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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!

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Animoto for Education

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Character Education, Foreign Language, Geography, History, Interactive book, Internet Safety, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Video Tutorials, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 07-08-2008

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What it is: There are some really neat online tools that I find that live in my Google Notebook for a long time (I have upward of 800 links for educational websites yet to post to iLearn Technology…and growing daily!) Some get pushed aside for my newest cool find, and some move to the bottom of the list because, while they may have educational value, they are not intended JUST for education and may have some questionable user created content that I wouldn’t want my students to stumble on. Animoto was one of these sites for me. It is an amazing and COOL tool but wasn’t necessarily geared just toward education. I got a fun email today that Animoto now has an education only site! Animoto for education is a site where students can create compelling and impressive digital content quickly and easily. It is the perfect addition to your classroom’s digital storytelling kit. It is very intuative and easy to use, in no time students have digital videos that they created! This is also an amazing place for you, the teacher, to create a video that will bring your lessons to life. You can post or embed videos on your class site or even, are you ready for this?, download for in class presentations. Animoto for Education makes it simple to mix audio and visual for a dynamic, unique presentation in no time. It is so easy to use that students could create a complete animoto presentation in one computer class.

How to integrate Animoto for Education into the classroom: Animoto for education is a great place for you to teach from. Make any lesson come to life with audio and visual, use at the beginning of the day as a ‘teaser’ for what your students can look forward to learning each day or use to teach complex concepts in history, math, science, or character education. Students will respond to new media in the classroom. Allow your students to display knowledge of a concept using Animoto. Use Animoto for Education for a beginning of the year get to know you activity. Students can each create an Animoto showcasing who they are through pictures and music. Animoto presentations are quicker to create than traditional PowerPoint type presentations making them ideal for digital storytelling in the classroom setting. Because Animoto is completely web-based, students can create videos from school and continue working on them at home. The ability to download videos is outstanding…students could save their work for offline viewing too!

Tips: Children under 13 can’t sign up for their own account. To use Animoto for Education with your students you can register your students with dummy accounts using dummy email addresses. Animoto is private to your school. This means that other people can’t come accross student videos or contact students through the site.

Leave a comment and share how you are using Animoto for Education in your classroom.

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[…] 5.¬†Animoto- The free version of Animoto lets students create 30 second videos that combine images, songs, and text. It combines them all for an impressive presentation without a lot of fuss. […]

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