Monthly Archives: April 2011

Do You Know Parts of a Book?

Ok so stupid title for a posting, but do you?  Well here is a chance to see if you do.  Study Stack provides you with the opportunity to create flashcards online that you can use in the classroom, or link to websites for students to view at home.  But how it differs from normal flashcards?  Well once you create the flashcards, Study Stack intergrates the information into a series of interactive games such as a crossword, scrabble, matching game, and hangman.  Each of these games helps reinforce the information the students are learning on the flashcards.

I showed this site to a fellow librarian (one of the best ones actually) and she used them in her review of the Dewey System with her fifth and sixth grade classes.  Students, teachers and parents will find a useful way to incorporate Study Stack into their learning environment.

Check out the link to view one that I created recently.

Flashcards about Parts of a Book.

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BIG HUGE FUN

Ok so I have done two posts recently that have you go to a site called Big Huge Labs.  I must commend this site, because they have several interactive tools you can use to make your classroom, and class projects that much more interesting.  Not only can you create trading cards, or movie posters (like I have shown you) but you can create magazine covers, mosaics, motivational posters, and more.  You can use images from flicker, or your own photo accounts.  The log in is free, but some of the graphics that are used in the programs are slightly generic.  However, it is still a fun site to check you and maybe even use. I am going to show a sample of the magazine you can make…I actually gave this site to the fashion teacher at my school and she used it with her class having them create their own fashion magazine with their drawings.  Try it yourself.

http://bighugelabs.com

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Books to Movies

So I must begin by saying that I am in the middle of a very good book, one that I will discuss in the next few days and ask for you (my readers. if there are any of you) to give me some that you have recently read or are currently reading.  But that is for another post. This post is about books that find their way to the big screen.  This is a post in two parts.

1) I enjoy movies and I enjoy books. So when I hear that a book will be made into a movie I get, scared.  I have seen too many movies made from books where the movie ends up destroying the story, particularly the endings (yes I am looking at you My Sister’s Keeper).  Or where they stray so far from the original plot that it doesn’t even seem like the same story.  Or even when the movie executives pick and choose which parts of book are worth keeping and which ones are allowed to be tossed aside as though they bring nothing to the table.  This angers me and makes me wonder that, if someone thought that said book was a good enough to put on-screen than why not leave it as it should be and allow the “real” story its chance to be seen.  There are a few movies stemming from a book that have done that book justice, but they are coming few and far between as of late.  I have high hopes for Water for Elephants and  The Help, but I will just have to wait I guess.

now on to…

2) I started this post with the intention of showing you a wonderful application that will make genre studies, author studies, and book reports a little more interesting.  With so many children and YA books finding their way to big screen why not have the readers (aka your students) create a movie poster for said books, or any book they have recently read.  This program would not only work for book reports, but how about a history lesson on a famous individual or event.  Science and Math teachers you might enjoy this as well, I will admit I am not entirely sure how, but hey I giving you a new program to use so let your creative mind take flight.

I have created one poster to give you an idea of what you can do with it.

This is just a small one I was able to create. But I highly recommend you trying this out. Even for your own pictures this is a fun one to play around with.

http://bighugelabs.com/

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Filed under Big Huge Labs, Movie

The Newest Trading Cards in Education

So I was fooling around on this one site (that I am starting to really like by the way because I will be showing you more from this site later) and I found an area where you can create trading cards, by uploading your own images or from flicker and add text.  After making several of myself, friends and family. I have decided that this would be so great for educators.

Think about it…what a great way to do a biography lesson? Or a lesson about the planets?  Or maybe one about the continents?  Or characters from a book or book series?  Famous philosophers?  A lesson on the elements perhaps?  This would be a fun tool to use at any grade level.  So allow me to show you one that I created just today.  I chose Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers.

You can see the basic set up of the template.  I must warn you that the program is slighted limited on design elements, and you can only input a certain amount of information, however, the overall possibility of the trading card use is pretty vast.  Basically, when using the program just treat like you would a regular trading card (only the most important facts). You can click and drag the completed card to other documents (such as word or pages).  You are also able to print the page, and there is a link to cut out all ads on the page.

If you would like to play around with it, here is the link.  I will be talking later this week about some of the other programs they have on the site, but for now try this one out.

http://bighugelabs.com/deck.php

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Timelines in a New Way

So I have been having to help a lot of students create timelines recently.   And it got me thinking, time lines can look the same.  A straight line, with text filled boxes, and sometimes the occasional pictures.  Why not make them a little more interactive or more visual.  Well folks, allow me to introduce you to Timetoast.

Timetoast is a fun way to create timelines for any subject.  History classes will find it beneficial when working on projects about the decades or wars or even the rise of a Presidency.  Science classes should not shy away because timelines will help when tracking the progression of a disease (ex. Aids).  Math teachers please do not turn and run, Timetoast can be used in your subject as well.  Biographies of famous mathematicians can help explain how they came to create their theorems.  And well, Language Arts teachers, let’s see where to begin.  Author studies just got more interesting. Events in novels have become more realistic.  Character biographies are more visual. And on, and on, and on.

The example I created is a timeline for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series.  (for you who have been living under a rock, Harry Potter is boy wizard who has to go through a few terrible and tragic events; but has managed to survive).

You can use the following link to view the timeline a little more closely and even browse other timelines that educators and viewers alike have created.

http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/jk-rowling-author-of-the-harry-potter-series

I hope you find some interesting things to do with this.

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