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Sky Art Haikus

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Digital Portraits

  We are still on winter break here in South Carolina and it has given me time to scroll Twitter more than I do during a normal work week.  I have found quite a few ideas I really liked but this digital portrait one is my favorite (at least for right now 😉). It came from a post that mentioned a Virtual Paint Party. Intrigued, I read through the comments and helpfully someone posted a link to the recorded "party" . I normally scroll Twitter in bed so I spent an hour watching the entire video (much to my husbands annoyance 🤣). The instructor Emma Cottier , a middle school teacher in Canada, was the guest presenter and did an outstanding job of walking through the steps of creating portraits using Google Drawings. There were so many excellent tips. My favorites were changing the color of the neck to provide contrast, using the Zoom feature liberally, and continually moving the originating photo to the front as you work in sections. She also showed student work and gave exampl

One Word Project 2022

I ran across this One Word Challenge on line last year and really liked the concept. The project/challenge is based on a book that explains how focusing on "one word" for the year helps to simplify what we really want to accomplish. In all fairness I haven't read the book but I did buy the student version of it. It is a picture book meant to be read to students at the beginning of the school year so I am not sure it would work for a new calendar year.  The word I chose this year is "Notice". The idea is to "notice" more of the small things I tend to overlook. It is a reminder to myself that positive things, ideas, and actions don't always come in "big" sweeping moments.  Last year I chose "Focus" and ordered an Etsy washer bracelet that I wore most of the year to help me remember. Etsy has fancier bracelets if that is something that appeals to you.  I thought the overall idea of choosing "one word" would make a goo

Photo Editing - Cool Eraser Tool

I just finished up Tony Vincent's Classy Graphics course. It is an excellent online class if you are looking for something fun and creative to do. I have actually taken all of his classes and they are all OUTSTANDING. I made the graphic above in his class as one of my assignments.  He shares so many tools and sites with classmates and one great website he highlighted was . It is a site that can remove ELEMENTS from a picture. I have heard of  sites where you can remove the background  of a picture but not an element of a picture. It is a simple tool to use. You simply upload the picture and then use the brush to erase an element. The system AI does the rest. Here is an example of removing a cone from a group picture.   Sometimes you have use the brush multiple times to get rid of an element. This picture required a lot of passes of the brush to remove the chair and unwanted guest. If you haven't tried it you definitely will want to bookmark the site for future

Giant Tacky Origami Book Character Holiday Shirts

  A co-worker and I are working with students the week before our holiday break to create these fun tacky book character holiday shirts.  I've seen and created  origami shirts in the past and hadn't really thought of them recently until I saw this cool video on how to make a GIANT origami shirt.  I liked the idea of creating a tacky holiday shirt but needed to make the project a bit more academic. My co-worker, a former ELA teacher, suggested adding book character elements in addition to the holiday elements and having students explain their choices in writing. It was such a genius idea that we made a couple of samples. We plan to work with a class so we brainstormed the requirements as we created the shirts. Students would need to work in pairs to complete the folding of the shirt. The instructor in the video did it by herself, and I tried, but it was really nice to have a second pair of hands. While we were working we thought students should be paired together by different

Book Creator Introduction Lesson(s)

  One of my favorite online creation tools is Book Creator . It allows students to create interactive multimedia ebooks based off classroom assignments. The FREE version allows teachers to have one library with 40 books. Teachers can archive libraries and delete books and reset the library count to 40 as needed. Obviously the ideal situation is to get a classroom, school, or district subscription  and it is something to recommend to administrators, PTA's, or even make a grant pitch for.  I am a certified Google Trainer and Book Creator has very generously offered up their 1,000 book library deal to anyone with that designation, which makes it very nice for training purposes. Here are a few books I have made for demonstration purposes: Plastic Bags   Showing Respect in the Halls (Comic Example) Choose Your Own Adventure Style Book Biography (Bessie Coleman) Community Helpers (link to Facebook post...this is a project I completed with a kindergarten class) Because I love Book Crea

Animated GIF Stickers

I have been using GIF's for awhile to provide fun feedback to students but I never thought of putting them into a "sticker" format before.  The idea was presented in a session I attended recently at GaETC21 (Georgia EdTech Conference 2021) and I LOVED it.  The conference session was presented by Meredith White  a high school Spanish teacher from Georgia. She got the idea and template from Ester Park and ran with it sharing how she used her stickers with students to provide engaging feedback.  Ms. Park provides a video overview of the process and I created my own video , just in case her video ever went down, and to share more specific details with teachers in my district.  In all my samples I used Ms. Park's sticker template. If you wanted to change it up they seem pretty simple to make. It looks like she did her wording in another program and inserted them as a picture but I used Google fonts with Google Word Art for the most part in my sample above.  I've step