Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PicLab HD

One of my favorite FUN apps is FREE... TODAY ONLY!!
PicLab HD creates beautiful, funky, and creative text overlays on your photos. They have a free version, but PicLab HD has more free fonts and editing features than regular old PicLab.

Here are some examples of what it looks like:

So why am I sharing a photo editing app? Well, I think that 3rd and 4th graders especially would love it. It makes me cringe when they ask me if I am on Instagram, but this is their digital world and what is "cool" in it. 

Some of the ideas I had were:
- Create a New Year's Resolution image
- Create a picture of a quote from a book 
- After reading, design an image for the moral of a story

Look for it on our iPads after the New Year.. but download it today if you're interested!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Flipped Classroom

This afternoon at our faculty meeting, we will be starting a discussion around the concept of the flipped classroom. A Google search on the topic of the "elementary flipped classroom" brought up 12,700,000 results. WOW! 

So, what is the flipped classroom? First, it is NOT just about watching videos for homework. It is a fuller cycle of learning, with deeper connections to both the content and the learning community members. Learning tasks can become engaging, relevant, authentic, and exciting. The flipped classroom also doesn't center around videos - teachers are still responsible for making decisions about which tools will best meet the needs of their students, keeping the overall learning climate and objectives in mind.

Jon Bergmann (@jonbergmann) has been coined as a co-founder of the flipped learning concept, and has an entire website dedicated to Flipped Learning, including videos, blogs, and resources on the topic. 

One piece of advice he gives to elementary teachers is to not assign the video as homework, but make it a center in your classroom. The new term I have heard for this is The Cloned Teacher, from Jennie Magiera. I LOVE this term because it fits much better with our elementary classrooms and students. 

Ready to try it? Here are examples I have found of what it could look like at each grade level:


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

YOU! (Yes, you can be a flipped learner too! Searching YouTube to find what you want to do is an awesome way to learn!)

Wait, wait, wait.. are you saying I have to make all these videos for my kids? NO! There are hundreds upon thousands of videos that you can already use...! Here are just a few:
And even BrainPop & BrainPop Jr!

One final video... Salman Khan's TED talk: Let's use video to reinvent education. 

Additional Articles & Resources: