Saturday, March 26, 2011

Storybird and Math

Another Web 2.0 application we use in the classroom is called Storybird! To quote from their website, "Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print. Read them like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards. They’re curiously fun."

So far, I have used it to create a story for math in which we practice comparing fractions. However, we are able to create student accounts so that students can create their own stories using this tool. I like the way that a choice of images can inspire creativity. It also looks great on the SmartBoard. I think students would really enjoy writing their own stories and sharing them with classmates using this tool!

We are learning how to compare and order fractions. This is an activity to give students practice in comparing fractions by using decimals, percents, and equivalent fractions.

1/3 Vs.1/4 or The Lost Alien! on Storybird

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Routes of Exploration to the New World and HIstory Alive Tutorial

A composed satellite photograph of North Ameri...Image via WikipediaWe have nearly completed our study of routes European explorers took to the new world. Students have completed their mini-research projects and their products. Many students have given their presentations to the class. We have learned about Spanish, English, and French sponsored explorers such as Cortes, Coronado, Cabot, Hudson, Cartier, de la Salle, Ponce de Leon, and others. This week we will wrap up the unit as students turn their research into short essays.

Students will write about why the Europeans came to the New World, how their arrival affected history, and what areas of North America were claimed. We will work on perfecting our thesis statements and adding supporting details in the body of the essay.

As we complete this unit of study students can practice for the unit test which will be given next week. Our social studies text has a wonderful online tutorial available at History Alive You will notice a link to this site listed on the sidebar to the right. Students can simply follow the link, sign in and take the "test". This is unit 5 so students should select that chapter when given the option. I urge them to use their textbooks to find answers if necessary. Using the textbook also helps when students forget the spelling of difficult words or the names of specific explorers. Finally, upon completion of the tutorial students will see a screen informing them of their grade and showing which questions were incorrect. I ask students to print these out and bring them back to school. If printing is a difficulty, students can simply copy the score and ask a parent to check and sign the paper before it is returned to school. These online tutorials are a wonderful way to "study" for the test.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Cape Cod Meeting

Cape Cod and Cape Cod Bay from space. "Pr...Image via WikipediaHere we go again! As I write, we are in the middle of a rain, freezing rain, ice storm! I earnestly hope that we do not have another snow day! Let's hope that we are able to carry on with our Cape Cod informational meeting on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. We will discuss the itinerary, costs of the trip, and the possibility of fund raising to help defray student costs of the trip.

If you are not able to attend the meeting, we will send home paperwork and information with students the following day. We will need to know soon whether or not you plan to be a chaperon for the trip. We do have chaperon guidelines and they will be handed out at the informational meeting.

One thing that is new is the need for fingerprinting and a background check for parent chaperons. We will have more information about this when we see you on Tuesday.

Interesting observation: Apparently the word "chaperon" can be spelled with, or without, the final "e". Evidently the preferred spelling is without the "e". It also is a medical term (spelled with the "e"). As I have been typing this post, the spell check keeps underlining the word spelled with the final "e" and so I finally gave in and went to the "preferred" spelling of the word.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Voice Thread - Awesome!!!

I have been learning about a wonderful "new" technology called VoiceThread. Using this web 2.0 tool, we can create digital stories, post them, and then add comments on each other's stories.

Here is my first experiment with the tool. Right now I do not have an audio component that I have recorded but that will change soon!