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Posts Tagged ‘Emaze’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

 

When I think of crafting in digital literacy, I think of those literary elements that make writing sing as well as design elements that give a project more meaning and audience appeal.  This week we worked on both aspects.

I read aloud two of Kate Messner’s picture books, Over and Under the Snow and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt.  Both of these books lead students on a journey of discovery about plants and animals.  We learned about the subnivean layer in the snow and which animals hibernate and which ones remain active in tunnels below.

 

over-and-under-the-snowupinthegarden_jacket_mech

Following the reading, we read the facts about the animals in the back of the book. We also looked back at Kate’s craft moves. On a few pages the words are spread out and down the page to show action in the words themselves. She also used alliteration and imagery and figurative language. The craft moves of a real author are ours to take and play with.

My students turned to old favorite PowerPoint, while a few tried out Emaze. Madison found an Emaze background with an ocean, the ecosystem she had chosen to write about. Jacob and Noah used the drawing tools in PowerPoint to illustrate their pages. I showed them how to group the pieces together and move them with animation. So cool to watch a fish that you made out of the shape tool actually move in the water.

Emaze has a variety of backgrounds for different ecosystems.

Emaze has a variety of backgrounds for different ecosystems.

Lynzee chose the bayou for her ecosystem to study. She didn’t know about the nutria, so we talked about them and looked up information. When I turned back to see what she had written, I was pleased to see such clever craft moves.

 

 

Nutrias scrabble, skitter, scratch away the dirt as they search for the root of a forgotten summer plant to feast on when they are rare.

Andrew's slide features the wildebeests of the African savanna with a connection to the ancient boabab trees.

Andrew’s slide features the wildebeests of the African savanna with a connection to the ancient boabab trees.

Andrew decided to research the African savanna. As he was researching, he found out about the plight of elephants from poaching. He decided he wanted to do something about it. This week he will present his findings to his classmates and try to raise funds to adopt an orphaned elephant. I suggested we make a poster out of the baby elephant picture I took this summer in Africa. He loved the idea. He will sell the poster at a profit. (Much discussion about how profit works.)

baby-elephant-poster

As a teacher of language arts, I feel drawn to the craft moves authors make. They become mentor texts for my students, but then my students amaze me with their own use of craft. They become authors (and difference makers) themselves in this digital world.

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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

When my student Vannisa wanted to write a fall poem, she looked to the skies. She wrote this poem including the science of meteor showers that occur in fall.

As We Fall

As we fall into winter,
the weather chills
and the leaves come down.
They fill the ground with
a fiery red
and blazing orange.

As we fall into winter,
we can no longer watch fireworks
like 4th of July,
but we can watch
the shooting stars of
Orionids and Leonids
and watch the days get shorter
until Spring comes back again.
–Vannisa

She had a blog comment on her poem asking her more about the Orionids. When she was looking for something to research for her Wonder of the Week, I suggested the meteor shower. Each week I have my students use Wonderopolis to read nonfiction and respond by writing about what they learned. They then have the option to create a class presentation using technology.

Vannisa had to expand her research beyond Wonderopolis and this was my intent all along, that some little spark would send my students into real, authentic research.

Click the image to view the Emaze.

Click the image to view the Emaze.

Know: Orionids is a meteor shower that occurs in late October. A shooting star is a meteor and not an actual star. The name for the shower is Orionids because most of the comets will be toward the constellation Orion.

Wonder: What Causes a Shooting Star?, Where Is the Big Dipper?, How Many Stars Are In The Sky?

Learned: A meteor is formed from rock that burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to look like a streak of light in the sky. A piece of a meteor is called a meteorite. The Big Dipper is mostly referred to as a constellation, but it’s actually an asterism. Our galaxy has about 200 billion to 400 billion star. Scientist predict that there are 100 billion to 200 billion galaxies in the universe. Based on the latest estimates, astronomers guess that there are 300 sextillion stars in the universe which is 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That is 1 billion times 1 billion times 3!

