Paul Klee Inspires Third Graders

Students in Mrs. Wathen’s 3rd grade classroom recently completed their Paul Klee inspired cats. Students used crayons and watercolors to create their masterpieces. Student art was uploaded to Animoto and produced into this video slide show. Take a look and see what you think!

Click here to view an example of Paul Klee’s art.


#Paul_Klee #watercolors

The World Needs More _____ Right Now?

gratitude pictureJoin the social media campaign for Character Day, 2017. Here’s the challenge from Let it Ripple: On a piece of paper write the sentence: The world needs more ________ right now. Select one of the character strengths from the Periodic Table of Character Strengths (shown below) and share through social media. Use the hashtag #CharacterDay2017 and share using @GlobalCharacter.

periodic table of character strengths screen shot

Social Media Campaign for Character Day 2017

International Dot Day, September 15th-ish

international dot day digital badgeSeptember 15th is International Dot Day. You probably didn’t know that? I just discovered it myself. So, what’s it all about? Well, activities center around the book, The Dot. A humble title, yes, but the message is big: don’t be afraid to try. The subject of The Dot is a young student named Vashti, who becomes artistically confident after her teacher frames the simple dot Vashti had drawn on paper. When Vashti sees her work framed the next day, it emboldens her. With her new found confidence, she completes numerous “masterpieces” and has a gallery showing. Vashti soon becomes an inspiration to others.

During the week of September 15, many CRES students will create dot art using Google Slides. The project will be delivered through Google Classroom, with each participating classroom collaborating in one slideshow. Each student is assigned a slide that corresponds to his/her student number. When completed, these slideshows can be shared through social media, expanding each student’s reach.


#InternationalDotDay #TheDot

What Will You Contribute to Character Day, 2017?

Character Day began in 2014 as a global effort to get people all over the world talking about character. Last year, 125 countries and all 50 states participated. This year, Character Day is scheduled for September 13th, and Cosumnes River Elementary is joining the effort.

Beginning September 5th, classes coming to the computer lab, grades 5-6, will watch one of several videos designed to get them thinking about the kind of person they are and want to be in the world.

What will you contribute? Watch the video shown below to gather inspiration and reflect.

Watch 1min Character Day Trailer from The Moxie Institute on Vimeo.

Made with Padlet

This video quiz should also get you thinking.

After watching both videos, ask yourself:

  • What kind of person am I?
  • Who do I want to be in the world?

Now compose your answer on the Character Day, 2017, Padlet shown below, which is organized into columns that reflect the main topics shown in the Periodic Table of Character Strengths. Simply click a PLUS sign under the column you would like to write a reflection. Each column heading shows a variety of subtopics. I wrote about the Appreciation of Beauty under the heading “Transcendence” and included a photo. All responses are held for moderation before publication. You can also leave comments on topics left by others.

Click the arrow in the padlet’s upper right-hand corner to expand the screen.

#characterday2017

Canva for Quick, Digital Designing

Well,  here’s another helpful ad from Facebook. Canva offers digital designing software. Over 200,000 free photos and images are offered. With no training, I was able to quickly create a blog graphic. CANVA’s Digital Design Challenge will walk you through the basic skills needed to create your own design. Additional design elements can be purchased at $1/piece.

Canva created graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canva can also be used to create certificates.

Get Efficient with Keyboarding Shortcuts

keyboard pictureHave you longed to be a keyboard ninja? If so, consider mastering a few keyboarding shortcuts. In the school computer lab, students frequently use the shortcuts for copy, paste, print and save. While many key combinations abound,  I’ve found those listed below to be the most useful.

 

Tabs & Windows

  • Ctrl + N (open a new window)
  • Ctrl + W (close window)
  • Ctrl + Shift + Q + Q (shut down Chromebook in 3 seconds)
  • Ctrl + Shift + T (reopen a closed tab)

Pages

  • Ctrl + P (print page)
  • Ctrl + S (save current page)
  • Ctrl + R (reload current page)
  • Ctrl + + (zoom in)
  • Ctrl + – (zoom out)

Browser Settings

  • Shift + Alt + S (open status area in the bottom right corner of the screen)

Text Editing

  • Ctrl + C (copy selected content to the clipboard)
  • Ctrl + V (paste content to the clipboard)
  • Ctrl + X (cut selected content)
  • Ctrl + Z (undo last action) or use the left pointing arrow
  • Ctrl + K (insert a hyperlink)
  • Ctrl + A (select everything on the page)

Visit the links below to learn more.

200 Keyboard Shortcuts

Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

A Pinterest Collection of Shortcuts

 

Podomatic’s Mini Podcaster

Podomatic’s Minicast Maker, currently in beta, is a web-based,  video slide show creator. Simply start with an audio track from your computer or from PodOmatic’s media library (no more than 10 minutes in length). Enter a title and description for your video. Next, upload up to 150 photos, dragging and dropping them into the desired order. Then, add a variety of transitions and the number of seconds to display each slide (I usually select evenly distribute). Uploads can take 5-20 minutes, depending on file size. Once the upload begins, you can leave the web page and Podomatic will send you a link when the video is ready.

The presentation below was made for Tri County Wildlife Care. Susan Manning, Director of Animal Care, provided tips to help keep pets and wildlife safe. You can visit TCWC to learn more about this amazing organization and their efforts to rescue sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife.

Solar Eclipse at CRES

CRES kids wore their safety shades to watch the eclipse. All photos were edited with the Aviary application and uploaded to Animoto.  It took about 30 minutes to upload the photos, dragging and dropping them into the preferred order. The video was produced and then upgraded to HD (720p) for an additional $10.  The band, Leftover Cuties, supplied the song: A Sunnyside.

Rawshorts for Explainer Videos

Most of us dislike the ads placed on our Facebook accounts, but every now and then an advertiser offers something of use to me as a teacher. I saw a recent ad for Rawshorts, a video creation tool. Rawshorts offers a 30-minute tutorial to get users up and running. Using some of their templates, I was able to create this video for my students.

The video shown below was made by fellow resource teacher, Matthew Gipson. He used his own creative style to help students learn how to behave properly in the computer lab. I’ll be showing both videos to my students during their first week back to school.

Mondrian Style Art With Google Drawings

Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter, is best know for a form of art he called neoplasticism. The art is prepared on a white background, with a grid of black lines and the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Young students can easily recreate their own Mondrian style art.

When students originally began this project, they used the Kerpoof website. It was loved by kids and fairly simple to use. Kerpoof, owned by the Walt Disney Company, closed April 2014. Instead, Disney moved toward creating mobile apps.

The art for this project is quickly created with Google Drawings. Just a few tools are needed: line tool, line weight, shape tool, and arrange. Ctrl + D is also used to quickly duplicate lines. Once completed, I have the students save their art as a png file and have them upload to a collaborative canvas at Padlet.

Mondrian style art image


#Mondrian #GoogleDrawings #ElementaryArtProjects

Creating Digital Badges for Students

Image of a digital badgeI spent much of my summer vacation searching out new digital projects for my students. I really wanted to do more with Google Drawings. On YouTube, I came across this well-made tutorial from Flipped Classroom. The instructions were clear and simple. Shown at left is the badge I made to award students who create a Mondrian style art project. Years ago, students used the Kerpoof Website to make that artwork, but Kerpoof closed in 2014.  My 2nd graders can now use Google Drawings to mimic Piet Mondrian’s style and earn a digital badge.