Buncee & #Booksnaps: Engaging Student Readers & Writers

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The following is a guest post by Amy Nichols. Read her bio below and follow her on Twitter @anichols32.

In August of 2016, Tara Martin took twitter by storm as she shared #Booksnaps with the world.  I quickly realized that as I was reading and creating #BookSnaps, I was retaining more of the content that I was reading. Immediately, I started to think about the power of #BookSnaps and how they could support our elementary students, since often, students rush through reading without really thinking about the content.

Buncee is the perfect tool for creating #Booksnaps with children. It’s safe, easy to use, and provides the canvas and tools for students to create and share their thinking about texts that they read. Their finished work can be shared in SeeSaw or in the Google Classroom.

The Anatomy of a Buncee #Booksnap Lesson

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I have had the opportunity to work with several 2nd-5th grade classrooms. I had the joy of introducing Buncee and #BookSnaps to the students for the first time. Below is how I approached the lesson in the 3rd-5th grade classrooms I visited.

  1. I started with a mini-lesson demonstrating the ins and outs of Buncee while creating a #BookSnap of a favorite classroom read aloud.  I focused the initial lesson on the basics, showing students how to add a photo background and use the sticker, animation, and text tools.
  2.  After the introduction, students were anxious to begin. Students shared the iPads and worked in groups of two to three using books they had been reading in class. Collaborating with partners to create their Buncee #Booksnap provided students with the opportunity to collaborate and communicate to create and share the part of the book they found most interesting so far. Our rule was that the team had to agree on the passage to share and that each member of the group could select a sticker or animation that supported the group’s thinking.
  3. In each classroom, they spent the next 30-40 minutes completely engaged in reading and writing about the texts they had been reading. Every student was engaged. As I circulated to listen in and provide support as needed, I was impressed with the conversations students were having about their texts.  Every student was reading and writing, and they were excited to share their work with the class.

Working with the second graders, I took a different approach.

On Friday, I worked with a small group of six students and showed them how to use the app. Then, I gave them time to explore and create their first Buncees. Most of the text on these first Buncees was “I love Buncee.” The students were excited, to say the least. When I returned to their classroom on Monday several of the students were eager to tell me that they had downloaded Buncee on their tablets at home and they showed me what they had created.

Now that they were hooked, it was time to dive deeper.

I was teaching guided reading with the book Me…Jane. Annotating while reading was new to the group, but they were eager and willing. After their first reading of the text, they created their first #Booksnaps. We continued to work with the text throughout the week finally writing paragraphs about Jane Goodall. After writing their paragraphs, these students let me know that it was time for them to make #Booksnaps.  I was excited as the students were initiating the project, and they were excited to use their new skills to share their thinking about the book they had been reading.  

How to Create a Buncee #BookSnap

Once students have created their #BookSnaps, it is easy for them to share in SeeSaw and/or Google Classroom. SeeSaw allows students to view and comment on their classmates’ #Booksnaps.   They also enjoy when the teacher shares their work on a class Twitter account.  All of these methods of sharing  allow students to share their voice with a global audience.

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2nd Grade’s Finished Student Buncee #BookSnaps about the book Me…Jane

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amy-nicholsAmy Nichols graduated from Baron College in Wilson, NC. She taught second and third grades for seven years before moving into her current position as an Instructional Resource Teacher at Forestville Road Elementary. Her favorite part of her current job is building relationships with students. She enjoys teaching model lessons, working with small groups, and sharing new technology with the students and teachers. When she has time away from school, she loves to spend time at the beach with her husband and two children. Amy (@anichols32) would love to connect and learn with you on Twitter!

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