Mrs. Fite’s first-graders recently completed portraits to illustrate emotions. I photographed their artwork using my iPhone and uploaded the photos via the Animoto app. Once the upload was complete, I edited the video by re-arranging the portraits, adding text, selecting music and a theme. Animoto makes creating video slideshows a breeze. I hope you enjoy the result shown below.
One of my favorite online resources for students is Popplet. Popplet enables users to create visual organizers to clarify and communicate their ideas. It also helps students see how information is related as they sort, rank, and connect their ideas. When students first log in, they’re prompted to title their popplet and select a background color to make it so. The next step is to create a popple (a rectangular balloon), which is created by double-clicking on the background. The popple can be resized vertically and horizontally and can be shown in eight different colors. 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. This resource also helps students practice their digital citizenship skills, giving them an opportunity to upload only copyright free images and appropriate text that is on topic, accurate, and free of personal information. The best feature of Popplet is the ability to invite others to collaborate. Popplet continues to rely on Flash to run its website but will soon transition to HTML. A free membership allows users to create 10 popplets. Teachers can purchase student memberships from the group link for $2/student. I created the graphic organizer shown below to illustrate an All About Me popplet for 2nd graders.
Shown below are some of the skills developed through Popplet with teacher instruction.
Navigation: -Use online subscription resources -Navigate to a web address Responsible Use: -Use equipment for positive and productive functions -Recognize and respect ownership rights (copyright)
Online Safety and Security: -Do not share personal information online -Do not use inappropriate or disrespectful language online (proper netiquette) -Do not share network login information
Intellectual Property: -Explore the appropriate use of copyrighted material through permission, crediting sources, payment -Discuss plagiarism and its ramifications
Problem-Solving Tools: -Use graphic organizers to solve problems
Have you longed to be a keyboarding ninja? If so, consider mastering a few keyboarding shortcuts. In the school computer lab, 1st trimester, students in grades 2-6 will learn/review the shortcuts for copy, paste, print and save. Additional shortcuts are taught as needed with activities. 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)
Ctrl + P (print page)
Ctrl + S (save current page)
Ctrl + R (reload current page)
Ctrl + + (zoom in)
Ctrl + – (zoom out)
Shift + Alt + S (open status area in the bottom right corner of the screen)
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
September 15th is International Dot Day. You probably didn’t know that? I discovered this last year and am ready to embark on another dot day celebration in the CRES computer lab. 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 month of September, many CRES students, grades 2-6, will create dot art using Google Slides. The project will be delivered through Google Classroom. Each student will open their assignment in Google Slides and use a number of drawing tools to create their unique piece of circular art. When completed, students will upload their art to our Padlet canvas and share their masterpieces in celebration.
The digital canvas shown below is currently awaiting the addition of student art. Stay tuned! At the very bottom of this post, you can view a video sampling of student art from 2017.
Our 6th graders will create a Piet Mondrian inspired artwork during the first trimester. Piet Mondrian’s work is easily recognized by his use of primary colors, the use of horizontal and vertical lines, and the primary values of white, gray and black. It was a form of art he called Neoplasticism. Students will use Google Drawings to create their art and then share it on the digital canvas shown below. I deliver their assignment through Google Classroom once all students have joined my classroom. It’s an awesome way to organize and collect student work.
One of my first 3D projects I built at Tinkercad was a Minion. I had seen a speed video on YouTube. The problem with speed videos, however, is their lack of verbal instruction. I had to watch the video frame-by-frame to learn how to construct him. Some of that speed video contained repeated errors, which made the learning process harder than it needed to be. But, once I’d gathered the information needed to construct him, I recorded my own video tutorials with Screencastify.Those videos were then uploaded to YouTube and the links cleaned up in http://safeyoutube.net, preventing any unwanted content from showing up. These cleaned YouTube links were then added to a symbaloo playlist and made available on my blog (http://blogs.egusd.net/creslab/3d-printing) for myself and students to access. It was a great way to flip instruction and make instructional content available 24 hours a day.
This interactive graphic was created through Thinglink for Tri County Wildlife Care (TCWC). Thinglink allows users to annotate images and videos to increase engagement. This Thinglink takes TCWC followers to more information about opossums. Viewers simply hover their cursor across the photo to reveal numerous hyperlinked icons. Some of these links connect to a quiz, video, or photos/illustrations about the opossum’s skeletal structure, anatomy, and diet. Additonal links lead to related stories and provide a direct link to Tri County Wildlife Care’s donation page and web page featuring Gold CountryCritters.
Thinglink is also a great way for students to demonstrate learning, enabling them to add their own icons and links to additional, relevant resources. Students can share their projects with peers to further learning and collaboration. Sharing through social media links moves student work beyond classroom walls, giving students a real audience for their work.
A Teacher Pro account runs $35/year; a Teacher Premium account is $120/year and includes the 360 degree editor. Both accounts include classroom management.
Students in Mrs. McConnell’s and Mrs. Passmore’s kindergarten classes recently completed some scary tear art with construction paper. Each scary face was photographed and then uploaded to Animoto to create a video slideshow. Watch and see what you think.
This summer I started following Alice Keeler on Twitter. Her blog, Teacher Tech, is always loaded with great ideas. I recently came across her tweet to her blog post: Play Connect 4 Asynchronously. The basic game is made in Google Drawings because it offers the distribute tool, which is unavailable in Slides. The distribute tool is used to quickly organize and space the circles, which become openings in the “gameboard”. After the game is made, it’s downloaded as a png and uploaded to Google Slides as a background to prevent players from accidentally deleting it. With the background complete, I then created the game pieces in Slides. These are the only objects easily moved on the screen. I kept my page setup in Drawings the same for Google Slides; otherwise, the board and pieces looked distorted.
Connect 4 made in Google Drawings, downloaded as a png file.
Connect 4 shown in Google Slides with player pieces
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!
Join 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.
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.