210-710-2434
210-710-2434
08 Aug 2018
Comments: 0

Values Sort Activity for Students

UPDATED 4/2021:

This is probably my favorite activity to do. I engage it in at least twice a year personally and professionally. Here is my most recent example. AND there are so many curricular extensions too…

Context and Clarification to the Values and Goal-Setting Activities

I think it is always important to start with the why of an activity so here are a few nuggets to ruminate on:

  • College and Career Readiness Skills: Working at a high school, college and career readiness skills are naturally at the forefront of my mind and personal and academic goal-setting is an important part of that process. If values are not at the foundation, the goals tend to fall by the wayside because they are not intrinsic to who they are and what they value.
  • Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health: SEL skills and mental health are even more imperative than before. And being able to narrow your focus and really understand yourself at your core in every season of your life is truly an opportunity we don’t provide enough to ourselves or our students.
  • Research and Real Life: When I was doing research for both of my school and life-ready books Cultivating Communication in the Classroom and Creatively Productive, I ventured out into reading books and collecting anecdata from entrepreneurs, life coaches, successful business owners, etc… and while each definitely highlighted the need for goal-setting… all of them were firmly rooted in the process of deciphering your values first.

Explanation of Values Activity and Documents

As of lately, I have been trying to create resources that are accessible and editable. While there are many activities online that are values audits, very few of them are editable or anything more than a list, which is fine, but I wanted this activity to be fun and engaging too. And I think by making it feel like poetry magnets, it also adds a tactile sort of component to the process. I also wanted to make it editable so students or teachers could add the core set of values they wanted to start sorting rather than use a default list. Both the Numbers and Google Slides versions can be found in the Doc Locker below.

  • Numbers: The Numbers version is editable and designed for MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. It is pretty simplistic in nature as I really wanted you and your students to have the opportunity to modify it as you see fit.
  • Google Slides: The Google Slides version is editable and strongly resembles the poetry magnet activities Edutech for Teachers and Shake Up Learning and Free Tech for Teachers create with Google Slides and/or Google Jamboard. 
  • Additional Resources: I also wanted to provide you with some additional tools. Please know that because these have been created by other people, the values themselves may not be editable and you may come across a few that you feel are not age-appropriate. That being said… they are still great resources to explore.
    • PDF: So I didn’t create my own PDF for you but there are plenty out there and I did link to them for you here.
    • Online: I also found some online versions if you want to play around with them:
  • OMT – Curricular Extensions: I absolutely love creative writing SO I wanted to mention that this activity could also be turned into a values audit for a historical figure or a literary character. One could also reverse this activity and use it in conjunction with a digital wellness or digital citizenship lesson and have students examine a social media feed (e.g. personal, professional, political, business, etc…) and evaluate the values of that person or entity based on what they share.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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18 Apr 2018
Comments: 0

8+ Creative Ways to Use to Old Library Cards

UPDATED 4/2021:

As you well know, I love books, art supplies, and journaling. Recently, I started offering a session called “Notable Note-taking”. It is a mash-up of bullet journaling and a reader/writer’s notebook and I blend both analog and digital tools. One of my favorite analog tools is the library card. In the art journaling and mixed media realm and on etsy, this little gem is quite the hot commodity. In fact Heidi Pitri has just published a book entitled Permanent Record using this kickstarter campaign that features artfully embellished ones. She refers to these cards as “borrower cards” or “signature cards” and has created original pen and ink drawings on these cards from classic titles and authors. Check her out on Instagram @heidipitreart to see multiple examples. Oftentimes these library cards are referred to as ephemera (e.g. collectible memorabilia). And if you have a few hours, search “ephemera” on etsy. You will discover 280,000+ results. And a search on etsy of “library cards” provides well over 12,000+ results.

