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Global learning and creating a daVinci culture

What it is:  This week I am presenting at the Highway 21 conference that Adams 12 puts on each year.  This year the focus is on global learning.  I created websites for both of the sessions I’m doing.  While you won’t get the full effect of what I’m talking about, there are useful links and information on both sites. Technology Globe Trotting- this session is all about making your classroom more global.  I’ve included technology that can help to make a classroom global, as well as some technology-free things that we have done at Anastasis that have made our students more global. Searching For daVinci- in this session, we discuss what it means to be a daVinci thinker.  I pose the question: in the current school system (traditional learning), is it even possible to have another daVinci?  I set this session up as a What? So What? Now What? format where we use some design thinking to redesign our classrooms to foster more daVinci.  From my presenter page: This session will be broken down into a What, So What, Now What format. Come ready to participate! What? What is a daVinci thinker?  What characteristics did daVinci have that we want to foster in students? So What? Why is this important? Does it matter if we have daVinci thinkers? Now What? How do we change our classrooms to foster this type of approach to learning? At Anastasis we know that it is hard to have a daVinci thinker without first being: Inquirers- developing natural curiosity, independent learners, active (not passive) learning. Connectors- transdisciplinary connectors, understanding relationships between seemingly unrelated events. Communicators- comfortable in expressing ideas and information confidently and creatively. Open-minded- realizing that everyone has something to contribute and we can learn something from every person and situation we come in contact with. Risk Takers- willing to try something new that has unexpected outcomes.  Willing to fail fabulously. It is essential that we foster a classroom and school environment that allows room for and actively practices all of the above.   How can we search for daVinci within ourselves?  Is it possible to search for daVinci in our classrooms if we aren’t willing to search for daVinci within ourselves? Additional links shared: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=54645 http://iverb.weebly.com http://ourvirtues.weebly.com Tips: You can follow the conference on Twitter using the #highway21 hash tag.  You will notice that all of the sites that I created were made with Weebly.  This is a super easy website creator!  We often use it with students, too.

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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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