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DOJO fun

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com
Came across a fabulous website for real time use in classrooms, which I like because it reinforces and rewards students for positive behaviour. It will also record negative behaviours, but I sometimes think we have enough strategies in place for this. It is often the “invisible” students who always do the right thing with very little recognition, that I have targeted for use with this site. Check it out and see what you think. Thanks to Jenny Gilbert whom I follow on scoopit

Making a difference

Wow, Mrs Gow brought this fabulous web 2.0 tool to my attention. It is called a Google Search Story. The challenge is to tell a story using 7 different google searches. You could give the students a start and an end point, and let them fill the gaps, to tell a story. Quite a challenge and LOADS of fun. Check out my story and then follow the links to create your own. I can’t wait to get my students to do this.

Tokbox

In response to some questions from our partnership school in Guadaloupe, French Carribean, we were asked to summarise some of the significant events in Australia’s history. We decided to try out www.tokbox.com Apart from discovering that we need a much better microphone, the actual tool was brilliant. Just like voicethread, once you have finished, you have finished. It just needs embedding in your blog. Anyway, for what it’s worth, here is our first tokbox.

Toondoo

Well what a week we have had in the world of blogging. I happily discovered an amazing blogger in Tasmania, called Sue Wyatt. My year 6’s and I explored Ms Wyatt’s class blog and discovered a wonderful game site called Tutpup and a cartoon creating Web 2.0 tool, called Toondoo. We have had loads of fun with both.

We also had the good fortune to have been “twittered” by Anne Mirtschin’s social network, and consequently, the “Say G’day to us” voicethread on our class blog, encountered lots of hits from fellow bloggers. The excitement it brought to both teacher (moi) and students, was immense. The power of this blogging knows no bounds it seems.

Tag Galaxy

Well how cool is this! Thanks to Britt Gow for discovering the Tag Galaxy web 2.0 tool. Select a tag or topic you wish to work with, in this instance my tag was “Kids”, and then the Tag Galaxy site will search Flickr photos for you to use. Select a cloud or group of photos and then let the site do the rest.

Print your screen (using the Print screen button on your keyboard) and paste it into Paint. Crop your globe and save it as a Jpeg. Insert it into your post as an image, and there you have it. Too easy.

Another Tip for using Wordle

Another tip for creating wordles is fitting it into the space on your blog. To fit this wordle into this space, I changed the width code from 499 to 400. Just experiment with the sizes until you get a fit that suits the theme of your blog.

The blog as an authentic teaching tool.

I am delighted with the success of my “Photo a Week” project. It began by having the students get access to a photo a week, pasting it into their writing journals, and writing between 50 and 100 words about that photo. The writing can be descriptive, a poem, a list of instructions, an observation, a list of questions etc, as long as they were writing about the photo.

For those students who have limited access to digital photography, printers, cameras etc. it has now progressed to alternatively using any sort of graphic – something they have drawn, or a picture from a magazine, newspaper etc.

This project is their weekly homework and the motivation to complete it is intrinsic. Everybody likes to talk about their own lives and things which are important to them. I have coupled this project, with 2 regular, weekly blog posts, which the students are required to complete each week.

1. Your week or weekend in a sentence (which was a direct steal from a project Anne Mirtschin was involved in with her regular blogging activities). I have found that as well as hearing things about the students which are really interesting and which they are motivated to share, that it is a very legitimate way to focus on the structure of a sentence. How much more effective is the teaching when it is broken into small steps.

2. Grammar – eg Homonyms, antonyms etc. I select a homonym and have the students use them correctly in a sentence. eg. new and knew.

The use of technology in all these tasks have made the homework far more meaningful and enjoyable. As you might have gathered, I am a huge supporter of the blog as an authentic teaching tool.