Featured Post

Tag Galaxy: Visual Word Relationships

What it is: Tag Galaxy is a neat little tool that helps students to explore relationships between words and ideas as well as view pictures related to that word.  Type in a word to search and immediately you are transferred to a galaxy with the original word at the center and the associated ideas orbiting around it.  When you click on the word in the center, a globe populates with pictures from Flickr that are tagged with that word. Click on one of the orbiting words and tags related to that word start to orbit.  Tag Galaxy is a very neat way to view information! How to integrate Tag Galaxy into the classroom: Tag Galaxy is a brilliant way to visually  explore word relationships.  Students can use it to type in spelling or vocabulary words and discuss the relationship the related tags have to the original word.   Students can click on the original idea to get a visual understanding of the word in the form of a picture globe.  The connection with Flickr helps students to visualize words, ideas, and concepts by providing a variety of pictures that match the tag.  Tag Galaxy would make for a fun story starter.  Students can type in a word tag to get them started, view related words, and then click on the globe of pictures to spark creative writing ideas.  Tag Galaxy can be set up on classroom computers as a creative writing centers, or used for  whole class inspiration  with a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard. Check out science, math, art, or geography vocabulary on Tag Galaxy, the resulting collection of images will help your students attach meaning to those tricky science concepts like my photosynthesis example above. As a side note, Tag Galaxy also offers a pretty good visual aid for learning about orbit Tips: ***Very important***  Whenever you are using tools that pull from other sites to populate, it is important to test out the words prior to using with students.  You never know how people will tag an image and the image might not be appropriate for all age groups.  When using Tag Galaxy with elementary students, have them suggest words that you test before using with the class.  In my classroom, whenever students wanted to do an image search, I had them fill out an “image wish list” first.  On the wish list students write down words they would like to search. I would do a quick test of the words and sign off on them.  This worked well as there were a lot of similar requests (i.e. animals!) Please leave a comment and share how you are using Tag Galaxy in your classroom.

Read More

My Story Maker

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, web tools, Websites | Posted on 15-06-2009

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is:  My Story Maker is an amazing interactive website created for the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh.  My Story Maker is an interactive story book where students are in charge of creating a story.  Students choose characters, and a genre and then begin telling a story.  The students create the story by dragging and dropping characters, objects, and backgrounds into their story.  The characters can have emotions and perform actions with the different objects and interact with each other.  As students drag different elements to the story book, a story is written for them based on what is happening in the pictures.  When they are finished, they have created an interactive book that they can read and share with friends.

How to integrate My Story Maker into the classroom:   My Story Maker is a fantastic interactive tool to get students creating a story.  What I love about this website is the way that it encourages students to create by first thinking about the elements of a story (who will it be about?, what kind of story will it be?, what happens first?, what happens next?).  This is a great tool to use to help students understand the importance of beginning, middle, and end, setting, supporting details, and dialogue.  My Story Maker would be fun to use to create a whole class story using an interactive whiteboard.  Students could take turns adding elements to the story and reading the story aloud.  As students create the class story, be sure to keep them thinking about the setting, plot, and characters.  My Story Maker can also be used individually on classroom computers or in a computer lab setting.  The written story will be very basic “Fox threw a ball to lion.”  Encourage students to embellish their stories with vivid verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  When students are finished with their story they can download it, share it with others, preview it, or print it. 

 

Tips:  I learned about this site from Kevin Jarrett‘s excellent blog.  Check it out for great tips and inspiration for your classroom!

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

Write a comment

*