Monday, March 5, 2012

Story Starter Sample!

I recently posted about Scholastic Story Starter. Here is an example of one of the creations of my students! Remember their goal was include correlative conjunctions in their writing!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Does Netflix Have a Future in Education?

These are two blog I found that is discussing Netflix and educational uses.

Puzzling Puzzlemaker?

In a recent post regarding Discovery Education, I mentioned that they offer a free puzzlemaker to non-subscribers. I was curious as to how easy this puzzlemaker would be to use. To me, if it isn’t easy, a tool like this, may not be worth it.

I discovered that the Discovery Education Puzzlemaker is very easy to use! As for how you could use it in your own classroom, word searches can be great ways for students to familiarize themselves with vocabulary words; crosswords can be engaging ways to review definitions. You could even have your students create their own puzzles as a review of vocabulary words or concepts. They can create their own, print them out, and share them with their peers.

*One thing I really did like about the Discovery Puzzlemaker was that it allows you to easily go back to your work and edit and revise! This is something I am always looking to see if a Web 2.0 tool allows you to do!
Here is a snapshot of an example word search I created!

Another Aspect of Prezi

After creating my own Prezi presentations, I wanted to know can I use Prezi in any other ways in my own classroom. (I would love to have my students create their own Prezi presentations, but at this time my students do not have email addresses that have been okayed by my school.) I am always looking for new ideas or different ways to approach the concepts I discuss with my students, and it turns out Prezi is a great resource. You can use Prezi’s search feature and look for already created Prezi Presentations. Since I am exploring conjunctions with my students, I found some neat Prezi Presentations that I could share with my students and/or get inspiration for myself!
Currently I am discussing conjunctions with my students, so I searched for some neat conjunction presentations. Here are some already made and shared Prezi presentations about conjunctions! I really like the one titled "Coordinating Conjunctions," by user Meredith Maddux.

Try searching the presentations for a topic or concept you are discussing in your own classroom!

Starting the Story

I am always trying to get my students engaged and excited about the writing process. I usually gear my class into writing about things they know, things they have personally experienced, but the other day, when we were covering correlative conjunctions, I just wanted something fun and engaging where my students could practice using correlative conjunctions in their own writing! Thus I discovered Scholastic Story Starter!

Scholastic Story Starter is a Web 2.0 tool that will generate a silly story prompt by “spinning a wheel.” Students type in a name, then chose their appropriate grade. Students can then chose the format they wish to write, notebook, postcard, newspaper article, or letter. It is simple and easy to use! My students enjoyed the interactive nature and doing something different!
Get a story starter for yourself! Check it out at the website below!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Easy Wordle Example

Here is an example of a Wordle product I created describing Web 2.0! I have a quick overview PowerPoint that I have shared with my students to introduce them to Wordle and direct them with the different features. I will hopefully be able to share this PowerPoint with you very soon!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Netflix in the Classroom?

Many weekends and Christmas breaks I have spent hours watching past seasons of my favorite shows or devouring episodes of a show I always meant to watch using my home streaming of Netflix. I even have my very own Netflix library with everything I intend to watch waiting patiently in my own, personally created queue. Could this Web 2.0 tool have a place in a classroom?
Recently, my students have explored the life of Moses, the great religious leader. We read about him, we discussed him, we have researched him, and the other day I wanted to share with them the Dreamworks movie, Prince of Egypt. I felt it would provide another perceptive of everything we did in class. I do not own this movie, but I wanted to quickly get a copy and have them watch it that week. After I called my local Barnes and Nobles and Target I found that they did carry copies either. Not thinking about going directly to an easy online source, Netflix, I changed my plans and my students never watched the video. It was this Web 2.0 project that made me stop and thinking, could I use my Netflix account to quickly access any video I may want to share with my students? I know that when I clicked the agreement box for Netflix, I agreed I would not use any of their videos for commercial purposes, but is my classroom considered commercial? This is a question I am very curious about. In thinking back to several course I took in college, one in particular on history through Oliver Stone’s movies, creating a Netflix queue for a course would have been very easy for my professor. Maybe this Web 2.0 could be useful for educators?