The following is a guest post by educator and Highlander Institute FUSE RI Fellow, Sarah Rich. Here she shares the story of her work with educator Anne Pariseau. Check out their bios below!
As an Educational Consultant, I am continually looking for products that can enhance the 21st Century Classroom. I realize how busy teachers are, and how valuable their time is. I want to introduce products that are easy to get started with, easy to use, and fun and engaging for students. It’s even better when the tool is versatile and can be used with any subject on any project.
One of my current jobs is working with Highlander Institute as an Educational Consultant. I am currently working with two elementary schools in Providence, Rhode Island: Carl G. Lauro Elementary and Carnevale Elementary.
I am working closely with Anne Pariseau, a fourth grade ELA teacher at Carl G. Lauro. When she begins something new, she worries that she won’t know enough about a program as students start to use it. We began using Buncee in just one of her classes. First, I introduced Buncee and shared many of the features with Anne’s class. Then we started with a simple exercise to help them get familiar. Anne shared the book Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. The students then designed a Buncee character comparison of the two daughters.
After a few weeks of using Buncee, I followed back up with Anne to see how she was liking the tool. She said:
Buncee is easy to use and fun to experiment with. The students find it very engaging and have commented that it's more fun than Google Slides. The stickers are wonderful for creating scenes in the books they are reading, or for creating slides to demonstrate concepts in science, etc. The product with sample slides made me excited to try it, and the presentation you shared inspired me. I love that everything is there—YouTube, web, and ease of connecting links!
At Carnevale Elementary, I have introduced Buncee to first-grade students. Here, teachers have some challenges that many teachers face. We needed to come up with ways to use Buncee on fewer devices.
We have begun tackling these challenges by creating a group of “Buncee Experts.” These students will learn how to use Buncee. They can then assist during station-rotation if specific students need help. Having "experts" frees up the teacher to continue her work with a group of students or one-on-one. The “Buncee Experts” can wear a visor that says “Ask the expert.” This way students can identify who can help them during this time.
Quick tip: Create “experts” for all different programs you use in class. It builds students’ confidence!
I developed an Introduction To Buncee Lesson to help students become familiar with Buncee. I made the Buncee copyable, students then click “edit” and created their own. After completing the tasks in this simple Buncee, they can then design their own. I will walk you through it here:
With this first slide, I had students circle which season they liked. Then they had to add two stickers to that season. The stickers had to connect to that season. We did this one altogether. I modeled it; then the group created theirs.
With this slide I had them begin working independently. I then went around and helped one-on-one. Students were able to create anything they wanted the pig to walk to. A few made farms. One even created a birthday party.
By the time students got to slide three, they were able to create it on their own. They loved discovering that Buncee even had fidget spinners.
After this lesson, I asked students what they thought of Buncee. They said:
“It was fun, I liked it a lot because we get to make our own creations.”
“I like it because it was fun and you could actually make your own stuff. Some were funny and so silly.”
“It was exciting because I liked the questions.”
“I liked my own stuff and finding the fidget spinner and the funny pig walking somewhere.”
“I wish we could do this again!”
I then asked how they thought Buncee could be used in their classroom. They said:
“We could share activities, colors, information, anything we want.”
“We could use it for science and even recess, or in kindergarten just for fun.”
My final question was, "What would you like the creators of Buncee to know?" They said:
“They are really creative.”
“They are really funny.”
“Fun and inspiring for every kid!”
If you want to learn more about Buncee or get ideas about taking it to the next level, check out these resources here.
Sarah Rich was a founding faculty member and teacher for 17 years at Paul Cuffee School in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the Highlander Institute’s Fuse RI Fellowship Program, cohort 1. Sarah coaches teachers and works with administration internationally, making blended personalized learning available to schools. She is now an edtech and blended learning consultant. One of her current jobs is working as an Educational Strategies Specialist with the Highlander Institute. She’s the co-founder of a new website edtechmusings.com, supporting educators and edtech companies.
Follow her on Twitter @edtechSAE
Anne Pariseau has been teaching for 19 years in Providence, Rhode Island. She currently works at Carl G. Lauro Elementary. She is a National Board Certified Teacher. She has always been excited about learning new ways to engage students with technology.