Learning Apps

Storybird in the Math Classroom

Students transform equations into real-life word problems with Storybird.

Storybird is an amazing, free, online software that allows students to create their own stories using real artist's works and collaborate and share among their class. In math, it is always essential to get students to appreciate the real world contexts in which their work is derived. Storybird allows students to incorporate literacy and their own interests into the math that we are working on. It also allows for feedback from the teacher to make sure that the math value that students are getting out of their stories is pure and real. Students must work within a rubric to develop a starting number sentence or operation into a real context. The deep discussions around verbs and operations that occurs is invaluable for a synthesis of the math concepts. Oh, and it is reallly fun to read each others!


Strategy Resources (3)
Students In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
There were many different ways to implement the Storybird activity. Sometimes we did it as an optional project students could pick from. Other times it was a collaborative activity in class. Once students got the hang of it, we could do a Storybird Synergy challenge like this in 20 minutes, and differentiate it by ability for more investment and reward.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This screencast gives a brief overview of StoryBird and its uses in my classroom.
Students In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
There were many different ways to implement the Storybird activity. Sometimes we did it as an optional project students could pick from. Other times it was a collaborative activity in class. Once students got the hang of it, we could do a Storybird Synergy challenge like this in 20 minutes, and differentiate it by ability for more investment and reward.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This screencast gives a brief overview of StoryBird and its uses in my classroom.
Daniel Utset-Guerrero
Holmes Elementary School
Miami, FL


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Fifth grade
Similar Strategies
Routines and Procedures
Carpet Transitions
Students transform equations into real-life word problems with Storybird.

Carpet Transitions is a process where students walk from their desks to the carpet (or another location) for the next activity. Expectations and directions are explicitly laid out, and we evaluate how our transitions go. As we perform these transitions more and more, we emphasize our efficiency and use of our time. Through this process, we make the most of our learning time and ensure students transition safely.

 
Instructional Openings
Bull Boards
Students transform equations into real-life word problems with Storybird.

Bull Boards is an instructional strategy to practice a computational or fluency skill throughout the week. The skill should be scaffolded, with simple questions building towards more rigor. I found that a main objective of this should not be to get bogged down with long problems (i.e. long division) but rather to check a thought process. For example, asking what a decimal is when rounded to the tenths, or which place value would be a hundred times bigger. The same skills cycle back throughout the year as a way to keep content fresh and allow us to connect currculum quicker.

 
Academic Culture
Class Dojo for Behavior Management
Students transform equations into real-life word problems with Storybird.

ClassDojo is a free behavior tracking system. I use it everyday to give students feedback on how they're meeting academic and behavioral expectations. As students are given postiive points or "needs work" points, a sound beeps and the entire class hears and sees that a student is being given feedback. Just as with behavior narration, students become more aware about their personal behaviors, following the expectations as they see them reiterated through behavior points. Their scores carry through with them to each class, culminating in a report at the end of the day that goes home to the students' parents. This allows parents to stay in the loop with how students are working and behaving at school. 

 
 
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