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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.

 

 


26 Mar 2012
Comments: 14

Integrating Infographics into the iClassroom

So TechChef4U has caught the Infographics Influenza! Being a bit of a Pinterest fanatic, I have found an easy way to support and feed my Infographics Habit. Continuing to stock pile Educational Infographics on my Pinterest board, I waited until I found an app-ortunity to share these resources with one of my teachers and create a delectable lesson. During my stint as an 8th Math tutor, I had a few of the teachers approach me about engaging math lessons that they could utilize with 8th Math after the STAAR test. I mentioned the topic of infographics and shared a few of the ones I had collected. Then I worked with one of the teachers in particular, Mrs. Simpson, to hash out the details.

Pinterest: Educational Infographics

 

Common Core Standards: Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears”

What is an Infographic? Before we continue… let’s define and explore the topic of “infographics” further. No need to recreate the wheel… Kathy Schrock has already blazed the trail and created an amazing Vimeo video on the topic.

8 Great Infographic Stations: Teacher could choose a different infographic (from the list of 120+) for each station or have all of the students use the same infographic for each station. Infographics can be accessed from computers or mobile devices (as most are just images and not flash-based). Note: The EDU Infographic Pinterest board has been curated and reviewed mostly via a mobile phone – please preview and preselect infographics prior to utilizing the resources with your students.

  1. Station 1: List 5-10 Observations or Trends for the Infographic.
    1. This could be accomplished with Todays MeetEdmodo, or Lino It  from a mobile device or computer.
  2. Station 2: Generate 2 Truths & a Lie for the Infographic (prompt parter or other groups to determine which statements are true and which ones are lies).
    1. This could be accomplished with Todays MeetEdmodo, or Lino It  from a mobile device or computer.
    2. Todays Meet (modification): use Todays Meet activity as an exit ticket, print the transcript from Todays Meet, use as a warm-up the next day. Students would choose 4-6 statements and prove/disprove them.
  3. Station 3: Create a Word Problem based on data provided in the infographic (pass your problem to a partner or other group to solve).
    1. Word Problems could be created with a basic voice recording app or apps like Talking Tom & Ben, Puppet Pals, Sock Puppets, QR Code Beamer, Mad Lips, Comic Touch Lite, etc…
    2. Word Problems could be created with Web 2.0 tools like Make Belief Comix and Voki.
  4. Station 4: Answer Specific Questions on the Infographic (teacher could create a task or recording sheet for a specific infographic prior to that day.)
    1. Based on the trend and data given, make predictions or conclusions.
    2. Determine validity of statements.
    3. Teacher could generate multiple True/False Statements (prior to class) and have students prove/disprove them (some could require calculation).
    4. Create a Data table for one of the graphs.
    5. Calculate Central tendency for the data.
    6. Determine what the population of interest is.
    7. Locate bias in the infographic.
  5. Station 5: Determine how the information could be misused by supporting two separate arguments with the same graph, data set, or infographic.
  6. Station 6: Write a story about a person that the population describes or Create a Popplet to illustrate an individual from the population sample (similar to Visual.ly Twitterize).
  7. Station 7: Create a sample poll with questions that could have been asked to generate the infographic given? Then poll actual students in your classroom or at your campus and compare the data (use tools like Poll Everywhere, Edmodo, or  Google Forms – all 3 can be accessed from a mobile device and computer).
  8. Station 8: Determine data and questions for the infographic that you feel should have been included or would benefit the study.
Students Love Technology

Via: OnlineEducation.net

More Info/Resources on Teaching with Infographics 

  1. Kathy Schrock: Infographics as a Creative Assessment
  2. Data Visualizations & Infographics
  3. Project 3 Infographics: Ideas for using infographics across core curriculum.
  4. Data Visualized: More on Teaching with Infographics
  5. Where the Classroom Ends: Great ideas on using infographics to teach explicit/implicit arguments and utilize animated infographics.
  6. 10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics

11 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

iPrep 4 Kinder: TCEA 2012

This was a last minute addition to TCEA 2012’s iPlayground and ran from 4:00-5:00 pm on Monday afternoon. As a mother of two preschool boys (and with a little help from Yolanda Barker), I knew we wouldn’t have too much of a problem slapping a list of preschool apps together that would support skills such as color and shapes, sight words, hand-writing, letter recognition, time, patterns and sequences, and basic math.

