Located on this website, under CRESTek Links, is a collection of geography games. Students/teachers can select from 20 different games. Not only do many of these games build student understanding of the United States, its rivers, lakes, and regions, but they also help students practice their navigation skills using the arrow keys to move left/right or up/down to enlarge or reduce. Many states must be dragged and dropped into their correct position on the map. This video demonstrates several of the games.
Over the past few weeks, students in grades 2-6 have used Google Slides to create artwork for Dot Day, which is celebrated around September 15th-ish. Working with Google Slides requires students to log into their computer, navigate to Google Classroom, select the correct class (computer lab), and then scroll to reach and open their assignment. When their project is completed, students go to their file menu and download their slide as a png (portable network graphic). Once downloaded to their computer, students open a second tab and navigate to a collaborative digital canvas at Padlet. This helps students practice working with two web pages at once and an opportunity to bookmark the site. Students use Padlet’s add button to upload their image and add text. This gives students an opportunity to practice their digital citizenships skills and a chance to use technology tools to enhance their learning. Many students continue to use Slides for their own art, polishing their production skills. The video shown below highlights many of the skills used.
Constitution Day, 2018, is set to be recognized by schools in the Elk Grove Unified School District on September 17th. The links shown below will take you to a list of approved sites for use with students.
Pixabay.com is a handy resource for gathering images to help illustrate concepts. It’s also another opportunity for students to practice good digital citizenship skills as they must search for appropriate images using appropriate search terms. I’ve used Pixabay with 2nd graders to help them build their All About Me Popplet. With this activity, students learned how to manage two web pages, search for and download an image, and then navigate to their downloads folder to find the image. This video tutorial explains the process. If you like this video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel (link shown in video).
Have you ever tried to upload a beautiful picture to your social media account only to discover the file is too large? When this happens don’t give up. You can use the Online Image Resizer. It’s quick and easy to use, and it’s also free. Watch my video below to learn how to reduce your pixels.
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.
-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
-Explore the appropriate use of copyrighted material through permission, crediting sources, payment
-Discuss plagiarism and its ramifications
-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
- Ctrl + K (insert a hyperlink)
- Ctrl + A (select everything on the page)
Visit the links below to learn more.
#KeyboardingShortcuts #KeyboardingNinja #keyboarding
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.
#InternationalDotDay #TheDot #Padlet
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.
For those interested in printing this Minion, you can reach the downloadable files at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2774265.
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 Country Critters.
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.
#Thinglink #TCWC #SavingWildlifeSavesUs
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.
What can you make with a dot? Well, here’s a sampling of signed and unsigned student art created with Google Drawings for International Dot Day, 2017. Click here to read more.