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Piki Kids Comic Creator

  What it is:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an online comic creator for students.  Students can upload pictures from their computers, or search Flickr for images to use in their comic strip.  The comics are very flexible so students can make them uniquely their own.  Students can choose the number of panels, the look of the panels, color choices, and much more.  When students are finished creating their online Piki Kids comic, they can save them to a gallery, or print out.   How to integrate Piki Kids Comic Creator into the classroom:  Students love reading comics, there is something about the interaction with a comic that makes even struggling readers willing to try.  I find that the same is true with writing.  Many kids who struggle to write would dread writing out a story or series of events after reading a book.  But, introduce a comic and suddenly those kids who don’t like writing are writing full stories.  Piki Kids Comic Creator is the perfect way to get your students writing about anything.  Studying dinosaurs?  Have the kids find some clip art of dinosaurs that they can upload to Piki Kids and have them write about what they are learning comic book style.  Learning about the Civil War?  Have the students retell the story as a comic strip.  You will see creativity that you didn’t know your students possessed!  Comic strips are also an excellent place for students to “write” a book report after finishing a book.  Comics can be used in science to show processes (like plant cycle…give those plants a voice!)  Comics can be used in math for students to create word problems for fellow classmates to solve.  Use comics in character education, after teaching a lesson, students can illustrate, comic-style, what that might look like.  From the technology side of things, Piki Kids Comic Creator is a great place to teach kids skills like uploading to a website, searching flickr for pictures, changing font, size, and color.     Tips:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an excellent tool.  Be aware that there are adwords on the website.  I use these as an opportunity to help my student spot advertisements and talk about why sites include ads on websites.  Everything can be a learning experience!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Piki Kids Comic Creator in your classroom.

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Story Math: Storytelling and Math

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 02-11-2012

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What it is: Story Math is a portion of the Hey Math! website.  Story Math is a collection of 3 activities that use storytelling to present math in a new way.  Students take part in the interactive stories to discover math in new ways, help them learn new math vocabulary and understand concepts more completely.  There are currently three story activities available on Story Math: Mystery on the Block (students join the Premium Private Investigators and discover that geometry holds the key to the mystery of the missing kittens); The Perfect Arrangement (where students are introduced to permutations and how one clever lady uses math to subdue some squabbling scholars); and A Suitable Partner (where students engage in river-crossing puzzles to help Cammue pass the King’s test and marry Bindu).

How to integrate Story Math into the classroom: Storytelling is powerful!  I believe that we are all wired for story. We yearn for it, it helps us to connect with the world around us.  Story Math takes the power of storytelling and applies it to math.  Through story, students see math concepts unfold and discover connections between math concept and math application.  In addition to the story, Story Math includes games and activities where students can practice putting the math they have learned to the test.

Story Math makes a great introduction into new math concepts.  Story Math can be used whole-class with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Students can take turns reading (mute it for this option because the text is read automatically).  The story can be paused along the bottom while students discuss the stories and the math in the stories.  Each story invites interaction, provide students with an opportunity to interact with the story.  After the story, discuss what math connections were made.  How can they be applied?  What new vocabulary was learned?  Follow up with the games/activities on classroom computers as a center activity, or again as a whole class on the interactive whiteboard.

Want to do one better?  Show your students Story Math, ask them to explore each of the stories and make notes about the math concept introduced, the vocabulary and the story.  Then have students take a math concept that they are learning, and ask them to create a story of their own.  The first thing they should do is decide on the math concept they want to teach and the vocabulary that is associated.  Next, they should create a storyboard of what will happen in their story.  Finally, they can create the story animation using a tool like GoAnimate, Kerpoof Movie, Zimmer Twins or an app like Sock Puppets or ToonTastic.

Tips: The stories on Story Math take a few minutes to load. They are flash based and require a little patience for the first load.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Story Math in your classroom.

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Comments (3)

I will definitely check out Story Math! Thanks for sharing this, and all the wonderful resources you post. I always open your emails wondering what I will learn about next! :)
I have used GoAnimate and had my students create story problems of their own, they love it!

Thank you Lisa! Hope the kiddos have fun with it!

Story math is a very interesting concept that enhances learning in the students. It can make one of the most dreadful subject appear easy and fun to kids. A similar concept of using Theatre in Education has been adopted for teaching primary students. Farak.net team interviewed this teacher and tried to learn more about this teaching technique. Here is the link to it
http://www.farak.net/pages/FeaturedTeacher.html

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