instructions), and then you make the stickers (the labels and photos of plant parts). The next step is to create the answer key by placing the stickers in the correct location on the diagram and outlining the location (this outline designates the correct answer for that label). Press play and drag the stickers from the right hand tray to the correct location on the diagram. Once all stickers are in place, press ‘Check’ in the upper right hand corner and see if your answers are correct. To see the app in action and watch the video tutorials, you can go to the developer’s website.
I followed the video tutorials for the flower diagram and it took me about 30 minutes to complete. This could be the best 30 minutes a teacher spends as this app lends itself to virtually any situation and is easily integrated into any curricular area. Ideas for using this include:
- labelling diagrams (e.g. water cycle, plant parts, provinces)
- ordering numbers (e.g. fractions, decimals)
- sorting words (e.g. parts of speech, syllable count, powerful vs. weak)
- sorting objects (e.g. rocks by type, activities by aerobic / anaerobic, solid/liquid/gas, living or nonliving)
- sequence events (e.g. War of 1812, Confederation, bill to law, life cycle)
- venn diagrams (e.g. whales and fish, Canada and China, quadrilaterals and triangles)
- ordering smallest to largest (e.g. animal speeds, population of countries)
- matching (words to definitions, shapes to lines of symmetry)
Ideally, we would want our students creating these puzzles as it would require more thought than simply recalling of facts / ideas. Having the students make the puzzles forces them to think more critically about the information and shows a higher level of understanding of the information (synthesis vs. recall of info) if they make the puzzle rather than just complete it. Of course, when they finish creating the puzzle, they would share it with others in the class.