Category Archives: MacBook

The Power of Puzzles

What is the educational value for completing word puzzles?

This is a great question, that has been debated by many educators.

Working with spelling words and new vocabulary, seems like a justifiable use for using word puzzles.  However; when created by the teacher, the students require no creative thinking and often lack the comprehension and connection to the new vocabulary.   Sort of a worksheet in a different form.  So how do we “up” the value?  This value increases when you have them create their own word puzzles.

On the Discovery Education Site students can create

  • Crosswords

    Fallen Phrase
    Fallen Phrase
  • Word Search with Hidden Message
  • Criss-Cross Puzzle
  • Cryptograms
  • Letter Tiles
  • Fallen Phrase
  • Double Puzzles

All which link vocabulary to meaning.

After students have created their word puzzle, on the iPad hold finger on the image and download into photos.  In Photos share or upload the image into Notability and have students compete.

On macbook, right click on image and save.  Share via email or google drive then download image and add image to a notebook file and use pens to complete.





Using “Book Creator” or “Explain Everything” to create a How To Book

“How to Videos” are a craze on YouTube.  To bump up the “How to”  use Book Creator or Explain Everything.  Both of these apps give a variety of extra tools to create a better procedural writing.

Bring in artifacts, such as skipping rope, card game, etc


  • at least one video

  • a picture

  • a soundbite

  • a drawing

  • text,  explaining  sequence

  • Uses transitional words to show sequence:

  • A, B, C, and so forth.
  • first, second, third, and so forth.
  • after, afterward, and then,
  • at this point, at this time, before this,
  • concurrently, consequently,
  • finally, following this,
  • hence, next, now,
  • previously, simultaneously,
  • soon, subsequently,
  • then, therefore, thus

*Students can also use iMovie

Using iMovie to “Produce” a Poem

Use this poem to create an iMovie.

The Bluebird Poem 1

or on Canada and government

I am Canadian Poem

imovieipad2 for iPads

imovie8greenscreen for Macbooks

  1.  Read the poem
  2. Chunk the poem into parts (stanzas, couplets, etc)
  3. Find images for each of the parts (google image search, search tools, usage rights) and save to device
  4. Create a new iMovie
  5. IMovie must include:
  • Titles
  • Digital stills
  • Theme music, which fits the poem
  • Sound effects
  • Audio of reading of poem, making sure to capture the mood


Engaging Activities for Reading Poetry

Much to the surprise of my colleagues, I find it so easy to get kids to enjoy, explore and critique poetry.  Giving students opportunities to explore a variety of poems, with very little guidance, and a whole lot of sharing, opens up discussions about poetic devices, themes, and messages in poetry.   As students are exposed to these samples, they are more prepared and excited about writing and creating their own poems.

Here are few activities I have done with my students.

Puzzle Poems

  • Find poems that do not mention the subject in the piece
  • Remove the title
  • Ask students pairs/groups to read poem
  • Have the groups decide on a title, and explain their decision based on quotes from poem
  • Share as a class suggested titles
  • Discuss as class why and why not each title works
  • Finally share the Poet’s Title
  • Have students discuss/write about their agree/disagreement with the poet’s title


Poetic Device Scavenger Hunt

  • gather up a variety of poetry anthologiesBoys Reading Poetry
  • discuss with students several poetic devices, giving samples
  • In partner/groups have students search through anthologies finding examples of the these poetic devices
  • Do not stop them from sharing their favourite poems, often unexpected student will want to share a poem they connect with
  • Share findings of poetic devices as a class (post findings)
  • Allow students to explain why or why not these are examples

Poetic Device Definition

Poetic Devices Scavenger Hunt


Welcome New WWP Teachers

IMG_0262Jarrod and I would like to welcome you to teaching grade 6 or 7 in our district.  We are looking forward to another exciting and inspirational year.

In today’s session we will be reviewing the expectations of the WWP and exploring using the Macbooks for the writing process.

There are several ways for you to share documents with students, and we encourage limiting printing.  Public Folders are recommended for student and teacher sharing.  PublicFoldersetc

Teachers can also use blogs or Remote Desktop to share with students.


Revising and Editing

EditingAs teachers we sometimes forget that students often do not understand what we mean when we ask them to edit.  It is interesting when you ask them, their responses are often all related to fixing spelling and punctuation. They seem focused on editing for Conventions.   Students have to be shown how to edit for Meaning, Style and Form. They also need to be shown how to use spell check.

Editing for Meaning:

  • Ask students to have someone else read and make comments on document (insert comments) InsertCommentsInstructions
  • Using the speak selection option, have the computer/iPad read the document

Editing for Style:

  • Have students turn on Track Changes:Editingwork-trackChanges
  • In Word turn on the Readability Statistics and explain how letter and word count works
  • Ask students to use a thesaurus to change simple words to more detailed or concise words
  • Ask students to combine sentences
  • Highlight the first word in every sentence to see if they always start a sentence the same way
  • Change beginning of sentence by avoiding starting the sentence with a noun.  Try using verbs, adverbs, prepositions or clauses.
  • Give the students an electronic copy of this document:WordChoiceSuggestions

Editing for Form:

  • Have students check for topic/concluding paragraphs and topic/concluding sentences.
  • Students can copy topic sentences (paragraph) to another document and have peer read and give feed back on what the paragraph (writing) may be about. (See InsertCommentsInstructions above)

Editing for Conventions

  • Teach them how to use spell check and how to recheck a document.

Overall Editing

  • Remember to use the Quick Scales during the writing process
  • Have students highlight where they think they are on the QS and highlight excerpts of their document to prove

Using Word Clouds

Using Tagxedo
(Frisbee added with drawing app, Seashore)

Word Clouds have been out there for several years. Students input text into generator and then create a visual cloud of their words. The larger the text, the more it is used in the document.  Get your students to use them creatively in the classroom!

Here are several ways:

  1. Create a Concrete Poem
  2. Narrow ideas into keywords
  3. Highlight the important concepts/ideas in a piece of their own writing
  4. Most important points/facts about a fiction or nonfiction piece
  5. Title Page
  6. Review a concept/topic or vocabulary
  7. Create tags for website
  8. Create graphics for a presentation

The possibilites are endless.

With Macs visit these Online sites


  • allows students to write or paste text
  • change font/colour/layout
  • no choice of shape
  • cannot save, must capture screen

    Using Tagcloud an iPad app


  • allows students to write or paste text
  • change font/colour/layout
  • a selection of shapes, or upload own shape
  • save or capture screen


  • allows students to write or paste text
  • change font/colour/layout
  • no choice of shape
  • save or capture screen


ipad users can use TagCloud