Wednesday, July 24, 2013

3 Ways to Add Student Voice to Anything!

We Love Using LiveScribe Sound Stickers!

Adding a Touch of Technology

My two children, Riley and Jacob, love playing around with technology.  When Jacob came home last year with a project for school, he wanted to use the iPad.  He uses the iPad for everything.  He even started making tutorial videos to teach others how to make forts.

I.  LiveScribe Sound Stickers

As an affiliate of LiveScribe, you can click here to get 15% off a Pen now.

Jacob was 4 years old when the above assignment was given.  Of course, I was expected to scribe his answers.  The directions were for us to help Jacob do the research and assist him in learning about the animal of his choice.  He loves birds, so it was no surprise he wanted to do his report on parrots.  

To research birds, we turned to the Internet.  We watched this video and visited the following sites: here, here, and here.  Jacob loves the bright colors of parrots and the beautiful sounds they make.  He was able to bring in a picture to show how vibrant the colors are, but he really wanted to be able to let his friends hear the chirping noises the birds made.  So, I turned to Livescribe to let Jacob record his bird's voice.

Click Play Below to See How Jacob Used the LiveScribe Sound Stickers 
in Junior Kindergarten so that his class could hear more about his animal report.

All Jacob had to do was pre-record a parrot chirping onto the sound sticker.  He found a great video on YouTube of a parrot chirping.  So, he used that audio and captured it with the LiveScribe Pen and Sound Sticker.  Then, he put the sticker on his animal report paper to bring to school.  To see how easy it is to record onto a Sound Sticker, click here for a tutorial video.

On a side note, here is a fantastic video sharing 10 ways to integrate the LiveScribe Pen into your classroom.  I've also blogged about LiveScribe before, and you can view that post by clicking here.

Five Ways You Can Use Sound Stickers in Your Classroom:

1.  Have students record a review of a book once they've read it.  Place the Sound Sticker on the cover for other classmates to listen to when deciding on a book from the classroom library.

2.  Have students record additional information about a place they've visited on a map.  Add the Sound Stickers to the map so that other friends from class can learn more about their community, state, and country.

3.  Have students record themselves playing an instrument.  Place the Sound Sticker on the sheet of music so that others can hear the melody.

4.  Have students make a hypothesis in science class.  Place the Sound Sticker on the lab report.  Then, their lab partner can record the outcome on a second Sound Sticker to place on the bottom of the report.

5.  Have students record the directions for a math game to place on the game's box.  This way, other classmates can listen to the Sound Sticker as they're setting the game up.  This could save players time so that there would be more time for actual game play.

Keep in mind you can change out the Sound Stickers daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.  It's your choice.  They're a ton of fun and easy to use!  You can even use the same Sound Sticker again by deleting the recording and recording a new segment.  So your maps, books, and game boxes will not get torn by removing stickers.

*You do need a LiveScribe Pen in order to use the LiveScribe Sound Stickers.

II. Aurasma: Augmented Reality App

My second graders used Aurasma a lot last year.  We had so much fun exploring the potential of this free app!  The thing I enjoyed the most was that they were so inspired to use it that I didn't have to think of the creative uses... the kids did it all for me.  It was like magic!

Students have added their voice to augment our word walls, classroom books, and bulletin boards.  I invite you to click here and read my complete post on using Aurasma in the classroom.  I even have a free downloadable eBook explaining how to get started creating your first Aura in a step-by-step guide.

Follow our Collaborative Augmented Reality Board on Pinterest

click the image to follow on Pinterest

III.  Talk Bar from Learning Resources  

Talk Bar Give-Away: scroll down to the bottom of this post

The easier the tool is to use, the more I tend to incorporate it into my classroom.  Because the Talk Bar is super simple, we use it a lot.  Plus, I really like that there are 6 blocks that can each hold different recorded messages.  The downside is that each block, or square section, can only hold a recorded message up to ten seconds long.  This seems short, and it is.  However, once students learn to use this tool, they get use to rehearsing their statements in a professional manner.  Their messages tend to be of higher quality since they've practiced it a few times.  I've noticed their voices are more clear and have a sense of confidence that can be heard in the playback.  So, there is an advantage - even though the time is short.  

Ways You Can Use the Talk Bar in Your Classroom:

As a teacher, you can place photos of landforms and bodies of water in each square.  The pictures just slide right in the opening on the side.  Then, students can describe the characteristics of the landform or body of water.  You could also cut index cards or slips of paper up and write blends or long vowel combinations on each card.  Students could think of several words that go with each sound and record their thinking.  Children could also start telling a story and have their friends add to each square, like a sequential timeline.  They could illustrate each frame of their story, too.  The finished product would be a collaborative story.  This could be an activity placed in a center or for early finishers.  In math, you could put a number in each frame.  Students could record problems that could equal that given number (ex: write 10 on a card... students may record audio stating: 2 x 5;  4 + 6;  12 - 2;  etc...).  Kids can even take their own photos to print off and put in each frame of the Talk Bar.  Their friends could record audio using strong adjectives that describe their friend's photos.  I love that you can draw a photo of anything, take a picture or anything, or grab an image from any book or magazine to use for the Talk Bar.

There are so may options you can use the Talk Bar for in any content area.  The kids enjoy thinking of innovative ways to use it, too!  Playing their audio back and hearing their voices is priceless.  I always get a kick out of listening to their thinking.  They are so smart and creative.  

Thanks to Learning Resources for Giving Away a Talk Bar to a Lucky Reader
- enter this give-away below - 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hey Erin! Love your blog and get so many ideas for my 1:1 classroom - question. Do you know if Ipads are the only compatible tools for augmented reality? We use Chromebooks - I attedned a workshop on A.Reality this summer and would LOVE to use it. But noone knows if it is compatible. Thanks!

  2. Hi Joann,

    Thanks so much for your kind words. iPads are not the only compatible tools for augmented reality. In fact, I used my desktop to create the math page Aura on my Aurasma post.

    If you're using a Chromebook, you should be able to set up a Studio account on the web via the Aurasma homepage. Then, you can upload the files you wish.

    Drew and Brad have an amazing resource with tutorials on their site showing exactly how to do this.

    Here is that link:

    If you're on Twitter, I would follow the both of them as well. They're great to connect with and learn from.

    Have a great summer,


  3. Erin,
    What type of pen did you buy? I just got the job as our campus instructional tech coach for my campus. I was also awarded a grant. I would love to get a few LiveScribe pens/dots to start a pilot program. What version did you buy? Recommendations welcome!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

  4. Hi Charlotte,

    I have the Livescribe Sky pen. The stickers are a must! I love them the most. :)

    Let me know if you want me to send the link.

    Have a great weekend,


  5. I agree with your concerns about it and write my term paper available for students. Thanks for share