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I have, Who has Contraction Game

What it is: Today I was looking for fun interactive games for students to play to practice “not” contractions.  I have used iKnow That: Alien Word Mine to practice the not contraction, but was looking for another opportunity for students to practice.  I searched for some fun activities...

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Aurasma: Create Augmented Reality Experiences in Under 2 Min.

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Art, Classroom Management, Create, Foreign Language, Geography, Government, History, Inquiry, inspiration, Interactive book, iPod, Maker Space, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 04-01-2017

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Create augmented reality experiences for your classroom in under 2 minutes

What it is: Aurasma is an app (also a website) that allows learners to quickly create augmented reality experiences for others. Augmented reality is the mix of technology and the real world. Probably the most popular or, at least the most commonly used, augmented reality is the use of Snapchat filters. Funny faces and masks are overlaid on top of the real world (i.e. whatever you are taking a picture of). Aurasma makes it simple to quickly create these types of experiences for others. Learners start by uploading, or taking, a “Trigger” photo. This photo is what the Aurasma app will look for to trigger the event that has been layered on top of the photo. Next, learners add overlay images. These are the images that will popup when the Trigger Photo is within the camera viewfinder. It might sound cumbersome, but it really isn’t! It is like having QR codes embedded right in any environment…without the QR code!

Empower students to create their own augmented reality experiences

How to integrate Aurasma into the classroom: Because learners can create augmented reality experiences for any environment, the possibilities are seriously endless. Below are a few ways I can see our teachers and learners using Aurasma:

  • A few years ago, our students explored How the World Works through the PBS series, and book, How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson. As a result of their learning, the students decided to build a Domino Museum (you can read about that here). At the time, they put QR codes all around their museum. Some QR codes explained how the museum worked, and others expanded on the information that was presented on each domino. Aurasma could take an experience like this to the next level by allowing students to embed information and instructions all around the museum. As people walked through their Domino Museum with the Aurasma app opened up, additional information would have automatically populated based on where they placed Triggers.
  • Anastasis students are SUPER creative in presenting their learning at the end of an inquiry block. During the last block, one of our students explored the history of dance. In one of our learning spaces she created a time machine that students could get into. Then she themed other learning spaces for each time period. With Aurasma, she could have had the students actually see the dancers/costumes/etc. of each time period as if they were really in the room, using the room as a trigger.
  • In a foreign language class, students could use objects/items in the room as triggers for vocabulary overlays. As students look through their iPhone/iPad/Android’s camera in the Aurasma app, all of that vocabulary would pop up as others explored the room.
  • Our students go on a field trip on average once a week. They explore all kinds of incredible places for learning in context. Often, another class might end up at the same location later in the month or even in another year. As students visit somewhere new, they can overlay their learning on a place. When other classes, or another year’s students visit, they can see the learning that took place when others visited. (How cool would it be to get a network of schools doing this so that we could all learn together!)
  • We have a strong social justice component at Anastasis. Last year, our Jr. High kids spent time at Network Coffee House. During their time there, they spent a day in the life of a homeless person. They held cardboard signs on street corners and panhandled, they met other homeless, and got a tour of where these people sleep, get warm, etc. Afterward they had incredible reflections about their experience. It would have been a neat exercise to have them end the day by taking pictures of landmarks at the various stops around their tour as Triggers. When they got back to school, they could have created an augmented reality reflection tour for others.
  • In art class, students could take a photo of their creation and then overlay an explanation about how they created their art, their inspiration, etc. During a school art show, those in attendance would get to experience the heart behind each piece.
  • In social studies, students could snap a photo of a place on the map, and then overlay their learning on top. As others explored the map with the Aurasma app, all of that information would populate as they explored the map.
  • Learners could take a photo of the cover of a book (or book spine) that they just read. They can overlay the trigger image with their review of the book. As students are searching the library through the Aurasma app, they will see the reviews that other students have left behind.
  • Teachers can use Aurasma to embed instructions or norms around their classrooms. I’m imagining this being useful for special equipment use in a maker space or science lab. This would also be a great way to embed instructions when you have different learning happening in the classroom in a center like environment. Multiply your reach by layering the instructions or a demonstration of each center at its location in the classroom.
  • Teachers could also use Aurasma to amplify the usefulness of posters or bulletin boards around the classroom. Snap a photo of either as your trigger and then layer additional helpful information over top.
  • It could be fun to “hide” a writing prompt or brain teaser in your classroom each day. Just snap a photo of something in the classroom so that when students look through their camera with Aurasma, the overlay pops up with instructions.
  • This would also be a fun way to lead students through problem solving of a mystery where they are discovering clues and following directions. At the beginning of the year, you could create a tour of the school or scavenger hunt around the school to help students get acclimated to their new surroundings.
  • Sooo…the possibilities really are endless with this one!

Tips: Learners can create augmented reality experiences from the Aurasma website, but to actually view the augmented reality, an iPhone/iPad/Android device with the Aurasma app is needed.

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Video Search in 3D and Create Playlists in 1 Click!

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Teacher Resources, video | Posted on 25-04-2011

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What it is: Video Search in 3D is a neat way to search for, and find, videos.  Search videos by keyword and instantly get a 3D “globe” of video results.  With the click of a button you can create a playlist of videos to be watched.

How to integrate Video Search in 3D into the classroom: Video Search in 3D would be a great way to search for and create playlists of videos for students and teachers.  Create playlists for students to access on classroom computers as a digital-media learning center.  These can be videos centered around a science concept, phonics rules, a period of history, math, foreign language or anything else that students are studying.  For example, for language arts you might search “School House Rock”.  During your writing block, students can visit the media learning center (your classroom computers) to learn more about grammar and parts of speech.

