Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Symbaloos Ready for Winter Break

Here are the links to the 4th grading period Symbaloos! Remember, these can be shared on blogs, sent home to parents, or used in whatever way fits your students' needs. All linked activities are interactive, TEKS based, and correlate with the curriculum for each grade level. Blue is math, green is science, and red is ELA. We have also sent these to your CTA and requested that they please place these in Student Share so that students will have access to them throughout the building (student computers in the classroom, computer labs, science labs, etc.).

Monday, December 10, 2012

30+ Free Apps for Celebrating and Learning About December Holidays

Shelly Terrell is a phenomenal person to follow in the Twitterverse. (@ShellTerrell). She has been a huge leader in the educational technology world and presented to thousands of educators worldwide in over 100 countries! Talk about a mover and a shaker!!! I love reading her blog posts and especially loved this well-timed post Shelly wrote for the holidays:

Part of the Cool Sites series and Mobile Learning category“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Tis the season to be jolly, especially with the newest interactive and multimedia apps available to celebrate. Children, adolescents, and teens can create very meaningful gifts for friends and family members or get into the holiday spirit by using the suggested apps below. The apps are very easy to use, often free, and have various multimedia options. These apps integrate images, audio, text, video and extras. Children can also easily send the messages, videos, and cards at anytime for parents or friends to wake up and see on their phones or in their email. Many of these apps have the ability for users to share their creations through online communities, such as Facebook, and Twitter! For ideas on how to use these apps with students, view my slideshare presentation, Holiday Apps for Creating Gifts & Learning!

Holiday Greeting Apps

Students will enjoy sending a special greeting to loved ones and friends either through video, with personalized pictures, or with a holiday e-card. Some are equipped with Christmas and Hanukkah backgrounds and extras!
  • Holiday Video by Vlix (I-friendly)- Students can create a personalized video greeting up to 60 seconds. Choose from 17 holiday video effects, 16 holiday music tracks, various fonts and color, upload your own photos, and share on Facebook, YouTube, email, or your vlix feed
  • Animoto (Android/I-friendly)- Upload up to 10 images, choose a soundtrack from the library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from, and click a button to make a 30-second video. Sync your videos with your Animoto.com account, download videos for offline viewing, and make longer ones with an All-Access Pass. Sign up for an educator account to create longer videos for free.
  • Fotobabble- Quickly create and easily share talking photos in 3 steps (Snap or select or a photo, speak into the microphone to record audio, share with friends via email, Facebook or Twitter). You do get various holiday themed backgrounds. Example- Here’s Rosco, my pug’s holiday card to you!
  • Disco Santa Video Card- This is only compatible with the iPad 2 but students create a video of themselves with friends dancing with a Christmas monster then email the video.
  • RedStamp (I-friendly)- send free e-greeting cards with various free holiday templates in the spirit of Hanukkah and Christmas and upload your photos
  • Holiday Cards by Sincerely (Android/I-friendly)- send free e-greeting cards with various free holiday templates and the ability to personalize
  • A Card for That (Android)-send free e-greeting cards with various free holiday templates and the ability to personalize