Let’s Love on these Library Cards…

So… I thought I would share some ideas for using these library cards in the classroom… The idea would be to let students choose a card that speaks to them by the title alone and then…

  • Compose a poem
  • Generate a list
  • Create a list of suggested books someone would like if they chose this book (like Amazon)
  • Compose a soundtrack for the book
  • Jot down the first and last sentence of the book
  • Determine what questions this book answers
  • Chart out the chapters this book would include
  • Draft the cover of the book
  • Imagine who would check out this book (e.g. current, historical, literary, fictional)

And here are a few examples of how I have used them in the past in my own journal:

Truly, the sky is the limit for these and how they are used. And remember these can be app smashed with pretty much any tool to create something really amazing. Oh wait… I think I gave away the next part…. 😉

Let Me at those Library Cards

Of course the problem with these signature or library cards is that they are indeed ephemera and at some point, they will run out… so I decided to scan 50 or so of my favorites and upload them to the Creatively Productive doc locker (which you can access below). The beauty of making them digital is that we will have them preserved forever AND now they can be mixed with digital elements. They can be annotated in apps like Notability, collaged and embellished in apps like Pic Collage, and augmented in Thinglink. I hope you enjoy.

Literally Ephemera is Legit

I really try. But I am literally incapable of ending a blog post without leaving you with just a bit more… If you like this idea of ephemera and creative writing, let’s take a quick jaunt. I have curated two Pinterest boards of digital ephemera goodies here (Fuzzimo and Ephemera). These should be FREE downloads of digitally scanned in goods and papers. And if you are like me and want to wholeheartedly tumble down the rabbit hole, I will leave you with some other sites to soften the blow. 😉 These little analog… now digital gems are perfect for visual research papers and assignments as well as some pretty stellar creative writing projects too.

  • The Ephemera Society: They include an item of the month with a description and sometimes historical relevance.
  • Inspired Barn: There are many freebies on this site. Some of my favorites are the book covers and vintage mail.
  • Clearly Vintage: Also fantastic. I love that she shares pictures with descriptions.
  • New York Public Library Digital Collection: They have a ton of public domain vintage images ranging from maps and illustrations to photos and scrapbooks.

Sometimes I share fully baked ideas and sometimes I like to provide all the ingredients and see what you cook up. In this case, I have opted for the latter. Dig into these digital goods and consider how these historical artifacts can and should impact and inform our current art, writing, research, storytelling, and ideas.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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25 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

iMovie or uMovie?: iMovie Student Biographies

I am constantly amazed with the level of instruction and innovation in the classroom at HCMS. Mrs. Musci, the speech teacher, invited me to observe her students presenting their iMovie Biographies. The first day of the project involved students brainstorming questions to use which eventually were sorted into three categories: background, favorites, goals and future plans. Mrs. Musci had mentioned that while she had done this project in the past, it was much more fluid with iMovie and a 1:1 iPad initiative for her 8th grade students.

Over the next three days, students interviewed their partner, located supporting images from their phones and the internet, and even took video footage and photos to include in their iMovie project. They also utilized other apps to achieve a custom look and feel to their projects:

  1. Collage apps like PicStitch and InstaCollage to include multiple photos in a shot.
  2. Hokusai to edit music from their iTunes library to remove inappropriate content or irrelevant lyrics

 
On the day of the presentation, students presented their iMovie projects behind a podium and introduced their partner to the class. Another group of students filmed each presentation and burned it to a CD for each student to review for personal critiquing purposes. When asked if they would change anything about the project, one student said he would spend a little more time on the timing and slides. This project was well planned and exceptionally executed! Mrs. Musci had a very thorough road map for students and the projects clearly reflected her expectations and detailed guidelines:

Project Guidelines:

  1. Create an iMovie video with at least 15 pictures including the photo of your partner and his/her name.
  2. Include a Title and Concluding Slide.
  3. Add transitions and appropriate music.
  4. Organize your interview into an outline
  5. Write a brief introduction and conclusion
  6. Include at least one story about your partner (funny or serious)
  7. Add a video of your partner and a voice over.
Collage Created with PhotoGridPro

Some suggestions:

  1. Use Videolicious (especially with its new update) as a free option for iMovie and use another app to add captions to the photos like Skitch or Doodle Buddy.
  2. Create an iMovie trailer for a book or to introduce a character to the class or even as a commercial to showcase an invented product.
  3. Use Google Advanced Search on the iPad (step-by-step directions here) to locate Copyright free images.
  4. Use Popplet Lite as a way to storyboard a project.

