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.
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.
The Technology Song for Kids by the Polkadots will put a smile on most kids’ faces and a bounce in their step. Try to remain still in the room while this is playing. 😉 But, be warned, this tune will stick in your head for weeks.
I found this video and plan to use it as an introduction to the keyboard for kinder, first, and second grade. I’ve already created a quiz at Quizizz to complement the video and reinforce concepts. Quizizz makes the learning process easy and fun for kids.
Padlet is a wonderful resource for classroom projects. Shown below is an example I made to illustrate my Four Seasons Project.
After showing students my example, I’ll send them to their project Padlet and ask them to upload a pic for each season under the appropriate column, including a sentence or two. Students will click a plus sign below each season to add text and images. When students return from summer vacation, I’ll unlock the Padlet, making it public and editable. Padlets can be private, password protected, secret, or public. They can also be set to read, write, or moderate.
When unlocked by the student, the canvas will appear as shown below.
There are many resources for creating visual maps online. I’ve always found Popplet to be the most user-friendly, though Mindmeister offers many more tools. A free membership allows the user to create up to 10 popplets. Popplets can be shown in one of eight different colors, as can each popple of information. The popple can contain text, an uploaded image, a sketch created within the popple, a hyperlink, or embedded video. Text size and alignment can be customized. The best feature of Popplet is the ability to generate an embed code to display your popplet within a post.
If you’re looking for a convenient and affordable way to build and track your students’ computation skills, try Math Facts Pro. Students sign in with their teacher’s name, then type in their name and password. The teacher can select the number of problems for quizzes (Math Facts Pro recommends 50). Students enter their answers by clicking the online number pad. Class reports can be printed in under a minute. Here’s an example of the progress made by one of our 2nd grade classes during one academic year:
CRES has had Math Facts Pro for 2 years. For at least 3 years prior, we used a much more expensive, software-based program. Internet access for the program was cost prohibitive. Math Facts Pro runs $1/student.
Students make progress when the program is used 4-5 times a week. Students solve more computation problems accurately on Math Facts Pro than they do on worksheets because the program grades them immediately. It is this timely feedback that holds students accountable and prevents them from leaving the classroom with misconceptions that may not be corrected until the student returns to class the next day. Students completing worksheets often wait days to see their test results.
I just started a free 14 day trial at Headsprout. The program offers 80 Interactive online episodes that teach kids how to read; 50 interactive online quizzes that teach kids how to comprehend text.
Students log in with their teacher’s username, click on their student name, and then enter a text or picture password. Students are assigned an appropriate module as their starting point after the teacher conducts a quick reading assessment. I particularly like the option of sending an individual student a text or recorded message for encouragement. The kids love to know their teacher is overseeing their work. I can also award bonus stars to students. The stars they earn can be used to “purchase” features for their robot icon or to play short videos/games.
A one year subscription can be purchased for a class of up to 36 students at $189.95 (less than $6 a student).
I consider ClassroomSalon.com to be one of top sites for building kids’ digital skills. The site can be used with documents, images and videos. I have previously written about the benefits of Salon.
I created this video for FlipCon14 to demostrate a flipped lesson. This video illustrates how to easily and efficiently create an online activity for current events using a free resource from Izzit.org. It’s a simple way to bring enriching and appropriate content to your students, a great way to keep them aware of current events, and an outstanding way to get kids communicating and collaborating: an expectation for 21st Century Learners. (See ISTE for more information.)