Burning Question: How did they find out how many stars there are?
https://www.emaze.com/@AICIROTW/orionids

Days when learning and creativity come together I realize the true joy of discovery. I strive to give my students the open door that will lead them on their own journey of learning, not down a path I have designed, but one they have chosen. It doesn’t happen every day. But with Vannisa and her spark of interest in meteor showers, these two paths converged and made meaningful learning. Through blogging, she was able to share it with others. Win. Win.

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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

This year I am trying out a new weekly assignment, Wonder Wednesdays. My students are required to choose their own wonder from Wonderopolis, read the information, and write a paragraph or two about their topic. I thought this would give them practice in nonfiction reading along with practice in writing informational paragraphs. I also wanted the element of choice involved. The students have been getting so excited about what they are learning that they can’t help but want to share. So I told them they could do a Wonder Presentation once each grading period.

Emily was the first to present this week. She became interested in electric eels. This proves how important choice is. I would never have thought she would be interested in eels, of all things, but her family went to the Aquarium this summer, and she saw a live one. When she discovered from Wonderopolis that electric eels are not actually eels, she wanted to “trick” the class. Not only that, she created a quiz and kept up with points making the whole presentation totally engaging.

electric eels

https://app.emaze.com/@AIRTFIRQ/are-electric-eelsPowered by emaze

Andrew, 3rd grade, researched optical illusions. I had no idea there were different types. I encouraged him to try Emaze as a format for presenting his topic. Andrew is a gamer who is no stranger to technology. He created this presentation with ease. I love that this is a format that even my youngest students can use. Click on the image to see his presentation.

optical illusion

I am pleased that Wonder research has materialized into a student-led classroom. I value learning that is student-driven, when I can stand on the sidelines coaching, troubleshooting, and cheering them on.

Link up your digital literacy posts.

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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

I have been having a Voxer conversation with some teachers on the subject of Writing about Reading #WabtR. Last week we discussed theme and the difficulty students have in identifying the theme of a given story. So I wondered, what if we give them the theme up front? Julianne responded with 5 common themes she had gathered from Cornelius Minor at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project #TCRWP this summer.

Lori tweeted out to authors this question.

author theme tweet

The responses flowed in, so I retweeted and tagged some of my favorite authors. I just have to comment here on how cool it is to connect with authors in this way.

These seeds were planted, so I decided that students needed to see all of this in an interesting way. I created an Emaze presentation. As the week went on, I got more advice from the group and added slides. Students can see the 5 common themes, the progression from topic to theme involving a character change or a problem and solution. I added in a student reader response sample from a 4th grader along with some of the author tweet responses.

Feel free to use this Emaze in your classroom to teach, review, or reinforce the concept of theme. (Note: On the slide with the video, you have to pause the presentation to be able to watch the video.) I’d love to hear your results. Tweet @MargaretGSimon with the hashtag #WabtR.

Click on the image to go to Emaze.

Click on the image to go to Emaze.

Join in the DigiLit Sunday conversation with a link to your blog post.

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SOL #8

SOL #8

In addition to joining the Slice of Life Challenge at the Two Writing Teachers blog, I have committed to hosting a DigiLit Sunday round up each week.  If this is your first time here, consider joining us on Sundays.  I love reading about all the new tools available for students and how teachers are using them.  Use the button below on your site.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

 

This week was the last of our third nine weeks.  How this year is flying!  My students do a book talk presentation each quarter, so this was the week to get them done.  I love how the room buzzes with computer activity and how talk revolves around books.  I added a new requirement this quarter: found poems.  These were their instructions:

1. Find a section of 50-100 words.  This may be your favorite part or the climax or a part with a good description.

2. Copy words or phrases from the section.

3. Rewrite or type as a poem.  Notice line breaks.  You may change the order or add words only if necessary to add meaning.

