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Monday, December 20, 2010

Lego Club

I love my job, and I got to do one of my most favorite things today. I had heard that you could get the Lego Club magazine for free, so I checked out the Lego site, and you could.  Unfortunately, it was for the American Lego site.  However I poked around on the Canadian site for a couple of minutes and found out you can do the exact same thing in Canada!  So I ordered the Canadian magazine for the school for free for 2 years!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Kerpoof Spell a Picture

Yesterday one of the Grade 2 classes used Kerpoof Studios to Spell-a-picture.  Kerpoof Studios has a number of different activities, writing stories, drawing, and even some simple movie making/animation sections, but one of my favorite is the Spell-a-picture.  Students can select the letters of the alphabet from the bottom of the page, or type them with the keyboard.  As they type, based on their letters, possible images of what they are typing shows up on the screen.  So if you start with D you may see a diamond, dog, DJ and a dancer, add O and it will update it to mostly dogs and a doctor.  After you correctly spell a word an arrow appears on top of the picture so you can add it to your scene.  Eventually after adding enough characters or objects you can get a pretty nice looking picture.  It is quite fun to challenge the students to come up with as many 3 letter words as they can think of, and make a picture out of that, or try a mix of just 3 and 4 letter words.  It is only available in English.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Engineering Interact (Sound)

Engineering Interact is a wonderful series of sites created by the University of Cambridge.  There are several sites on different science topics.  Each topic has its own little game, or story mystery that must be played through and solved, complete with interactive puzzles and information.  The students are enthralled when they are taking part, and in some ways the activities are very difficult because if you do not read the directions carefully it is impossible to complete the tasks, making the click and jump through crowd unable to progress.  Today we played Ocean Oydessy which is an underwater adventure about sound.  The Grade 4 class seemed to have a great time, and because it was sound based we did have to wear ear phones so everyone could hear some of their own clues.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Norad Tracks Santa!

NORAD just opened their tracking site for tracking Santa! Go to http://www.noradsanta.org/  and check it out.  There is a video of Santa flying around the world, and each day a new game is released.  The first game is a simple snowman tic tac toe, but if last year was any indication, some of the games were awesome.

First Batch of Scratch

Students participating in Scratch are doing great, and I have the first project finished and ready to share.  Nice job to the creator!

Learn more about this project

Aunt Olga's Christmas Postcards

Aunt Olga's Christmas Postcards.  I use this to introduce children to the concepts of postcards.  Then, children are asked to supply a digital picture of their house.  They then digitally decorate the house for Christmas, and we print them at Wal-Mart.  The pictures (4x6) are the exact size to glue index cards on the back.  Students then write postcard messages on the back and send them to someone else.  A great mesh of digital technologies, literature, and the real world.

Below is the houses that were made last year, placed in an Animoto Slideshow.

More Tux Paint

I can't get enough of Tux Paint!  Yesterday 3 of the Grade 1 classes met Tux Paint for the first time.  I love watching them use it for the first time.  They are given a minimum of instruction, then sent on their own to discover what else it can do.  Most often, someone discovers the toilet stamp, complete with flushing sounds, and shows it to their friend, who then shows them how they made a rainbow, and then they get up and show someone that, who shows them how you can change the color of your bricks, and so on.  It is wonderful to watch them share and communicate their ideas with each other.