Posts Tagged ‘digital learning’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

wonderopolis logo

Wonderopolis is a wonderful site for nonfiction reading. Last year I used the site once a week with my students. I picked out the “Wonder,” and created a Wonder worksheet for the week that included other language activities. While this method worked well for me as a teacher, it wasn’t so great for my students. They enjoyed the site, but they hated the other activities. And why not, they were teacher-created. They became a burden to them rather than a learning tool.

This summer I was thinking about how to change this plan and still take advantage of the Wonderopolis site. I read this post by Tara Smith. She talked about choice. She gave her students a form to fill in with a Wonder of their own choice. What a great idea!

Last week I started classes with my gifted students. I introduced the idea of Wonder Wednesday and choosing their own Wonders. For my birthday (on Tuesday), Lani had given me a small rubik’s cube. One of my boys, Tobie, couldn’t stop playing with it. He decided his Wonder would be about how to do a rubik’s cube. He found the question on Wonderopolis! Then he watched a video. He got other students excited about learning. (I could say he distracted others with his enthusiasm.)


After watching the excitement spread, I decided to give my students the option to present their Wonder learning using technology. I will present different tools in the coming weeks: Piktochart, Canva, Emaze, Powtoon, Animoto. One presentation each nine weeks will be required.

Teaching a variety of grade levels has its challenges. Wonderopolis has given me a way to differentiate nonfiction reading, empower students through presentation, and generate enthusiasm for learning. Here is a link to my student form.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Last week on a whim I invited my readers to a DigiLit Challenge. Many of you responded, so I started a Pinterest Board. There are already 12 pins on it. Let’s add to it this week.

This week’s DigiLit Challenge is an Invitation. You can create your invitation on the app of your choice. For Memorial Day, I went to New Orleans to visit with two of my girls. I was inspired by the art on the electric boxes. The project is a nonprofit organization to rebuild and beautify New Orleans. You can read more about it here.

electic box statue

My blogging friend Julianne (To Read, to Write, to Be) is coming to New Orleans this summer, so I wanted to show her some of the more beautiful parts. I took pictures and stored them. I tried Haiku Deck. The result was not exactly what I envisioned. I tried to make it into a movie using iMovie but some of the words were lost. My frustration made me quit. Here is one of the images and a link to the haiku deck. (I wish it would embed on my site.)



For my second attempt, I used Animoto. I just love this app. I have even paid to get a longer time. I can make movies that look expertly done without having to go through the cumbersome steps of iMovie.

For your invitation, you can create a movie or a still image. I created this invitation for blueberry picking on Canva.

Blueberry Picking 2

Have fun creating. Tag me in your posts @MargaretGSimon and use #invitation and #digilitchallenge. And as always, link up with InLinkz.

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Digital learning

Today is Digital Learning Day, a day when educators join together and take the pledge to make digital learning a priority. To learn more about the movement, click here.

To celebrate digital learning day, things didn’t look all that different in my class. My students are very connected to the computer through their kidblog site. A few weeks ago we started a new writing project. For this writing, I wanted my students to combine elements of fiction and nonfiction. We used the Magic Treehouse books as a model. I don’t usually set a word count for writing, but for this one, we talked about it and decided the goal would be 1000-1500 words, with at least 5 chapters. I think this has worked well to make them think bigger. And they are writing…a lot! Almost every day, our kidblog site is updated with new chapters.

As a digital component of this writing project, I taught my students how to make a PowerPoint picture into a jpeg. The PowerPoint program allows them to layer pictures and text, group them together, and paste the image into Paint to save as an image file. The image file will be used in a movie or Animoto book trailer.

Tyler made this image using PowerPoint. He layered a waterfall image with a rock (boulder), a dinosaur, and a pool of water. He placed his text below as in a real picture book. He will build a movie in MovieMaker to “show” his book.

Chapter 1

Matthew chose to make a book trailer in Animoto about his book. All his images were pulled from the Animoto site.


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