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  What it is: Creaza is a suite of web-based creativity tools.  There are four tools in the Creaza toolbox that will help your students organize knowledge and tell stories in new creative ways.  Mindomo is the mind mapping tool.  Students can use this tool to organize thoughts, ideas, links, and other information visually.  Mindomo is the perfect tool for exploring new material, looking at connections, and organizing thoughts for further development.  The mind map topics can contain media files, links, and text.  Cartoonist is a cartooning tool that students can use to create multimedia stories.  Cartoonist can be used to create comic strips or more personal digital narratives.  The finished product can be viewed online or printed out.  (Check out the video demo to learn how to use this tool.)  Movie Editor helps students produce their own movies based on Creaza’s thematic universes, video, images, and sound clips.  Students can use the Movie Editor to edit a short film, create a news cast, a commercial, a film trailer, etc.  Movie Editor can import film clips, sound clips and images to tell a story.  Audio Editor is the final tool in Creaza’s creative suite.  Audio Editor is a tool that allows your students to produce audio clips.  Students can use Audio Editor to splice together their own newscasts, radio commercials, radio interlude, etc. How to integrate Creaza into the classroom:  Creaza is a great suite of online tools that allow students to display learning creatively.  The Media and Audio editors follow established conventions for sound and media editing complete with timelines.  Using this online software will be a nice introduction to more robust media and audio editors.  Mindomo is a great way for students connect new and existing knowledge.  It is also a nice place for students to plan out a story.  Cartoonist and Movie Editor are great tools that provide students with a creative outlet for telling a story.  Allow students to show their understanding of a period in history by creating a cartoon about it.  Display a new science concept in Movie Editor complete with voice over.  Students could create a short video or radio type commercial for a book that they read in place of a traditional book report.  The uses for are limitless, you will think of many ways for your students to use this creative suite to display knowledge.   Tips:  Cartoonist is the only tool that has a video demo, this is a great way to teach your students how to teach themselves.  Encourage students to learn how to use this tool by watching the video demo first and working with the tool.  Movie Editor does take a little bit of playing with to figure out how to use it, give your students a day to play with the tools so that they get a handle on how it all works.     Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Creaza in your classroom.

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News-O-Matic: New non-fiction delivered to your classroom every day!

Posted by admin | Posted in Geography, Government, History, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 14-07-2014

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News-O-Matic: New non-fiction delivered to your class every day!

What it is: Press 4 Kids, News-O-Matic is both a subscription-based app and a free daily email delivered in pdf format. News-O-Matic is a fantastic current event, news source for elementary students. It is a great resource for fresh, non-fiction material for your classroom. Recall, discussion, and comprehension questions are included in each News-O-Matic. You can purchase an app subscription for your class in the 1:1 iDevice setting, or you can subscribe for the FREE daily school edition which is delivered by email. The PDF can be printed out to share with your students, or to keep your class paperless, you can share it on an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.

How to integrate News-O-Matic in your classroom: News-O-Matic delivers a daily newspaper written especially for elementary-age students. Each edition comes with 5 current-event, news stories that cover the latest news, science, sports, and wacky kids stories. Students get a chance to not only read the news, but also rate articles, submit questions, and submit their drawings. News-O-Matic is  a great way to keep your students reading regularly. Each day they will get engaging non-fiction reading that helps build a global perspective. Use News-O-Matic daily, as a class discussion starter. Challenge your students to make connections between the current events they are reading about, and the learning they are doing in class. Integrate geography study with reading each day. If you have a classroom map, put a place marker on it each time you read an article that is location specific. This could also be done virtually with Google Earth. This practice will help students visualize where each event takes place, while at the same time building geography skills.

Tips: All publications are ad free, so you never have to worry about inappropriate content.

The school app edition of News-O-Matic is $9.99 and can be found here.

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