 
Check out some other student products created with iMovie:

  1. iMovie Book Trailer
  2. iMovie Lazy Quotient Calculus
  3. iMovie Stop-Motion Art
  4. iMovie Poetry

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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05 May 2012
Comments: 2

The iTraits of Character

Ashley Solomon is an amazing 6th grade Reading Workshop teacher at one of my campuses, Ed White Middle School, who truly knows how to utilize the iPads to support learning and exhibit student comprehension while creating an engaging classroom atmosphere. Regardless of the range of learners (e.g. ESL to students with low reading comprehension ability) she has in the class, she goes above and beyond in integrating technology and providing her students with the utmost of cutting edge learning app-ortunities.

Recently, she used the Sock Puppet app to support character analysis/development and practice dictionary and thesaurus skills: 

  1. Prior Knowledge: Students read their weekly Reading Workshop mini-book “Max’s Glasses”.
  2. Pre-assignment: Students completed graphic organizers and discussed the traits of the characters in the short fiction story. (This could also be achieved with Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers annotated in an app like PaperPort Notes or an app like Popplet Lite or Tools 4 Students.) 
  3. Project Foundation: Students were assigned a character trait and asked to practice dictionary/thesaurus skills for the STAAR by locating the definition, synonym, and antonym. Students also wrote a sentence and drew a picture for their given word. (This could be achieved with Popplet Lite, Doodle Buddy, or ScreenChomp.)
  4. Pre-Planning: Students worked independently or in pairs to write a brief 30 second or less dialogue  between two characters.
  5. Assignment: Students create a sock puppet show (using the Sock Puppets app) for an assigned character trait (acting out the dialogue as if the sock puppet was the word “studious”).
  6. Sharing: Students showcased their videos for the class and discussed the featured character traits.
I have recreated a few student samples below based on the scripts Mrs. Solomon provided me with.

 
Studious

  • A: Hi. I am Studious.
  • A: I like to read everyday. I read a lot of books and I read fast.
  • B: How else are you studious?
  • A: I study before my test is given to me.
 
Loyal

 
  • A: I am Loyal because I am very friendly.
  • B: What makes a loyal person?
  • A: I take on a lot of responsibility.
  • A: Loyal people are very caring.
  • B: Wow, it sounds like you are very loyal.

Check out Ashley’s other iLesson and more ELA iLessons.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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01 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

iClassify Triangles

Tasked to modify an existing paper-based lesson on classifying triangles to be more multimedia (and mobile) in nature, I chose to create two separate lessons:

Direct Instruction: If teachers wanted to include a direct teach piece, the following videos would serve the purpose.

Web 2.0/Computer:

  1. Student Task 1: Utilize the deck below to view the 7 mystery triangles. Check your understanding by flipping the card over to get the answer.
  2. Student Task 2: Draw a triangle to match the description for each of the mystery triangles using Paint or Smart Notebook Express (or a recording sheet).

 

 
 
iPad:

  1. Student Task 1: Access the Mystery Triangle deck using an iDevice and the Flashcards* app:
    1. Launch Flashcardlet app.
    2. Tap Flashcards.
    3. Tap + sign in upper right hand corner to Download from Quizlet.
    4. Tap in the search space.
    5. Type “Techchef4u”.
    6. Tap Creator and tap Search.
    7. Select Mystery Triangle Exercise.
    8. Tap Add to Library.
    9. Tap Cancel and tap Library to return to your personal Flashcard library.
    10. Tap to select Mystery Triangle Exercise to review deck.
    11. Tap Study and start studying.
    12. Review all 7 cards in the deck: swipe to go to the next card and tap on a card to see the back of the card.
  2. Student Task 2: Draw a triangle to match the description for each of the mystery triangles using Popplet Lite, iPen Free, or or Xnote.
 

