documenting the components of soil

Posted on: April 19th, 2014 by jnovakowski

I made my monthly visit to McNeely last Monday to work the grades 2/3 teachers on their collaborative inquiry in using iPad technology to enhance students’ learning in science.

As part of the classes’ study of air, water and soil, I led a discussion with the students about the four main components of soil – air, water, organic matter and inorganic matter. The students were able to give example of what they might find in the soil outside that is organic and inorganic. Then, we went outside and collected a soil sample from the school’s garden plot. The students had great fun digging in the soil, trying to find some interesting specimens to add to their sample.

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Upon return to the classrooms, the students looked closely at their soil samples, using magnifying glasses and loupes and using the zoom feature of the iPad camera.

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The students took some really interesting photographs with the iPads.

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The students used the app PicCollage to document their observations, including examples of both organic and inorganic matter.



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Pairs of students that were finished their PicCollage page then used the ShowMe app to explain the difference between organic and inorganic matter.




We are hoping to add a new app or two to the schools’ iPads in May so that we can add one more app to the students’ repertoire of apps they can use to document their learning.


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