Friday, November 29, 2013

Family and Blabberized Turkeys!

Hi Friends,

How was your Thanksgiving?  I hope it was as wonderful as it can possibly be for all of you.  I have so much to be thankful for but mostly, I am ever so thankful for my family.  I don't know what I would do without them!

I also wanted to share with you a little project we did at school this week.  We had so much fun with the the entire project that it really helped the three days go by SO fast!  First, the children had to complete a writing piece.  they had the choice of a Thanksgiving acrostic or a persuasive piece.  Most chose the persuasive writing.  For this, they had to pretend that they were a turkey (of course!) and persuade someone NOT to eat them for Thanksgiving.  These were hilarious!  The acrostic poems were not as funny but they were super, super sweet.

The next step was to make these tissue paper turkeys.  Everything but the tail feathers were colored with crayon.  Then, we used little squares of tissue paper, wrapped it on the end of a pencil, dipped it in glue and VOILA!...a super cute, 'feathery' turkey.

Once both of these steps were complete, I took pictures of all of their turkeys.  While I was doing this, the students were reading their pieces out loud to a partner.  They worked on their reading fluency and expression.  I'm telling you, the skills that were covered in this little project were unbelievable!

The final step was to upload their turkeys into Blabberize.  If you have never heard of this website, it is a must see.  Basically, you find a picture or use one of your own and upload it to the site.  Blabberize gives you the ability to make your picture 'talk'.  It is unbelievably cute!  The student sat with me while I adjusted the mouth size and placement.  Then, I recorded each child as they read their piece out loud once again.  We did a quick play back to make sure it came out okay, saved it to 'My Stuff' and moved onto the next child.  I was so impressed with the way they handled themselves during this part of the project.  All I had to say was "Recording now" and they were absolutely silent.  Every student had the opportunity to record without interruption from the polite and respectful!  If you'd like to see Blabberize in action, click on the picture below.  The possibilities are endless!

Hot Dots Review

Hi Friends,

Today's post is a follow up to a product preview I did over the summer.  Well, I'm very happy to report that the Hot Dots are a HUGE success.  The set I chose was the Academic Vocabulary Cards - perfect for the Common Core!  It is the number one Word Work choice in my Daily 5 stations.  Even better than that is the fact that I see most of the kids actually reading the cards!  They are not just using the pen randomly on all of the dots.  Here's a picture of one of my kiddos totally engaged in his activity...

Other than it's popularity with my kiddos, the product itself is one of very high quality.  The cards are made of a durable card stock and they are neatly organized into categories within the box.  My students are able to keep the set organized and well maintained.

The pen itself is what makes the activity so engaging.  There is immediate feedback on their answer choices and the voice they hear is not annoying (teacher friendly!).  The students can also turn off the voice and just use the lights - green for a correct answer and red for an incorrect answer.

Overall, I am very satisfied with Smile Makers and their Hot Dots product.  Thanks, again, to Marcy for contacting me this past summer.  I look forward to doing more business with this company.

Have a great school year, Everyone!