The list of 62 apps shared in “iPrep 4 Kinder” at the iPlayground was composed in Evernote and then tweeted and shared with a public URL generated by Evernote.

"iPrep 4 Kinder": TCEA 2012 iPlayground Resource

 

The following day I had the pleasure of sitting in on another iPlayground session the following day entitled “iPads for Young Learners” hosted by Ruth Jungman and Carol Fenley of Alamo Heights who took a slightly different app-sharing approach. Instead of providing an appy hour of fast-paced app-sharing, they highlighted 5 free apps and spoke in depth about how each one was being used in the primary classroom:

  1. ABC Magnetic Alphabet Lite: Students worked in small groups with the task of changing one letter in a word to make it another word (e.g. take hat and make it sat or rat, take rat and make it ran)
  2. ABC Tracer: Students worked individually in work stations and literacy stations to practice writing letters, numbers, and words. A nice feature of this app is that it will correct students that begin drawing at a different starting point in the letter rather than starting at the top.
  3. Doodle Buddy: This is one of my favorite apps and I tend to use it a lot to annotate over images, create scenes, Frayer models and even bar graphs, but had not considered the following task. Students make a letter and then use clip art to represent words that begin with that latter. The same task could be completed with colors as well (green: add clip art for objects that are green). The ladies also mentioned that the app supported improving fine motor skills mirroring tasks like writing letters in the sand.
  4. Sock Puppets: This is another fantastic app and definitely supports creativity on Bloom’s. Jungman & Fenley also discussed how the app supports sequencing, storytelling, collaborative learning, and self-directed learning. Students worked in pairs with the task of creating a video to support one of the eight keys to character education (some of the keys featured were “speak with good purpose”, “integrity”, and “do the right thing even when no one is looking”). When the videos were complete, they would be shared on the teacher website as well as showcased in the technology showcase. (Other iLessons with Sock Puppets)
  5. Flip it! Lite: Jungman & Fenley mentioned that they offer free centers in Kindergarten. In these centers, students have a choice from a limited number of apps. The app Flip it! Lite offers the potential for creating up to 5 books free and supports skills such as logic and sequencing. Students use the app to create animated books that highlight actions such as life cycles, kicking a soccer ball, and jumping rope. While there is no way to email the product out, teachers can take a screenshot or use a document camera to record the action.

"All things Green" created with Doodle Buddy app

 

The ladies also discussed classroom and iPad management techniques. Many of the classrooms have a parent volunteer that arrives to set up the work stations and add task cards. Apps on the iPads themselves are managed through folders on a blank screen. The folder for that day would only house one or two apptivities which limits off-task behavior.

Before the iPlayground session ended, they shared 4 more of their favorite apps: Clifford, My Word Wall, Teach Me Kindergarten, and Word Magic.

Also check out “iPrep for Preschool and Kindergarten” and my partner-in-crime (Yolanda Barker’s) post to iPrep 4 Kinder.

 

 

 

 


25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Government vs. Puppets Part 2

With the great success of Government vs. Puppets Round 1 (an iPad project that involved secondary students creating puppet versions of famous court cases), I received two additional student multi-part video projects that I want to share. If it pleases the court…

Gibbons Vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)




New Jersey vs. T.L.O. (created with Puppet Pals)


Please check out original post for more student samples, tips/suggestions/resources to execute the lesson, and additional classroom integration ideas for Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals.

 

 


17 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Government vs. Puppets

I had the rare treat to sit in on an AP Government class today at Reagan H.S. (Christi Robinson, ITS for Reagan HS and Bush MS invited me to visit) and observe their court case project share-out. Thanks to Puppet Pals Director’s Pass donation, students were able to use the teacher’s iPad to create their own court case puppet show. Ms. Newton, the AP Government teacher, also allowed them to explore other submission venues (e.g. Sock Puppets app, Myths & Legends Story Creator, and video-taping their own sock puppet productions old-school style.)

