Want to make your students “Beliefs”?

Makebelieve-comics

For my next blog, I have thought of writing about the comic strip maker I used in my WebQuest project. It’s seems very simple and easy to use. I’m talking about Make Beliefs Comix.

What is Make Beliefs Comix?

Make Beliefs Comix is a Web Tool that allows users, students or teachers to create comic strips. There are a number of characters, emotions, thought bubbles, speaking balloons and background colors to choose from. Students can organize the characters on each strip and add text. They have some controls with regards to layout of the characters within the strip.

Why use Make Beliefs Comix?

  • It’s Free.
  • Can use multiple languages (7 different languages.)
  • The creator is able to bring either text or pictures to front of the screen.
  • The user is able to create stories (short stories).
  • Characters can display a wide range of emotions.
  • Do not need an account to use the tools.
  • Easy to manipulate. It’s user-friendly.
  • Can e-mail or print comics immediately.
  • Has some already created comics with missing dialog.ue.
  • Fun for children and adults

How teachers can use Make Beliefs Comix:

  • Teachers or educators can use Make Beliefs Comix to create short, educational and even cute that keep students’ interest.
  • If working in a class that includes students with special needs, the teacher can have the students use the characters to display emotions. This would also be good for ESOL students.
  • The great number of languages makes it an essential tool in foreign or second language classes.
  • You can have your students use the comics (made from Make Beliefs Comix) to present and role play the situations in front of the class.
  • Instead of writing a poem and illustrating it, students could write a poem and turn it into a comic.
  • You can use created comic strips to teach character education lessons or expectations.
  • You can use it with English language learners or students with language delays to build conversation skills.
  • You can have your students to use comic to sketch stories as a pre-writing strategy.
  • Also, you can create content based comic where one character is explaining content to another (putting concepts into their own words)
  • It is also useful for practicing grammar lessons not only for young learners but also for adult learners especially in second or foreign language classes..

How students can use Make Beliefs Comix:

  • Students can use this tool for many different things, but most specifically, it is a creative outlet for students. They can be as creative as they want when making these comic strips, because the tools offers many ways to customize their strips.
  • Students can create a comic strip using that weeks vocabulary words. Allows the teacher to know the student not only knows the definition, but can also use the words in context.
  • Students can summarize stories or demonstrate other literary elements using the comic strips.
  • It helps students take ownership of their work.
  • It students learn how to use new words in sentences or dialogues.
  • Students can share their comic strips with their peers and teachers easily.
  • They can also print their comic strips immediately for teacher’s correction.
  • Students can e-mail copies of their comics.
  • Students can e-mail the comics if turning them in to their teacher.

Here’s a video on how to use Make Beliefs Comix.

 

 

Here’s a complete video tutorial about Make beliefs Comix.

 

 

I say it’s a great tool especially if you want to use more visual supports in your lessons. Why not give it a try!

To learn more about Make Beliefs Comix, you can check the 21 ways to use this tool in classrooms, or Comic Writing With Make Beliefs Comix, or this one!

Taming little monsters in class with Class Dojo!

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For those teachers who have already used Class Dojo , this blog isn’t going to be a surprise. However, for all of you teachers who are worrying about your classroom management issues, this is going to be one of the best pieces of technological advice. Cut to the chase, Class Dojo is one of the best web applications that aimed at managing your little monsters’ behavior (students) in class. I’m going to tell you, WHAT it is, WHY you (and other teachers) should use it, and HOW to use it.

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So if you haven’t heard of Class Dojo yet, it is a free piece of software (YES, you heard me right, it’s free!) that helps teachers keep track of their students’ behaviors. You can visit the website, put their class roster and start giving your students reward and even constructively criticize their behavior in minutes or so. Students (especially younger students) will love the interface and the graphics and they will get their feedback from their teacher in an instant. Students can download the student version of Class Dojo on their smartphones, desktops, tablets, or iPads personalized their profiles using avatars such as cute little monsters.

