Digital Poets! Web Tools, Apps, & Lesson Ideas

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 5.10.45 PM“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” by Robert Frost

April is National Poetry month. I invite you to consider the possibilities of teaching with poetry. Poetry makes content come alive, because the poet has a deep connection with the subject matter. Poems can help students see what they consider a boring or tedious topic in a different light. Imagine students walking into math class and the teacher introducing long division with Bob Grumman’s long division Christmas poem. Imagine students learning about the food chain by hearing a reading of “Damselfly, Trout, Heron” by John Engels. Digital tools and apps can encourage our students to animate poetry and bring words to life with video, images, sound, and more. In the slide presentation and bookmarks below, I share ideas and resources for getting students to learn through poetry.

Lesson Ideas

Here are a few lesson ideas I talked about during my presentation. Students can:

Resources

Here are a few more resources:

More Resources and Lesson Plans

Find many more ideas in my Pearltree bookmarks below. Click on the circle to make that resource appear.

Teaching Poetry in Vday Resources / Holidays & Events / ELT 2 / English Language Teaching

Cultivate your interests with Pearltrees for Android

Challenge:

Try one of these tools or apps to get students interested in creating their own poems.

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Sharing Stories: Motivating Language Learners with Mobile Devices #TESOLFr

This past week, I had the incredible opportunity to spend my birthday in Paris with friends worldwide at the TESOL France conference. Thank you for spending one of the best birthdays of my life with me! In a later post, I will share more about my reflections of the sessions and events I attended. I would love to thank the incredible TESOL France team and the wonder woman, Bethany Cagnol, for their dedication and hard work in organizing this wonderful conference. Below are my session resources for those who were not able to attend or grab the names of all the apps. Included are the slides for you to download and my free ebook, Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Quick Tips & Resources with helpful tips and several resources to help support educators on their journey using mobile devices for learning and teaching. Feel free to copy the e-bok, pass it around, use it with your staff, and send it to anyone. You can download the PDF by clicking on the download icon which is the 3rd icon at the bottom of the ebook. It is in HTML5 so you should also be able to access this on your mobile device.

Moreover, I’m including a link to the poem I read at the open mic, A Brown Cinderella, and a video of me reading the poem. Thanks to Deniz Atesok, @denizatesok, for posting all the videos of the open mic! You can watch all of them here and trust me the talent displayed will blow your mind! I am including the video of Matt Ledding’s incredible juggling act.

Important links:

Matt Leddings Juggling Act

Brown Cinderella Reading


Challenge:

Explore and share the resources!

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18 Educational Apps for Halloween

Part of the Cool Sites series

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays. Kids love the spooky monsters, sounds, music, dances, treats, traditions, haunted houses, and costumes that surround the holiday. As an educator or parent that has an iPad, iPhone, or iPod you can capitalize on this time to help kids learn while celebrating the holiday. Here are free apps to help encourage math, literacy, and problem-solving skills. Some of the apps are just fun!

Apps

ScrapPad Halloween- Kids create a scrapbook with various creatures, words, and their own images. Have the students write stories to accompany their books. They can even work in pairs. They can email the scrapbooks to their parents or friends or post on Facebook. Only works on the iPad.

Halloween Card Creator- Kids create e-cards with various choices in backgrounds, characters, and their own images and text. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members.

Halloween Origami- With this great app, kids learn to create various spooky creatures in origami. Kids can watch videos after seeing the step-by-step instructions.

Halloween Counting & Words Games- Created for the iPad, this free app features 8 different learning games for kids to celebrate Halloween and learn math, spelling, and vocabulary.

Carve A Pumpkin- With this great app from Parents magazine, kids create a jack-o-lantern that lights up after it is carved. Kids can even add spooky stickers to their pumpkin. There are various pumpkins to choose from and backgrounds. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the pumpkin created. Student B must try to recreate the pumpkin by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the pumpkin to their photo library to compare. You can also have students try to carve their pumpkins in real life after the drawing.

Halloween ebook- Students read this story and it has a personal touch. Kids upload their own photos for a surprise ending at the end of the story.

Talking Skeleton- Like the famous Talking Tom app, kids speak and an animated skeleton repeats their words in a funny voice. Their messages can be recorded through video and sent to parents in an email. Have the students send Halloween greetings to their families or friends or create a video of them doing a Halloween rap.

WordSearch Halloween- This app provides several word searches. These are divided in levels from easy to difficult. Listen to scary music or your own while you play. There are over 200 puzzles under 3 categories- Halloween, costumes, and treats. This app would be great to encourage students to learn various vocabulary. Try getting the kids to then use the words the find in a story or poem.

Word Search- Another Halloween wordsearch app with cool backgrounds but less features than the above app.