When the class of 38 students was polled, we found that 37 of the 38 students had a personal iPod/iPhone/iPad mobile device. As I have seen many puppet products in elementary and middle school, it was a great experience for me to see how the same apps could be used in a high school setting. Worried that some of the students would find it childish or infantile, I was thoroughly thrilled to find out that not only did they love the apps… many of them downloaded the apps to their own devices and worked at home to complete the project.

“Students will understand the structure, functions, and powers of Congress, the legislative process, and its relationship the branch of government.”

Court Cases

The Task was to research a court case (they randomly drew one), storyboard their accounts (used the template in Pages), and create a video product that highlighted all of the specifics below:

  1. Name of Case  (and brief summary)
  2. Date
  3. Court Decision
  4. Constitutionality
  5. Impact

 

Since knowing and understand court cases is such an integral part of STAAR and AP exams, creating these shows is a useful and vital tool for students to learn the case as well as review the case before the test (as the majority of the videos were posted to Youtube by students for easy access). Another way to collect these resources for later review would be to use Videodropper and download the student videos to a class Dropbox that could be shared with all of the students and accessed from student devices.

 

In class, we came across the free Court Case app that provides a list of famous court cases and includes the opinion of the court, case citation, dissent, and syllabus. Wish we had found this app prior to the project. Alas, it will still be a good review before students take the exam.
Without further ado… will everyone rise? The honorable Judge Techchef4u will be highlighting these student-created court cases:
 

Miranda vs. Arizona (created with Sock Puppets)

Greg. vs. Georgia (created with Sock Puppets)


Board vs. Education (created with Puppet Pals)

Gibbons vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)

Roe vs. Wade (created with Puppet Pals)

Suggestions & Strategies: As Christi and I sat in on the projects, we made a few notes on suggestions and strategies to use next semester when this project will be presented again:
  1. utilize the court cases app for research prior to storyboarding
  2. utilize T-Chart app to document and weight pros/cons (in this case arguments for the plaintiff and arguments for the defendant)
  3. set a time limit for the video
  4. consider using Videolicious for other video projects
  5. consider using characters to resemble the traits of real individuals in the case (as seen in Miranda vs. Arizona)
  6. use music to create mood and tone (as some students did)
  7. alter the pitch in some apps for students who have high-picthed
  8. create a common tag(s) in YouTube so that they can search later to review
  9. create a shared Dropbox to house the YouTube videos utilizing Videodropper (make sure you select optimize for iPhone/iPod)
  10. set up videos in stations (rather than present to the class as a whole), and have each student complete two circles of reflections for each case  they viewed. (e.g. how did the verdict of this court case directly affect….)

Original Source: Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher

 

Many thanks to Christi Robinson, Ms. Newton, and the students of AP Government at Reagan HS for sharing their projects and their class time with me. It is such a joy to see how technology can be seamlessly integrated to foster learning and support the curriculum.

Want More?. Check out other projects and lesson resources highlighting Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals app(s) as well as a follow-up post to this one which includes more student projects.

 

 


03 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Puppets 4 the Classroom: Episode 3

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 3 – Puppets 4 the Classroom. In this episode, we discussed up front how puppet apps could be used instructionally with multiple content areas and grade levels and then discussed the main features of each app, the difference between the free and paid versions, and what features were available as in-app purchases.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Puppet Pals HD (Twitter / Blog): Also check out Puppet Pals Director’s Pass which will comply with Apple’s VPP.
    1. Puppet Pals lesson and handouts
    2. Puppet Pals elementary Math lesson/student examples
  2. Sock Puppets:
    1. Sock Puppet Shakespeare lesson
    2. Sock Puppets to practice language (student examples)
  3. PhotoPuppet HD Lite (Tutorials): While we highlighted the lite version, I would highly advise purchasing the paid version and spending some time with their video tutorials. They also offer a iPhone/iPod version entitled PhotoPuppet Go.
    1. Check out the weather forecasting example above
  4. Tortoise & Hare Puppet Show (Website): also check out the paid versions (“The Three Billy Goats Gruff” & “The Three Little Pigs“)

 

Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes:

