Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tech Project - Spinning Acrostic

I was looking up different techniques for digital storytelling using PowerPoint when I came across this cool video onYouTube.  I liked the spinning effect and thought it could be used for an animated acrostic.

I talked a teacher friend of mine into doing it with her class (4th grade) during their colonial unit and they turned out pretty good (the ones that finished). The hardest part was getting the kids to pre-make the acrostic! If you click on the video above you will watch a 6 minute tutorial on how to make the effect happen (or you can click on THIS LINK to go directly to my YouTube video).

I tried something new with this class. Normally we go through all the steps together but I wanted to see if students could follow a detailed tutorial so I could just be there for support. I made a 9 minute video and told them that if they followed all the steps they could do this project. I had maybe a total of five students in the class who finished with little or no help from me. All the rest could not, or did not, want to follow the video tutorial. In hindsight I should have done the first part (saving and typing) whole group and then as students finished they would watch a shorter video on how to add the animations. I think 9 minutes was too long for many of the students and they didn't get the concept to pause the video after each section.

I did a similar tutorial with another class and changed it to a 2 minute video and the kids did much better with that (different project but the concept was the same).

Anyway….if you are looking for a slightly different take on a PowerPoint you might want to try this technique. It can be done in any subject area. This one modeled use in a Social Studies class but I've also done it with a science class using the word "Light."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Secret Door Foldable


Another one of my goals this year is to complete 52 pins on Pinterest. So I went through my pins to see if I could isolate the ones I wanted to try and a video I had pinned last year about a secret door foldable jumped out at me. The video can be found HERE.

I decided to try it out using 8 1/2 x 11 card stock (the teacher used larger construction paper) and I tried it using half of the card stock (kids love things in miniature!). Both turned out cute and were very easy to do...although I might pre-cut the strips for students.

I choose the topic "The Moon" for both. I have a friend who is going into Astronomy in the next quarter and thought I could talk her into trying it with her students if she saw the samples. I was also thinking that a child could do a large one for a larger topic, i.e. The Solar System, and a smaller one for a part of the larger topic, i.e. Earth (I also thought the larger one could be a habitat and the smaller one an animal in that habitat).

Because the foldable flips open to a secret picture it really can't be glued into the notebook. You can easily slide them into a plastic bag that then gets taped into the book (I have done that several times).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Classroom Management - Bathroom Breaks

I was in a fifth grade classroom just before the holidays and saw a boy put a hand sanitize bottle on his desk with a timer taped to it. I asked him to explain and he said that if they want to go to the bathroom they pick one of the two bottles on the shelf (see second picture), set the timer for three minutes, and go to the bathroom. They have to make it back before the three minutes is up, use the hand sanitizer, turn off the alarm and put it back on the shelf.  

The teacher said that the three minute alarm is her indication that someone might be playing or taking too long in the bathroom. 

Clearly all the kids knew the bathroom procedure. There are two bottles for the boys and two for the girls. Apparently the boys lost one of the bottles before the break and they can only go out one at a time.

I thought this was a clever way to manage bathroom procedures so I thought I would share. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Technology Newsletters

My New Year's Resolustion is to blog once a week this year. I figure if I make it a goal I will be more likely to stick to it :)

This week's post is a collection of this school year's tech newsletter that I put together for our district's elementary schools - TECH NEWSLETTER LINK

Until next week.....