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Lightning Bug

What it is: Lightning Bug is a fantastic resource for the writing classroom.  The tag-line of Lightning Bug is, “Your writing partner, helping you write a story from beginning to THE END”.  That is exactly what it does.  For each stage of the writing process, students have access to excellent guides and resources to aid the process.  Students can get help finding a story idea, developing the idea, and finishing the story.  Students can even have a look at what kind of writer they might be based on their personalities.  Lightning Bug has a great collection of writing resources.  Students can explore author blogs, search for character names, get some exercises in creativity, get help with grammar and spelling, and even get help for publishing their written work.  The teacher resources are equally helpful for teaching writing. How to integrate Lightening Bug into the classroom: Lightning Bug is a great resource to have going on your classroom computers as a writing/publishing center.  Students can visit the site to get help with every stage of writing.  This is an excellent site to send home and alert parents to, it would be enormously helpful for at-home writing projects.  If you have access to a computer lab or 1 to 1 setting, allow your students to walk through this website as they work on any piece of writing.  The site is organized really well and easy to navigate independently.  Be sure to take a look at the teacher resources. A few of the recommendations for the writing process include worksheets such as mind maps.  Instead of using a worksheet for students to map their ideas, consider using online tools that will let students organize their thoughts and collaborate with others as they write.  Try using online mind mapping tools such as Creza’s Mindomo or  Comapping.  Students can use tools such as Zoho, Google Docs, or Kerpoof to collaborate as they write. Tips: Many of the ideas and resources found on Lightning Bug are useful for digital storytelling. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Lightning Bug in your classroom.

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Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, inspiration, Teacher Resources | Posted on 11-09-2008

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 Some school years start out much bumpier than others.  This year has definitely been a bumpy one for me.  Nothing seems to be working the way it should, the kids are disappointed that in the first 4 weeks of school they have not had computers available in computer class.  I am feeling frustrated at the lost teaching time (so many things to fit into a 35 min. once a week class!)  This weekend one of my professors from my college (Colorado Christian University) days spoke at church.   Sid Buzzel was/is one of the most influential educators in my life and one the I deeply respect.  He came to teach about education.  It was exactly what I needed, I loved hearing his passion for education and his explanation to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, children why he is an educator.  He reminded me of why I am an educator.  I miss being taught on a regular basis by Sid.  The church recorded Sid’s inspirationalwords.  I highly recommend this podcast.   I’m sure it won’t take long to figure out why this man made such an impact on me and my teaching career.  I’m ready to press on through the problems and teach my students…with or without computers! :)  Take a break, put your feet up and get renewed.  Let me know what you think and tell us about the influential educators in your world.   

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