Last Week of April, 2010
Time's flying by! Drop in for our annual International Fair from 5:30 pm to 7 pm Friday night, when 4th grader Caroline Knowles, her crew of fellow 4th graders, and I will be sharing Hopi American food, inspired by our Mesa Verde Unit in Quest Atlantis. I'll be sharing Quest Atlantis with interested attendees, too, via my laptop and a dedicated internet connection! Here's a great composite picture of two of my Questers who became virtual twins, dreadlocks and all, in Quest Atlantis!
The Short Story:
3rd Graders are creating Word cover pages for their Asia study scrapbooks
4th Graders are making graphs with the NCES Create-a-graph website
Kindergarters are making special cards with Kerpoof's "Make a Card" feature
1st Graders are looking at tutorials in Kerpoof, especially the "Make a Movie" tutorial
2nd Graders are also making graphs at the NCES site
The Long Story:
3rd Graders are creating Word cover pages for their Asia study scrapbooks by modifying Word Art on a template residing on our network. I created the template to facilitate getting the task done in the brief 30 minutes I have with the kids, and I'll be cleaning up any mis-formatting and printing them all for the students once they are all finished. In the course of the re-formatting, students open a browser and use the safe-search Google field in the Webliographer to find an image they would like to appear on their document's cover, then copy it into a text box on the template. This retains the desired sizing and makes for a good consistent cover page for all the kids' scrapbooks.
4th Graders are making graphs with the NCES Create-a-graph website. This site has been around for maybe a decade, despite the best efforts of the folks at the National Center for Economics Statistics to take it down several years ago. There was such an outcry by educators that they put it back up and it's been up and available ever since. It's easy to see why it was missed: Students can enter data, choose a style of graph, edit many design elements, and preview their work before revising it until they have just what they want. When satisfied, they can print, save, and/or email a copy of their graph to a teacher, themselves, or their favorite computer lab teacher. Here's a sample:
Kindergarters are making special (shhhhh) cards with Kerpoof's "Make a Card" feature. I'll share some of that work when it's the appropriate time to do so. With a certain holiday coming up a week from Sunday, it may be too early :-)
1st Graders are looking at tutorials in Kerpoof, especially the "Make a Movie" tutorial. This is a good introduction to the concept of tutorials, and it gives the students a source of reference once the logins and passwords go home. With luck, they will be able to use these accounts as long as they would like, since I set them up in such a manner that their usernames and passwords can travel with them up the grades through Lower School and beyond. I would really like to see what older kids could do with Kerpoof, and while introducing the Movie making interface to the 1st graders, I am struck by nothing so much as how it's kind of a nice little subtle introduction to programming. You have to see it to understand, and if you'd like to do that, click on over to the Kerpoof Tutorial page and watch Make a Movie Learn how to make a movie using Kerpoof Animation Studio.
2nd Graders are also making graphs at the NCES site. With them, however, I first demonstrate the site and then walk them through the process a step at a time. The biggest challenge is attention span and self-control in whole class, and I welcome the chance to work on that with them. The results are mostly stellar (the example above is actually one emailed me by a 2nd grader!).
See you in May!