Feb 10, 2015

3 easy steps!

You can help your students set up a blog in three VERY easy steps. 

Step 1:  Download the blogger app in the chrome web store.

Step 2:  Open the blogger app once it is downloaded.

Step 3:  Create new blog.  Add the title of the blog and the address. I recommend using the class name with the students initials for the address (all lower case). 

Ex: grade3wmam

Feb 9, 2015

Taking Blogging Up A Notch!

I have been considering new and different ways to engage students in blogging. I came across an article titled, "Hot Blogging: A Framework to Promote Higher Order Thinking," and in this article Zawilinski (2009) described four different types of blogs that are common in elementary classrooms. These include classroom news blogs, mirror blogs, showcase and literature response blogs. Classroom news blogs are used to update parents on what is happening in the classroom. Mirror blogs are a reflective blog, where students reflect on something learned. Showcase blogs are used to showcase student work and teachers will showcase a variety of things including art work. Literature response blogs are used for responding to literature.

Another way to blog is called quad blogging. With this type of blogging, four blogging classes come together and learn about one another one week at a time. Each week a different blog in the quad is the focus and the other three classes take the time to visit and comment on their blog. Research showed that there are many different types and uses of blogs in the classroom.

Here are some samples of different blogs: (Zawilinski, 2009)

Classroom News Blogs:

Mary Castle’s first grade blog: http://michellesmelser.blogspot.com
Mr. Thompson’s second grade classroom blog: http://gcs.infostreamblogs.org/tthompson
Mary Kreul’s 4th grade class:  http://mskreul.edublogs.org

Mr. Monson’s grade 5 blog: http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php

Mirror Blogs:

Edublogs Insights: http://anne.teachesme.com

The Miss Rumphius Effect: http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com

Carol Marits’ Grade Four Class: http://classblogmeister.com/

Brian Crosby’s 6th Grade Class: http://classblogmeister.com/

Grade 1/2/3 Class Blog:

Showcase Blogs:

Have Fun with English!  http://fwe2.motime.com

Ms. Cassidy’s Grade One Classroom Blog:  http://

Literature Response Blogs:

Mary Kreul’s Class Blog:  http://mskreul.edublogs.org/tag/lit-

Bearup’s Bloggers Fourth Grade:  http://classblogmeister.com/

English Corner (sixth grade): http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?

How will you take blogging up a notch?


Morris, K. (2011, February 16). Quad Blogging. (Web log comment). Retrieved from http://

Zawilinski, L. (2009). Hot blogging: A framework for blogging to promote higher order
Reading Teacher, 62(8). Retrieved from

Feb 2, 2015

Invention Convention!

Invention Convention

Padlet in the Classroom

Padlet is a virtual wall or virtual bulletin board. It works like an 

online piece of paper where users can add sticky notes with

text, images and videos on it.  Here are some ideas on using

padlet in the classroom. It is now a chrome app and can be 

found in the web store.

Here is a tutorial on Padlet:

How can you use it in the classroom?

1. KWL Chart- Students can add sticky notes about what they

 know, what they want to know and what they learned.

2. Exit Slips- add a sticky note about what they learned, 

connections, new ideas and wonderings.

3.  Researching- collaborate and add research with sticky 


4. Showcasing student work- add photos of their learning. 

(digital portfolio)

5. Documenting Words Their Way sorts:

How can you use it?

Jan 18, 2015

Gone Google Story Builder

I was reminded of Gone Google Story Builder this weekend as I was surfing the net. I think it has the potential to be a great tool for learning. Gone Google Story Builder creates a mini movie of your writing process. It is a very short story/video, as you are limited to ten characters and ten exchanges.

Here are some samples: 

Watch this video of a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Here is an example of a story builder titled "Earth: Center of the Universe?"

Another example of creating a math story in story builder:

Ready to try?

Here's how:
  • Go to "Gone Google Story Builder"
  • Click start and type in the name of the characters in the left hand side (up to 10 characters). Then click write story.
  • Choose the character then enter their text.
  • Add music.
  • Give your story a title.
  • Get the link.
(Here is a planning document: Docs Story Builder)

Possible applications in the classroom:
  • Write a story
  • Share learning (exit slip)
  • Perhaps students can predict how a character in a story may react?
  • Create a math problem?

Note: There is also a cool addition to Google Story called "Masters Edition."  See what it is like to collaborate with famous storytellers.  When I tried it, the story starter was: "It was the best of times, it was..." Then I added "the worst of times. Suddenly (my favorite poet) Emily Dickinson wrote "An hour behind the fleeting breath" and as I went to type, Edgar Allen Poe edited what Emily wrote!

What ways can your students use Gone Google Story Builder for learning?