Padlet and Thinglink

Check out this great example of combining Thinglink and Padlet to share student work!  Angie McCulloch is a sixth grade teacher at Cupertino Middle and had her students curate articles, pictures, videos, and information about Endangered Panthers.  Once students had enough information they worked in pairs to create their Thinglink.  Their final step is to embed their Thinglink onto a class Padlet wall.  Click the image below to see these great projects!

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Angie and her students also use Padlet with the stories they are reading in class.  Students are asked to post claims and examples/evidence of their opinion on the authors message.  This way students can see what their classmates are thinking and frame their class discussion based on various claims they read from the Padlet wall.

Talk about #eduawesome!

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Imagine K12

Last week I had a chance to witness the Imagine K12 Educator Demo Day where sixteen start-up companies give a three minute pitch of their product.  Educators are able to meet with each start-up before or after to offer feedback and test out their product.  Here are three of the sixteen we want you to check out:

ReadWorks.org 

Read Works is a non-profit organization that is providing teachers with researched-based units, lessons and leveled non-fiction and literary passages.

Select “Reading Passages” (Kinder to Twelfth Grade) or “Lesson Plans” (Kinder to Sixth Grade) from the top of the homepage.  Then you can begin to categorize what you are looking for.

Reading Passages:

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Lesson Plans:Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.23.47 AM

Meant for Teachers

Mission100%

Mission 100% is a collection of videos that highlight best teaching practice.  The videos are taken in classrooms ranging from Kinder to Twelfth Grade.  The collection consists of real video footage of classrooms and schools; with over 800 short and high quality videos.  The average video length is ninety seconds, and videos range from thirty second to ten minutes.  Every new customer gets their first two weeks free, and after that there is a monthly fee.  I will be interested to see how these videos will differ from what is available, for free on the teacher channel.

Meant for Teachers

Educents

Think “Groupon” for teachers!

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Meant for Teachers

 

The First Four

Why not have your kids answer questions with an infographic?  Many people associate infographics to data and mathematically thinking, but infographics can be used for anything.  Google defines infographic as “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.”

Lets consider these two Eighth Grade Social Studies standards:

  1. Describe the country’s physical landscapes, political divisions, and territorial expansion during the terms of the first four presidents. (California State Standard 8.4.1)
  2. Outline the major treaties with American Indian nations during the administrations of the first four presidents and the varying outcomes of those treaties.  (California State Standard 8.5.3)

TheFirstFour

Click the image to see the full Google Drawing

Each star represents something different, we can call them my “markers” for now.  White tells you who the picture is of, red tells you when they were President.  Blue could provide a link to a Google Doc where I answer some of those questions above.  Which as you can tell, I didn’t really do.  My goal is to just show WHAT can be done.  Students can find pictures of landscape from that time and create a “marker” that will send you to that link.

Here is my workflow

  1. Create a new Google Drawing.  Google Drawing only works with chromebooks, laptops, and desktops – those still exist, right?
  2. Find pictures of the first four presidents via Google Images.  You can do this right from Google Drawing!  Select “Insert” and then “Search” the images that will pull images that are labeled as “for commercial reuse with modification” which is pretty specific.  This copyright means you can’t make money off of it, and you can alter the photo.  If you pull images from Google Images you can narrow down the search to just “labeled for reuse” – Check out our blog post here on how to do that!
  3. Create a collage using those images
  4. Start creating your markers.   These will provide the viewer more information.  Viewers will be able to click on various markers for pieces of information, rather than just reading a full length essay.  Within Google Drawing you have many options for shapes, which will become your “markers.”  Once students choose which shape they want to use as their markers – I went with stars – they can highlight one marker and either leave comments or link to outside sources.

For turn in purposes I always suggest a Google Form!  Click here to read our past blog post about this.

Stay tuned for our blog post next week where we can show you how to do this on iPads!