 
Extensions:
  1. Have students create their own Quizlet deck for Mystery Quadrilaterals.
  2. Utilize Doodle Buddy, Story Lines for Schools, or TypeDrawing FREE to illustrate triangles.
  3. Have students make a talking triangle video for a specific triangle using Mad Lips.
  4. Have students create an instructional video to teach classifying triangles using ScreenChomp, Explain Everything, ShowMe, or Educreations. (See example Classifying Triangles video from Math Lambert).
  5. Have students create their own triangle song using SongifyVideo Star, or Videolicious.

 

 

 
See original Triangle Song and adaptation below: 

More iLessons:

  1. Math iLessons & Pinterest iPad Lessons

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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31 Mar 2012
Comments: 0

Doodle Zoo

After meeting with the 5th Math Specialist to collaborate and plan, I feel like we have a really good plan for next week’s 5th Math training. The intent was to provide technology tools for teachers that would not serve as “one hit wonders.” Rather, we wanted to provide teachers with a Bag of iTricks that could be used to support multiple mathematics skills… and other content areas. The iLesson below not only reduces paper waste but provides a viable alternative to a pencil and paper task.

The original task included an herb garden plot, I simply took the same numbers and modified it to work with the stamps and images available in Doodle Buddy for iPad.

The iLesson video below was created with Reflections web app that allows screen mirroring of your iPad.

Student Task: Create a square model that represents the 4 divisions of a children’s zoo. Divide and label the square plot to reflect the following:

  1. 50% Carnivores
  2. 25% Herbivores
  3. 15% Amphibians
  4. 10% Aviary

Here are the steps in Doodle Buddy:

  1. Choose a background if appropriate (from the tic-tac-toe icon).
  2. Use the shape stencil to create a square.
    1. Leave some work space on the right or left of your square.
  3. Fill in the square with the color of your choice.
  4. Draw a line to represent 50%.
  5. Add a stamp to represent that division (e.g. lion represents carnivores).
    1. If the stamps featured are not available, check the shopping bag icon to purchase them with Doodle Bucks. You should be give enough default bucks to “purchase” a couple of stamp packs.
  6. Add a text box to represent 50%.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the rest of the sections.
  8. Use a combination of the drawing and text tools to answer the following problem
    1. If the Amphibians are allocated 75 square feet of space, how many square feet are in the entire children’s zoo?
  9. Save a copy of your project to the photo album via the wrench icon.
  10. Send the image via email to your teacher via the wrench icon.
  11.  Include your explanation for the question in #8 in the body of the email.
Doodle Zoo Final Product using Doodle Buddy

Possible Extensions:

  1. Have students complete the square feet for the rest of sections in the children’s zoo.
  2. Have students create their own problem with their own percentages and have their partner solve it. Doodle Buddy contains stamp packs that would lend themselves to:
    1. Animals in an Aquarium
    2. Animals in a Petting Zoo or Farm
    3. Food on a Lunch Tray
    4. Cars in a Parking Lot
  3. Import the image into ScreenChomp and complete the problem solving and explanation with audio.
 
Other iLessons Utilizing Doodle Buddy:

Doodle Buddy was also featured in “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” iBook to support Bloom’s taxonomy in the iClassroom.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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24 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Math-tastic iVocabulary

After taking a look at the 8th Math Benchmark Exam and perusing the student data, a few things became abundantly clear: Much of the test involved vocabulary AND successful problem-solving was based on the knowledge of that vocabulary and the ability to assimilate the given terms and information in order to draw an object, produce a table, or complete a graph.

