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Showing posts from 2015

ReadWorks: Reading Passages on Student iPads  is a wonderful classroom resource for finding reading passages by comprehension skills or to introduce and/or reinforce social studies and science content.  The non-profit ReadWorks is committed to giving teachers the research-proven tools and support they need to improve the academic achievement of their students. ReadWorks provides research-based units, lessons, and authentic, leveled non-fiction and literary passages directly to educators online, for free. Also, the curriculum is aligned to the CCSS. Teachers can always print reading passages and the corresponding activities, but the passages are particularly terrific for downloading to be used on student iPads or Chromebooks.  In grades 3 and above, where students have Google Apps for Education Accounts, the teacher can use Google Classroom to distribute the passage to the students; Google Classroom will even automatically make a copy of the document for each student if that feature is selected. Often the R

Mystery Hangout - What's all the fuss about?

Subjects : Social Studies, Math, Science Common Core Speaking and Listening Standard :  Anchor Standard 1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. Objective : Students use their knowledge of US regions, cardinal directions, capitals, time zones, major landforms and waterways, relative geographic size and knowledge of state and regional facts. Here is a Google Map marking the locations of the "Mystery Schools" we've partnered with at Meadows and Robinson this year. Overview : Mystery Hangout is a social game played with two groups of students who want to make global connections with other classrooms via Google Hangout. Each class asks yes/no questions and gathers clues to determine the location of the other class. The first class to guess the other's location wins! This is a great opportunity for students to cr

Resources for Summer Learning and Enrichment

Play, Learn, Do with these Digital Tools Reviewed by Common Sense Media Teachers and parents worry about summer brain drain as students take a break from school. Knowing that most school age children will probably spend some of their downtime on digital devices, Common Sense Media has developed a  Summer Learning Guide  to help parents make good choices about websites, games, and apps to pursue.  Not only is the guide differentiated by age, there are six different categories for the parent and child to explore: Explore the World, Hands on Science, Get Creative, Tinkering and Tech, Learn Together,  and  Multimedia Memories.  In addition to their Summer Learning Guide, the  Common Sense Media website  rates movies, books, and apps, and their blog gets parents thinking about "parenting, media, and everything in between." If you are not familiar with Common Sense Media, check it out as it is a digital tool you will want to have in your inventory. Originally po

The Newspaper Clipping Generator

I was cleaning out a curriculum binder today and found my notes and samples from when my fourth graders used the  Newspaper Clipping Generator  website to publish newspaper articles about the events leading up to California's Statehood. The Newspaper Clipping Generator can be used for any number of content areas and grades, and it is compatible with iPads. Here are some notes for using and publishing using the generator that may help you and your students get started generating a newspaper article using iPads. Newspaper Clipping Generator Name of the Newspaper  (it will get truncated) Add a historically accurate  Date  if you are writing about a historical event Add a  Headline  (Pay attention to capitalization!) Write your story using Google Docs, Pages, or another word processing app or program (this makes the actual drafting of the article easier to edit and save) Copy the text and paste it into the  Enter Your Story  text box  GENERATE  (read the resul

Mind-mapping with Popplet Lite

Popplet Lite is a free mind-mapping app that's easy to use for brainstorming, classifying, and creating timelines. Student can easily show their thinking and knowledge, and share their ideas. The app allows the student to share their finished map as an image to their Camera Roll. The lite version only allows the user to create one popplet at a time; when a new one is created, the previous one is deleted. Here are some ideas for using Popplet in the classroom: 1. Vocabulary Mapping 2. Timeline Ready to get started? Here is a tutorial for getting your students ready to create a Popplet. Want a little more? Check out this Popplet Lite  challenge . Here's another  challenge . Originally posted by Paula Noda.

Aurasma Ideas for the Classroom

What is Augmented Reality? Augmented reality is when a layer (typically a video or another image) is added over an existing image to enhance it in some way. Think of it as 4-D, or four-dimensional. If 3-D enhances visuals to appear more realistic as we view them, 4-D actually alters the object(s) you're viewing not only by enhancing their appearance, but also by offering additional information in a more interactive manner. Click here to see an engaging example. Yet Another Example of Augmented Reality How To Make an Aurasma from the iPad These instructions explain how students can create Auras on their iPads and how to load them to the teacher channel for easy access. Detailed Instructions   ||   Fabulous Video Tutorial Aurasma in the Classroom Student Created Book Reviews Students can create short video book reviews of the book they have read from the classroom library or school library. Place a small sticker in the corner of the books with book re

ChatterPix Kids! What are you waiting for?

ChatterPix Kids  is a free iPad app that students can use to turn pictures into talking pictures. To create a talking picture just snap a picture with your iPad or import a picture from your iPad’s camera roll. After taking the picture just draw in a face and tap the record button to make your picture talk. Your recording can be up to thirty seconds in length. Before publishing your talking picture you can add fun stickers, text, and frames to your picture. Finished Chatter Pix projects are saved to your camera roll and from there you can export it to a number of services including YouTube.  ChatterPix Kids  doesn’t require students to create an account in order to use the service. Using the app could be a great way to get students to bring simple stories to life. This can be used for many different things in the classroom. 1. Use it at the start of the year as an introduction 2. Social Studies Students can save an image of a historical figure, draw an picture, with Doo

Writing in the 'Shed": Hook Your Students into Writing Using High-Quality Short Animated Videos

I recently attended the CUE 2015 conference with some Manhattan Beach Unified colleagues. One of our colleagues, Paula Noda, learned some cool writing strategies in her first presentation. In this writing activity, students watch high-quality animated videos and then write dialog and narration in small groups to accompany the video. Students record their dialog on the video to publish. Lisa Nowakowsi's presentation details her process and shows videos and student examples to support several lessons. Her examples are with 5th grade students, but this process could be used for any grade to record dialog for any video or book. Find out more about Lisa on her  website . Rob Smith has an amazing  website  full of videos organized by theme. Check them out; he even has lesson ideas for many of the videos! Here is one titled  Oktapodi  also available on YouTube.

There Are All Sorts of Reasons to Use Google in the Classroom!

Here's a great list thoroughly outlined by Kasey Bell in her infographic:

Stop Motion Studio!

Stop Motion Studio is a powerful, easy to use app for creating stop motion movies. Stop motion is a powerful animation technique that makes static objects appear to be moving. There are many types of stop motion techniques such as: hand drawing, cut-paper, sand and claymation. Brainstorm When starting a project like this one it is important to make your ideas clear before you start filming.  You should consider what is the “story” you are going to tell.  Remember that you only have up to a minute in which to tell this story. Because of this, I recommend that you use simple experiences to create a short story such as the cut-paper example shown in the storyboard below. While this looks simple, it will require many shots. It’s also a good idea to limit yourself to one or two characters. Storyboarding The purpose of the storyboard is to visually plan out the entire animation. Here is where you begin to think about the “camera work” by showing every shot or important tra