Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Comics, Cartoons, Graphic Novels Galore!

Whether it is on our laptops, iPads, or online, there are so many tools you can use with your students to make their own cartoons! Here are some ideas:

Did you know that Comic Life is already on all of our school computers? It is a great program that students can choose a layout for their comic and then add text boxes, speech bubbles, pictures, and more. 

ToonDoo is a website that also makes comics from a collection of clip art and backgrounds available on the site. Similarly, ToonBooks is a website that students can use to read graphic novels, read other children's cartoons, and create their own. A great feature of the site is that the graphic novels are leveled by grade so you can differentiate for your students. 

Looking to try the iPads in your classroom? Try these great apps! Toontastic is one of my favorite apps on the iPad. What I love about it is that to create the student's story, the app walks through the "story arc", guiding students to create a setup, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution. There are a variety of scenes and characters to choose from, and students record the movements of the characters with their own voice to make the story. 

Sock Puppets is also so much fun! It is similar to Toontastic in that students record the movements and voice of the characters, but they are more limited in the scene they create. They can choose different puppets, props, scenery, and backgrounds and then start creating with the record button. A fun feature of the app is that it will manipulate your voice based on the character - it is sure to get lots of giggles from the kids and teacher!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marvelous Math

I seemed to stumble on a lot of new math websites this week! Hopefully you find a new site to use in your classroom or for your students to use at home. 

Johnnie's Math Page has games and activities categorized into Counting Activities, Addition, Subtraction, Division, Place Value, Decimals, Integers, and Operations & Functions. They are links to other games, but I love that they are categorized and easy to find what topic you're looking for. 

K-5 Math Teaching Resources has standard-based math activities divided by subject and grade level. Some of the activities are online, but others are hands-on games or ideas. 

For anyone who is studying 3D shapes and nets, how would your students feel about making their own 3D Angry Birds characters? This site has a PDF printable for you to make your own!

And just to make you smile....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MLK Jr. Day & Teachers Pay Teachers

This week I came across a free set of resources to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While I found it on a blog, the link took me to another great resource called Teachers Pay Teachers. Teachers Pay Teachers is an open marketplace full of resources for teachers, by teachers. Anyone can sign up to either buy or sell lesson plans, worksheets, SmartBoard activities, and more! It is free to join, and while some teachers charge for their creations, there are several fantastic freebies on there as well. You can search by subject, type, grade level, and price- I know several teachers who go to TpT often and have found their purchases worthwhile. So, below are the links to the free MLK Day resource, and Teachers Pay Teachers. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Last night I came across a new blog, The Daring Librarian, that I instantly fell in love with, mainly because of the title of the first post I saw: "10 Super Geeky Tips for the New Year". I like quick tips, and I am a self-proclaimed geek, so it sounded like the perfect post for me! Here is a basic rundown of her top 10, and check out the link for more detailed info on each.

1. Change your passwords. Yes, ALL of them. "According to CNN Tech an 8 digit password can be hacked in 2 hours but a 12 character password would take 17 years."

2. Dump your cache, cookies, and clear your browsing history in whichever web browser you use (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.).
3. Consolidate your flash drives. Clean out things you don't need anymore and backup the important things you can't live without.
4. Wait, forget the flash drive, try a cloud! Something like GoogleDocs, Dropbox, iCloud, etc. (Dropbox is my personal favorite!)

5. Edit your privacy settings and Facebook friendships.
6. Be transparent. What's your "digital footprint"?
7. Buy your name... domain name, that is.
8. Get Wikified. (At Central we already do this on our Sharing Place! Yippie!)
9. Build your PLN - Twitter is actually an awesome place to connect with other educators! (Follow me @iTeacherLauren :)
10. Back up your data - purchasing an external hard drive is a great investment!

Like I said, check out the original post "10 Super Geeky Tips for the New Year" for detailed descriptions of each step. She has some great ideas!