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Why should you (and other teachers) start using Class Dojo? I have seen my associate teacher (in my practicum) used Class Dojo in her class. She said that it’s her first time to use it. She has told me that it is easy to keep track her students’ participation and progress. Aside from that, parents can also download the application and see how their children perform in class, see what their children excelling at, or what they might be missing out. As teachers, we already have a pretty good idea of who is doing what, but keeping a digital list (that students find interesting and enjoy) will free up our desks from paper versions of these lists. You can use this app to decide who (from your class) is going to lead the reading, go in front to share his/her work with the whole class, be in-charge of the materials, etc. This can lessen the pressure off of the teachers to decide whom to pick for those tasks.

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Here’s a video on Class Dojo app demo…

Here are some ways to use this software in your everyday class.

  • The random feature makes picking students fun, and engaging. It also prompts you to give your students instant feedback.
  • You can reward students who are one or two points away from a higher grade those points if they have high scores on Class Dojo.
  • Based on the monsters, you can create groups. For instance, everyone with a green monster will be in group one, everyone with a monster with more than 2 eyes in group 2, etc.
  • If a student doesn’t know the answer to a question, they can call on another student and their teammate will get a “helping others” award on Class Dojo.
  • You can also take the attendance using Class Dojo.

So, it really motivates students to participate in class especially if their teacher can give them immediate feedback. So try out Class Dojo right now! I truly believe that it is an amazing app for your class. It’s straightforward, simple, free, and most importantly it will make your teaching life a little easier. As teachers we’re obligated to give our students feedback related to cognitive and non-cognitive growth. This software definitely addresses the latter.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to create a class in Class Dojo. 

Here’s a video tutorial on how to communicate with parents using Class Dojo.

How to get students into Class Dojo.

In case I have missed out more important use of Class Dojo in class, you can click this, here or this one.

A Story-telling bird in class?!

storybird

If you are worrying about making your writing class exciting and inspiring students to write and read better? Worry no more! Storybird can do the job for you.

 What is Storybird ?

 Storybird is a web-based tool that aids teachers to let students write stories based on pictures. The tool allows students to create individual stories alone or to work together on a common history or story as small or big groups. Through Storybird, teachers can let the whole class write a story collaboratively in a round robin way by writing their own text and inserting images. After which, they have the option of sharing their Storybird privately or publicly on the network. In short, storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you can make to share, read and print.

Storybird provides…

  • Art-inspired writing – Students can be inspired by its beautiful art  and jumpstarted their writing.
  • Creative writing – Teachers can let their students “unlock” stories that can be found within the art, including great themes and ideas.
  • Elegant tools – It is a user-friendly tool with easy to use features that enables its user to the creation process and helps students to stay focused.
  • Social reinforcement – Teachers can ask their students to give peer feedback to their peers. In this case, students can be actively involved in the class participation.
  • Sharable and Printable – Teachers and students can embed their stories in blogs, email to parents, download, and print stories.
  • Or Even a Fundraise to raise money for your school or class for a good cost.

Why use Storybird?

  • You can encourage reluctant students (readers in class) to read, write and participate in class.
  • There are lots of opportunities for students to work collaboratively and share their ideas while they create their own writing or story.
  • Storybird isn’t difficult to use, so teachers won’t have problems because students are easily able to navigate program to create their own storybooks.
  • Teachers can correct and review their students’ writing easily with no hassle.
  • Storybird facilitates collaboration and communication among students and teachers.
  • Users can be notified when a collaborator has added an update to a story.

To help you get started, I will be sharing some video tutorials to guide you on how to use Storybird.

How to sign up.

How to create story using Storybird.

For Educators.

If you want to know more about how Storybird can be useful in class especially in writing, you can click, or here , or this one !

11 of the many ways to use Edmodo in your class.

Haven’t heard of Edmodo?

Edmodo-logo

Edmodo Edmodo is an educational website  and a web tool that takes the ideas of a social network and refines them and makes it appropriate for a classroom. Using Edmodo, students and teachers can reach out to one another and connect by sharing ideas, problems, and helpful tips. In addition, parents can join the class to bring a level of transparency that is difficult to achieve without technology. Edmodo can be easily accessed either online or via mobile app.

For teachers, Edmodo serves as a professional resource, organizational tool, and a way to interface with students. For students, it acts as a direct communication line with their teachers and classmates.

Here is a video on how to set up your class using Edmodo.

1. Here are some ways wherein you can incorporate Edmodo in your classroom.Writing Projects for students.  Give your students enriching writing projects and experiences using Edmodo. Through writings using Edmodo, it enables students build their self-esteem and measure how far they have come during the school year with writing projects. You can ask your students to…

  • Do Blog, wherein students have to blog about any given topics or their personal interests. Aside from having to use complete sentences and demonstrate the use of correct punctuations and spellings, students are also required to put pictures or images and other website links, articles and videos related to their blogs.
  • Do “I Think.” In this writing activity, students are required to give their opinions to articles of their interests. You can display students’ posts and reviews on the interactive whiteboard so students can see and read their peers’ work.

2. Post assignments for students. Edmodo allows teachers to attach files to assignment announcements. If there is a file your students need in order to complete an assignment, they can access it at the same place they view the announcement. Less clicking is good.

3. Language Practice. If you are teaching English or any language class, you can spice up your class by having your students write and respond to questions in Edmodo. By doing this, you are able to have students practice their language skills through real life conversations.

Do you want to know more on how to use Edmodo in language class? Click.

Here is a video on how to use Edmodo in language arts or in maximizing the target language.

4. Teachers can also post messages on the “wall.” In this regard, the students will have the opportunity to ask questions to each other and their teacher. Of course, teachers can post messages for all students to read.

5. Mobile Learning. If you are wondering how to give your students an interactive and fun way of educating your students using their smartphones or iPads or other devices, Edmodo is there to help.

  • Bring Edmodo on your next field trip.
  • You can post photos and create scavenger hunt questions, polls or quizzes.
  • Edmodo is also great for backchannel discussions.

Do you want to know more on how to use Edmodo in Mobile learning? Click.  

Here is a video tutorial on how to use Backchannel Chat Edmodo.

 6. Absences and Extended leaves.  Edmodo is very useful especially for communicating when you or one of your students are unable to attend class. You can use Edmodo, to provide class notes, assignments or other important updates to students who are unable to come to class. Also, you can communicate updates or check in with your class if you are absent from school or if you have an extended leave or out of town. Worry no more, because Edmodo Sub Hub is there to help you.

7. Reading Critique and organizing book clubs. You can always take reading to the next level by having students critique each other using Edmodo. You can have students upload and listen to audio files on Edmodo. In this regard, students are able to improve their listening skills at the same time. Edmodo isn’t limited to reading alone, you can also do art critiques, writing critiques, and so on. In terms of book clubs, you can organize a book club wherein students are encourage to read and discuss novels with each other.

8. Like Facebook, Teachers can create learning groups. Teachers can group their students according to the courses they teach or create groups of students who are supposed to be working cooperatively.

9. Through Edmodo, teachers can also post a quiz for students to take. Teachers also can attach links and files to each question and answer choice. This allows you to post a document and ask students to read and respond to it. Quizzes can be in multiple choice, true/ false, fill in the blank, or short answer form. Also, it’s going to be easier for the students to immediately see their scores.

10. Edmodo is also beneficial to parents. Parent accounts allow parents to see their children’s assignments, grades and progress. Also, their children’s teachers can also send alerts to them about school events, missed assignments, and other important messages.

11. Through this web tool, teachers can connect with other teachers, join discussion groups to share ideas about lesson plans, materials, teaching strategies and other things related to teaching.

Here’s a 45-minute complete overview of how to use Edmodo. 

If you want to know more on how do it using Edmodo, click!

These are just some of the many ways on how to use Edmodo in your class. If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to click THIS , HERE , or HERE, or THIS.

To start downloading Edmodo, click here!

Technologically Inclined Classroom using iPad!

school-ipad

Ipads, Iphones, Ipods, and so on are few of the many educational tools that we can use in our classrooms. iPads can improve education efficiency and standards. Yet, the question remains, how to use them effectively in class?  Also, Many teachers wonder how to use them properly in class especially when one is not a tech-savvy. Worry no more, because I will be enumerating lots of potential uses of iPads in class.

Around the world, many schools have started using and implementing Ipads as powerful educational tools. Educators, students, and others have seen great success in using Ipads. To teachers, who would like to have paperless classrooms, take absence and presence easily, create an innovative way of testing their students, and share interactive lessons and presentations – all of these on their Ipads.

To know more about the uses of iPads in class, here is a list:

  • Easy way of taking attendance. There’s no need to take out your paper and pen just to take student’s attendance and participation wherein you have your iPad, with the help of right apps to use. Apple has already an app to take attendance for teachers called Attendance.
  • Handing in of assignments. Instead of wasting and printing lots of paper works, students can simply turn in their assignments using the app Dropbox. This helps the teacher to monitor late assignments and avoid the loss of students’ work. The teacher can easily grade them and return all of them on Dropbox.

           If you want to know how to set Dropbox app, click!

          Here is a video on how to use Dropbox app for iPad.

  • Improve students’ writing skills. You can have your students play any educational games  on their iPads and ask them to write their experience or reflection playing the games. This is very useful especially to language classes.
  • Improve presentations and lessons. If you want to create an interactive and fun way of making your presentation for your class, Nearpod is the perfect iPad app for you. It enables you to fill your presentation (lecture presentation for instance) to fill with images, pictures, text, videos and surveys. It also allows you to control the speed and flow of the lesson as students interact with the material.

      Here is a video tutorial on how to use nearpod.

  • Easy way of taking notes. Notability, which is an ipad app wherein it enables its user to take notes, record lectures and annotate PDFs, such as student assignments. Notability also allows its user to create lecture notes and other classroom materials

       If you want to know how to use Notability. Click!

  • Share and easy access lectures.  Teachers can share their lectures with students using Keynote, which is a part of iWork. Students could easily access lectures whenever they needed and were able to learn at the pace that best fitted them. Students would not worry whenever they missed their class because with one click to Keynote, they would have access to lectures from their class.

Video tutorial on how to use Keynote in class.

  • Engage students in reading. Teachers and educators have seen that iPads are efficient in getting the attention of the most disconnected students to interact actively in the classroom and have fun while learning. To have students engage more in reading, apps for Ipads such as Marvel Comics and iBooks  can do the job for teachers.

I say that iPad is oozing with lots of potentials in class. Give it a try.

In case I miss out some other uses of iPads in class, here are some related blogs you may want to read. Click, or this or here!

Click the link if you want to learn and know other useful apps for classroom using iPads. Apps!

Google Docs for your class… Anyone?

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Google Docs is a user-friendly suite of office applications wherein word documents and spreadsheets can be made, shared, modified and stored online. The documents and files are available for access anywhere (from any workstation or laptop) at anytime with an Internet connection and web browser. Also, Google Docs is just one of the many online applications offered by and related to Google.

Since I use Google Docs in two of my classes in university, I must say that it is very efficient because there is no need to bring printed documents to school. I am here to talk about some of its tremendous potential for use in the classroom.

Google Docs is useful in collaborative writing. Google Docs allows students to share their writings with their peers and teachers easily. Teachers and students can easily provide comments or feedbacks in the 24/7 classrooms. Through Google Docs, editing comes handy especially when working in teams. Each of the teams will have the opportunity and privilege to add or edit their teams’ writing at anytime and anywhere. Google docs also provides reference tools and spelling checker, which would enable students to conveniently write and work on their writings. In addition, the built in research tools gives students the chance to become involved in real world writing because the built in tool allows them to streamline the process of generating citations and links with a handy one click feature. Google docs incorporate EasyBib in order to let students create sources in their writing easily.

A video tutorial on how to set up Google Docs for collaborative writing.

