Dec 28, 2008

Who Am I? Silhouette and Acrostic Poem

DIGITAL CAMERA FUN! At the beginning of the school year my 3rd grade students create silhouettes of themselves using the digital camera. They then add a "Who Am I?" acrostic poem to their picture. The finished projects are displayed so that all of our students and staff can guess who each student is based on their picture and description. Those who figure out that the poem is an acrostic, figure out the identities quickly.

The details: 1. Take a digital photo of the student's profile with a plain white background. 2. Teacher edits out any background as necessary. 3. Students pull picture into PrintShop or similar program. 4. Students edit picture, removing brightness and increasing contrast until just a silhouette remains. 5. Students add an acrostic poem that gives clues about themselves!

Dec 22, 2008

The Colors of Winter 2nd Grade Books

WINTER IS HERE! My 2nd grade classes are celebrating the Winter season by writing books. The winter season does not have to be all white and grey, the students see red sleds, purple boots, and green scarves. Each student drew a winter item and a color word using Kidpix. I brought each page into a PowerPoint presentation. As a class, the students recorded our book title. Then individually the students recorded on their own page about the colors they see in the winter. I used SlideBoom to record the PowerPoint presentation and uploaded the books to our school web site for the students to share with their family and friends. See and listen to our books here!

Internet Safety for Elementary Students

This month I am focusing on Internet safety with my 4th and 5th grade students. I found some great resources to use. The Safe Side web site has a great video with John Walsh (America's Crime Fighter) and Julie Clark (founder of Baby Einstein) about being safe on the Internet. The video is funny and quirky and the topics and tips are perfect for elementary students. I bought this video, but I found out that you can rent this video through Netflix. The site also offers free resource guides for families and schools. Another great site to use is CyberSmart- with a whole curriculum for Internet safety, privacy, copyright issues, and cyberbullying for several grade levels. It is so important for all teachers, especially technology teachers to teach safety topics. Many of our students use the Internet daily for information, games, and socializing. Lets help keep them safe!
Other great sites:

Dec 8, 2008

Kidspiration Name Pictures

BEGINNING SOUNDS, LETTER RECOGNITION, and TECHNOLOGY! My 1st grade students are using Kidspiration for the first time. They open a file containing the number of letters that they have in their first names. Then then write their names along the top of the page, above each box. Finally, they find pictures that have the same beginning letter as each letter in their name. The students enjoy finding images to add to their project and it's a plus when the image is animated!

Coming soon: Kidspiration files that you can download!

Nov 24, 2008

Presidential Wordles

My 5th grade students are studying the US Government and Presidents so we are making Wordles to learn some facts about the Presidents. First we copy and paste some biographical information about each president from the USA for Kids web site in the Wordle creator. The students change fonts, colors, layout, and can even remove words from the image. The images are pulled into a word-processing software such as Microsoft Word and the students pick a few key words from their Wordle to explain how it relates to the president and we add an image of each president, too.

We will also be creating some character trait Wordles as they finish novels in the classroom.

Warholize Me

THIS IS MY 15 MINUTES OF FAME! The art teacher (Mille Watson) and I are teaching an enrichment class for 5th grade. Our topic is Andy Warhol and we have so many fun art and technology activities for the students to use. We are beginning the presentation with a great PowerPoint slideshow created by Mrs. Rouse of Rock Ledge Elementary in Wisconsin. Next the students take digital pictures of themselves in fun poses and we make them into Warhol style Pop Art using the Warholizer at Big Huge Labs! Finally, we save a clipart image that the students choose and make it into line art use BeFunky's Cartoonizer. We then pull the line art drawing into a label making program like The Print Shop. We use the image as the label and print 6-8 identical images on a page of card stock paper. The students then use different art media (pastels, watercolors, etc.) to color their images to make Pop Art! These fun online tools make learning about Andy Warhol and Pop Art so much fun!

Nov 19, 2008

Make A Flake Snowflakes

LET IT SNOW! It's time to celebrate some wintery weather and my 2nd grade students are having fun designing their own snowflakes by using Make A Flake. It is fun just to play with or you can use the snowflakes in projects.

The students made a snowflake online and then saved it as an image file. We pulled the images into a word processing software, and then typed and formatted a snowflake poem. We added a border and printed them out. Students are encouraged to also use the web site at home to make decorations for the winter holidays.