You can also use Video Search in 3D to create play lists for professional development opportunities.  There are SO many outstanding educational videos available.  Search videos by keyword or speaker and create an instant playlist.  I started a Webspiration Wednesday lunch group at my school where I played inspirational videos in the library during lunch.  I invited all the staff to bring their lunches to the library where we would watch and discuss inspirational educational videos.  Mid-week video inspiration is just what the doctor ordered to put some pep back into your step!

Tips: Because this is a search engine, I wouldn’t let young students loose to search whatever they want until a teacher has previewed it.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Video Search in 3D in your classroom!

Kidopo

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Fun & Games, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Math, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Typing, video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 11-08-2010

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What it is: Kidopo is an online coloring application where kids can color online coloring books.  The application simulates a real coloring experience (in other words you can color outside the lines and the more you color over a spot, the darker it gets.). There are a lot of coloring pages to choose from with categories like animals, cars and transportation, cartoons, food, toys, holidays, learning, circus, sports, music, nature, occupation, seasons, and more.  Kidopo has fun printables for the classroom including coloring sheets, bookmarks, birthday printables, awards and certificates, mazes, writing paper, connect the dots, room decorations, and stickers.  You will find a collection of flash games for kids including brain games, card/board games, math games, memory games, puzzle games, science games, and word games.  In the craft section of the website are videos that walk students step by step through a craft.

How to integrate Kidopo into your curriculum: The online coloring book on Kidopo is a great way to help primary students practice mouse manipulation.  I like that you can color inside or outside of the lines just like in a real coloring book.  If you are in a computer lab setting, the Kidopo coloring book is a fun way for students to practice, and a good way for you to gauge where their fine motor skills are.

The printables on Kidopo are perfect for the classroom.  Bookmarks are always fun classroom give aways and the awards and certificates are a good way to recognize your students.

The learning games on Kidopo make a good practice center activity on classroom computers.  My favorite are the math games that help students with fact recall through fun arcade-type games.   In the word games, you will find a fun game called Word Frenzy that will give your students a place to practice typing.  Check out the games, some are better than others but they are definitely worth a look!

Tips: One of the downfalls of Kidopo are the advertisements in the sidebar and introducing the games.  I use websites with this type of advertising to teach my students about how to spot ads and discuss with them why ads are placed on websites.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Kidopo in your classroom!

BBC Science Clips

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 03-06-2010

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Screen shot 2010-06-03 at 5.43.39 PM

What it is: The BBC has excellent educational games, activities, and resources.  The BBC Science Clips are a collection of science related activities and games for students who are 5 to 11 years old.  Students can grow virtual plants, experiment with pushes and pulls, hearing and sound, forces and movement, electricity, rocks and soils, simple machines, light, solids and liquids, friction, habitats, life cycles, changing states of matter, reversible and irreversible changes, forces, and much more.  The site is organized well, by age group, and has several activities at each level.  

How to integrate BBC Science Clips into the classroom: BBC Science Clips has a little of everything science.  It is sure to have some great interactives that correspond to your science curriculum.  Each of the interactives is high quality and lets students experiment with new concepts that they are learning.  The activities are short enough to be used as a science center on classroom computers where a few students complete the interactive as part of a rotation.  The activities can also be used for whole class demonstration and experimentation using an interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer.  If you use the interactives with the whole class, have the scientists who are observing take down some observational notes in a special science journal.  Often, real life experiments can be too quick moving for young students to write or draw observations as they are happening.  This site lets them work on those observational skills at their own pace.  This is also great for those experiments that may take too long to observe in a classroom setting.  Each activity includes a short online quiz that students can go through to check understanding.  The quiz can be read independently or students can click on the speakers to have the quiz read to them.  This is a great feature for struggling or non-independent readers.   A “what’s next” button at the bottom of each activity encourages students to keep exploring.  Students can self level by choosing an activity that is a little easier, harder, or the same.

Tips: Check out the resources for teachers page.  Here you will find online and offline lesson plans related to the activities, an accompanying worksheet, activity and quiz.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using BBC Science Clips in your classroom.

Word Magnets

Posted by admin | Posted in Foreign Language, Fun & Games, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Spelling, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 29-10-2009

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Word magnets

What it is: Word Magnets is a fantastic little website that lets you type or copy and paste words into a field and create virtual word magnets out of them (think of the popular word magnets sold for refrigerators).  After you have typed in the words to transform into magnets, you can choose a “magnetic” background for your words.  There are several backgrounds to choose from including grids, venn diagrams, time lines, arrows, stair steps, targets, boxes, numbers, alphabet, circles, webs, flow sequences, tables, present/absent, and many more.  After you choose your background, students can create sentences, sort, and interact with the virtual magnetic words.  Words can be added to the board at any time and the color of the background and size of the magnets can be adjusted.

How to integrate Word Magnets into the classroom: The background options for your word magnets are really the highlight of this website.  You can do everything from word sorts, to venn diagrams, to practicing alphabetic order.  Create tables; sort words by their root, prefix, or suffix; link ideas; practice building sentences; create a time line of events, take attendance…the possibilities with this site are endless!  If you are going to use this site for taking attendance, I would suggest creating a master list in a saved word document that you can copy and paste from (this will save you from re-typing names every morning).  This is an excellent site for an interactive whiteboard or to use as a center activity.  This is an easy way to create customized interactive lessons for your classroom.  Because you enter the content, this site is appropriate for any grade level.

Tips: One thing I wish this site had: the ability to save.  If you want to save words to interact with over and over, create a document that you can copy and paste from.  If you want to save a copy of the word magnets after students have interacted with them, take a screen shot of it.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Word Magnets in your classroom.