While this is not really a shocking revelation (especially to those who teach Math as I did), I instantly began thinking of apps that could support math vocabulary in engaging ways.

All of our Math classrooms at Ed White have access to a class set of iPods. Thus, I focused on three FREE iPod apps that could be used in small groups and stations.

Doodle Buddy: The Math Facilitator had mentioned an activity where students work in pairs. One student would have a vocabulary word (e.g. isosceles right triangle) and the other student would have a dry erase board. Student 1 would be provided with a word and a sample drawing/representation or definition for that word. Student 2 would then draw the word without looking at the representation. Students would take turns reading and drawing.

  1. iPodsibility: Student 1 would use teacher-created Quizlet vocabulary deck imported into Flashcards* app to provide the words and definitions (pictures can be included in the deck for $15/year). Student 2 would then draw the figure using Doodle Buddy (with Dots & Boxes background). Doodle Buddy app can be shaken to clear the board for the next object much like an etch-a-sketch. (More iClassroom Examples of Doodle Buddy: Apps for the Classroom & Techchef4u.)
 
Doodle Buddy

StoryLines for Schools: This is a surprisingly educational app and a modern day app-ification of the telephone game! The classroom application would be vocabulary.

StoryLines for Schools: Student 2 View
  1. iPodsibility (1 iPod): Students could work in small groups of 3 with 1 iPod. Using 1 iPod: Student 1 would type in the definition of a word (e.g. “a triangle with two equal sides”) and then pass the device to student 2. Student 2 would draw an example of this definition and then pass the device to student 3. Student 3 would then write the word that is associated with the picture (they would not see the definition).
  2. iPodsibility (3 iPods): This idea is very similar to using 1 iPod but each student would enter in a definition and then pass the device. Thus, there would actually be three vocabulary words going around at the same time.
StoryLines for Schools: Student 3 View

TypeDrawing Free: This app allows students to draw with words and is perfect for illustrating vocabulary in a beautifully graphic and memorable visualization.

  1. iPodsibility: This would be best executed at a station or with individual students. The idea would be to think of all of the components and words that make up a shape. For example, the following words could be associated with an isosceles right triangle: leg, right angle, height, base, hypotenuse, acute angle, triangle, etc… Students would generate a list of vocabulary words (on a sheet of paper or in the Notes app). These words would then be used to describe a shape and then illustrate the shape given those words.
TypeDrawing Free

 Hungry for more Math lessons, check out these

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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18 Feb 2012
Comments: 2

Tis the Season for iLearning

I have had the pleasure of sharing many of Ms. Carnazzo’s creations in the techchef4u kitchen and thought it was about time I took a trip to her classroom. Yolanda and I had the opportunity to observe Carnazzo in action and assist a group in completing their Seasons project. The weather that day was quite fitting as neither one of us were dressed nor prepared for the torrential downpour.

The first thing I noticed was her classroom management. All students were on task, at a level 0, and were working on the assignment that they were expected to complete. Before the activity, Ms. Carnazzo (2nd grade teacher) reviewed the task and the CHAMP’s Expectations for student behavior. Then students were then split up into 4 groups. One group worked with Ms. Carnazzo on the carpet finalizing their script and storyboard while the others worked quietly at their desks doing independent work. Each group was responsible for a different season.

Carnazzo’s iClassroom

Science 2.8B: Identify the importance of weather and seasonal information to make choices in clothing, activities and transportation.

Beforehand: Before we arrived, small groups had researched info on their season using BrinpopJr videos and the Science text to describe their seasons citing the following elements:

  1. Typical weather/temperature
  2. Types of clothing to wear
  3. Activities appropriate for that weather
  4. Kinds of transportation they might use (e.g. to get to school)

 
Groups had also discussed and written ideas for their Puppet Pals video using the provided Storyboard template. Ms. Carnazzo had pre-selected a seasonal image background from both Puppet Pals Director’s Pass app and Doodle Buddy’s background gallery.