Listen to
internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

02 Sep 2011
Comments: 1

Screencasting, Problem-Solving, and Digital Storytelling: Episode 2

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 2“Screencasting, Problem-Solving, and Digital Storytelling”. In addition to discussing how the four featured apps could be used instructionally (with multiple grade levels and content areas), we discussed the purpose and inspiration of the show, explained how to get images to the device (e.g. screenshots, camera, saving an image), and gave more in depth information on how to manage the apps with multiple students and collect products as well as limitations of the app(s) and what features the upgraded app offers or promises to offer in the next patch.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Doodle Buddy (Twitter): highlighted in ShowMe video above (also checkout Doodle Buddy featured in other edu blogs:

    Doodle Buddy Bar Graph

    1. Math: determine length of missing side of a triangle
    2. Speech Therapy: sketching, building vocabulary, and pictionary-like activities
    3. Occupational Therapy: developing fine motor skills (used to compare progress over a few weeks)
    4. Multi-content: science labs, math problems, alphabet books, annotate PowerPoints that have been turned into images
    5. Cooperative Work: Hangman
  2. Popplet Lite (Twitter): Ophelia Character Map & Math Vocabulary/Classification
  3. ScreenChomp (Twitter): Review and goal-setting example using Poetry Magnets screenshot, Math example using U.S. Quarters screenshot
  4. ShowMe (Twitter): example included above highlights Doodle Buddy screenshots (visit ShowMe Community for more examples)
  5. Explain Everything $ (Twitter): review and examples for student and teacher use (visit Explain Everything Showcase for more examples and a review of my EE projects)

 
 
Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes:

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 
Our next show “Puppets 4 the Classroom airs September 8th at 10:00am which will highlight Sock Puppets, Puppet Pals, Tortoise & Hare Puppet Show, and PhotoPuppet HD Lite.

 

 

 


23 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Fakebook Profiles aren't just for English classes

One of the favorite parts of my job as an Instructional Technology Specialist is to research and locate tools to support teachers in the classroom. I had co-taught a few lessons with Mr. Wayment last year and had been excited to receive his email of tentative lesson ideas and themes a few days ago. He outlined 5 or 6 lessons with an overarching theme/topic with suggested student projects and had requested my assistance in locating Web 2.0 tool or apps to facilitate and support the execution of his lessons.

Read Write Think Profile Publisher

Autobiographical Profile: The first lesson idea was to have students create an autobiographical Facebook-like profile of themselves. As this project was scheduled for early September, I wanted to focus on a tool that did not require logins or the ability to have profiles post or comment to other students’ walls. My first thought was Read Write Think’s Profile Publisher. The tool is free and allows you to create a profile for yourself or a fictional character highlighting a favorite song, quote, about me, latest blog entry, and favorites/interests. The interactive tool doesn’t require a login and is very easy to use. The end product is a printed page. The main downside is that students would have to hand draw their profile pic or copy and paste one on the sheet.

Another option would be to download a PPT template, Word template, Google Docs template which would be a functional option but might require more time in class to complete.

Scholastic Character Scrapbook: Ophelia

Literary Character Profile: Once the students were familiar with the tool(s), they could create a Facebook-like profile for a literary character from a fictional story. If teachers would like to have students simulate the online discussion feed, they could have students create a static profile with one of the tools above and use Todays Meet for the actual debate or discussion.

If teachers are looking for a tool that has the profile and feed capabilities all in one, they might want to test out Fakebook or My FakeWall. Of the two, my preference is Fakebook. It doesn’t require a login to utilize the standard features. Students can upload a profile pic, edit basic profile info, add posts and friends, and even include YouTube videos (which would be great to utilize Talking Heads, Sock Puppets, Puppet Pals, or Videolicious to create your own content or use current YouTube videos as a point of reference.) The Fakebook can be saved and generates a random URL which the user creates a password for to edit. If the ads become too distracting, there is a paid premium option. Fakebook can be exported as a PDF or embedded in a website or blog.

View Fullscreen |I created a sample with Ophelia: http://www.classtools.net/fb/28/PDQ4DW.

MyFakewall might be a bit more robust but will require logins. As it is still in beta, students may also experience some glitchyness. 

