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Ideas to Inspire

  What it is:  Ideas to Inspire is a truly wonderful site and wealth of resources for teachers.  On this site you will find a collection of Google Doc presentations that include a number of ideas for engaging lesson activities in a variety of curriculum areas.  The collection comes from inspiring teachers from around the world.  You can find Ideas to Inspire on Writing, Interactive Math, Incredible Science, Amazing Art, Marvelous Music, and learn interesting ways to use Google Docs, Pocket Video Cameras, Interactive Whiteboards, Google Earth, Twitter, Netbooks, Webcams, and Visualizers.  Ideas to Inspire also has great tips for non-techy teachers (I remember being one of those once-upon-a-time).  Ideas to Inspire is very easy to navigate and each presentation is jam packed with truly inspiring ideas. How to integrate Ideas to Inspire into the classroom: It happens to the best of us, we get settled in our ways and fall into a teaching slump where we can’t come up with a creative lesson idea to save our lives.  Sound familiar?  Ideas to Inspire is the place to go, here you will find inspiration, helpful tips, and get those creative juices flowing again!  Take a few minutes and look through some of the presentations, you will be happy you did.   Tips:  This is my last post for the day, head over to Ideas to Inspire and be inspired today!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Ideas to Inspire in your classroom.

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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

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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.

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