During Class: Small groups worked with the teacher (and Yolanda and myself) to:

  1. Finalize their Puppet Pals ideas
  2. Practice their presentations without actually recording (took several run-throughs)
  3. Record their video (as time permits)

Logistics: Groups not working with a teacher had another weather activity to work on quietly at their desk. In working with a group first-hand I discovered a few things:

  1. You can only practice the script a couple of times before the students start losing interest. I found the best course of action was to practice once or twice with the script, record a rough draft, listen to it, and record one more, and then choose the best of the two.
  2. Passing around the script and the iPad causes a bit of background noise. I found if I held the iPad and handed it to each child when it was their time to speak, some of the noise of moving the iPad was reduced.
  3. The Puppet Pals video file is too large to email. Since the students recorded their show on my device and not Ms. Carnazzo’s, I had one of two options: upload to YouTube as a private file and then download from there, or pull it off when I synced my device at home.
Carnazzo’s Season’s Student Projects


 
If you are interested in how to manage an iClassroom or how to purposefully integrate 1 iPad in to a classroom, tune in Thursday March 1st at 3:30pm as the famous Lisa Carnazzo will be our guest “The 1 iPad Classroom“. If you missed the live show, check it out in iTunes the next day.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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10 Jan 2012
Comments: 8

Hot Apps 4 HOTS

In preparation for our “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” workshop which will be offered at TCEA 2012, we have created an ePub to serve as the framework for the course.

Screenshots of “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” ePub compiled in Turbo Collage App

 
The ePub includes 9 task cards. There is a task card for each level of Bloom’s taxonomy. (If an app was only available on the iPad 2, we included a secondary task card to be used with the iPad 1). Each task card includes:

  1. Bloom’s Level & Definition
  2. App(s) Used with a Brief Description (all apps are free)
  3. Task Summary
  4. Step-by-Step Directions for the Task
  5. Example of Completed Task
  6. Further Thoughts
  7. Other Resources (includes support materials for the task as well as hyperlinks to other iLesson(s) using the app)
 

 
The ePub also includes:

  1. The Story behind our ePub
  2. Resources and setup
  3. iPad Basics (includes information about getting an app, launching an app, changing orientation)
  4. Acquiring Content (includes tips and how to’s for taking pictures and video, saving an image from the web, taking screenshots, adding content through iTunes, and adding content through a shared Dropbox)
  5. Submitting Products
  6. Author Biographies
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Citations
 
“Hot Apps 4 HOTS” cover art is an original production from Lisa Jackson

The ePub is available in iBooks for TCEA 2012 participants (and any anyone else interested) to download and enjoy!

TCEA Notes: Participants will want to download the iBook and the following apps prior to the workshop to ensure optimal productivity during the Bring Your Own Device session. Here is a list of the apps that will be utilized during the workshop:

T-Chart, TED, ScreenChomp, Videolicious, FlashCardlet, Doodle Buddy, Puppet Pals, Popplet Lite, Talking Tom or Ben, Talking Tom & Ben Do the News and Qwiki

TCEA SlideShare: (my apologies about formatting discrepancies between Keynote and PPT)

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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18 Nov 2011
Comments: 2

Primarily iProbability

If you are looking for an elementary iPad lesson in the techchef4u kitchen, it was probably cooked up by the ingenious Chef Carnazzo. This probability iLesson is no different. Carnazzo and her second grade class used the app ScreenChomp (featured in “Screen-casting & Problem-solving 4 the Classroom“) as a culminating apptivity from a week of work on probability (e.g. “TEKS 2.11: Probability and statistics. (C) use data to describe events as more likely or less likely such as drawing a certain color crayon from a bag of seven red crayons and three green crayons.”)