 

Fakebook profiles aren’t just for English: Consider using them across the curriculum:

Aphrodite's Wall via Shmoop

 



06 Jul 2011
Comments: 0

iPad Consumption vs. Production: the Great Debate

Outdated Infographic

Less than a year ago, my initial infographic (compiled from info from various blogs and articles on the topic of what the iPad can and cannot do) consisted of this very debate: consumption vs. production. Many of the first iPad lessons that I created were written to use the iPad for consumption: research, collecting data, writing prompts, virtual tours, and inspiration for upcoming projects. The suggested final product or writing assignment was to be completed with a Web 2.0 tool or available peripheral.

Consumption vs. Production

Flash-forward (pun intended) ten months or so and the iPad2 with camera and video capability as well as an ever-evolving prolific store of apps (which I get lost in for hours a night) has rapidly morphed the way I use my iPad and how I promote its use in the classroom. Yes ArounderTouch and Tour Wrist are phenomenal apps for virtual 360 tours, but why not create a tour with Photosynth or DerManDar. There are thousands of ebooks and interactive book apps available for all ages, but now you can create your own with Calibre or by simply saving a document as a PDF or ePub and dragging it into iBooks. You can watch a puppet show about Tortoise & the Hare or a 60second Recap of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but why not create your own with Puppet Pals or Sock Puppets.

I will say that I am biased (being a Mac User, iPhone Geek, and iPad enthusiastyes, I own and often appear in all of these Apple-related fashion items) towards the iPad as the tablet for education because I do find it to be so intuitive and I have some brand loyalty. Above and beyond that, whatever tablet or device you choose to implement needs to be used as a learner-centered tool for communication with multimedia and as a global consumer. After reading much of the lively discussion on iPads in Education and how they are used in the classroom, I believe many of the contributors would tend to agree that it is truly not about the tech but the teach:

  • What are we asking students to do with the device?
  • Has our pedagogy changed?
  • Are the devices being used to foster learning and innovation while providing a platform for differentiated instruction or are they being used as a lighter version of a textbook?
  • Furthermore, are we teaching digital and media literacy and producing critical consumers?
  • Are students able to evaluate the information they consume?

Stepping down from my soapbox, I am confronted with another issue. The campuses I support have not initiated a 1:1 ratio and the iPad was never truly intended to be a multi-user device. While it is sometimes appropriate to have students surf the internet to research a topic, launch an app to track earthquakes, or reshuffle their deck of vocabulary words in iCardSort before the next user, it often presents an issue when you desire to have students produce rather than consume.

While I use my iPad to produce videos, photos, and mindmaps on a regular basis, logistically this presents a hurdle when you want to mass produce these products class period to period.

Multi-User Production

  • Image Products: If you are using free apps (which I am inclined to do so due to the VPP being a tad bit convaluded and time-consuming for educators), you may only be able to create one product at a time like in Popplet Lite which means students will need to either save the image to the photo library or email it. If you have enabled the email feature, how did you create the email? Is it a school email or a department email? Who will be responsible for checking it (especially if this is not a class set of iPads and is meant to be used on a revolving basis with the department, grade level, and/or team)? If you intend to pull the photos off the devices at the end of the day, who has the syncing computer and will it be an issue that students will have access to other students mindmaps or products in the photo library before creating their own?
  • Video Products: Most video products are either saved to the video library on the device or must be uploaded to YouTube. Again, will teachers wait till the end of the day to pull off all of the video products when they sync each device or will they allow students to upload products to Youtube? If students are uploading to Youtube, who’s email account are they using and is this process highlighted in the Acceptable Use Policy for the district?
  • Annotations: I love the idea of annotating PDF’s and books. However, this process was meant to be done as a single-user. If you highlight and take notes in a book in iBooks in period 1, the same notes will be available to the user in period 2. If this were to be an ongoing project or the annotation process was to be similar for each class, this presents an issue. While you can email the notes, is it realistic for each student to do this each period as the notes will compile and be duplicated? Do we open a PDF in Doodle Buddy instead? Or do we morph the project to accommodate the device? Will one class period highlight and annotate based on character traits, another on theme, and another on setting and imagery? If so, this is a welcome change, but a change nonetheless to how we deliver instruction and how students communicate.

