Friday, May 23, 2008

Great Games That Make You THINK

Students LOVE games, and in school we want more learning games.
provides many games that make you THINK. With a wide variety of levels, it is challenging, fun and appropriate for all of our grade levels - YEAH! So far we are playing Inch Worm I and II and Frog Jumpin'. These games involve strategy and trial error in a fun engaging environment. I set up games and competitions in the technology lab. I allow students to either "play and practice" a Zoopz game OR compete with classmates.

Competition Rules (or rules that have evolved so far:))
- No help from others.
- Players must be in this classroom to be in the competition.
- Students may play and practice outside of this class for the next competition.
- I choose one or two games for the day.

Play and Practice:
- Students who choose to "play and practice" may help each other, but not be in the competion for the day.
- You may play any of the games in Zoopz.

Top Scorers in each class get their cut-out name prominently displayed in the hallway. A list is displayed for high scores too - I decide for each class what scores get to sign the TOP SCORES list (eg. all students who beat at least level 10) I created a Word document with table and clip art and edit it for each class.

Please leave your comments here to share your top or other great games for technology labs.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Collaboration Projects with Voice Thread

Collaborative projects outside of our classroom walls has been a goal this year. This week we added more to our growing list. Some classes are collaborating with other elementary technology classes. Other technology classes are collaborating with Lou Anne Cornwell and her high school marketing class in our community. View the Voice Thread below and you will agree that this is an idea for all ages. Consider projects for your classes. Voice Thread has updated and now includes video and more! Give it a try!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

When Donkeys Fly

Look- she emailed us. It's Ginger Hodge! Yeah!!!
She sent us pictures. Whoa!!!!
Will she videoconference with us? Whoooooo Hoooooo!!!!!!!

These remarks along with many excited squeels were heard in the 3rd grade technology class over the author and her book called When Donkeys Fly. It is a new inspirational book for all to enjoy - along with absolutely beautiful illustrations. Our students love the story, it is great for a read-aloud read to one or to a big crowd. The message at the end reels the children in even more.

We are fortunate enough to be in on some of the production and pre-printing processes. Ginger Hodge and C.B Markham, the author and the illustrator, have let us in on some of the steps of writing and editing a book. Some of my classes have received messages from the author and pictures from the illustrator. The curious students come up with quite a range of questions and comments. Ginger answers them through email and has even visited the school.

Students are impressed that we are using a paperback book stamped with SAMPLE COPY - Final Printing will be hardcover with spine. They feel special- they get a sneak preview of a book that will be out this June - and they are seeing it weeeeeks ahead. We are using C.B.'s illustration examples and they are allowing students to do animation projects with the digital images. How cool - using a real illustrator's pictures in class projects! We can't wait for finished products - the book and our projects.

Toward the end of today's class period, the students asked if Ginger will have a videoconference with our class. I had just told them that she lives near our school, but this class has not met her yet. What fun it would be. A videoconference - students will see the real author in her real place where she writes real books.

"How authentic can you get?" thinks the teacher in me. "How saaa-weeet!!!!" scream the children.