 

 

 

News at YOUR Reading Level

NewsELA is a fantastic Common Core aligned website that houses news articles to help students build reading comprehension with nonfiction text.  The best part is that each article is written in five different Lexile levels so it can be accessible for all students.  Lexile levels range from 550 to over 1200, which could cover students in third to twelfth grade.  When you open an article, on the right side you can choose the Lexile level and begin to see the articles change as you move between levels.  First thing I want you to do is look at how awesome my image is below, then you can look at how the title changes.  The link of this iTunes article is at the very bottom of this post.

*This image was created with PicCollage check out our post about it by Clicking Here.

Photo Mar 13, 9 04 25 AM

Here is a lesson I did with fourth graders as their first experience with their Google Drive accounts.  I found an article on NewsELA about NASA Finding an Ancient Lake on Mars, and had them answer a few questions about the article.

There are huge benefits to having kids enroll with NewsELA as your students.  They can take quizzes, teachers can tracking progress, and even assign different articles.  Since I was a celebrity teacher – yes that is what I call myself – in this fourth grade classroom I didn’t want to have students create accounts and link it to me as their teacher.  My workaround was to provided the NewsELA article as a PDF and then link it to a View Only Google Doc.  I turned the View Only Google Doc into a tinyurl:  http://tinyurl.com/nsfxrhe and had students follow the directions.  Look at this great response

Lake on Mars

And my favorite of all…

Lake on Mars2

Some articles to consider

Using Thinglink to Link Things

I was introduced to Thinglink a few months back and was amazed at how great it was!  Then life happened and I forgot all about it.  It resurfaced when I noticed it has an iPad app.  Thinglink – yes it is really one word – lets you make your images interactive.  You start with an image and can link other images, text, youtube videos, and even videos from your iPad.  In reference to the infamous SAMR model, this thing (get it?) has redefinition written all over it!

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Students will need to create an account to start using ThingLink, but have no fear it allows you to sign in with your Google account.  Cue Pharrell’s Happy Song now!  I am honestly sold on anything that allows me to log into their services with my Google account.  Hint, hint to all you start up companies out there.

Yesterday I started to look at the Social Studies standards, because my default is math and I am trying to break out of my comfort zone.  Here is my creation of the fourth grade standard 4.1.5: Use maps, charts, and pictures to describe how communities in California vary in land use, vegetation, wildlife, climate, population density, architecture, services, and trans­portation.

Unfortunately I cannot embed the ThingLink,  but my work around is to have you click on the image below to see the real thing.

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How do you see this being used in your content area?

Have a Party with Your Photos

“Pics + Words + Stickers = A Party with Your Photos” is how Pic Collage describes this FREE APP on their website.  This is one of my favorite apps right now!  I have been talking about it every time I meet with teachers.  Check out some of the examples I have seen created.  Common Core aligned, of course!

K.MD.1: Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight.

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3.NF.3d: Recognize that comparisons of fractions are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole.  **This standard is going to be HUGE to help students better understand fractions!

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4.OA.5:   Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.

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PicCollage can be used in all subjects.  Just make sure kids – or adults – don’t spend their whole time choosing a background.

Social Studies: Identify certain various regions of any given state.  Pictures of artifacts from ancient civilizations.  Collection of important members to a specific time period. 

Science: Identify parts of a plant.  Photograph stages of a lab.  Different forms of rocks.

Physical Fitness: Identify proper skill and form for various activities.

Let us know your fantastic ideas in the comment section.

Hour of Code Success in Cupertino

As the new year has started, we are getting more and more great stories of students engaged in Hour of Code in December.  In fact, many students are inspired to continue the lessons and create new ideas.  We thought we would share a few of the stories that we’ve heard that have made Hour of Code a success.

During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15), history was made when over 10 million people around the globe were recruited to join in and participate in the Hour of Code (http://code.org/). The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. Students would have the experience of writing code through a series of exercises.

At Montclair, Krissy Cabot teachers talked about her students:

I am sure this was happening at other school sites but I wanted to let you know about something cool that happened in several classrooms at Montclaire last week.  We partook in a program called “Hour of Code”. Several months ago a woman by the name of Hadi Partovi came up with a dream of having 10 million kids try one hour of computer science.  Her dream came true and over 10 million students participated.  Here is a link to a promotion video: http://code.org/.

