When I was a homeroom teacher, winter break marked the completion of many units and projects. Depending on where students were in the writing process, they would often publish their pieces before or after winter break. If your class is on the same page, the New Year will provide an opportunity to consider how your students will share their completed writing. In this post, I will present you with a variety of innovative ways for your students to publish and share their work with others, beginning with a few samples from my own students.
Below is an example of a student who wrote a biography and presented using a green screen to get in character.
Use foldables to create lapbooks. This works especially well with nonfiction.
Feature student work with QR codes. In this example, the codes link to the students' finished research papers (linked online through a publishing site called Issuu) and 30 second video clips/commercials introducing their ancient Egypt topics. Scan the QR codes below or click here for a commercial and here for a writing piece.
Teach your students to be responsible digital citizens who are creators, not only consumres, of content. Create student blogs!
Now that I've shown you a few ways my students have published their writing, I will introduce you to samples from other teachers.
Use Stop Motion to animate and bring a story to life. Read Meghan Zigman's blog to learn how.
ChatterPix is a free app that makes a photo come to life with speech. Kids can draw, paint, or collage images. They can also find real photographs online.
Not all writing gets published; so by asking your students to publish their work, you will be presented with the opportunity to talk with your students about the differences between the writing we keep for ourselves and the writing we publish. By having your students share their writing with others, they will be held to a different standard of excellence, and they will rise to the occasion to publish their best work.
Still looking for ideas? Check out 5 more tips here.
Check out the endless possibilities with Makey Makey by watching the video below or heading over to the MakeyMakey website.
Incorporating math, MakeyMakey, and Scratch, I designed a fraction story problem project for my third graders. In this project, students needed to collaborate with one another, problem-solve, troubleshoot, innovate, and troubleshoot to engineer interactive story problems. Learn about the project in the video below.
Give it a whirl with your students by following the lesson plan below.
Are you looking to build classroom community? Or are you embarking on a geography, history, or culture unit? A digital classroom quilt is the perfect way for students to get to know each other better.
Follow these instructions create a classroom quilt in no time.
Use these attachments to seamlessly help your students produce Word Foto quilt squares. Be sure to check out the "For Students" section to find a video tutorial aimed directly at students.
Over winter break, I started thinking about my next big reading unit. I decided I wanted to do a unit on biographies. I started pinning ideas on Pinterest and brainstorming directions this unit could go with fellow colleagues. I knew I wanted my third grade class to research influential people, learn how to take notes, and share their understandings with the class.
I kept circling back to the thought, “How neat would it be if a student who was fascinated with President Obama could snap his/her fingers and appear at the White House?” I couldn’t think of anything more meaningful. But how would I help my students get to the White House? And what if their famous figures had passed? This was an obstacle. Will teleportation one day exist? It’s hard to tell with the rate technology is advancing, but in the meantime, I wanted to find an authentic, unique way for my students to connect with the individuals they would be studying.
This brought me to the idea of using a green screen to capture the students giving biographical speeches from anywhere around the world.
Celia Cruz - green screen: a stage
Horace Pippin - green screen: an art studio
Bessie Coleman - green screen: an airplane
In this video, I used the free version of Veescope Live, which is why it it has a watermark. With my students, I used the full version. The cost was $2.99, and it removed the watermark. Without further ado, I present you Ms. Wortinger, the news anchor:
Watch Veescope Live tutorials.
Replicate my biography unit, culminating in green screen presentations, or create something of your own!
Really great learning happens when things get a little messy. As a homeroom teacher, I like that. But, there is a delicate balance between messy learning and learning that turns into a mess. My goal is to keep learning meaningful and fun for my students while also manageable for me. Though I was always pulled to Genius Hour, part of me felt pushed away from it at the same time. I knew my students would LOVE researching their interests, but my worry was that they would all miraculously have the same interest: Minecraft! I wanted my students to push past that to find an abundance of authentic interests, and in turn have meaningful learning experiences. Thrively helped me to do just that!
In the screencast below, I will share the benefits of using Thrively.com to successfully kickoff Genius Hour.
Do you want help setting up and activating Thrively accounts for your students? Learn more by watching this tutorial.