A Common Craft Inspired Project

My students spent some time a few months ago studying conflict in literature.  They learned about four major types of conflict:

– Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Nature, Character vs. Society

As a culminating project the students created Common Craft inspired videos displaying some of the examples they noticed in their book club novel.

Enjoy and be inspired! Flip cameras rock!

Using Blog Badges To Motivate Students

My 4/5 GT students all have their own blogs, which can be found on the sidebar of my classroom blog, and they are all extremely proud of their blogs and get visitors and comments from students all across the country.  Ok, so you get the picture: my students blog and THEY LIKE IT!

Well, we recently completed an interactive simulation on establishing a colony.  This simulation lasted three weeks,  almost everyday for 15-40 minutes, depending on the day.  My kids loved this simulation and were excited to find out which colony had the most wealth units and was to be declared “Mr Atkinson’s Most Successful Colony of 2010.”  Of course I painstakingly deliberated over what I could do to celebrate this, and since my school can’t use food as any type of award I had to think outside the box.  That’s when it came to me…

Badges and Certificates!

I decided to create a badge that the winners had the privilege of displaying on their blog, as well as give them a paper certificate to be able to hang at home.  This, to my surprise was a huge hit!

Here is a picture of the badge I created on Adobe Illustrator:

I like the idea of using badges to promote healthy competition and a sense of pride with certain competitive projects.  I downloaded the vector for the badge here:  Web 2.0 Badge Vectors

Once I created the badge to be what I wanted it to I stored it in the public folder of my Dropbox and used an image embed script to add it to a “text” widget in Edublogs on each of the winning students blog sidebar.

In conclusion I like the idea and plan on expanding on it more in the future!

The Power Of A PLN Inspires My Elementary Students!

My 4/5 Gifted and Talented students recently published some of their own stories in writing workshop.  They were working collabratively on these stories in their writing circle group.  My students published them via Google Docs and then blogged the link on their individual blogs. 

On Friday the 30th we had a chew and view day.  So as the bubbles blew, and the laughter grew, my students intently read each others stories and had a grand ole time commenting on each others pieces.  As my students were reading I thought to myself (I know thinking on a Friday!), why not tap into my PLN for a little bit of quick inspiration for my students. 

I sent out a Tweet:

The tweet linked up my students most recent post (via a shared feed on Google Reader).  Within minutes I had 15 views of the Bit.ly link (I love the Bit.ly API!).  So I turned on the projector and popped up the Bit.ly screen for my students to see:

Cheers and applause rang out, and the occasional: “we’re famous.”  Needless to say a quick 2 minute Tweet inspired my students that afternoon and amplified their own pride and joy in their writing!  Thanks PLN!  Just think even a click can make a difference!

If you have a minute click this link!  And if you have a few more minutes leave a comment on one of my student’s blogs.


My Students Are Blogging!

I am so excited about all the amazing things my students are doing this year. They all now have their own blogs and you can find them at the following addresses; please come comment!

My Classroom Blog

Student Blogs:

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