Chef Carnazzo Cooks up iProbability

Here’s how she did it:

  1. Teacher Preparation: Ms. Carnazzo chose the background pics (clipart from MS Word) and imported them to Doodle Buddy.
  2. Student Choice: Students chose stickers in Doodle Buddy.
  3. Student Assessment: Students had to answer (in written form) teacher pre-generated questions in reference to their picture.
  4. Highly Engaging: Carnazzo originally created the apptivity for an intervention group and, of course, the rest of the class wanted to do the apptivity as well.
  5. Small Group: While Ms. Carnazzo was working with small groups to record their screen-cast, the rest of the class had completed independent practice assignments at their desk.
  6. Student Planning & Preparation: Students used the questions and their answers on the worksheet that Ms. Carnazzo had prepared to craft the narration for their screencast. Carnazzo found it was useful to do a couple of dry runs prior to hitting the record button.
  7. Student Reactions: Students loved the ScreenChomp final project. Carnazzo stated the students really liked the part where their drawings appeared on the screen in the final product.
  8. Other Applications: Carnazzo felt this tool had a lot of klout in the classroom as students do so much problem-solving in math. She plans on using it in the future to have students record and compare different solution strategies to a single problem.
Sample other iCreations from the Carnazzo Kitchen: Grammar & Literacy with Tacky Wales, short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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11 Sep 2011
Comments: 0

Suprisingly Educational, Entertaining, and Engaging

I came across the lite version of MyPlayHome this week. The Lite version gives you full access and interactivity to two rooms, the kitchen and living room. Those two rooms alone kept my preschool son, also known as the app critic, busy for 30-45 minutes. His favorite discovery was that throwing away a piece of food in the kitchen replaces it in its prior location (e.g. table, cabinet, etc…). I later decided to check out the full version and was very pleased with the two extra rooms, bathroom and bedroom. Another fantastic bonus to the app is it will grow over time with more rooms and accessories. If they are taking suggestions, I would request a backyard with a grill, sandbox, picnic table, and flower/vegetable garden. What other toys can you say have that economical feature?

With that said, I will transfer my mommy hat to my educator cap… While this app may appear like a “doll house for the iPad generation”, it holds far more educational inspiration than sheer interactive entertainment. Thus, I have compiled a list of 7 ways I would use this app in the classroom:

  1. Have students create dialogue based on what the characters are doing in the house. This would be a great way for students to practice sentence structure, pronouns, and adjectives. (Consider taking screenshots and adding the dialogue with another app… like Doodle Buddy).
  2. Have students practice sequencing. Give students a series of directions or have students come up with a first/next/then structure for a task. (This could also be achieved with screenshots and Popplet Lite.)
  3. Have students practice vocabulary/spelling by taking a screenshot and opening it up in Doodle Buddy and adding words to annotate a room in the house.
  4. Have students discuss their own routines/traditions for getting ready in the morning, going to bed, family time, etc… (Consider having students take a screenshot and then discuss it in ShowMe or ScreenChomp.)
  5. Have students create/solve a math problem based on a scenario inspired by one of the rooms. (Challenge students to find/classify various shapes in each room.)
  6. Have students compare/contrast a room in the play home to the same room in their home.
  7. Have students write a descriptive paragraph about a room.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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29 Aug 2011
Comments: 2

Everything Explained: Devour Deluxe Screencasting

In the techchef4u kitchen, ingredients and tools tend to be free… but I am making an exception…

Explain Everything: Screencasting App

I am typically quite skeptical when I come across paid apps that do the same thing as free ones. That being said… I have been looking for an advanced screencasting app for some time and was quite elated with the features, design, and potential Explain Everything promised. While I am still partial to Screenchomp (as it is free, simple to use, and offers the ability to download an mp4 video file without having to upload it to Youtube), it only offers simple color annotation with no shapes or arrows and will not allow you to annotate over documents, presentations, or multiple images. While this is perfect for elementary and Khan-esque videos, secondary students, teachers, and the tech world need the advanced functionality that Explain Everything offers.

