Today teachers at Davis Elementary created their own online yearbooks for free using Google slides and Flipsnack. First the students logged into Google classroom where I posted a Google slides template that all of them could edit. You can do that when you post an assignment by choosing the “Students can edit file” option. The students opened the slideshow, and each student got a slide that corresponded with their student number. They wrote their name on the slide and added a photo of themselves using the webcam (Insert > Image > Take a snapshot). Then they typed a few sentences about their favorite memories of this school year. Finally they added more photos using the Google Image search or taking snapshots with their friends. When they were finished, I exported the slideshows as PDF documents (File > Download As > PDF Document) and uploaded them to Flipsnack, a webtool that converts PDFs into online flipbooks. This made it easier for parents to access the yearbook, plus it looks really cool. You can take a look at a few yearbooks here: Eller, Bennett, Cousins. UPDATE: I taught a similar lesson with Ms. Conway’s class at Laburnum, but this time I converted the slideshow to images (File > Download As > JPG Image) and uploaded them to Animoto to make a video yearbook with music.
Numbers is a cool piece of software and to showcase some of it’s special features I’ve created an attendance activity you can use with your students. It will give them a some graphing experience each morning, and it provides an easy, visual way to take attendance. Just enter your students’ names in the spreadsheet, set them all to ABSENT with one quick drag, and as they enter your room they check off their own names. The graph will automatically update and everyone can see at a glance who’s absent! No more pesky reminders from the office to do your attendance (believe me, I know from experience)! Two special features of Numbers that this showcases are the checkboxes and conditional formatting (that’s how it changed from ABSENT to PRESENT when they checked the box). You can explore the formulas I used by clicking in some of the boxes. Download the activity by clicking here and if you would like to see a demo video click here.
Last week I taught a workshop on using technology with social studies, and since then I’ve gotten several emails with questions about using Photo Booth. Photo Booth is a great program for teaching social studies in particular because students can put themselves into a historical picture using screenshots and backgrounds. However, it can be confusing. So I created a video and a handout that you can find by clicking here. Each step of the process is broken down into short 2-3 minute video segments so you can just watch the part that you need. I’ve also included several student samples showing how Photo Booth can be used effectively to teach content and assess learning. You may want to click the photobooth tag over on the right of this blog to read more about the various projects. Let me know if you have any questions, and if you teach a lesson using Photo Booth share it with me!
This year students in Grades 3-5 will take some of their SOL tests online in June. So during the month of November I am training the teachers and students how to use the practice online test that is on all classroom and cart computers. It is called ePat and you can find it by searching for it with Spotlight (the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen). It is very important that you give your students several opportunities to practice taking the test using ePat. They should be familiar with using all the tools which are displayed in the top menu bar of the program. You can see the tools in this picture. They include the “slash the trash” tool, the highlighter, the straight edge, the eraser, the ruler, and the protractor. If you need a refresher on what the tools do and how to use them, just click the question mark. It will give you an explanation and even a short video. Let me know if you or your students need any help with ePat.
Each school has a different method for signing up to use the COWs (Computers on Wheels) or laptop carts. You may find a helpful solution in a website called Qlubb. It makes scheduling and organizing groups of people easy. You could even create your own qlubb for your classroom. I have gone ahead and created a qlubb for each school: Chamberlayne, Holladay, Laburnum, and Trevvett. The password is the same for everyone (your school’s abbreviation). You can use the calendar feature to sign up for the COWs, but you can also use Qlubb to schedule IEP meetings, upload photos of school events, and assign tasks for projects. I’ve made some how-to videos and a handout here to explain the process but it’s pretty easy to figure out on your own. Let me know if you have any questions.
Are you ready to get your phunk on? ARE YOU READY??!!! Here’s the place to leave your comments and questions about our GarageBand class. Let us know how we can help you, or share your project ideas with your classmates. Remember, the reflection date is October 12th at Greenwood Elementary. Please bring your completed projects with you so we can burn them on a CD for everyone. We’re looking forward to learning some funky fresh moves from each other. Links to online tutorials and handouts are here. I posted our agenda and video here. You are welcome to email us as well.