Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goodbye Summer: A VoiceThread Activity

Need a Back to School writing activity? Perhaps your class can send Summer a farewall?

Have your students write "Goodbye Summer" poems. Once the poetry is complete, students can illustrate the program using an program like TuxPaint. Then, you can combine all the poems in a class VoiceThread, Photostory, Smilebox, Mixbook, or PowerPoint and share with parents at the back to school night.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back 2 School Activity: Venn Diagram

To help classmates learn a little about each other, try this quick and easy technology lesson plan. Place students together in groups of two and have them record similarities and differences about themselves. Give the students a few questions to ask each other to get the conversions going. You can even try turning this activity into a contest to see which group can list the most similarities and differences on their diagram.

Creating the Venn Diagram can be done with a variety of software such as Inspiration, Powerpoint, and Microsoft Word. If using PowerPoint or Microsoft Word have your students use the draw tool to create the first circle. Then simply copy and paste to create an equal sized circle. Have the students click and drag to overlap the circles. Each student can fill their circle in with their favorite color. Then they should set the transparency to more than 50%, so the middle of the circles will be visible. (Right click and select "format the autoshape". Under "fill color" is the transpancy option.) Students can draw a text box or use Wordart to type on their Venn Diagram. Groups that finish before others can insert clipart that goes along with what has been shared on the diagram.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Welcome! 2009-2010

I hope this post finds you ready for another engaging year in your classroom after a relaxing summer break.

My summer was adventurous. My husband and I moved our family to Missouri at the end of June. I now live in a city of 110,000 + and work for a district serving 14,000 students. Quite a change from my 1A small school of 280 students which included preschool through 12th grade!

I debated most of the summer about what to do with my blog. I thought of just giving it up, but a few of your stories have reached me. I know that there are some of you that do use my blog as a resource for your classrooms. Stories such as those give me inspiration to find time to create and post lessons. Thank you for that inspiration.

It is time to start thinking about back to school lesson plans. Let's start the year off with the classic "All About Me Poster". Although this lesson has been around for awhile, it is one that as teachers it can help us gain some insight into the lives of our students. In the past, I have had students use Inspiration software, Publisher or PowerPoint. I think it would be fun to see what your students can create using web2.0 apps such as Glogster, Animoto or Mixbook.

I have written about Glogster in the past. If you are unfamiliar with this web2.0 application. Glogster can be used to create online interactive posters. To begin this lesson, I would suggest to your class a few categories that you would like to see included on the poster (ie: family, hobbies, music, books etc..) Then, share an example just so students learn little about you. By doing this your students are given some insight on what can be done with Glogster. If you have time, record a welcome video and attach it to your glog. I do suggest that you spend a few minutes having students sketch out with paper and pencil what will be included on their poster and where it will be located at within their glogster. Be sure to include time for your students to share their completed posters with their classmates.

I would love to hear your favorite back to school lesson plans.