4. Check your poem for tone.  Does it reflect the tone of the book?

My students choose the technology they wanted to use for their presentations.  Some used Emaze, Powtoon, Animoto, or PowerPoint.  Some used the technology to guide their talks.  Other used it as a hook or to enhance the presentation.

I want to share some of the found poems, a Powtoon, and an Animoto trailer.

Vannisa used chapter epigraphs from Counting by 7's.  Each phrase connects to the character in some way.

Vannisa used chapter quotes from Counting by 7’s. Each phrase connects to the character in some way.

Tobie wrote this poem from the Halloween chapter in Wonder.  He could relate to the black hole August wanted to go into.

Tobie wrote this poem from the Halloween chapter in Wonder. He could relate to the black hole August wanted to go into.

Matthew’s Animoto book trailer for Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

 

Mission Impossible is a favorite background.  Tobie used it to create this Powtoon presentation about Wonder.

 

Digital Learning Day is on March 13th.  My plan is a Crazy Comment Challenge in which my students will try to write as many comments as possible on other SOL posts.  Please consider joining us.  More about Digital Learning Day can be found here.  Use the hashtag #DLDay, #sol15, and #crazycomments in your Tweets.

If you have written a Digital Literacy post, please add your link in the comments.  I will add them to this post.  I am having some trouble with link up apps lately, so I’m just using the old fashioned way.

 

Cathy Mere struggles with teaching students about copyright when using photos.  Tough lesson for us all.  http://reflectandrefine.blogspot.com/2015/03/digilit-sunday-helping-students-with.html

Julie Johnson writes about using apps with her after school digital writing group.  http://www.raisingreadersandwriters.com/ 

Tara Smith writes about teaching resources for Selma.  https://ateachinglifedotcom.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/sol15-march-8-2015-living-history-commemorating-the-march-on-selma/   “Teaching the events of Selma empowers our students with what the President called, “the imperative of citizenship”, which brave people like John Lewis have been willing to die for ever since we first became our nation.” Tara Smith

Holly wonders about the use of technology versus the way we grew up with limited TV channels and certainly no Internet.  Join the conversation here: http://hollymueller.blogspot.com/2015/03/slice-of-life-story-challenge-what-i_8.html

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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

The Cyberspace Teacher Blogging space is full of Little Words. This is a wonderful tradition that I have been doing for three years. I want to pass this one to my students. I found Tara Smith’s OLW lesson for her 6th graders and put it on an Emaze to use with my students this week. I also used Mary Lee Hahn’s acrostic poem as a model for my students.

http://app.emaze.com/@AOFLCWZL/one-little-wordPowered by emaze

I plan to use this lesson on Monday and have the students Slice about their words on Tuesday at our blog site. You are welcome to use this presentation as well with your own students. Let me know if you do.

I made a Tagxedo with my word using all the synonyms that came up for me. I chose the tree as a symbol because the oak tree was my inspiration for my word.

Reach Tagxedo

I encourage you to try these activities with your students. Please join in the DigiLit round up with your link.

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Find more Poetry Friday at Teacher Dance with Linda.

Find more Poetry Friday at Teacher Dance with Linda.

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard's site Teaching Young Writers.

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard’s site Teaching Young Writers.

Halloween chalk

It’s Chill-a-bration Time! That’s Halloween language for Chalk-a-bration. Halloween language for Poetry Friday is “Poetry Freakday!” I hope you enjoy our Freaky chalk poems. My students chalked up the sidewalks and chilled up an Emaze presentation. It was a sunny day, so we added some spooky shadows to our chalk poems.

http://app.emaze.com/1012993/chill-a-brationPowered by emaze

A chilling chalk zeno by Emily

A chilling chalk zeno by Emily

Candy chalk choka by Nigel and Tobie.

Candy chalk choka by Nigel and Tobie.

Shadow poem by Reed.

Shadow poem by Reed.

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