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"Talking" Bitmojis

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Podcasting Experience

My co-worker (Estee Williams) and I just wrapped up our ninth episode of the P.O.D.C.A.T.S podcast (Personal on Demand Curriculum and Technology Show).
We started this at the beginning of the school year as a fun and different way to provide tech PD to our teachers. We wanted to see if there was an audience for it as well as learn some new skills that we could use in the classroom. 
It has been challenging these past two month as we have had to record from our separate homes, when we had been recording in person. We did like the challenge though and could now use our new skills to interview folks from around the country if needed.

Sadly, we've decided to table our Podcast for next year in lieu of some other tech PD ideas we would like to try. 
I thought, as we are closing out this experiment, I would highlight what we did and used tech wise in case anyone wanted to give it a try.

The first thing we did was develop our name, logo, and show format. We used the site Fiverr to get a …

Blackout Poetry in Google Slides

A blackout poem is when a poet takes a marker (usually black) to already established text, like in a newspaper, and starts redacting words until a poem is formed.

The term "Blackout Poetry" was made popular by author Austin Kelon who wrote a book of his blackout poems. The ideas is if you are at a loss for words then find words that have already been written and create something new from them.

I've done this with children in a classroom and it is quite messy when you start dealing with newspaper print and black sharpies.

You can make a digital version using either Google Slides or Google Drawings - much cleaner and neater!

The way to create this type of unique "found" poem is to start with a wall or slide of text, start highlighting words of interest, from there develop a poem, and then change the color of the background so only the highlighted words show through (I am over simplifying but that is the basic premise).

This is a VERY tricky type of poem to write…

Remote Online Poetry #4 - Digital Paint Chip Poetry

We are in our last week of April and I am wrapping up a four part series of online poetry activities for National Poetry Month.

This last idea, paint trip poetry, came from Mrs. Hall's Fabulous in Fourth blog.

I really liked the idea and made it digital using Google Slides.

I created a template that teachers could use and modify if they wish. Once you click on the link you will be asked to make a copy. Once you have copy in your drive you can adjust as needed for your students. This activity is appropriate for grades 3 through 5.

We use Google Classroom in our district so it would be easy to assign it. Below is how the assignment might look in Google Classroom:

The finished poem "Grey Is" (above) was one I created and used as a sample for students in the template.

Definitely check out Mrs. Hall's blog to see other samples of student work. She had a linked worksheet for student brainstorming and I copied those instructions to the left hand side of each slide in the te…

Remote Online Poetry Activity #3 - Reverse Poems

April is National Poetry Month. I have been trying to share some poetry ideas for tech integrated lessons (ones that can be used in a remote learning environment).

This week's lesson is on Reverse Poems. The idea of a Reverse Poem is that it has meaning when read from one direction (top to bottom) and an opposite meaning when read in reverse (bottom to top).

To try it out, and make a student sample, I made a reverse Cat and Dog poem (YouTube video embedded above). I was proud of the poem and video. It definitely is tricky. I would recommend this activity for upper level elementary GT and Middle/High students.

The entire concept of a "Reverse Poem" came from this "Lost Generation" poem.

This got me thinking about how I would teach the concept to students (particularly in a remote learning environment). This resulted in creating a Google Slides instructional template that could be assigned to students. To be clear, I have not tried it with anyone yet so you may …

Facebook Messenger Effects - Student Videos

I like to use the Facebook Messenger effects to make video messages for students. I used to teach teachers how to do when they were out and wanted to leave a "video note" for students when they had a sub. Using the effects makes the message more engaging and more likely to be watched. 
With distance learning in full swing in our district I thought it would be a great way to kick off the school week with students (giving them something new for the week to watch that lets students know what is due). 
It is super simple to make. I created the video instructions above or you can link to it HERE.
I use my iPhone or iPad and I have my Google Classroom and Seesaw accounts linked to both devices. Linking them makes it easier to upload the finished videos into the student classrooms that I have set up. 
Seesaw Upload Instructions:

Google Classroom Instructions:

If you find any other uses for the Facebook Messenger effects please let me know in the comments below or tag me on Twitter…

Remote Online Poetry Activity #2 - Poetry Slam

Last week I noted that April is National Poetry Month and this year most of us will be celebrating/observing it at home as we isolate ourselves amid the Covid-19 crisis.

I decided to post four online/tech activities, one each week, that teachers (upper elementary/middle school) could have students do.

My first post featured creating a simple Quarantine Haiku using Google Drawings.

My second idea is a remote poetry slam. Here is a great article featuring "5 Tips for Slam Poetry"

Teachers can use Flipgrid (free for educators) as the "performing space". Students would record their original poetry (Flipgrid has blur and pixelating options for children who didn't want their face shown). You can indicate a time recording maximum to keep children focused.

There are several student Poetry Slam videos on YouTube you could share to get students thinking about their poems. I really liked this one from a 12 year old Australian.

If you host a online poetry slam p…