Saturday, March 30, 2013

Learning With SoundCloud....Look What It Brought To The 2nd Graders Today!

I love days when I learn really great new things that will bring something special to my students, teachers, and others.  

This morning I tried out two new online tools!  I was planning activities for National Poetry Month, which is in April.  
I was looking on the Poetry Foundation website and saw a new post entitled Record-a-Poem on SoundCloud.  What a really simple and fun way to record students reading poetry they have created.  
And the ironic thing, one of my kindergarten teachers asked me yesterday about podcasting tools, so I had been looking for a website and app for that too.   
I went to the SoundCloud website and signed up. I called my SoundCloud Stream (like your very own channel) Van Meter Library Voice SoundCloud to go with all of the other tools I have created for our library and school.  

You can add a profile image, description, location, and your social networks. I added my Twitter, the Van Meter Voice Facebook, Van Meter Voice Technology and Library Symbaloo, and my blog.  
When I was talking with my awesome friend Okle on Facebook tonight I shared what we did with SoundCloud today.
Okle signed up for SoundCloud too, shared the Gorrie Library SoundCloud with me, and we started following each other.  
You can find other great SoundClouds to follow The Poetry Foundation SoundCloud and HarperCollins Kids SoundCloud.  I look forward to seeing what I find on these and other SoundClouds too. 

Next just start adding recordings to your SoundCloud.
I was so excited to try SoundCloud out so I thought of a way to use it with my 2nd graders for library and technology today.  We have been getting ready for Poetry Month in every grade and today was the day the 2nd graders were going to spend time using several poetry websites.

I added the special Poetry, Poetry, Poetry Symbaloo webmix to the Van Meter 2nd Grade Symbaloo, which I use to organize each grade levels resources.
By clicking on the cute little owl tile it took them to the Poetry, Poetry, Poetry Symbaloo filled with all of these wonderful poetry websites.
The other new tool I tried out today was MentorMob.  I have been wanting to create my own MentorMob since I learned about it at the ICE Conference last month and Poetry Month gave me the perfect reason.

I took a dozen sites and added them to my first MentorMob called Lets Create Some Poetry. It is such a fun way to share resources with students too.
I added a Lets Create Some Poetry MentorMob tile on the Poetry Poetry Poetry Symbaloo too.

(I will write more about MentorMob soon. :)
The little people could choose the poetry websites that they wanted to use to create the different styles of poetry.  
Some used Poetry Splatter....
while others used the Poetry Idea Engine or another from the Symbaloo.
Once they had a poem of their own created, we took turns using the SoundCloud app to start recording our very first "Sounds".  I downloaded the SoundCloud app onto my iPhone so we could use it while they read the poems they created on the laptops.
The SoundCloud app is very easy to use.  They just held it in their hand as they read their poems.
 Once your Sound is recorded in SoundCloud you have the option to save it right away or you can "Clip" it a little bit too.  I love that easy editing feature.

We added the name and location to each Sound.
They are stored within your SoundCloud on the app too and it is very easy to find what is there by going to Sounds, Sets, etc...
This is Walker's Sound within SoundCloud on my laptop.  One is able to add images to each, descriptions, download, and share the Sounds.
It is also very easy to create a "Set" and add Sounds to it.  I created the 2nd Grade Poetry Set and quickly add all of the Sounds from today.  

I love how easy the Sets and Sounds are to share on Facebook, Twitter, email and other places.  
Also, it is easy to embed your sets.....Just like I did with the 2nd Graders Poetry Set.  

I am so excited to add more Sounds to the Van Meter Library Voice SoundCloud.  And I can't wait to share our SoundCloud with parents so they can listen to all of the awesome Sounds too.

By sharing this with teachers and helping them create their own SoundCloud they will be able to share their students Sounds too.  With all of the iPads, iTouches, and laptops that we use throughout our school, this will be a really important tool that can definitely make an impact.

SoundCloud would be perfect for book talks, bell ringers, retelling historical events, reflecting on a science experiment, reading stories they have written, practicing fluency, reflecting on art work, singing, giving directions, and so much more.

One idea...

Put the iTouchs around the library and teach the kids how to use the SoundCloud app.  They could just pick an iTouch up, make a quick book talk while browsing in the library, and have an "Instant Book Talk."

Now I just need a catchy name for that List....."Instant Book Talks", "Book Talks On The Fly"....any ideas?  :)

As teachers we crave learning new things.  And finding ways to use these new tools is one of my favorite things to do as an educator and librarian.

I hope you try a few of these out too.


  1. Wow that looks awesome! What a great way to use a tool that I otherwise knew to only be for music. I will definitely be exploring this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi,

      Thank you so much for reading the post and the comment. :)

      I am in LOVE with SoundCloud and so excited for how I can use this in the library and classrooms.

      Have fun, Shannon

  2. Thanks for sharing! Very excited to check out Sound Cloud. It seems like a much easier to use tool than the one we use now. I love the idea about iTouches and impromptu book talks. Now if I could just find a way to fund those... Great ideas that I will be sharing with my teachers. Thanks!

    1. Hi Gina

      You are welcome. :) I am so excited to have found SoundCloud too....So easy and fun to use.

      Even just 1 iTouch or iPad will make a difference. :)

      Have a great weekend, Shannon

  3. Thanks again, Shannon for some great ideas:)) I love how you think!

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thank you my friend....Hope to see you soon.