Interactive Holiday Apps

These holiday apps have students read, play educational games, create videos detailing their wish lists, and more!
  • Wishstix (I-friendly)- record a video of you as an elf telling Santa what you want for Christmas and email to friends. It’s interactive with an elf prompting students.
  • Christmas Fun HD- (I-friendly) Students get into the Christmas spirit with interactive sing alongs, dress up games, painting activities, peek-a-boo games, interactive stories and so much more!
  • StoryKit- create a holiday book (I-friendly). Upload your own photos, doodle, add voice narration, or edit a classic book like the 3 Little Pigs or Humpty Dumpty.
  • Letters to Santa (I-friendly; search for the free version)- kids write unlimited letters to Santa Claus who responds
  • 123 Color: Hanukkah Coloring Book- (I-friendly) students learn numbers, letters, and colors with engaging artwork, music, sound effects, and voice-overs spoken in these 12 languages and dialects
  • Light My Fire- (I-friendly) Students learn about Hanukkah and get to light a virtual traditional Hanukkah lamp.
  • Become Santa Claus in 24 Days- students play 24 problem-solving games that will help them achieve a Santa diploma in the end
  • Jingle All the Way- Interactive book on i-devices that has games, puzzles, and more for kids!
  • Henry Motlies Christmas Story- Interactive book on i-devices where children can listen to the story in English or German, play games, and has interactive features.
  • Christmas Eve SO- Interactive book on i-devices that features cartoons, karaoke read along, pronunciation of each word, syllable breakdown, vowel displays, word explanations and illustrations, and French, English, German options.
  • Toca Hair Salon Hair X-mas- style Santa’s hair (I-friendly)
  • Norad Santa Tracker (Android/I-friendly/Blackberry)- search in your phone’s app store for free versions; track Santa as he drops off his gifts.
  • Santa Hat Sewing (I-friendly)- is a brand new arts and crafts app that will lead you all the way to design and sew that perfect Santa Hat for your kids. This art and craft app has been specially designed for the kids to take an active role in making a Santa hat.The Santa Hat Sewing app will teach you and show you how to make a great one. Idea- Create a Santa hat for a favorite doll or loved one with a cute title like Mrs. Claus!
  • MeeGenius- helps kids read with a library of books that have read along features, word highlighting, narration, and other features to help those with autism (Android/I-friendly)
  • Santa’s Village- Interactive games/reading (Android)
  • Tales2Go- Audio Stories (free for 30 days; I-friendly)

Talking Holiday Apps

Students speak to these characters and they repeat the words back in a funny voice. You can have students send holiday greetings, come up with their gift wish lists, create a modern version of Christmas songs like the 12 days of Christmas, sing a holiday chant or song or record a Christmas poem, video, joke, or rhyme.
  • Talking Santa (Android version)- Students talk to Santa and he repeats their words. They can poke, swipe or tickle him and he reacts. They can also send video Christmas cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
  • Talking Santa 3D HD (iPad)- Students talk to Santa and he repeats their words. He does 10 different poses, dances ballet, plays snowball and gives special gifts like a Superman as well as candy. They can also send video Christmas cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
  • Talking Santa Meets Ginger (Android version)- Students talk to Santa and he repeats their words to Ginger the mischievous cat. Ginger tickles/kicks Santa, pulls off his beard, puts a finger up his nose, sets his hat on fire, and more. They can also send video cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
  • Talking Gremlin (I-friendly)- students talk to the Christmas Gremlin and he repeats their words in a funny voice. They can also interact with him to make him do funny things and create/send video cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
  • Talking Gingerbread Man (I-friendly) students talk to the Gingerbread Man and he repeats their words in a funny voice. They can also interact with him to make him do funny things and create/send video cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.

Holiday Music Creation Apps

Create holiday music or send a singing carol with these great apps!
  • Autotune Xmas (I-friendly)- kids sing along to their favorite popular hits from Beiber, Lady Gaga, Madonna and more and can send as a video to someone else.
  • A Holiday Piano Book: Jingle Bells by StoryBoy (I-friendly) an interactive and illustrated holiday piano book that teaches kids to play songs on a virtual piano
  • Maxi’s Holiday Piano (I-friendly) simon says style game with a virtual keyboard to teach students how to play favorite holiday songs
  • Piano Mi (I-friendly) videos teach children how to play Christmas favorites on a virtual keyboard they get to interact with
  • Christmas Piano (Android/I-friendly)- search in your app store for the free version
  • My Baby Piano (Android) great for very young learners. This app features drumming and keyboard lessons
Try these apps with your students and blog about any exciting ways you use them!

READING HER BLOG IS A MUST AND YOU CAN DO IT BY CLICKING HERE: http://shellyterrell.com/ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Sites!

I recently came across a fabulous post by Keith Ferrell on his blog EdTech Ideas. Keith regularly posts great resources for technology integration and with Christmas coming up, this blog post doesn't disappoint. He has not only collected great holiday-themed sites but explained how you can apply these to your classroom teaching.

