MakeBeliefsComix

Jul 30, 2014 by

Make Beliefs Comix icon

MakeBeliefsComix is a great website to make comic strips. The MakeBeliefsComix website has frames that students and teachers can use to write a story with a large collection of characters, scenes, and props.   Students can choose from eight different talk bubbles and eight different thought bubbles in several different languages.  MakeBeliefsComix can be shared via email, printed, or saved as a PDF.  The MakeBeliefsComix Website is a fun, creative way for students to practice writing in English or a foreign language.  The MakeBeliefsComix Website also has lots of resources for teachers and parents and over 350 printable comics for students that can be used in many different ways.

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LetterSchool

Jul 23, 2014 by

LetterSchool iTunes iconLetterSchool is a great app for teaching young students and English language learners letters and numbers.  LetterSchool has four fun games per letter and number so that students are engaged in learning.  Students can use this app to learn how to write letters and numbers as well as the letter sounds.  The app has both uppercase and lowercase letters and the games help students with their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.  LetterSchool is a great app for practicing essential letter and number skills in a fun way.

 

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Storybook Reading

Jul 16, 2014 by

Storybook reading iTunesStorybook Reading is an app that lets you record yourself reading the pages of your favorite storybooks.  Simply take a photo of the page in the book with your device and then record yourself reading it.  Teachers can record themselves reading a book for young readers to listen and read along.  Storybook Reading could also be used for fluency practice for young readers and English language learners.  Foreign language teachers might have their students take a photo of an English book and read it in the foreign language or have students practice reading foreign language titles.

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Paper

Jul 9, 2014 by

Paper App iconSome learners record their thoughts and takeaways in ways that aren’t sequential, horizontal lines or two columns.  Some students are non-linear and Paper by 53 is a great app for them.  Paper allows users to sketch, doodle, write and more with built in tools for line weight, type and color choice.  Paper also has additional tools that can be added on for additional creativity.  Paper is great tool to share your ideas with friends, classmates, or colleagues.  Paper notes stream to Tumblr or can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, or email.  Get your ideas down in a way that makes sense to you!

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Edmodocon: Save the Date

Jul 2, 2014 by

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Mark your calendars! Edmodocon is right around the corner on August 6, 2014

Last year, over 27,000 educators met for a full day of professional development and collaboration on creative ways to use Edmodo in the classroom.  This is a free virtual conference so you can come and go and see as much as you want, ALL day long!  Edmodo is a great social learning tool and whether you want to learn more about it or if you are already using it and want to see what others are doing, this is the conference for you.

Be sure to click on the link and reserve your spot and don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues to register too.

Want to keep up with the latest news on Edmodocon?  Check out the Edmodocon Community!  This will be a great day of community building and learning and you can even earn an Edmodocon badge for attending!

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Photo Fun

Jun 25, 2014 by

Here are a couple of apps to get kids outside and get that creativity flowing.

Eye Paint Animals iTunes iconEye Paint Animals is a fun app that lets kids use the artwork of a real artist and then manipulate it and call it their own.  Kids can use the device camera to capture colors and textures to paint their animals with.  The app lets kids paint with their finger or with a brush and has built-in hints in case they get stuck.  The finished paintings can be saved to the camera roll.

 

Plum's Photo Hunt iTunes AppPlum’s Photo Hunt is an app created by PBS Kids and is part of Plum Landing, an environmental science media program that is designed to get kids out exploring their world.  Plum’s Photo Hunt uses quests to get kids exploring and taking pictures of the world around them so they can help Plum, an alien from the planet Plorb.  After students locate the item in the quest, they can write about what they found and share their pictures with friends and family.

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On This Day and CNN News

Jun 19, 2014 by

On This Day iTunes iconOn This Day is a history calendar app that provides historical births, deaths and significant events for every day on the calendar.  The events can be sorted oldest to newest or newest to oldest and some have links to external resources.  The very interesting, historical information on this app can be shared via social media as a hook for an upcoming lesson.  The On This App historical events are also great conversation starters and writing prompts.  Students might compare and contrast an event from history and an event occurring on the current day.

 

 

CNN app iTunes iconThe CNN news app is a great current events news app that students can use to compare and contrast what happened On This Day in history.  The CNN news app contains current events and up to the minute breaking news.  The CNN news app also includes video coverage of breaking news and can send notifications for current event updates.  The CNN app can be used in conjunction with On This Day and it can be used to follow breaking news as it occurs and until it is resolved.

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Repost: Friday Photo: Are We Allowing Genius?

Jun 13, 2014 by

This Allowing Genius Friday Photo was the most popular Friday Photo this year.  I urge you to take a look at the image below and think about your students.  Are you allowing genius?  Academic Democracy?  Creativity?  This is a perfect reason to Stay Crazy in the Classroom!

Are we shaping brains with facts or skills?  Are we forming them into circles, squares… triangles?  Should we try to shape brains and thoughts or should we allow a student to find their own passion, voice, mind while we encourage them and model our own independence, creativity, and freedom to learn in the process?   These are some of the thoughts that went through my head when I saw the picture below… (Another is how much I hate that the chairs are in straight rows.)

Teacher shaping student thought bubble

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Repost: Lext Talk Foreign Language Exchange

Jun 12, 2014 by

The Lext Talk Foreign Language Exchange post was originally published in March of 2013 and has gotten a lot of views, particularly from foreign language teachers. But, I would urge all teachers to consider how this app could be used to foster collaboration amongst students in different countries as we educate them for a global society.

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Lext Talk is a really interesting app that allows users to connect with others who are learning different languages.  For example, a student in your French class could connect with a user in France who is trying to learn English.  Since many of our student’s are most comfortable communicating via text, this is a natural medium for them to begin communicating.  Lext Talk also has translation services that will help users “find the right words, store those difficult words in their own dictionary to keep them handy, and practice at their own pace with as many exchange partners as they like…”

This is another free app that may provide great exchanges for our students.  As a teacher, one of your assignments could be to have them engage in a discussion with another user and provide you with a transcript of that conversation.  This may allow them to take chances via text they wouldn’t take in a spoken conversation.  Bonne Chance!

 

 

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Repost: Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab

Jun 11, 2014 by

The Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab post was originally published in February of 2013. The OWL is a valuable resource for anyone engaged in formal writing.

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The Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab is a great resource for writing research.  I found this site to be particularly useful as a reference resource during graduate school and think it can be equally valuable for high school students.  With sections on researching, citing resources, subject-specific writing, etc. it is a wonderful resource.  I highly encourage you to share it with your students.  If they become familiar with good research, citing sources, and writing now, it will save them a lot of time and stress later.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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