One of our Grade 5 teachers came up with the idea of having the children draw up a crossword using one of the websites I had sent to her a while back. This worked out really well, because not only did the children have to come up with clues that made sense (using information from their Social Sciences books, to do with Contagious Diseases), but they then had to copy and paste the crossword from the website into Word and add value by changing fonts, inserting pictures and borders etc. The result was most pleasing and the children enjoyed the task too!
The website is Discovery Education’s Puzzlemaker, found here: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/CrissCrossSetupForm.asp
Click on the image below to take a look at a few examples…
If you go to my BETT 2010 page and scroll right down to the “Visit BETT” Winner article (click on it), you will see what Youblisher can do. It converts pdfs into magazines – with the sound effect of turning the page! What an incredible tool to use with children. Imagine the uses for creative writing and publication of books written by children for children! I’m going to be using it in a week or two in that collaboration project I hinted at in my last post, so I used my own material to practice! Thanks again to Fiona Beal for that wonderful tip! Click here to visit the Youblisher website: http://www.youblisher.com/
Here is a screenshot:
We will soon be holding our annual IT Open Days again, when each child gets to invite a guest (parent or other) to come and have a look at what they have been doing in the IT Centre during the Course of the year. This will be the third time we will have these Open Days and the first time that we will showcase work done in Windows and MS Office 2007.
These Open Days have proven to be very popular. The children love showing off their work and the parents are often amazed at what their children are capable of, especially when their own IT skills leave much to be desired. The Open Days also offer the parents to informal chats with the class teacher whilst enjoying a cup of tea and/or a muffin.
The format of the Open Day sessions is as follows:
Each grade (4, 5 or 6) is allocated a day and each class is divided into two groups. Each group gets to spend half an hour in the IT Centre. I give a short welcoming speech (sometimes the principal does too, if he is available), and then the children get a chance to show off their work. They have all chosen their best examples and saved them into a special Open Day folder. They also get a chance to test their guest’s typing skills by making them type a few lines with our Rapid Typing programme – this usually results in much laughter, especially when it’s the dads’ turn to try their hand at typing!
After three days of Open Day sessions I am usually totally exhausted, but extremely satisfied with the outcome. I trust that this year will be no different!
Above is a WallWisher I recently made with a group of Grade 4’s. I have been playing with this great Web 2.0 tool for a different approach to lessons in the classroom:
WallWisher is an online noticeboard maker where a group of people can easily communicate with each other by sticking virtual notes.
It’s fun and simple to use and lends itself to use in many innovative ways. Visit this blog for super ideas on how to use this in your classroom:
I’m still really keen to get into this blogging thing and share it with the children, but I keep getting side-tracked! I will make it my mission for 2011 to introduce the children to blogging and to other fun and exciting Web 2.o tools.
I played with a new word cloud generator the other day – www.tagxedo.com
It is similar to Wordle, but much more fun because you can apply different shapes to your clouds – it lends itself to fun and exciting lessons!