Featured Post

More Advent Calendars: Student created, creative, and imaginative!

After my last post I found some new advent calendars that I just had to add to the list. First is an advent calendar created by eighth graders at ASLS who’s teacher Mr. Akerson (@mra47) I follow on Twitter.  What is so neat about this advent calendar, is it is made up of pictures of the students and teachers.  Each day that you click on delivers a new devotion written by one of the eighth graders.  I have NO idea how they created this site, each day all of the students pictures look a little different direction so that they are focused on the person on the date of the day (that is a total of 2200 pictures!!).  Genius! They are making Weebly do things I am sure it wasn’t intended to do.   The students at ASLS have a goal to get someone from every state in the US to view their advent calendar.  I think we can help them out with that and do one better, let’s get them views from around the world! This student created calendar is not to be missed! This calendar is a fun one to use with your students, but why not blog lift their idea and create a similar calendar with your students?  Since we are already into December maybe yours is a 12 days of Christmas calendar or a unique lead up to your schools winter break.  Students could create a “word a day” calendar, math problem of the day, featured student art, story of the day, poem of the day, fact of the day…the possibilities are endless on this one. Ask your students, they will have great ideas! The second calendar is one that is sure to spark your students imagination and creativity.  Send Felicity is a beautiful idea and way to celebrate all things imaginative.  Every day Felicity From Thin Air will surprise your students with fun activity ideas that are illustrated by some of the best children’s book illustrators in the world.  The idea behind the Send Felicity and the illustrations are enchanting.  Currently ideas are being shared on the Send Felicity website.  There is an accompanying application for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad that is soon to be released.  This complimentary (read free) application will guide students in creativity and imagination.  Eight arts and crafts ideas will be interspersed throughout for students to complete with their families or at school.  All creations can be submitted to the Send Felicity gallery.  Felicity from Thin Air is meant to be a new way of learning and engagement for the mind. It is about creativity, collaboration, and sharing with a global audience.  In addition to the daily activities, there are magic surprises.  I don’t know what the magic is but I am assured I will know it when I see it   Get your students families engaged in some fun holiday spirit.  Instead of homework for the month of December, why not give your students (and parents) the homework of following Felicity from Thin Air and engaging in creativity as a family.  I guarantee that the positive effects will be much more lasting than any worksheet you could send home.  Today’s Felicity from Thin Air activity is Fancy Dress for Dinner.  Pick any theme and invite the whole family to show up for dinner dressed for the occasion.  Costumes can be as silly or creative as you like!  Following Felicity at school?  Adapt the idea for a Fancy Lunch or Fancy Math class and have your students create impromptu costumes out of classroom items.  Don’t have time for the cut/paste? Have your students draw their costume.  The goal is to let kids be creative and imaginative! Librarian extraordinaire Shannon Miller of VanMeter shared the Polar Express advent calendar with me.  This calendar includes the beautiful Polar express illustrations and combines it with fun activities and give away opportunities.  Enter a chance to win the giveaways for your class (for example yesterday was a chance to win the Polar Express bell from Santa’s sleigh) and complete the activities together.  Each day is a new surprise! How to integrate Interactive Advent Calendars into the classroom: The season of Advent is always filled with eagerness and expectancy. Build some of that anticipation into your school day by allowing students to unlock a new secret on the advent calendar each day.  Use these advent calendars with the whole class on an interactive whiteboard or projector, or set them up as a quick center activity that students can visit.  Use the advent calendars that reveal a story to practice looking for foreshadowing clues, using context clues to guess what will happen next, or as story starters for students own stories. Tips: Each of these advent calendars has some fun goodies and hidden surprises, find the one that best fits your classroom needs. Thank you to all of you who have spread the word to fellow teachers about my Web 2.0 advent calendar, I am glad you are enjoying it!

Read More

How to Do Research Interactive Graphic

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 29-03-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


What it is:  The research process can be a hard one for kids to master.  As a student, I remember thinking that it was a long process of random steps that were supposed to somehow come together as a completed project. I was constantly convinced that I would forget one of those steps and the whole thing would come crashing down around me.  I’ve seen this same behavior in our students at Anastasis. We mention the word research, and we are met instantly with groans.  Kids don’t really dislike research though, they do it all the time voluntarily.  Kids want to know how to be masters at parkour and they immediately search YouTube and Google for videos, tips, blogs, etc. to learn all about it.  Kids hear someone talk about dub step and will go through videos and connect with others who know about dub step.  They didn’t believe me when I told them this is research.  The Kentucky virtual library has a great interactive that leads kids through the research process step-by-step and lets them dig deeper into the portions that they don’t understand.  It has a fun game board-like interface so that it isn’t intimidating for kids to go through.  Every step of the process is covered from initial planning, to searching for information, to taking notes, to using the information, reporting and evaluating.  I’m not a stickler for this process happening exactly as it is described, but I appreciate that the site gives students a starting point so they aren’t so overwhelmed with the “research beast.”

How to integrate How to do Research Interactive Graphic into the classroom: The How to do Research Interactive Graphic is a great site to keep bookmarked and available for easy access for students throughout the school year.  Any time they are faced with the daunting task of performing a research project, they can access the interactive graphic.  Whenever your students are working on research, set up your classroom computers as a “research station” where students can perform searches online and access this graphic.  The interactive graphic will keep your students moving when they are feeling overwhelmed and stumped and provide a great foundation for conducting research.
The graphic is also a great way to introduce students to the research process.  Using an interactive whiteboard, or projector-connected computer, you can lead students through the process, explaining specific areas of focus for the project or your classroom.  I like that this site doesn’t just focus on the research paper, but shows students that research can have a variety of outcomes.
Tips: Within the graphic, there are pages that you can print out for your students.  Check out the notes section for an example of this.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using How to do Research Interactive Graphic in  your classroom!

Write a comment