Here's a collection of holiday and winter sites for kids and teachers that should help make your last week of school festive and productive, and give kids some fun places to go on those cold, wintry days.

In this ├╝ber-popular game from Mini-Clip, your mission is to help Santa Claus collect the presents and get them ready for delivery on Christmas Eve. To do this you need to draw a pathway of least-resistance, collect all the presents, and finish at the checkered flag.
EdTechIdeas: Although mostly fun, the rules of physics play a part here and students must think and plan out a pathway that does not defy gravity. Also a good game if you have students who have not completely mastered the mouse.

Here’s a challenging game from Kaboose which is kind of like a mash-up between Tetris andConcentration. In Santa Filbriks, students are to help Santa find the matching tiles without hitting the bottom of the game area.

Journey to the Northpole.com for loads of great activities for kids. Students can write letters to Santa, read stories, have stories read to them, create personalized stories, and many other activities. EdTechIdeas: Beyond having students explore and learn with this site, there is theElf Pal Academy, which connects teachers to a plethora of printable Google Docs geared to lower elementary students and English language learners.

Another great game from Miniclip. Your mission is to slice through the ice and save the frozen Vikings by getting them back to their longboat! You really have to contemplate and plan out your moves in this highly challenging game.

There are tons of ideas, lesson plans, book activities, links tore-printable stories, teacher sharing ideas, and more. EdTechIdeas: The Ultimate Winter Resources for Teachers would be a good place to start if you’re looking for winter inspiration.

Who doesn’t like Mad Libs? Classroomjr.com has a collection of 3 winter Mad Libs, along with 3 Christmas Mad Libs, some winter word puzzlesChristmas math worksheets, and someprintable Christmas mazes that’ll keep students productive all winter break.

7. Norad Tracks Santa

Each year, Norad tracks Santa by using four high-tech tracking systems – radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets. This site allows kids to watch as Santa is tracked as he delivers all of his presents. On Christmas Eve, students can click here to track his flight live in Google Earth. EdTechIdeas: Norad Tracks Santa is a great site to learn about geography and places around the world. Students could chart the stops in Google Maps, calculate distances and speed required to make all of the stops possible, write a creative story about his adventure, compare and contrast Santa’s trips in the past using population data… I could go on forever!

8. ABC Teach

Great site for teachers, ABC Teach has downloadable bookmarks, border paper, word scrambles, coloring pages, some holiday book comprehension and activity pages, and more.

9. Education Place - Winter Theme

Education Place has a plethora of activities for teachers of grades K-8. Winter memory books, weather studies, seasonal comparisons, winter quizzes, word finds, snow sculptures, and more. If you’re looking for learning activities to do during the winter months, this is a good place to start.

10. Antarctica - "Street" View

Google Maps Antarctica allows you to take a walk around parts of the white continent. A very small portion of Antarctica have been covered (for obvious reasons), but the views are amazing! In typical Google subtle humor, the normal yellow street view man in street view Antarctica is replaced by a penguin. EdTechIdeas: I realize it’s not “Christmassy” and Santa lives in the North Pole, not the South; but there’s some great images here not to be missed. Students could write stories about what life would be like if Santa lived in Antarctica. They could pinpoint where his home would be and find a suitable area for a landing strip.

11. Christmas Around the World

Students can learn about different Christmas traditions in several countries. While the title of the site sounds grandiose and all-encompassing, there are only 8 countries highlighted. However, for learning about some different traditions for kids, it’s not a bad place to start.

12. Storynory

Storynory is a site that lets kids listen to free audio stories that are read by storyteller, Natasha Gostwick. The stories can be streamed live, or downloaded to be played anywhere. EdTechIdeas: Storynory would make a great listening center and a place story starting ideas. Students can created their own audio recordings and turn them into podcasts for other students, parents, and teachers to enjoy.

Be sure to add EdTeach Ideas to your Google Reader, or other RSS Reader, and follow @k_ferrell on Twitter. TONS OF GREATNESS!