Denim Column

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Alabama, United States
Educator and Lifelong Learner, Asst Principal at @cmslions, #NBCT, #EdD from @ucumberlands, @Google Educator Lvl 1 & 2, Google for Education Certified Trainer

Monday, September 17, 2012

VocabularySpellingCity is on Pinterest

Pinterest lovers, VocabularySpellingCity is now on Pinterest.  You will find educational ideas, blog postings, lesson ideas, and helpful hints on using the site.  {Click here} to view their profile.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

VocabularySpellingCity Premium Membership

We are always looking for ways to make our school day run smoother, quicker, easier.  That is what a Premium Membership from VocabuarlySpellingCity will do for you!

VocabularySpellingCity offers online games, printable worksheets, flashcards, and more using your spelling and vocabulary lists.  They have precreated lists available, or you can create your own.  Be sure to browse the Teaching Resources section of the site to see what all is available.  I use the site in my literacy centers, math centers, to create vocabulary tests in curriculum areas, to provide flash cards as study guides and games, extension activities in science, etc.

As a Premium Member, your students have access to things such as exclusive games, online tests where the scores are recorded for you, individual student logins, writing practice where students can resume in their own time (Be sure they click "Resume Writing Practice," or their previous work will be overwritten.), and individualized assignments which are great for differentiated instruction. The cost for a classroom Premium Membership is only $49.99 for a year.  What a great idea for class donation money!

Although, I am a paid consultant for VocabularySpellingCity, I was under no obligation to create this post.  I have used VocabularySpellingCity for years before my relationship with their company.  I can vouch that a Premium Membership is well worth the cost.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Introducing Google Drive to your Students

My students collaborate on all sorts of projects and assignments.  Google Drive (formally known as Google Docs) is the perfect place for collaboration to happen.  Therefore, I felt it necessary to teach my kids the basics of Google Drive.  In this project, we simply created a Google Document that each student added information.  I wanted them to see the ability of adding to the same document at the same time.  

Here is the assignment as I posted it on Edmodo

Lewis and Clark and Me
Turned in (6) 
Sep 7, 2012
This week's story is about the expedition of Lewis and Clark. They explored the Louisiana Purchase. We are going to discover more information about their expedition. 

1)Using SAFE SEARCH FOR KIDS, research Lewis and Clark. Write down 5 facts that you learned. 
2)Open GOOGLE DOCS. If it asks you to log in, the username will always be, and the password is XXXX. 
3)Click on the document titled LEWIS AND CLARK. 
4)Type your 5 facts. You may change the font and color. Everyone will be typing on the same document. 
5)Once you have typed your 5 facts, click the TURN IN button on this post.
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Just a hint, you will need to create a Gmail account for your class.  This account and password needs to be accessible to all of your students.

You can view our document in progress by clicking {here}.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Remembering 9/11: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

As we approach 9/11, my favorite book to share with my students is The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. Being a 4th grade teacher, I am now in the time where my students were not born when the terror happened. All the know is what they hear from their parents, on TV, etc. This book explains the grandeur of the Towers without the horror of the day. Below, I have embedded a YouTube video of the book. 

Also, by {clicking here}, you will have access to free online games using words from the book.  

What do you do with your students to honor 9/11?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Using Wordle With Your Students

Each week, my students are engaged in weekly technology projects.  These projects are extensions of our weekly basal stories.  My system uses Scott Foresman Reading Street.  Since I teach 4th grade, this project was based on Because of Winn Dixie.  However, you can easily adapt it to any subject area, grade level, or basal story.

I use Edmodo to post my projects to my students.  Edmodo is a safe, social media platform (much like Facebook), but it is only accessible by you, your students, and their parents.  There is no other contact to your students, unless you allow that by setting up different groups.  The weekly projects are posted each week on Edmodo, so students have a central location for all their instructions, links, etc.  They can even access it from home, if they choose to work on their project there.

The first project we did this year was Wordle.  Wordle is a word cloud generator.  It is very simple to use, so it makes a great first project.  Each of my students have their own jump drive.  In fact, it was listed on their supply list.  Here is the project posting that was on Edmodo:

We are going to be reading the section of the story where Ms. Franny meets the brown bear. In this assignment, we are going to learn more about brown bears.

1)Research brown bears on the Internet using Safe Search for Kids.
2)Make a list of at least 25 words that describe brown bears.
3)Create a Wordle using the words you wrote on your list.
b. Type your words in the PASTE IN A BUNCH OF TEXT box.
c. Click GO.
d. You can change the font, color, etc.
e. Once you are finished, you need to save your Wordle to your jump drive.
1. Click PRINT
2. Change the name of the printer to MICROSOFT OFFICE DOCUMENT IMAGE WRITER.
3. Plug your jump drive in.
4. Change the SAVE AS to REMOVABLE DISK E.
5. Click SAVE.
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Be sure and watch this post for examples of the Wordles that my students created.  They had a lot of fun making them!


Monday, September 3, 2012

VocabularySpellingCity App

VocabularySpellingCity now has an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app. What a great way for your students and children to practice their spelling words in a fun format!  Although, teachers and parents cannot log in through the app, the students' log in information allows them to access all your word lists. The app includes some of your favorite games like Hangmouse, MatchIt, and Which Word.  Your children can even take their spelling and vocabulary tests through the app.   {Click here} for information to download this cool app.

Disclaimer: I am a paid consultant for VocabualrySpellingCity in the area of social media promotions.  However, I would never back a product that I did not love and use in my classroom.