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Showing posts from April, 2015

Planning A Publisher Brochure

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Finding the balance between creative presentation and content quality can be difficult. Our 4th grade classes are conducting research on Indiana counties. The teachers would like them to display their results in a series of travel brochures. The real lesson is learning about our state and reinforcing research skills, not how desktop publishing.

We decide that a Microsoft Publisher file would be the best method. Once they gave me a rough draft of content, I built a template for them. They also created a sample brochure with content, so that students have an idea of what it will look like before they begin researching.

To help maintain a consistent look among all the brochures, I placed items that should not be changed onto the Master page. This includes headlines, decorations and instructions for inserting each photo. Once a picture has been added, it will cover up the insert instructions. Students have the capability of removing elements that should only be modified, but I have not f…

Whom Shall I Fear

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In an ever changing world, we have an unchangeable God. Another great reminder in teacher's meeting this morning.

God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:5,6,8

Captioning Video Instructions

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Engage multiple learning styles by adding captions to your videos. Sometimes it is easier for me to show students how to do something on the computer. But when I show the entire class, invariably there are a handful who didn't pay attention.

Instead of repeating the process multiple times for a few individuals, I've taken to capturing the processes in video. This way students can rewind and review the steps as often as they need.

With a classroom set of headphones slowly deteriorating, occasionally a student complains about not being able to hear the audio. Sometimes I did not capture it with the best quality and other times the room can be too noisy to hear the video.

My solution is to add closed captions! Inside YouTube I can go to Video Manager, select the video to edit and choose Subtitles & CC. The process for adding captions is straightforward and can be edited at any time. The longer the video though, the longer it will take to transcribe.

One thing I noticed was t…

Exploring Literature with Minecraft

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Shipwrecked with only sinking supplies and your wits, sounds like another Minecraft adventure! Through the end of school the Minecraft club will be exploring the book Swiss Family Robinson by recreating each chapter. Students are also keeping a journal of their adventure (pictured).

An interesting comment came early on by a long time Minecrafter. This young man informed me that it would be easy to survive on the island. He already knew how to craft several items and how to find supplies. But then I pointed out that he really had no idea if any of those things were even available. This was the point of day one, collect everything you might need from the ship before going a shore.

A couple groups did well at sticking together, talking to each other and working towards a common goal. We did lose one person at sea and a few had trouble leaving gold behind. After twenty minutes, another "expert" realized they did not bring any food with them, and that hunting was not an easy opt…