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

The neighborhood where my students come from can be full of negativity. My students need to learn how to support each other and accept the mistakes that come with the natural process of learning. Synergy is a strategy that is a core element of my blended model; it defines and reinforces the behaviors that successful teams use to work together to overcome a problem. Synergy has four basic expectations: 1) Push each other's thinking; 2) Share the load; 3) Use Accountable Talk; and 4) Move with speed. I use these expectations in a quick evaluation of each group every time we do group work, and the "winning group" receives a small prize, which reinforces my academic and social expectations and incentivizes friendly competition.

 
Instructional Planning
Stephen's Approach to Planning
Students transform equations into real-life word problems with Storybird.

Planning is an essential part of a blended teacher’s practice. In blended environments, where students can be at different points in a course on various modalities, blended teachers need to be very intentional about how they plan. Check out the video below to see how Stephen plans for instruction in his blended classroom.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Stephen's Model Overview
Students transform equations into real-life word problems with Storybird.

In my school, students use a lab rotation system where they go to a computer lab for set amounts of time to work on online content through sites such as Lexia and ST Math.  In my own class, I also use a station rotation system, where groups of students spend time learning in different ways.  Online sites like Khan Academy and FrontRow help to differentiate the content, collaborative skills make learning social, and teacher interventions help me to address misconceptions. My students gain valuable digital and character skills while they manage their own learning.  My model has fostered perseverance and independence among my students that I know will help them to be successful in their lives.

Number of Students: 17 students per class

Number of Adults: one teacher; one paraprofessional (20 minutes per period)

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 90 minutes with teacher; 90 minutes in Learning Lab

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Khan Academy; Google Classroom; Google Forms; Front Row; ST Math (in Learning Lab); DreamBox (in Learning Lab)

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: Chromebooks (1:1 ratio); SMARTboard

Key Features: station rotation; lab rotation; student agency;individualized learning paths

 
 
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