Haunted Hangman- Guess the Halloween word and get a pumpkin with treats. If you lose the pumpkin is carved then becomes sad.

Make a Zombie- Students create zombies and choose from various backgrounds, bodies, clothes, eyes, hairstyles, heads, pair of legs and mouths.  A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the zombie created. Student B must try to recreate the zombie by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the zombie to their photo library to compare. You can also have your students create stories about their zombies and read them in a circle aloud.

Mash-o-Ween- This app is for teens. It is based on a famous game that I played in my teens before mobile devices were mainstream. Teens type in various options for categories and at the end this app tells their future. Have the students work in pairs then after read the fortune to each other. Some of these deal with romance, costumes, and more.

Landon’s Pumpkins- This book has several features to help kids follow along the story and learn vocabulary. At the end a recipe is given for Roasted Pumpkin seeds, which would be a great reward for a teacher to make with a class after reading a story.

It is Halloween- Kids create Halloween scenes with characters and backgrounds. They can even animate them. Have the students write stories to accompany their scenes. They can even work in pairs. They can email these to their parents or friends or post on Facebook.

Halloween Countdown- Features include a Halloween countdown with sounds, various sounds (some you pay for so be careful), ringtones, background music loops, 100s of costume ideas, wallpaper images, trivia, and a flashlight for trick-or-treating.

Halloween Voice Transformer- Only the reaper voice is free, but kids speak into the mic and record their message which then is played back in a spooky voice. Have the students email Halloween greetings or messages to their families or friends or even record a spooky story or song. Thanks to Tara Benwell for recommending this app and sending me a spooky message in my email!

Ace Math- Learn multiplication, division, and addition and celebrate Halloween. This is basic math.

MouthOff Lite- This app works best on the iPhone/iPod. Kids choose between various silly mouths and hold the device to their mouth while they talk. This always brings a lot of laughs. Encourage students to repeat vocabulary or even tell spooky stories in a circle.

If you enjoyed this post, check out other apps I recommend to encourage learning!

Challenge:

Try one of these apps and let us know how they worked for you!

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What Halloween apps have you discovered to encourage literacy?

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Free Ebook! Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Quick Tips & Resources

I believe mobile devices will transform education. This is why I created a free ebook, Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Quick Tips & Resources with helpful tips and several resources to help support this trend. One reason is because mobile devices are designed in a way that forces the teacher to give control to the learner. I believe we are creatures of habit and many teachers model their teaching after the traditional teaching methods they have been exposed to for most of their education. Sometimes, we need our environments to change to force us into breaking bad habits. In schools worldwide teachers still struggle with student-centered learning. Classrooms are designed with desks in rows and equipped with technologies that are stationary and bulky. This type of set-up makes it easy for the teacher to continue presenting information to learners. However, when we equip a classroom with iPads, iPods, small tablets, or cellphones the learning is literally put in the hands of the students. The teacher has to facilitate and walk around the room to manage the learning. I hope you find this resource useful! Feel free to copy it, pass it around, use it with your staff, and send it to anyone. You can download the PDF by clicking on the download icon which is the 3rd icon at the bottom of the ebook. It is in HTML5 so you should also be able to access this on your mobile device.

Effective Mobile Learning: 50+ Tips & Resources Ebook
Challenge:

Read the ebook and tell me what you think :-)

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Webinar & Free E-book: Project Based Learning with Mobile Devices

On Thursday, September 1st, 2011, join me for a free webinar: Project Based Learning through Mobile Devices! Thanks to SimpleK12, I will be offering this webinar as a part of a series.

Time: 1hr; 12:30pm Los Angeles, 2:30pm Houston, 3:30pm NYC, 8:30pm London, 9:30pm Paris, 10:30pm Istanbul/Athens

Register here to join & for more time zones, https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/334087202

All attendees will receive a free e-book, 50 Tips and Resources for Effective Mobile Learning

Description

Educators have realized the impact of hands-on learning for engaging and motivating learners. When students learn through projects they are able to integrate research. Various mobile devices have several features that motivate learners to create stories, videos, mindmaps, and more to share with their families and peers. As an educator, discover lesson ideas to implement in the classroom and ways to evaluate projects on mobile devices.

You will walk away from this webinar with:

  • A free E-book for all attendees only,  50 Tips and Resources for Effective Mobile Learning
  • An insight into how mobile devices can be used for engaging students.
  • An understanding of various mobile devices and their features that might be used for projects.
    Lesson ideas for classroom projects using mobile devices.
  • Ways to evaluate projects on mobile devices.

Upcoming Simple K12 Webinars I will be hosting:

Challenge:

Invite a friend or a few friends, after all this is a free event!

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