In corresponding with the Explain Everything app developer, I discovered the reason I truly love this app. As you will see it is easy to use with profound functionality, but the real “you had me at slide to unlock” moment was the innate educational value and potential the app possessed. With this said, I wasn’t at all surprised that a Director of Educational Technology was behind such a polished gem.

So without further ado… let’s delve into the features of Explain Everything:

Explain Everything features:

Explain Everything: Screencasting App
  1. Multiple ways to access your documents: Begin with a blank project or import from photos (similar to Screenchomp) as well as import from Evernote and Dropbox. While there are a few files that were not compatible for import, I did like the fact that you could import a group of photos rather than one at a time.
  2. Slide Sorter: If you have imported multiple pages/images, you have the option to change the order of the slides (or images) and delete them (much like in PPT). Users also have the option to add a blank side in the beginning, middle, or end of a presentation.
  3. Annotation: You can write/highlight and add shapes, lines, arrows, and text. Within each of the annotation drop-downs, you have options to change color, size, transparency, font size, fill color, etc… (Note: the drop-down menu features accessed during your recording do not appear in the final recording).
  4. Insert images: You can insert and edit images (crop and rotate) from Dropbox, Evernote, Camera, or Photo Roll. (Note: The process of importing and editing the image will not appear in the video – recording automatically pauses during this process.)
  5. Layers: You can layer images as well as resize them on the canvas. (This is a slick feature!)
  6. Undo: You have the option to undo/remove a whole object rather than have to erase it in sections (Note: this is selected in the “preferences”: drawings become objects.)
  7. Save: You can save within the app.
  8. Export Images: Images can be exported to the photo roll, emailed, or saved to Dropbox or Evernote.
  9. Export Video: Videos can be saved to the photo roll, emailed, uploaded to youtube, or saved to Dropbox or Evernote. Projects can be emailed or saved to Dropbox or Evernote (they appear to save as an xpl file).
  10. Help menu: Though the app is extremely user-friendly and straight-forward, they do offer a wonderful help section with screenshots and further directions if needed. (If that wasn’t enough, they offer a video and print guide on their site.)

Problem-Solving Explained: While I created the first video to highlight all of the features available in the Explain Everything app, I wanted to model how the Explain Everything app could be used as a vehicle for instruction and learning in the video above. I had previously created this story problem with Prezi to model how the tool could be used as a problem-solving piece in mathematics. In hindsight, I truly believe Explain Everything is a far more useful tool for this purpose as teachers can create instructional videos and students can compose a rich problem-solving process in mere minutes.

  1. Students could create their own story problems with Doodle Buddy (free), Comic Touch Lite (free), or Cartoon Studio Free images saved to the photo roll. (Consider using 123 Charts (free) to produce more advanced data for word problems and critical-thinking projects.)
  2. Teachers could also create images in a Web 2.0 tool and save to Dropbox.

The idea of narrating, presenting, critical-thinking, problem-solving, story-telling, analyzing text, and creating screencasts/tutorials can be adjusted and modified in any content area or grade level to meet the diverse needs of teachers and students making the Explain Everything app a staple in any school setting. (Visit Explain Everything’s site to see the showcase of user examples and submit your own.)

Note: Stay tuned for an update in the next few weeks. I have been informed features to be released are:

  • *PPT, PPTX, and Keynote files now auto-separate into slides (like multi-page PDFS)
  • *Added a new Draw Tool pen tip option (a “hard” tip in addition to the default “soft” tip)
  • *Option to export the MP4 file without the audio track
  • *Option to save a copy of the movie to your iPad photo roll when you do an export to YouTube

While the app doesn’t currently allow for the ability to import and annotate over a video due to current iPad processing and memory specifications, the developer suggested using Explain Everything products in conjunction with the iMovie app, so you could get very creative and make a production using video clips, Explain Everything exports, and iTunes music.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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