Monday, February 25, 2013

Blogging in the Classroom!

Blogging continues to be my favorite thing to do with students! I'm amazed at how much time and thought goes into each blog entry! Students are aware that they are writing for a greater audience and that alone motivates them to do well. They want their friends to read their blogs so they do their best work. I just finished up blogging in Lisa D.'s room and I wanted to share the resources I created. We really enjoyed co-teaching together and the students are loving their class blog! Please let me know if you would like to create a classroom blog.

Here are the resources we used below. Please feel free to edit the resources as needed. If you need help editing just let me know!

Blogging Resource 1 (make sure you show the movie on page 3)
Blogging Resource 2

Here are some screenshots below from the resources and from my last blogging experience...

Modeling thoughtful comments is very important!

Providing a rubric lets the students know exactly what is expected.

Before using Kidblog we created a paper blog for practice!

Then we learned how to use Kidblog...

 Sample blogs and comments...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

100th Day Word Cloud

The 100th day of school is approaching! This Friday classrooms will be celebrating the 100th day of school and reflecting on their 100 days at school. I wanted to share an easy way to integrate technology into your 100th day activities. I created a word cloud using the site Tagxedo. I chose to use Tagxedo because I wanted to use the "callout" shape. I thought this project would be a great digital display on any bulletin board that would show the learning that took place over the past 100 days! Not only did I show what I learned... I also used 100 words!

Here's what I did...
  • I typed (your students can write) 10 things we do in school everyday to make 10 categories
    • Reading
    • Math
    • Writing
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Word Work
    • Specials
    • Brain Breaks
    • Recess 
    • Lunch
  • Then I added 9 words to each category that reminded me of something I did over the past 100 days of school (words that I wanted together like Social_Studies I added an underscore)
    • Reading fiction nonfiction genres biography autobiography thinking blog read author
    • Math add subtract multiply divide sum digit shapes equal less
    • Writing illustrate create entertain beginning middle end characters plot problem
    • Science observe collect analyze experiment groups motion liquid gas solids
    • Social_Studies time4kids Presidents geography states continents globe Connecticut community friends
    • Word_Work phonics sounds letters pictures spelling workboard short long chart
    • Specials music gym library art computers typing drawing books run
    • Brain_Breaks fun dance move exercise videos stretch breathe movement YouTube
    • Recess friends playing running games talking jumping skipping teams slide
    • Lunch food delicious sandwich pizza snacks fruit vegetables hot_lunch milk
  • Then I copied and pasted the text (my 100 words) into Tagxedo to create a callout word cloud

Tagxedo is very easy to use. Just choose create and then get started! You can save the word clouds as images either in JPEG or PNG format. If you want a quick tutorial here is a YouTube video by eduTecher. If you need any help please let me know! 

Tagxedo not for you? Try...
*You do not have to sign up for any of these Web 2.0 tools :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Storyboard That

Storyboard That Education
Storyboard That is a free Storyboard tool you can use in your classroom for Digital Storytelling. Students will enjoy creating a Storyboard while learning how to tell a story. Storyboard That is just a fun and engaging way to teach storytelling. You can sign your class up for a free 14 day trial. The 14 day trial will give you unlimited access to hundreds of characters, themes, props, etc. You will enter your students' names and you will have access to all of the Storyboards that they create. Check out the lesson plans on Storyboard That. Students can create a Storyboard on paper first using a Storyboard template. I created the Storyboard above. I created a story using two characters that have a conversation about a book. The boy helps the girl choose a book from the Library by suggesting a book to read and by reviewing the book. I had limited access to Storyboard That because I did not sign up for a free 14 day trial. I would have had more to choose from if I signed up!

Please let me know if you would like to use Storyboard That in your classroom!

Here are some other tools you can use for Digital Storytelling:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Math Questions of the Day

Today I wanted to share three quick and easy ways to get students thinking. The three websites, Mathopolis Question of the DayThe NY Times Set Daily Puzzle, and Math Buddy Online have daily math problems that require a great deal of thinking. Here's some information about each site.

Mathopolis Question of the Day
Students can discuss different problems and solutions with each other. The question changes daily. After students state their answers click the "help link" to reveal the answer and an explanation of the answer. This site has problems for grades 3-12. Below is a screenshot of a 5th grade problem.

The NY Times Set Daily Puzzle
The puzzles on this site are definitely brain teasers and a lot of fun! Students have to find sets using the shapes, colors, and numbers of different objects. There is a short tutorial to learn how to play. These puzzles are tricky! I only figured out 4 sets out of 6 on today's puzzle. Below is a screenshot.

Math Buddy Online
First you choose your grade level (grades 1-8). Once students answer the question you can submit the class answer. Below shows a screenshot of today's question and the answer which is explained once you submit your answer. You can add your email address to have the question emailed to you daily.