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Selenia Science Comics

  What it is:  Selenia Science Comics is a fun way for students to learn about science concepts through investigations linked to comics.  The comics and investigations focus on science inquiry and materials and their properties.  Downloadable resources are provided with information on learning outcomes, background to support scientific inquiry, scientific principles behind the experiments, guidance on the investigation, and an equipment list.  Each of the investigations is linked to a online comic that poses a problem which the student is invited to solve.  There are six  comics with investigations including investigating dissolving, cooling, glue, leaks, air resistance, and hardness.  The site also features online games for students to play including wordsearches, quizzes, picture Sudoku, and spot the difference (like hidden pictures).   How to integrate Selenia Science Comics into the classroom:  These Science Comics are an excellent way to get your students interested in science and thinking like a scientist.  Through fun comics, investigations, and experiments students learn about key science concepts in a way that will grab their attention and make science exciting.  Students can read the comics individually, in groups, or as a whole class with a projector or an interacitve whiteboard.  Following the comics, discuss what the problem to be solved is, gather ideas for solving, and perform an investigation as a whole class or in groups to solve the problems.  This solve the mystery approach to science is perfect for students inquisitive minds!  Wordsearches and Quizzes on the Science Comics site are fun for students to complete in a computer lab setting or as a center on classroom computers.  Students can play the picture Sudoku or Spot the Difference individually or broken into teams as a class with an interactive whiteboard.  After students have seen the Selenia Science Comics and performed a few investigations, they can visit a site like Kerpoof or Animoto and create their own science comics about other concepts they are learning.     Tips: Be sure to visit the teacher page for great ideas and downloads of Investigations.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Selenia Science Concepts in your classroom.

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BoomWriter: Collaborative story writing

Posted by admin | Posted in collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 12-06-2012

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What it is:  I just learned about this fantastic site from fellow edublogger @dkapuler, thanks David!  Boom Writer is a fun site that gives you a new way to engage your students in creative writing, and will have them assessing themselves in a new way.  Using Boom Writer, you (the teacher) choose or produce your own story starter.  Each student follows this prompt letting their imagination take over.  One chapter at a time, student write, read and vote on the submissions they like the most.  The winning chapter gets added to the story and the process continues.  You can determine how many chapters will be completed.  When the collaborative story is finished, the book can be read online or published and turned into a published print copy.

How to integrate BoomWriter into the classroom: BoomWriter is a great tool for creating collaborative stories as a class. I like that BoomWriter has students not only creating, but critically evaluating each other’s work. Students work on their own creative writing while building each other up as writers.  Begin by creating a prompt.  Give it to your students to think about.  They can write their “what happens next” chapter of the book and submit it for approval.  This is your chance to edit or return to a student to continue development of the story or idea. After student writing has been approved, students can read each other’s addition to the story and vote on their favorite (they won’t see who the author was and they won’t be able to vote on their own).  The chapter with the highest votes gets added to the story and the process repeats.  You can choose as many chapters as you would like the finished story to have.

This would be a fun whole-class project, but if you have a large class, you might split your class into smaller groups so that each student has the opportunity to get “published” in the book.  Groups could start with the same prompt or each have a different prompt.  Rather than the group voting on their own story, they could vote on another groups story.

BoomWriter isn’t only for creative story writing, students could share what they know about a specific topic or unit of study.  Each student can add a chapter about what has been learned.  Students can essentially create their own collaborative textbook.

BoomWriter is a great tool to help students understand writing with purpose and audience in mind.  It is also a helpful way to get students to think critically about their own writing and evaluating other’s writing.

Tips: Books can be read online or purchased and added to your classroom library.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using BoomWriter in  your classroom!

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