Google Maps

Google Maps is a web mapping service developed by Google. It offers satellite imagery, street maps, 360° panoramic views of streets (Street View), real-time traffic conditions (Google Traffic), and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle, or public transportation. Sourced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quick Link To Google Maps:  https://www.google.ca/maps

Google can also be used to create Literature Trips.  It is possible, using google maps, to track the journeys of characters from your favorite novels.  Students are able to put in placemarks that can include pictures or relevant research. It is also possible to track the distance that characters have traveled in the book.   Instruction on how to make a map can be found here. https://support.google.com/mymaps/#topic=3188329

Some examples created in Google Earth (easily adapted for Google Maps) can be found here:

http://www.googlelittrips.org/

Below is a list of possible chapter books that would work well with Google Maps. Thank you to the EdTechTeam Global Community for their recommendations.

Here is the list of chapter books:  https://goo.gl/573ehN

 

Choose Your Own Adventure Stories

Do you remember reading the old Choose Your Own Adventure Books?  

cyoa

Students can create these wonderful stories using either Google Forms or Google Slides.

Google Forms:

Step by Step Instructions Can Be Found Here:
https://goo.gl/n8H92a

Key Skill:  

  • Students must learn how to select “Go to section based on answer” inside their google form.
  • Don’t forget to add images to make the story more interesting.
Google Slides:

Step by Step Instructions Can Be Found Here:

http://www.controlaltachieve.com/2016/01/interactive-slideshow-story.html

Key Skill:

  • Students must learn how to link to “Slides in This Presentation”
  • Add an animated GIF to make the presentation more compelling.

 

Ipad Xmas Projects for Visualization in Reading and Writing

We know that when our students can visualize, their writing is descriptive and engaging.  Here are two seasonal projects teachers can do:

1. Create a rebus letter to Santa.

  • This can be done using applications of Book Creator or Explain Everything
  • add text and images to create the letter
  • extend the activity by asking students to include sound effects

2. Create a iMove

  • find a winter poem, and create an iMovie
  • find images, and sound effects
  • record the poem in iMovie
  • add effects and transitions
  • extension: have students create a movie for their own poemsSeasonal activities do not need to be crafts and music, try using WWP applications to create unique and engaging activities.

Research Skills

When asked about students and researching, most teachers feel that students are often lost when they begin researching online. It can be overwhelming for students, struggling to pick a topic, refining their search using keywords, or choosing valid reliable websites. It is important that teachers give students the tools they need to become critical thinkers as they search the vast web.

Probably the easiest thing to do is explain the terminology.  I am always amazed how many students and teachers, do not understand the difference between a browser and a search engine, or even what is a URL.  Students need to know that domain name in an URL can tell them so much about the owner of a site.

Before students begin research, do a general research on a topic to help students come up with key ideas or key words they could use in their search.  Use general reference sites such as WikipediSimpleWikipedia, or Wolframalpha,

It is important to ask the students to think about: Who created the site? What information is relevant, and reliable? When was the information posted? Why was the information published? Show the students a variety of different sites which are posted for fun.   I definitely like talking to students about tree octopus or flying penguins.  Use Wikipedi to show students that the sites were created for fun.

Try this fun activity

WebSitesstudent

When students are using search engines, talk to them about using key words, (“”),  (-), or  (*) if they are unsure of a word. Using the term “for kids” also refines the search for students.   If they are looking for a specific file then adding filetype:pdf to their search will limit the results to pdf only.  Substitute doc, ppt for pdf if looking for document or PowerPoint. Searching for pdf’s really is valuable for those students who have no access to internet at home.

The Google search engine has a variety of ways to narrow the search.  Try limiting search by choosing Search Tools. Search Country, Time.  Or change to “Request Desktop Site” and choose advance search and filter out words.

When you send your students off to research, make their initial researches successful by chunking the research for them.  One of our WWP teachers, (thanks Melissa) developed daily learning goals the students had to research.  Over the period of the research they collected these facts, and then were asked to present their research in a product of their choice.

Give the students choice in how to present their research and you will find that students are more willing to complete the research when they feel they have ownership for the project.

Creating Fictional Origins of Idioms

Idioms and jargons are used everyday in our lives. We know that for our EL Learners and a lot of students in our classes, idioms and jargon can be difficult.  As a literary device, idioms are extremely effective and add to “style” of writing.  Idioms are colourful, personal and vivid.   I could describe our WWP project as an effective or as a well oiled machine.  In order to have students use and understand we need to explore idioms for all our learners.

Exploring the literal  meaning of an idioms is fun and allows students to be creative with pen and pencil, or specifically with an app (Pic Collage, Explain Everything, Drawing Box etc) .fullsizerender

Years ago, students and I watched a funny podcasts from Animal Planet called Animal Crackers.  In this podcast actors portrayed two fictional and one historical story of where specific idioms originated.

Podcast

After watching one podcast an activity would be to challenge the students to create a similar type of media presentation.

  1. They could research meaning and origin of an idiom. 
  2. Create a literal and actual visual representation of idiom (as above)
  3. Create a script for two fictional origins and true origin. (Pages or Doc)
  4. Use another App to illustrate
  • Explain Everything
  • Bookcreator
  • iMovie
  • StopMotion
  • Scratch Junior