Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Do You Have a Digital Story to Tell?

Kristen, Juliet, and Cassie over at the Teaching Trio host a linky called Technology Thursday. It is a weekly linky dedicated to all things technology related. Teachers can share reviews of websites or apps you've tried, tech tips that make your {teaching or personal} life easier, and helpful tutorials. Their hope is that this linky provides a place for teachers to share and learn new ways to use technology and engage students!

Be a rule follower!
Rule #1: Include the image above and a link to their blog somewhere in your post.
Rule #2: Be a good blog reader...visit the two blogs who link up before you and leave some love on their pages!
Rule #3: This linky is not intended for product promotion. You may include products you've created in your posts, but they should not be the sole focus of the post.

Today, I have an amazingly easy way for you to tell your story. You can use still pictures, text and embed videos right into the story. This program allows you to create a timeline and use a Google map to help take your viewers along on your story. The program is called MEOGRAPH. One of the nicest things about it, it is FREEEEEE!

I can think of a number of ways you can use this program with your class.

1) Students can create a meograph to tell a story about a biography and to show the different places the character travelled to in a lifetime.
2) Students can tell their autobiography.
3) Students can use this program to create their own lit trip through a book such as done with Google Lit Trips.
4) Students can create a Meograph to share their vacation or field trip stories with the class.
There really are numerous ways you can use this program.

Not only is this program free, it is easy to use. I am including a tutorial for you here.

Begin by opening the website and click on the "Try!" button to begin.

Add a title and then click on "add a moment".

Choose whether you would like to add a photo, video, and even narration. Next, click on "More" to add the location and other information for each "moment" you add.

Next, you can add links, text, where, and when the "moment" happened. I love that by doing this, a Google map is added. As you enter each "place", a line moves from the previous to the new place on a Google map. You can adjust the size of the map as well, by zooming in or out up at the top of the map. You just repeat this process over and over for however many "moments" you want to include in your story.

Click on the picture above to be taken to a Meograph I created to tell the story of a mission trip I took to Mexico. It has still pictures, text, narration, and even includes an embedded video.

If you like this tech tip, click on the button at the top of this post to visit the Teaching Trio for some other ideas!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

January Art Projects for the Classroom

Hello everyone! Thanks to Marissa at Inspired Owl's Corner and Lisa at Pawsitively Teaching, I am here again to share three terrific ideas I found on Pinterest that you can use in your class as soon as you get back from the holiday break!

Click on image to view original Pinterest link.

Patty Palmer posted this terrific project by Mountain Color over at the Deep Space Sparkle's website. I have done this project with my students and it is truly sweet to see how differently each child's project turns out, even though they each are doing the "same" project. This is a two day project. One day is taken to create the beautiful background and the other day is taken to create the penguin and the little iceberg it sits on. My students were concerned about putting the arms exactly as I showed them how to as I was doing this lesson direct-instruction style. I told them that they could choose to have their arms up, down, or side-ways. The fact that each child chose to do it differently added to the individual personality of each penguin. The same thing happened when creating the eyes and nose. Some penguins looked happy, others looked concerned. It was delightful to hang these up and look at each penguin expression. I promise that if you do this lesson with your class, everyone who sees them will LOVE them! I matted mine on black and hung them up in my classroom. (see below) I think the second penguin looks pensive while the last penguin looks kind of like he got caught in the middle of doing something. This project could be extended by having your students write penguin facts and attach those to the bottom of their masterpieces!

Click on image to view original Pinterest link
I have seen many "Snow globe" projects around on Pinterest, but I chose this one to highlight. Tori over at Tori's Teacher Tips has one of the best "tutorials" on how to create this project. She has a lot of large, clear pictures on her post on how to create this. What I especially loved about this teacher's approach is that she let her students choose what they would each do in the snow globe. She took a picture of each student acting out what they would do in the snow globe. After each project was completed, the students then followed the art project with a writing extension. This post is really a "must-see" as she has lots of great shots and examples of this project for you to look at. A bonus is that she offers lots of freebies on her posts as well, this one included! I am definitely considering this as a possible January project with my students.

Click on image to view original Pinterest link.

Stacy Spangler over at the Sleepy Head Art Studio has wonderful step-by-step directions for this over-the-top fun-to-make project. The students get to mix glue with shaving cream to paint a textured snowman. How fun does that sound? Ok, well, it sounds messy to be honest, but her pictures make it look really easy and fun to do. I especially love that this project uses so many different types of mediums (glue, shaving cream, paint, glitter, sticks, paper, and cloth). When parents come into our room and see a project like this done, they can tell a lot of thought and work went into creating it. They can also usually tell that the students really had an amazing time creating it. Even though this is also a direct-instruction type of art project, each of the ones she has pictures for turned out differently. I definitely look forward to trying this project out shortly after returning to school.

I hope you have found something here that your are excited about trying with your students after the break. Projects like these are so wonderful for classroom bonding. Students encourage one another with their work and really celebrate each other's beautiful creations when they are displayed in the classroom for others to see. If you liked these ideas, you are sure to LOVE these ones too. I am excited to share these links with you so that you can enjoy the best Pinterest links that we have found for you to add to your January fun.

This linky will be open for the entire month of January 2015. We'd LOVE to have you add your awesome finds for January on Pinterest to encourage other teachers as well.

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