Friday, October 28, 2011

India Opal Buloni's Fakebook Page

Mrs. Hentz and Mrs. DuBois worked together with her third grade class to create a whole group Fakebook page for Opal from Because of Winn Dixie. We will add to it as we finish the book, but it was a great way to review the sequence of the book as well as delve deeper into character traits of various characters in the book as we talked about who would post what and why. For example, the kids talked about Otis being shy so he might be nervous about who was coming to the party since he was going to play his guitar. The only issue we had was sometimes we chose a picture to represent a character and instead of using what we chose, it copied the picture from the character above it. Not sure why this was happening, but it was minor. Here is our page!

Pigtail Fridays!

Ms. Wessell started Pigtail Fridays and it looked like so much fun others are joining in! Since we didn't have school this Friday it became Pigtail Thursday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fakebook Fun

A third grade teacher and I are going to try Fakebook with the kids this week using the main character from Because of Winn Dixie. In preparation, I thought I should give it a whirl for myself. It is a lot of fun and looks a lot like the real thing. You create your own friends though and make up the comments from them, but kids will respond to becoming the literary character or historical figure and I can see using this quite a bit. It is also a good way to teach them some of the online safety issues without using the real thing. Here is  one I made as an example (you can also see it below) using Barack Obama in about 20 minutes, some of that time being figuring out what to do, so the real thing once you have the hang of it will probably go faster. Of course kids will take as long as you give them playing with it, but if they are playing on task, that is the point!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Voki about plants

Another way to present the same plant information without having to record student voices is to use Voki. You can record or type the text and create your own avatar figure as well. Here is an example using almost the same information as the Blabberize in the last post.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Plant Blabberizing

Blabberize is a super fun way to present information, if you can get it to work. It took me several tries today to get the record function to work for my sample, so I have to test it a bit more before we use it, but my goal is to use Blabberize with third grade research as a way to present some information we find out plants. It is so much fun to do and a quick way to present the information, when it works right! Here is a short example I made today with the dandelion. I tried to embed it below, but it seems to sometimes not be working!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making Connections to the Past

At a conference last week, I was inspired by so many other media folks with great lessons and ideas, so I had to come back and start trying some out. One session I attended was about using images and documents from the Library of Congress along with historical fiction or other curriculum to bring time periods to life for students. I came back and right away asked some of the upper grade teachers for topic areas they had coming up to try it out with and heard the Wright Brothers from 4th grade. Here is an Animoto I made to kick start that unit later this year.

New Online Ordering and Wimpy Kid Preorders at Book Fair

Have family or friends that don't live here but want to be part of the book fair fun? They can now order online from 10/13-10/28 and purchases still count toward our school. Students can create online wish lists or purchase books that are out of stock also. Visit our fair website for more information.

You can also preorder the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Cabin Fever at book fair! Just ask Mrs. DuBois.

Remember we are open the week of Oct 17-21 and during Fall Festival the evening of the 21st. See you there!

Glogster Changes

As educators, we are always looking for new ways to interest kids in learning. For me, I found that using Glogs as a presentation tool was a way to do that. Kids would research anything if they got to make a Glog about it. Recently, Glogster EDU has changed the format so there is now a charge to use the student management tool, though students can still create glogs for free. I am still tinkering with it to see how that would work and in the process made a quick Glog about the media center. Check it out to see what a Glog is if you have not seen one before. In previous classes we have made Glogs about the White House, phobias, regions of the US and more, so I hope it will still work for us. It is difficult in tight budget times like these when once we seem to start to master a tool for education, the companies start charging for them. If you know any other great tools, please feel free to add them in the comments below! I am always ready to learn more.