Featured Post

iPads in Education

Some of you may know that I am working on an iPad 1-to-1 pilot program for first and fifth grade students at the school where I teach.  The program will study the effects of the mobile device on learning and achievement in the math and reading/language arts classroom.  One of my PLN members, Jason Schmidt will be working with us as a part of his masters program.  Additionally, Robert Marzano and Debra Pickering from the Marzano Research Institute, have agreed to partner with us in research if we can get the funding all settled.  Which brings me to the point of this post.  I still have to fund the thing!  I am waiting to hear back on several leads but never the one to only have one marshmallow in the fire, I am looking at every method conceivable to find the money for this. This morning my mom sent me a Kohls Cares for Schools contest email that is offering $500,000 to the 20 schools with the most votes by September 3.  Of course I promptly signed up for it and am counting on all of you to help me out.  You are given a total of 20 votes that you can use, but you can only use 5 votes per school.  So I am asking for 5 of your votes to help fund the iPads in education study.  It is simple and just takes a one time click to connect and then 5 clicks of the votes button.  Easy right?  So, would you give us a hand and help us put some research to the iPads in the classroom debate? One of the fun outcomes of this little idea is the comments that students have started leaving about how they think that the iPad could be used in the classroom.  Pretty fun to see from the students point of view Two side notes: 1.  I have an iLearn Technology fan page on Facebook, if you haven’t already become a fan and clicked “like” you can do that here. 2. If you have a contact that could help with funding, I would take that too Thank you all for your help and support!  If you are so inclined, you can also tweet about this post and ask others in your PLN to help vote.

Read More

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

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!

Write a comment

*