Tag Archives: IWB

Introducing Students to Story Elements through Comics

Lesson Background

We read a delightful story titled Space Pup, about a super hero dog who rescues a bus that is stuck in the mud. I thought it would be fun to challenge students to extend the story by creating their own Space Pup adventure. I thought I could introduce my students to story elements by having them create a comic strip. Continue reading

Using ActivInspire to Create a Cross-Curricular Lesson

Thumbnail Boots for Beth 1 thumb

Lesson Background

In class we read the story Boots for Beth about a pig named Beth. At the beginning of the story Beth can’t get her boots on because they are too small. Throughout the story Beth’s animal friends offer their boots, but none of them are right for Beth. At the end of the story the friends surprise Beth with a new pair boots. Our focus reading comprehension skill for the week was retelling. I knew I wanted to work this skill into the project if possible.

In math we have been working a lot with ten-frames. I thought it would be fun for students to drag boots onto the ten-frame instead of boring counters. I decided to use ActivInspire to create this presentation.

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Mind Mapping with Popplet

Popplet Image
Project Background

This week we read an informational text titled All That Corn in our Harcourt Trophies reading books. On Day 2 of the Harcourt Trophies plan it recommends that the teacher help students create a concept map about farms. I have been eager to use a new, web-based, mind mapping tool with my students and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. When I did my action research during my graduate studies with my PreK students, I used Kidspiration software for mind mapping. Kidspiration is a good software package, but for the purposes of this blog I want to make sure that I am showcasing applications that are free and accessible to everyone. Plus, I know there are many mind mapping tools that have come out in the past few years, so I wanted to familiarize myself with the new tools out there. The world of educational technology is ever-changing, so it is important to stay up to date!
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Using PowerPoint to Act Out Mathematical Story Problems

Jack and Rick Cover

Lesson Background

This particular week students read the story Jack and Rick. A charming story about two lovable characters, Jack, a rabbit and Rick, a bear who find themselves on opposite sides of a river. The pair have to problem solve to get on the same side of the river, so they can play together. In math students have been working on subtraction with an emphasis on story problems. For my cross-curricular project I had students work in groups to create their own taking away story problem. I thought using PowerPoint would be the perfect tool for this project, because students can deepen their understanding of subtraction by using animation to demonstrate taking away.
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Virtual Tour of the Niña

Nina thumbnail

Background
A few years back a replica of the Niña, one of Christopher Columbus’s ships, visited Pittsburgh.
Check out the Official Website

I was able to take photos of the ship, and at the time I put them into a PowerPoint presentation that I shared with my students for several years in honor of Columbus Day. Then I learned about Mapwing. This is a great Web 2.0 tool that allows you to make your own virtual field trips!
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Hats & Caps Number Sentences

Hats & Caps Number Sentence Example

Lesson Background

In math we have been working on understanding addition concepts. In reading we read the story The Hat. In this story Pam’s hat blows away and her friend Dan retrieves it for her. This week we cover the short a vowel sound, so in addition to the word “hat” students also had the word “cap” on their spelling list.
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All About Me Digital Stories using Little Bird Tales

little bird tales

Project Planning

When I first sat down to brainstorm about cross-curricular projects for my classroom, I began by making a table that had 6 columns.  In the first column I listed the weeks of school.  In the second and third columns I mapped out what we would be covering in math and reading each week.  I reserved the fourth column for possible social studies or science connections.  In the fifth and sixth columns I began jotting down ideas for connections to the arts and technology.  I would recommend this brainstorming activity for anyone trying to follow in my footsteps in regards to integrating technology into your curriculum.

Lesson Background

During the first week of school we focus on reviewing phonics skills and sight words in reading, and in math we focus on number sense.  Many teachers do “All About Me” activities the first week of school to help students get to know one another.  I wanted to modernize this process, so I thought digital storytelling tools would be a natural fit with this goal in mind.

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