Wednesday, July 23, 2014

smore Part 2

smore Part 1

This year my team has decided to have the students publish a newsletter.  Smore would allow for the student to create a professional looking newsletter and be able to easily distribute it to parents.  The students and teacher would be able to check the data to see how often it us viewed and if the newsletter is effective.  

Another helpful link with using smore in the class is this teacher blog: Teacher Use:

Kidblog Part 2

Kidblog Part 1

Blogs can be used in many ways to help students increase their communication with each other, the teachers, and around the world. 

·         To communicate assignments, events, and announcements in the classroom.
·         To improve writing and typing skills.
·         To publish work for others to comment on.
·         Share information and projects.
·         To communicate within groups.
·         To propose questions for open communication.

I have thought of using Kidblog in two different ways in my classroom. Using it to propose open ended math questions and have students blog their responses and see comments on other’s responses.  Also, for using it within the county to communicate about the different salt water ecosystem tanks that are in the schools. 

Animoto Part 2

After viewing different ways that Animoto can be used in the classroom, I came across the idea of using it as a method for students to introduce themselves at the beginning of the year. 

In years past, I have had a celebrity of the week, which featured a new student every week. We would spend time learning about them and writing letters to them. This year I am only teaching STEM, which is twice as many students and does not allow for the time of a weekly celebration. 
Personal Animoto videos will allow the students to be able to share information about themselves. It will take up less time and allow for community to be built, which is essential in Elementary school.  Additionally by starting the year off with this, it will allow me to teach the students essential technology procedures and rules.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Museum Box (Discovery Box)

Museum box is a presentation tool that allows the user to put everything into a “box”.  The user can upload videos, pictures, and text files. The boxes can be published and allow others to comment on them.
The user starts with an open grid filled with individual blocks waiting for information.  Each block can be labeled for ease of organization.

Starting Template: 

The user clicks on a block. Each block consists of 6 sides.  The user uploads their information on the block.  The information loaded on the front block will be what is displayed in the box. 

Unfortunately, the tool is not free. It cost approximately $99 for school subscriptions, but there are many pre-made Museum Boxes that are ready to use in the classroom. 



Smore allows the user to create a digital newsletter with ease. The site has easy to follow templates with opportunity to upload videos, pictures and more.  The user can store a mailing list to quickly send out their newly created documents.  Once published, the newsletter is available for view through a web browser and on any mobile device.  The last benefit of the site is that it keeps data on the newsletters, which allows the user to analyze their work

Sample Smore from a Middle School Counselor:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



Kidblog is a blogging site just like blogger. The layouts and functions are similar to blogger, which is beneficial for teacher use.  The difference between Kidblog and blogger is the ease and security.

Site Access
  • ·         Teacher controls who has access to the site.

  • ·         Only people invited by the teacher can post.
  • ·         Teacher controls who can view post. They can have it set up so that only the teacher view, parents can view only their child’s post, and for everyone to view it.
  • ·         Teacher can choose to approve all posts before they are submitted.

  • ·         Teacher can choose to approve all comments before they are submitted.
  • ·         Teacher controls who can comment on the post.

  • ·         No ads
  • ·         Teacher controls widgets available
  • ·         Student chooses name from a drop down
  • ·         Each student has their own blog that is connected with the teacher’s blog

Here is a video of how to set up a blog with Kidblog.

Here are some examples of how to use it:

I have not used Kidblog or any blog in the classroom and will be exploring how blogs can be part of the classroom.  



Someone had mentioned this site in their blog, but I thought I would discuss it a little more.

Here is Animoto in 60 seconds-

Animoto is a website that allows the subscriber to upload videos, pictures, and music to be placed within a themed template. The user can add captions and title text slides throughout the show.  The site is free to create 30 second videos and is inexpensive to subscribe to for a year.  The free versions provides limited templates and some preloaded songs.

There is Animoto Education available. This version is also free. This will allow the teacher to create individual students accounts.  The accesses on these accounts are the same as the regular free version.

Ways that I've used it are:
  •   Design quick engagement videos to introduce a lesson or unit
  • End of the year slideshows.

Example: This past year, my class was studying regions. As a class we visited each region through a variety of activities. Each lesson started with the students showing their boarding passes and boarding the plane. They watched a short video simulating a plane ride and landed in the region. Before leaving the plane, they would watch an Animoto that welcome them to the region.  Here is the Northeast region:

For additional examples visit