Do you want to know more about Google Docs as an educational tool? Click.

Google Docs templates can help teachers to have their students work on a digital project. You can guide the learning of your students by supplying them with a uniform page format by creating your own digital templates.  To find more about templates available for text docs, spreadsheets, and presentations, check these templates.

A collaborative brainstorming using Google Docs drawing tools. The drawing component of Google Docs has available features that help students to work together to develop their ideas. Digital brainstorming sessions give Opportunities for students to work together to solve real-world problems and also require students think outside of the box to generate different solutions to solving a problem. Tools are available to create a visual mind map wherein students can use shapes, arrows, text, word art and imported images to build a visual mind map for any task.

A video tutorial on a collaborative brainstorming.

For students, they can work on computer-based homework from home, at a friend’s place, the library, a coffee shop, or at school – in short, anywhere with Internet access.

More of Google Docs for students. Click!

Teachers can also use spreadsheets to produce tests and quizzes online. Using spreadsheets provides opportunity for teachers to organize cumulative data in one sheet that is accessible to any collaborator at any time. Also, they can use spreadsheets to record and keep track of grades, attendance, or any other data.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to do an online quiz!

Like technology, Google Docs is continually improving, evolving, adding other features, and becoming more efficient and useful in classrooms. I say, give it a try!

If you want to know more on how you can use Google Docs in class, click or here!

Looking for an educational tool? Try Evernote!

Evernote Peek

Evernote is a kind of web tool that allows its users to record voice notes, take notes, uploads images, documents, and PDFs, and capture images or information in any environment using whatever device you are most comfortable with. Through Evernote, the information is easier to access and search at any time, from anywhere. Without further ado, let me educate you on how to use Evernote as an educational tool.

Why use Evernote in education?

  • It helps everyone to easily remember things using computer, smartphones, and the web.
  • It stores all essential documents or information in one place.
  • It allows its users to simply add class notes, homework, lesson plans or syllabus, research papers, or anything related to education to their Evernote account.
  • It enables teachers and students to organize their notes and important documents into different notebooks.
  • If you have an iCloud account, Evernote syncs all your notes to the cloud, so you would have access to it easily. It will also serve as your backup storage in case of loses in documents.
  • Like other social networking tools, Evernote allows its users to share their notes with other users through email, or any social media.

You can go to the education section of Evernote, which is called Evernote for Education, if you want to learn more about how it can be beneficial to teachers and students.

More of Evernote in Education? Click or here! 

Few of the many ways teachers can incorporate Evernote in class.

  • It enables the teachers to take and save important notes in class or in a conference for later review or use.
  • Teachers can make a notebook containing important notes, such as review materials, class notes, readings, references, etc. In this regard, it will be easier for teachers to share these with their students. Also by sharing the URL, they will be able to allow students to simply see the changes in teachers’ notebooks.
  • Teachers can also create lists of the things to do and work logs using the recording tasks in Evernote.
  • It helps teachers organize their notes into different notebooks. Also, it helps teachers organize their classes using tags.
  • If unable to come to class, you can use Evernote to share a notebook with a substitute teacher containing lesson plans, quizzes, worksheets, answer keys, assignments for the students, references, etc.)

Few of the many ways students can use Evernote in studying.

  • It helps students to easily take notes in class and organize their notes into notebooks.
  • It enables students to scan teacher’s handouts, worksheets, textbooks, etc., with the use of a camera. In this case students won’t need to worry about losing important documents or any original copies of documents.
  • With the use Evernote, students has the option to simply create notebooks where they can organize and store their class projects, files, documents, school events or calendars, assignments, research works, and many more.
  • If students don’t feel like writing notes in class, Evernote allow them to simply record audio notes on their smartphones for teacher’s lecture.
  • They can also share their notes with their classmates or even collaborate with any of their classmates on their homework or any given group work.

Related reading on how students can benefit from Evernote. click!

 

Video tutorials on  Evernote.

– Overview on Evernote.

– For teachers.

– Notebook sharing.