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Showing posts from December, 2012

Christmas Activity - Paper Star

Today is our last day of school and I am working with several classrooms to make the paper star in this video. You can make the star "techy" by having student take digital pictures of each stage and develop a "how to" set of instructions in Word. Have them use transition words for each step. To make it less "techy" but still have some academic value have students create a STAR acrostic to go with it. Enjoy your Christmas break!

12 Tech Days Before Christmas Break - Day 9

Use your YouTube downloader to download The Polar Express online (this is the reading of the book by an actor from Storybook Online) ( ). Develop age appropriate reading comprehension questions (Who were the main characters? List a character trait they possessed and give an example from the story/book that supports it. What was the story’s main conflict? How was the conflict solved? Summarize the story in 25 words. Etc…). FYI – I attached a list of Character Traits for Kids that I got for free from TeachersPayTeachers in the picture above. Upper grade levels can add the movie to Edmodo (free and protected social networking site for educators and their classes) and have students watch it on their own (in a center, computer lab, or at home for homework) and give them an assignment (also in Edmodo) where they have to answer questions about the story (if you Google “The Polar Express thematic unit” or “Polar Express

12 Tech Days Before Christmas Break - Day 8

On the eight day I sent out a Promethean flipchart to all the teachers in my school that featured a crackling fireplace. The idea was to play it on the board while reading some favorite holiday picture books. I can't find the original flipchart on Promthean Planet to share but low and behold YouTube has a TON of crackling fireplaces you can download and use. Here is one - All you have to do is use a YouTube downloader and save to your videos and play while reading!

12 Tech Days Before Christmas - Day 7

Day 7 - Social Studies Practice reading latitude and longitude lines and figure out what cities Santa will be visiting over the holidays. Watch this YouTube video about lines of latitude and longitude (download using a YouTube downloader).  Have students complete the latitude and longitude worksheet as practice from this website - Super Teacher Worksheets. Pull out the laptops and have students go to and have them type in the latitude and longitude coordinates I have listed (1-15) on this worksheet.   They have to identify the location (famous places and monuments) where indicated. A couple of the places require that the students go to the street view and move around to find the monument. For example #12 will take the students pretty darn close to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. To get to the street view click on the “A” listed on the map as the location and then click on “street view” (see picture above). Location #6 (Big Ben) will also need

12 Tech Days Before Christmas - Day 6

Day 6 The 12 Days of Christmas – Math Lesson Students listen to the 12 Days of Christmas - (you can use the YouTube Downloader so you don’t have to stream it live). I am not going to lie...this is probably one of my least favorite Christmas songs (it goes on FOREVER) but I liked the math lesson. I've been booked to do this with a third grade class next week but instead of doing the tech integration below (with an Excel spreadsheet) we are going to be using calculators. The teacher and I think that introducing Excel to 3rd graders with this project would be a little difficult.  Printable lyrics can be found on the following site - Students figure out how many items are in the song using the lyrics sheet. Then they calculate the cost of all the items in the song. Lesson plan with forms can be found on the following site –

12 Tech Days Before Christmas - Days 5

Day 5 Teach students how to summarize a holiday article using this GIST template (The Gist Template was modified and adapted from a lesson on the Read Write Think  website ). Students will select and read an online article from either of the following sources (you can link the sites on your webpage for easy access for the students): (articles related to Christmas stories) or (mix of news stories some with holiday themes) They will fill out the GIST template after they have read it (may need to model it whole group before having students do it on their own). You can teach students how to use the “snap screen” feature so that they can view the article and the template side-by-side without having to toggle between screens to fill in the information (see picture below and 1 minute video above explaining how it works). Have students print or save their work for grading.

12 Tech Days Before Christmas Break - Day 4

Today's tech tip is to try using to post holiday spelling words. Spelling City is free (basic membership). Student's can look up your lists at home or at school and practice their spelling in a fun online environment with games and quizzes. This is a great center activity for ELA.

12 Tech Days Before Christmas Break (Days 1, 2, and 3)

Most readers know that I have been working as a Technology Coach for the past couple of years. I still work with teachers who are notebooking but my focused has shifted work wise. This is more of a "tech" post then "notebooking" post so I apologize (but I hope you find it useful!) This month at work I decided to focus on the 12 Tech Days Before Christmas Break giving teachers 12 useable tech ideas that they could implement in the days leading up to the holiday break (or after). We get out December 20th so the twelve days started on December 5th for us. I am currently up to day three of my tips and thought I would share what I have passed on so far. DAY 1 Record a holiday readers theater podcast using Audacity (have children develop sound effects that go with the story). Here is a link for a free reader's theater download from TeachersPayTeachers “Goldilocks and the Christmas Elves”. Here is a link to another readers theater adapted from Dr.Seu