A Little Bird Told Me

I tried a free teacher challenge tool from Edublogs.  The website is Little Bird Tales.  I rather like this little program.  What a neat way to record your own voice or your student’s voice.  The drawing tool takes a bit of getting used to.  While I was recording, I needed to start over a couple of times.  It is important to eliminate as much background noise as possible. Click here to hear my little bird tale called Color Dance or the image below.

When creating a story line explain to the students that they need a cover, a beginning, middle, and some sort of ending.  There is a short little video explaining the process for using the tool.  Click here to watch it.

I have listed tweet tweets (pros) and squawks (cons) for using this free web tool

Tweet Tweets

  • You can upload your own images.
  • After uploading your own images you can draw on top of them.  (Really neat feature)
  • This program can be used by students or parents.
  • There is an undo button (the red arrow) if you make an opps.
  • You can record your voice or sound effects that you make.
  • The process is simple and user friendly for children.
  • Did I mention it’s FREE!
  • Your tale can be public or private depending on your preference. If you do choose public it needs to be approved first.

Squawks

  • It takes a while to load images or to save.
  • Only four lines will appear for the story even if you have more to say.
  • You can’t move objects around, only undo them if you don’t like it.
  • Painting tools are basic.
  • The images are static and don’t move.

If you have more than one day a nifty way to teach a concept would be to use Little Bird Tales.  Ways to use this in the classroom:

Language Arts:

  • Have students write out their story and then create their own pictures for it.
  • Have students write out their own story and then illustrate a picture online.

Science:

  • Have students use this for explaining a scientific process.  For example: how a plant grows.

Math:

  • Have a mathematical concept.  Older grade students could make one and then share this with a younger grade student.

Social Studies:

  • Have students create a time line of events for a particular moment in history

Visual Arts:

  • Have students make a story about mixing colors.  Refer back to my example.
  • Enjoy creating your own little bird tale.

If you have any more ideas please comment and share your ideas.

-Mrs. Berry

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Beware of Giant People Eating Mental Blocks

An image that I created to help unstuck mental blocks.

Today’s challenge is about effective posts.  Oh, dear there it is… I’m being attacked by a mental block. It’s pretty big and purple. I’m sitting here trying to think of a way to make my blog effective.   It happens to the best of us and our students.  We get stuck.  There are a couple of ways around this.  First way is to find a blog that is effective.  True North Arts by Kathryn Antyr is a blog that I thought was effective in giving me ideas for my classroom and my blog.

The blog is effective because:

  • It tells you step by step instructions on how to create a character map or personal map.
  • The title for each step is in bold if you want to read that section.
  • There are several pictures at different stages included to help with visual people
  • There is a list of materials that you need if you want to make it on your own.

Tip on writing an effective blog:

  • Have a title that gets people to your blog.  You read mine didn’t you?
  • Add a tag.  Do this to get more readers to your site.  Pick a tag that is not to general and not to specific.  Just like Goldy Locks, make it just right.
  • Make your content match your title and tag.
  • Make it easy to read and break up the text into sections so that a person could read your main ideas and get the point.
  • Add pictures or content.  This helps draw the reader in.

So if you or your students are under attack from a mental block, here are few ideas on what to write about for your blog.

Effective blog ideas:

  • Write a step by step project
  • Write about something unusual
  • Write about something that is ordinary in a different way
  • Write about something that you care about
  • Write a review on something relevant to you

-Mrs. Berry

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