Thursday, May 31, 2007

Work With Wings

The Hosmer student blog, Work With Wings, is a place where students can share their ideas, interests and creations. Take a look at what these kids find interesting as they give their work wings to share with the world.

Please add a comment about their work...they love to read them!

Photo by gadjoboy/scott from flickr

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mashing Letters

An entire zoo made from letter forms and punctuation marks? A must see! Check out this interactive picture book called Bembo's Zoo by Roberto De Vicq DeCumptich.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Creating Comics as Story Writing

Do you want to get you students excited about writing? Here is a great free resource mentioned by the tech chicks in their recent podcast. It is an online educational comic generator called

First, you can choose the # of panels in your comic strip. The two panel option can represent a First-Then structure for younger students.

The three panel option can represent a beginning-middle-end structure. Older students can add more detail with the four panel option.

Next you choose the characters and their mood.

Finally, you write their words and thoughts. Each panel gives you a dialog prompt.

This is very easy to use. Click here, click there to drop characters into frames. Now you are ready to tell your story. There is even a list of story ideas to get started.

I love this because it is so flexible. It can be used to create a simple cause-effect story. At the same time, it can call on higher order thinking skills. The tech chicks suggested making a current event into a comic. This involves summarization, reframing, evaluation and making judgements.

Start now to tap into your students' creativity. To see a sample, check out the Hosmer student blog post, How to Appreciate Teachers.

How Can Grammar Be This Cool?

By now, I hope you have explored some free podcasts through the iTunes store. Perhaps you stumbled upon this one. Grammar Girls Quick and Dirty Tips are short, informative and entertaining grammar tidbits that we all have wondered about. She discusses a range of topics, from the apostrophe catastrophe to sentence fragments running amuck. The episodes are an average of 5 minutes in length. There may be one you want to play for your students...or maybe there is an issue you want clarified.

This resource will have a positive effect on your students' writing...or is it affect? I'm going to listen to the episode titled "Grammar Affects Me" and I'll get back to you!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Listen While You Walk

While walking the Walk for Hunger this past weekend, I had a chance to listen to some podcasts on my ipod. Have you ever heard the Tech Chicks, two educators from Texas who broadcast episodes about using technology in the schools? You can subscribe to it free at the iTunes store and listen from your computer or upload to your mp3 player. Check out their website at techchicktips. They list some great resources, tips and tricks (and are especially fond of "free").

(photo by Wallula Junction)