Though I find it easier to use a Neo2 with Google Docs capabilities in conjunction with the device or a Google Docs account on the device for word-processing and collaborative writing, other products do not have such a simple solution. I am in no way trying to be a Debbie Device Downer or trying to deter teachers from implementing the devices in their classrooms. On the contrary, I want to encourage and promote the use of the devices to fundamentally better pedagogical practices, instruction, learning, and education at its core but at the same time I think this is a worthy valid discussion:

  • What are the logistics involved with using the iPads as multi-user devices in schools for production?
  • How are the devices managed?
  • Do we connect them to a wireless printer, create email accounts, set up class Dropboxes and YouTube accounts?
  • How do we manage the submission of products at the elementary and secondary level?
  • Will/should the plan differ from elementary to high school?
  • Does every product have to be submitted or can teachers deploy another way to grade and evaluate student creations?

As with anything, I am sure that my qualms will be distant post as soon as the iOS 5 and iCloud capabilities are launched and fully realized. But in the meantime, it is worth pondering as we integrate these devices into our daily life and classroom.


20 Jun 2011
Comments: 0

Cool Tech 4 Kids to Beat the Heat: Part 1: Imaginative Play and Games

As we are already in triple digits and haven’t even celebrated the 4th of July, many parents are opting to stay indoors rather than brave the blistering heat. While we will make the occasional trip to the Children’s Museum, Magik Theater, and Schlitterbahn, my focus has been trying to come up with alternatives to playing in the heat.

[gigya width=”400″ height=”400″ src=”http://cdn-img1.imagechef.com/ic/images/blender-fireworks4.swf” quality=”high” flashvars=”varTheme=searchlight&myVar1=http://cdn-img1.imagechef.com/w/110620/samp85cc03e12041b624.jpg&myVar2=http://cdn-img1.imagechef.com/w/110620/swf83c71440669a6c89.swf” align=”middle” wmode=”tranparent” allowScriptAccess=”sameDomain” allowfullscreen=”false” ]
ImageChef.com Poetry Blender

If you are like me and have two young boys (or children of any age for that matter), you are probably looking for something to keep your kiddos busy… indoors. If I am not prepared, activities around the house may be as simple as block day (where we dump all of the Mega Bloks out on the floor and build various structures) or city day (which consists of pulling out all of our Fisher Price toys…airport, barns, zoo, cars, people, etc… and arranging them into something that resembles a metropolis of sorts).

These activities are fun but given some more time to prepare, I like to arrange activities that bridge the gap between fun, technology, and instruction. The activities listed are broken up into categories and are accessed via the iPad. (Upcoming posts in the series will focus on both apps and Web 2.0 tools).

As I am also a bargain app shopper, the majority of apps suggested are… FREE (or moderately priced)!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


Imaginative Play: Many of us remember tea parties and puppet shows so the idea of using technology to foster imaginative play is not so far-fetched. While Toca Tea Party may only appeal to preschool and elementary age children, Puppet Pals & Sock Puppets will bring joy to all who are young at heart.

Tea for Two or More

Need ideas for your next Puppet Show? Check out Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats for some great examples of puppet shows (both are paid). Plums Rhyme and Tortoise and Hare Puppet Show (includes step-by-step video workshop for how to make puppets and create a show) are both free!

Legos, Board Games, and Puzzles: Cure Boredom!

Let Your PegLight Shine Brite!

Create Your Own Wordventure

Have an overcast day or an early morning? Check out 225 Kid Outdoor Games (games for ages 2-16 from around the world – paid app).

Don’t have an iPad? Consider creating your own board game (Tools for Educators) or dusting off Uno and Connect 4.

Stay Tuned over the next couple of weeks for upcoming Part 2: Virtual Vacations, Part 3: Books & Storytelling,and Part 4: Scrapbooks, Timelines, Arts & Crafts.

Tune in: Thursday June 23rd at 8pm to Social Geek Radio where I will be a guest discussing cool technology for kids (apps and Web 2.0 tools) that they can utilize on these hot summer days.

Please Comment with your favorite apps (and Web 2.0 tools) for imaginative play and games.