Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Flavours of the Month...

The Writers Club
This is a great site that allows students to have their own blog for writing.  They use a username and password (no email is required!).  Students are able to add blog posts, comment on other students writing and make friends with other students.  This adds an element of competition as students collect achievement awards based on the work they have created.  This has also been a great tool to teach about social media as students make friends, create forums and groups.  
How I use it in the class: students are encouraged to post any writing they have done in class.  Recently, students have completed one particular piece of writing, parents have been encouraged to find this and comment on this to their child.  We have used this as their writing sample for the first half of the term.  Students love this site, recently some of the boys (who are normally throwing around a rugby ball) came running up to me asking if they can finish what they were working on at home last night...not that I want my students to sit on a computer 24/7, but I surprised these boys were so into this!

This is a behaviour management system ~ online!  This site has a great interface and is very easy to use.  I have it on the IWB as well as the iPads in the class and my iPhone.  This programme allows us to keep track of students behaviour which is easily customised to our needs.  When a point is awarded a sound produced...the power of this sound is amazing.  I also have this by my side when we are in assembly, on field trips...everywhere!  Of course there is a reward for the top players...at the end of the week the top 8 students have their 'own choice' for half-an-hour and the lowest 3 scores for the day clean up the class. 

I have been a big fan of iMovie in the past.  The full version is jammed packed full of features to make movies...although this can be a little daunting especially between different versions so when I was introduced to the iPad version I was a little hesitant thinking it would take a bit of time to get to grips with it.  How wrong I was! This is a simple, logical app where the results are amazing.  Although it is basic, there are some add ons you can buy.  Extras for iMovie lets you add text, titles and scrolling credits to your movies.  We also use Action Movies.  This lets you add special effects (e.g. tornadoes, car smash...) to video's.  The students also love using the trailer component of iMovie.  
How I use it in the class:  One of the many ways we use it is to reflect on the weeks learning. Students create a simple movie about what they have done in the week, filming their work and either doing a voice-over or adding in text to describe what they have learnt.  They also comment on their next steps and what they have enjoyed or are looking forward to.  This then uploaded to youtube and embeded in their wiki.

Check out their latest trailer for a pass-it-on blog we were part of: