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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tool #5-Storybird

The tool that I am presenting in this post is called Storybird. It can be found at the www.storybird.com site. I used this tool recently with some of my classes to make writing more interesting and enjoyable to them. They are constantly complaining about writing being boring, but this tool makes it more interesting and it has spell check, which is even better with my students!

In an online environment students can use this tool to create stories about any topic. The illustrations are already completed and therefore allows the focus to be more on the writing than the drawing. With elementary students, like mine, these stories can be works in progress. I showed this video from www.schooltube.com and allowed the students to take their creativity and topics wherever they wanted to. Teachers can also use this tool to allow students to give feedback to their classmates on their works.

The teacher must create an administrative account. From here the teacher can create class lists (one or multiple) with unique usernames and passwords. I suggest using the same password for every student, but the administrator can change the passwords if necessary. The teacher can create assignments or allow students creative license to create what they choose. The students then log on and create their own Storybird. They choose the theme or art then start creating their story.

I really think that this tool is great for inspiring students and gets them into writing by using art as inspiration. This tool can be used for creative works, like I said earlier, or it can be used for thematic units. It is a very user friendly site and saves automatically when the students are working.

Here are some examples of working products that my students have worked on (Please remember that these are not complete, but works in progress):

http://storybird.com/books/the-best-friendship-ever-2/?token=6vvu2w

http://storybird.com/books/hearts-for-love/?token=w7cdj5

http://storybird.com/books/most-healthy-food-of-the-day-concrete/?token=r32e58

Have fun with Storybird!

 

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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Kidblog

The tool that I have discovered is Kidblog.org. I especially find this site useful in the elementary school classroom because the students do not need an e-mail address. Many sites require students to have an e-mail address to use the sites. This is the blog that one of my fifth grade technology classes made. Their assignment was to create an original Spring Poem. I chose to use an easy assignment in order for the students to become familiar with Blogging. It is a safe site and they each have their own unique username and password. My username is swee5th and the password is fifth. I was able to create the blog for one of my fifth grade classes and manage all of the information. The students had fun learning how to post, change colors, and create their poems. The setup is very user friendly and my students had fun creating their poems and making them appear unique. They have the option to change fonts and colors. They can also add pictures. One of my students will be adding a picture that she illustrated. I did not allow students to post pictures from the internet, they could only post a picture that they took or drew.

Overall, this website was easy to use and an effective site for learning in general. More specifically, in a distance learning environment, this site can be used as a place for students to communicate with each other. It can also be used to post assignments and give each other feedback. I plan to use this tool again to teach all of my classes the value of constructive criticism. This site is great for this because the administrator has to approve comments before they are visible to the original poster and other classmates. This is very important in the elementary classroom because the comments are not always helpful to the original poster. Teachers can use this site as a productive collaborative environment for all age levels; from children to adults. Teachers can also start their own classroom Kidblogs to work on thematic units or single assignments. Click Here  to start your own KidBlog at KidBlog.org.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Uncategorized