Posted in Blogs and Blogging, News, Roanoke County Schools

Blog Excitement

There is quite a bit of excitement in the 4th and 5th grade hall at one of my schools.  And believe it or not, it’s all about WRITING.  Yep!  Writing journal entries, writing free writes, writing news reviews, writing assignments.  Why? Because students here are using blogs to write!

After a few lessons on safety, blog set up, writing blog posts, and commenting on blogs, these students took their blogs and ran with them.  It amazes me every time I walk in the computer lab and hear excited writing discussions, or in the hall or lunch room.  I even heard a group of students discussing what they wrote (or were going to write) outside on the playground!  And really, they have just scratched the surface.  They have been commenting on each other’s blogs, but really staying within their own school.  Today I challenged them to branch out and read other class’ blogs around the world.  And once again, the excitement was palpable…

I want to try and encourage their efforts by finding folks to comment on their blogs as well.  I’ve been following the #comments4kids hashtag on Twitter, and reading through the Comments4Kids site to find other similar classrooms.  And now, I’m posting here too in hopes that you might have  a moment to leave a comment (and a location) on one of their blog entries.  If you have time, here they are:

5th Grade

A big, big thanks in advance, and an offer to return the favor.  Leave me a comment (with a url) if you want me to comment on some of your students’ blogs!

Posted in Links, Roanoke County Schools, social studies

Make Your Own Presidential Ad!

Want to be President?  Well, you can at least make your own commercial!  Try it out here:

Presidential Campaign Ad-o-matic

You can definitely grab your students attention, or have them make their own as the beginning to a writing prompt.  During the process students will need to upload their pictures, choose their political party, and choose the items in their platform.  Very fun!

Posted in Blogs and Blogging, Projects, Roanoke County Schools

Glogging About Authors

Fourth Graders in Mrs. Corbett’s class created interactive posters about famous authors!  They used a service called Glogster Edu to create these posters!  Here are a few examples of their work.  You can see them all on the class wiki .

http://edu.glogster.com/flash/flash_loader.swf?ver=1298292890 

http://edu.glogster.com/flash/flash_loader.swf?ver=1298292890

It’s amazing how engaged the kids were while working in Glogster!  Here is a video shot from the work session.

Posted in Projects, Roanoke County Schools

How To Stories…with a Digital Twist!

What do Purple Cows, Nachos, and 3-D Robots have in common? They’re all things YOU can learn how to make, just by watching a simple Digital Story! Yep, so easy even a Third Grader could do it…actually, they did! And they created these digital stories to show YOU just how easy it is! Here’s an example:

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=8852696&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=8852838&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

So, how did they do it?

First, Mrs. Devlin worked with her students on writing expository “How To” paragraphs. Students then used their paragraphs to create a storyboard for their digital stories. Then they brought in supplies and had “picture day.” During this time, students followed their storyboards and took pictures of the step-by-step process of making their creation. The digital pictures were loaded on the computers in the lab, and students then used PhotoStory to finish their projects. It was interesting to listen to their problem solving skills as they followed their own directions…and even as they created their Digital Stories. Lots of learning took place, and the end product turned out great!

Check out all the projects here:
Digital “How To” Stories

Posted in Ideas

Publishing Writing Ideas

Jacqui Sharp from ICT Teaching and Learning posted this great slideshow of different ways to publish writing. It’s great!! It goes from the easiest ways to the more elaborate…but lots of fun things are included. Take a look! Can you think of any other ways?