AppSmashing to ‘Share the Learning’

By Heidi Samuelson

0475f080-9aad-45e4-b296-6ecee9bcbaddWriting is probably one of the most challenging subjects for me to “teach to” my fourth grade students…especially when it comes to helping them learn how to summarize informational text.

Thankfully there’s a TON of resources online that helped me put together an engaging lesson for my kiddos. Together, we were able to define “four keys to writing a stupendous summary”.


My students LOVE sharing what they have learned with their families and friends through their Seesaw Learning Journals! #bestconnectionever

It seems to me, whenever my students create something “to teach or share with” someone else what they’ve learned, they remember what they’ve learned even more!

So…. I went to work developing an AppSmashing Project for them to share their learning using my three favorite apps: PicCollage, Google Drive, and Seesaw!

The Project Task was for students to design and create an “Anchor Chart” that would share “the Four Keys for Writing a Stupendous Summary” using their own words from our lesson that day.

Although PicCollage has a super search tool, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend browsing through pictures of keys for this project.

Instead, I decided to  preload a couple of  key graphics into our classroom Google Drive account. Students opened a key graphic in the Google Drive and saved the graphic to the iPad photos. Then they were able access the graphics they wanted for this project quickly in PicCollage and save time so they could get to the “meat of the task”.googledrivekeys

Students choose the Free Style format and uploaded their key graphics into PicCollage. They set to work moving their keys into a pattern for each poster typing words on top of the key graphics to add more depth to their charts.

Next, they began typing sentences that would share how to write a stupendous summary on their anchor chart by each one of the keys.

Backgrounds, text colors, and font styles were chosen to make their charts attractive, yet “clean and readable”. They gave each other feedback on styles and colors to help improve their final product.

key3 key1

After the posters were completed, students uploaded their pictures into Seesaw.

The last component to the project was to add an audio description to their Seesaw posts that would tell even more about their learning from the day’s lesson on writing a stupendous summary.



Heidi Samuelson is a fourth grade teacher who enjoys sharing ideas and activities with teachers across the globe. Heidi shares presentations on ideas for technology integration and activities with her school district as well as in webinars like “Classroom Live 2.0”.  You can find many of her shares on the blog, “Mrs. Samuelson’s Swamp Frogs”. She is a PicCollage Ambassadors, a Seesaw Ambassador and the Co-Creator of “The Global Math Task Twitter Challenge”. Connect with Heidi to “Share the Learning” on Instagram (@swampfrogs) and Twitter (@swampfrogfirst).

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