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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kerpoof Studio

It has been one busy year! I am trying to get back on track with my blog posts. Since I haven't posted in a while I thought I would talk about something that I'm currently focused on...writing! We are gearing up for our state writing test in four weeks and our poor kiddos are bored to death with the constant narrative and expository writing. So to excite things a little, I thought of using Kerpoof Studio to pique their interest. It will allow them to be creative writers or storytellers and I can still focus their attention on using the correct conventions when they write. I will briefly highlight a few of the activities that are shown in the picture below. I have used Kerpoof with kindergartners to fifth graders so it is very versatile; there's something for everyone! 


The activity I use the most is Tell a Story. Students are able to choose from a selection of storylines then create their narrative story by customizing the setting, characters, plot and text. They can create as many pages as they want and print or share the digital book with friends and family. It is mainly recommended for 3rd grade and up. The process starts by choosing from six possible storylines.


Once they choose the storyline, the real fun begins with unleashing their creative storytelling skills. A toolbar will appear across the bottom providing them with various options for backgrounds, characters, and props. The example below is from a 3rd grader; now working on her third page of the story. It was incredible how easy it was for the students to use.



Spell a Picture is usually recommended for K-3rd. It prompts you to choose a background scene and begin by choosing a letter. Pictures will appear that start with that letter ("c" was chosen) and relates to the scene. Students would pick one of the pictures and spell it out below. It's just a cool way to practice spelling!
Make a Picture is also great for K-3rd students. They are able to create single scenes at a time by choosing a storyline background and adding characters, text, and props.



It is a fun way to reinforce literary elements and dialogue before jumping into creating an entire story. Students who are up for a challenge can actually make their own movie and design the scenes with action and dialogue. It really is worth it to check out all the activities that Kerpoof has to offer. It is free to sign up and you can even setup an educator account so all of your students have their own accounts to save work. If you try it, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Once Upon a Digital Time

I had the opportunity to present at the ISTE conference last month and share my Once Upon a Digital Time symbaloo. It has several websites and apps bookmarked for digital storytelling and interactive writing. I will be presenting an overview of some of them this week at the Lone Star TIA conference. Some of the apps are paid but often go on sale or free; that's when I download them. However, most all the websites are free and have education versions. The symbaloo has something for all grade levels. If you get a chance, take a look and explore a few of them. Let me know your favorites!



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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Technology Blog Hop

Spring into Technology with Classroom Freebies!
Several phenomenal teachers, Technology Tailgate Coaches and bloggers are joining forces for an amazing classroom technology blog hop!  As you hop from blog to blog, you will visit some of your favorite blogs and discover a few new blogs too!  Each with a fabulous freebie just for you!


Thank you for hopping over!

I love when I get an opportunity to share great technology resources with other educators. I have had a fascination with QR Codes for a couple of years now. Thus, I like to implement them into the classroom any way I can. I have created a freebie specifically for the technology blog hop that I hope you will enjoy! These are fun writing prompts in the form of QR codes. It is a great way for students to be surprised by picking a writing prompt. To download a copy, just click on the image below. Happy Hopping!



Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting!  If you are new to my blog and like what you see, don't forget to follow me!  The next stop on the path is  Kristen at Teacher Playground

Teacher-Playground

In case you didn't start from the beginning, here is an ordered list of all participating blogs!

Kristin from iTeach 1:1
Heidi from Rakis Rad Resources
Leah from Learn With Leah
Amanda and Aylin from Learning to the Core
Kristen at Teacher Playground
Jen at Tech with Jen
Kay at A Little Tech
Melanie at I Luv Twek
Carrie and Caitlin at Table Talk with C & C
Lauren at iWonder


A special thank you to Jen at Tech with Jen for designing the blog hop button!
Interested in joining our next blog hop?  Join here




Thursday, April 18, 2013

Poetry Interactives

April is National Poetry Month so I have been looking for some great poetry interactive activities to share with everyone. My favorite go-to book of poems is Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. To make reading fun, I would let my students choose a poem they liked and they would be encouraged to practice reading it with intonation, expression, inflection, and fluency throughout the week. At the end of the week students would take turns presenting their chosen poem to the rest of the class. Students fell in love with the poems and from then on would always be looking for poetry books during library time. Here are a few interactive resources that I found that would be wonderful to implement into some of your poetry lessons.

Shel Silverstein's Official Site -  you can download a Poetry Workshop Kit or browse for lessons, activities, and games.


