Monday, August 29, 2011

I Took Pictures of My Caterpillars, Now What?

It is Monarch butterfly time across the district in which I teach. Teachers are taking digital photographs of their class caterpillars. Now what? In the following list of ideas, students will create various products while applying what they have learned!

Comic Life Deluxe (software)
(Mac Users Only) Did you know our district has a site license for version 1.5.5? Pictures are easily imported into a comic strip. Students can use captions and word bubbles to share what they learned or write a creative story. Perfect for the Six Traits of Writing skill "Voice".

Students will apply what they have learned about different stages of metamorphosis when they make the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis or butterfly talk about itself. An email is needed to make an account to save and share (students could all create/save/share under an account created by the teacher).

Upload photo(s) to the website. Students can add their voice over the photo, sharing facts about the caterpillar or butterfly in the photograph. There are many sharing options, including a given URL, email option or embed code. This site requires the teacher to set up an account.

Use this website to quickly upload a photograph and place text on top of it. Perfect for labeling parts! This can be shared easily with a given URL, saved as .jpg, or choose from many more options.

Make a trading card at Big Huge Labs
Photos are uploaded into a trading card. Add text and save. Then, it can be emailed or saved as a .jpg. How about a different trading card from each stage of development?


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Continent Resources

Even though I believe the fun, magical part of technology integration happens at the higher end of Bloom's thinking skills, there are times when the work needs to be done at the lower levels first. My son's homework involved studying the names of the 7 continents. I thought, surely there must be some way to integrate technology into this practice, to help him UNDERSTAND and REMEMBER? Here are my favorite on-line games to do this:

All of these on-line games would work well for individuals to learn/practice/review. They could be projected for the whole class, using the mouse to manipulate items OR with an interactive whiteboard or tablet.

Play Kids Games - Find Continents
There are written questions at the top, such as "Where is Asia?". Click on a colorful world map to answer. I wish it had a voice asking the questions as well.

Play Kids Games - Continent Names
Click and drag the continent name onto its correct spot on a colorful map. Again, a verbal cue would have been helpful.

Sheppard Software

Different levels, beginning with a tutorial - click on continent and oceans to learn name. Level 1 - Click on correct continent or region. Level 2 - Drag continent or ocean (like a puzzle piece) onto map. Personally, I think Level 2 is easier than Level 1! Level 3 - Type the continent or ocean name.

Drag and drop the continent names onto a map.

Kids National Geographic - Copycat

A "Simon" like game using the 7 continents. Have students say name aloud to help them learn where the continents are and distinguish which one is which.

Anyone know of any others?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back To School Ideas

It's Back To School Time! Teachers often begin with a variety of "getting to know you" activities. Here is a list of ideas to integrate technology early this fall and use the 21st Century skill of "CREATE" with your students.

1. Pixie 2 (drawing software)
Students can use the drawing tools, stickers and stamps to create a self-portrait to share. Pixie 2 has built in templates that could help focus this, including "I Like", "I Dislike", "My Family", and "I Am Good At". A voice-over can easily be added to the picture using the record button in the Option menu!

2. Comic Life Deluxe (software)
Students can create comics introducing themselves. There is a nice "All About Me" template on the wiki:

3. Wordle (free!)
Students can create a word cloud using words that describe them or words that are important to them. If the students leave their names out, you can play "Guess Who?" with the Wordles.

4. Voki (free version w/ads or paid subscription)
Students create an avatar. Voki allows their voice to be recorded, making the avatar talk. Students can also type their text to be spoken. Then, the Voki can be embedded on other websites or blogs or accessed with a URL.

5. Blabberize (free! teacher should register, kids can make blabbers under that account)
Students take a digital picture of themselves (or anything!) and make the mouth move as it talks! You are given a URL to see it or a code to embed it in a blog or on a website!

+1 More!
6. Glogster (free! Teacher needs to register class)
Students can create fabulous "All About Me" posters here. Use their fantastic graphics and backgrounds. Then add text, upload digital photos, embed URL's, videos and sound files. Glogs can be shared in many ways when complete!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Love This Video

I stumbled across this 4 minute video when I was researching C21 skills at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website. Peter H. Reynolds' artwork and storytelling clearly and thoughtfully explains the BIG 4C's - Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity. Don't forget to print the free .pdf poster, too! I will refer to it often as I think of integrating technology into the classroom,

Above and Beyond video


Sunday, August 7, 2011

First Post!

I am about to start a new, one-year position as a Teacher Technology Leader. I am going to miss being in a classroom everyday, working with eager students and fantastic teammates. But, I am excited to "monkey around" with technology everyday. It is my hope to post ideas and resources here for all to use.