All of our fifth grade classes at Montclaire participated on laptops we had some lower grade classes working on iPads. Parents came in to the classrooms and helped, which was great for me because I had never learned to write code so we were all learning together.  The students loved it!  The students had to use the 4 C’s to work together in pairs to write the code for the tutorial they worked on. This led to so many great conversations in my class already about jobs for them and your dreams can come true, dare to dream big.  I know it will be a building block in many conversations for the rest of the year.

Also at Montclaire, Jen Auten worked with her first graders having them program, Daisy the Dinosaur.  They then progressed to programming with Tynker, Kodable and Hopscotch on the iPad.

Kathy Young at Blue Hills had students working through the Code.org.  Several of the students were able to progress through the entire series of activities and earn a rewards card.  She reports:

We met in the computer lab to allow a 1-1 ratio of students to devices.  We watched the introductory video together and discussed the basic “howtos” of getting into the site.  We used our lab’s desktop computers.  Each student created and logged into their account.  Then they worked individually to complete as many activities as allowed in the ~30 minutes remaining.  It was probably the quietest and most-focused class we’ve ever had.  From that day, students have continued to ask to use an iPad during class time to continue their Hour of Code activities.  Many have spent many hours at home completing activities as well.

Kathy’s students feedback include:

Nimitz: Hour Of Code

Blue Hills Elementary School: Hour Of Code

Giulio: Today I will tell you why I think Hour of Code is helpful  I think Hour of Code is helpful because int he future there is probably going to be robots.  Well, you might say, if there is going to be robots, then why do we need to know how to function computers?  Well, because how do we make robots, movies, games, toys, and some machines?  We make all those by computer, and in the future, there will be eve more of those, so that means when my classmates and I grow up, all jobs will be with computers.  An Hour of Code gives you a good idea of how computers work, and you can see how they can be improved.  Well, I hope you liked my paragraph and good luck.
Amy:  Hour of Code is a very scientific game for children who like technology.  I like how the founders of Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Twitter use Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombie to teach how to program in such a fun, awesome, and fantastic way.  I would give this website 5 starts!  For the whole game, the main blocks are move forward, turn left, turn right, and the repeat block.  I learned how to make a game with a computer with just only a few lines of code.  I want to grow up to invent something electronic like a high-tech engineer as my interest from my dad as a computer science person.
Teja:  I think Code was a helpful site.  It just gave me a head start on computer coding.  Now, I can make codes, after codes, after codes!  Thnks to Code, I have a headstart on computer engineering.  Now let’s talk about what I Code.  Code’s full title is the Hour of Code.  There are mazes you have to figure out, but you have to use the blocks in the slot and you figure out the code.  Each maze gets harder and harder, but you get used to it.  I really hope you get on your computer and try the Hour of Code.  The funny trick is that you finish 20 mazes in an hour!
Keshav: Hour of Code is awesome.  It is computer science.  First, there are stages.  Each stage is different.  Whatyou need to do is that on the computer or on a laptop, you need to make the trace of the drawing or where you have to go.  Second, in Hour of Code, I learned that if you use the counter block 20-100 by 10 and inside you say that make a square and jump forward, it will create 8 squares.  My favorite part of Hour of Code was the last stage.  Now, I told what I learned from Hour of Code.

Rita Cole had her students work on the Code.org as well, and then one of her students took it a step further and created a math app for the iPad and publish it on iTunes. My-ath: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-ath/id689802288?mt=8 Download it now – its free and fun!!

Rohini Tambe from Eaton shared out some of the activities at her school including ways to teach programming without using technology.

Stocklmeir Students Coding

Stocklmeir Students Coding

Over 400 Stocklmeir Elementary students, in 17 classrooms grades 1-5, were a part of this exciting movement whose numbers to date has reached 21 million participants. Students caught on fast and excelled at the activity. Not uncommon, they were able to go far beyond the expectations of the adults involved. Excitement and enthusiasm were in the air while learning a new side to technology. The activity is hopefully just the first step on a journey to learn more about how technology works and possibly find a real passion in programming.

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Stocklmeir Students Coding