Adobe Voice for weather forecasts Y4
When I heard about Adobe Voice, I set a few of my Y6s the challenge to find out how it works, as I didn't have time at that moment to explore it. A couple of my techie-whizz-kids did exactly that and produced lovely little tutorial videos showing how to use it, which I posted to our whole-school sector of the school VLE.
The one slight annoyance with the app is that it requires a sign-in and is strictly speaking for over 13s, presumably because users can search and view public Adobe Voice creations and those aren't controlled. However, my pupils don't have time to freely browse those as I was quite precise in my instructions. I created a French department log-in which I could either sign in on each iPad myself or put on the board for them to sign in individually. (When I only had 11 iPads I could just about manage to do them individually before the four back-to-back-Y4 classes but now with 22, I get the children to do it.)
When I saw how user-friendly it was, I thought it would be the perfect tool to use to get my Year 4s to create weather forecasts. They had been learning how to ask the question, "Quel temps fait-il à Paris?" and other towns, and answer, "À Paris il fait beau" or four other responses - il fait froid, il fait chaud, il neige and il pleut. However, in the end of unit assessment, I was always a bit disappointed by how so few of them had mastered those phrases confidently and they usually scored rather poorly on the speaking assessment.
So first I downloaded an interactive weather map from Boardworks, the free software producers for interactive whiteboards. I don't actually have an IBW but I displayed this on my projector screen with each weather icon in turn showing on each town.
The pupils had completed a worksheet using the phrases and used that as a prompt. I explained to them that they would work in pairs, and needed to take photos of each other standing in front of the map while it was showing the weather icon they needed, placed at the town they wanted. That took quite a lot of time, and I had to get a pupil to sit at my computer and change the weather icons while I chivvied up the pupils to ensure they had all the photos they needed. This was the first time they had used the app so making sure they were well organised was a challenge!
Once they had all the photos, I explained that they would import the photos, one at a time, to Adobe Voice, and create a recording asking and answering the question. Once they finished all five photos, they could customise their music, theme and so on. Being the first try, some managed to customise and others took all the available time just completing the task. Each Y4 lesson is only 30 minutes long, so time went very fast!
Some time later I was asked to present at a staff meeting about using tech in lessons so I checked up the assessment scores to see if I could say that there had been an improvement in the end of unit assessment marks as a result of doing these weather forecasts. I was gratified to see that there had been a really significant leap in the speaking scores (exactly what percentage increase I can't now recall but it was marked enough to show the exercise had been well worth doing.) And importantly, the children loved doing it!
Finally, I showed them how to upload their finished presentations to Showbie. As before, this will start to build up into a digital portfolio of work.