I used the poem Hector the Collector by Shel Silverstein to create the word clouds below.

Tagxedo - this is an excellent way for students to create shape poems. You can select from their shape menu or upload your own. There is also the option to customize the font and color scheme.



Wordle - is another great website where students can create word clouds and customize the layout, font, and colors scheme.


ReadWriteThink - there are several fun poem interactive activities students can complete. You can click on the images below to be taken directly to them.






RIF Reading Planet - Poetry Splatter is fun for all ages. Just choose a poem from the list and start filling in the poem with words splattered on the screen.

 



Rhyme Zone - Perfect for helping you create your own poem. You can search for rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms, homophones, similar sounding words, and a lot more options! I wish I was using this website a long time ago.



 

Giggle Poetry - Who doesn't love funny poems? This site has lots of funny poems for children to giggle away! You can explore Poetry Theater, Poetry Class, Poetry Fun, or even play word games. There are many things to check out on here.


And last but not least... Kenn Nesbitt's Poetry4kids website that has a plethora of poetry fun and information.




April isn't over yet so there is still plenty of time to check out these great resources for National Poetry Month. If you are like me, you'll spend just as much time as the students do reading all the fun poems! Enjoy :)



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Stay Calm and Rock the Test

Here in Texas we are all gearing up for the STAAR test so I thought a few encouraging posters were needed. We have all seen the Keep Calm posters everywhere, so using that as inspiration I created a few of my own to display. I couldn't make up my mind on which color I liked best for the background. Problem solved...I created them with several background colors and a couple of neon animal print! I think there is 10 in all. Thanks to my bilingual partner Christina for helping me create the Spanish ones. If you would like the freebie for your classroom, click the image to download.


Let's not forget about Dual Language classes!



 For all those testing, GOOD LUCK :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dr. Seuss Interactive Resources and Popular Quotes

It is that time of year again to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday! I thought this would be the perfect time to remind you of the entertaining online resources that your students can enjoy during computer time, centers, or free time. Many of you probably already have Seussville and PBS Kids' The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! bookmarked on your computer; however, if you haven't had a chance to check out all the fun activities and resources here is quick snapshot of them.

Seussville


You can learn all about Theodor Seuss Geisel from the "Author" section. It gives you a detailed timeline of both personal and professional events that happened in his life. I know in our third grade classes we have been really focusing on the characteristics of the biography genre, so this would be an excellent project for them to do. Important milestones could be passed out on strips of paper and they could arrange it in chronological order and recorded on their own timeline, or they could list major events for Dr. Seuss' life by pulling out the information independently. Another option would be to do an author study compiled from information gathered reading his biography, looking at the photo gallery, or watching the short videos from the website.


The "Games & Activities" are of course the most popular spot to be! Students have tons of choices to pick from such as rhymes, word searches, matching, shapes, same or different, and a lot more.


One of my favorite Seussville activities to recommend is the Storybook Maker. This activity allows students to create a three scene story similar to creating a comic strip.  It targets reading and writing skills in a fun, interactive way. Students first start out by picking their background (setting), characters, music, and type the text or dialogue they want the characters to say. The process is repeated for each scene. When they finish they can watch each scene unfold.


Other things to explore on Seussville are the short-clip videos, learning about every character from all of Dr. Seuss' books, and the educator section for printables and classroom resources.


PBS Kids also has oodles of educational interactives to play from The Cat in the Hat Know a Lot About That!

 

Check out Snap-O-Rama for categorizing games, puzzles, and memory match!

Students can also brush up on their math and science skills by playing a few of the games below. There are way too many to highlight!


Last but not least I want to leave you with 30 of Dr. Seuss' popular quotes. It was created by Mamiverse. My favorite is #16. What is your favorite Dr. Seuss quote?


 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pastelink an easy way to share files

Need an easy, quick way to share a file online? Then there's no reason to email it to yourself or upload to Google Docs and from there share out the link; when it can be done in less steps. Simply drag and drop (or browse) the file you want to share into Pastelink and that's it! A link will automatically be generated for you to copy to your clipboard and share out. The website is free but if you want to send files over 250 MB then you can sign up for a free account and send up to 2GB. The link is good for seven days so I would only recommend this for files you want to share out immediately. If you want to store files for people to continually access, then Google Docs or Dropbox, is still your best bet. However, this is super easy for file sharing on the go!