Saturday, July 11, 2015

It's So Easy Being Green...

Green....the color of frogs, leaves, grass and book reviews??!?!?

I've recently returned from #ISTE2015 in Philadelphia and my head is swimming with ideas and inspiration for the upcoming school year.  In my zeal to get started, I've begun dabbling with Green Screen by Do Ink which I heard MANY folks talking about at the conference.  Green Screen makes it easy to create green screen videos and images from your iPad or iPhone.

Here's a quick overview on how Green Screen works.  Green Screen technology allows you to superimpose your subject onto a virtual background.  To do this takes a green background of some sort.  I obtained my green screen via a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics.  I purchased 2 yards of Multipurpose Craft Material in a clover green color and simply taped it to a bare wall.  I've heard of others using chart paper or even using construction paper taped to pizza boxes for a smaller stage.

 I then placed my ipad on a stand and did my best to balance/angle the ipad so that the green fabric backdrop was the only thing captured in the app.

To use the Green Screen app, you'll need to know the basic components.  Green Screen has 3 layers.  The bottom layer appears in the back of any video you create, and the middle layer in front of that.  Any components placed in the top layer will be in the very front. Elements on the middle and upper layers use chroma filters to make portions of the image transparent letting the background show through.  For this project, green is the key chroma color.  Anything green will disappear and the image behind it will show through.

Here's a quick tutorial:

For my Green Screen project I decided to add a little Super Power into student book reviews with a little app mash up.  I began by using a comic themed app called Half Tone to create a superpower backdrop for my green screen video.  

I placed these images on the bottom layer as it is the backdrop that I wanted all the action to take place in front of.  Students are to then use a graphic organizer to plan out their book review summaries that really provide crraack....whaaam....and baaam!  Once they've planned their summary, they step in front of the green screen and using the Green Screen app, their image and words are recorded like this...


If you'd like a template, tutorial, images and/or resources to do this yourself, check out this link!!!

Green Screen recording with Do THAT's using yoursmarticles!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Feeling Tour-iffic!!

While exploring new modes of delivery in my classroom, I've discovered Google Tour Builder, an outstanding way to put multiple varieties of content  (websites, text, video clips, images) into my students hands so they can explore and learn at their own pace....and it's tour-iffic!!

If you haven't seen Google Tour Builder, I recommend taking a look at this Egypt Tour that I made for Sixth Grade Social Studies:

Here are a couple of sample screen shots:

When creating this tour, I used my existing content for Egypt and 'packaged' it into a Tour of the Nile.  Students  click one link to access the tour, take notes on the tour as they read text, visit locations, watch videos and view images.  (***please note, tours cannot be used on i-pads at this time***)  At each stop, students record critical vocabulary, view essential questions and complete a 3-2-1 Postcard documenting their experiences.....3 facts, 2 opinions and 1 question.  It's a GREAT way to make curriculum self-directed, engaging and interactive.

Here is a link to my note taking sheets and 3-2-1- Postcard Template.

What is TourBuilder?  What can it do?

Tour Builder is a way to show select places using Google Earth platform.  It lets you pick locations right on the map and add photos, text, links and video and then share your creation.

Google Tours are great for any event that spans multiple locations.  It creates a path or demonstrates a journey in a visual interactive way.

Some examples of great Google Tour ideas:

  • Literature Trips - Mark the journeys of characters in novels on the surface of Google Earth.  So MANY have already been created!
  • Travel Summaries - Have students tell the story of their own travels
  • Story Telling - Have students write their own stories involving several locations
  • Biographical Events (Here's one I created featuring the architectural works of Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Retelling of Historical events
  • A collection of locations (i.e., museums, football teams, historical monuments, etc)
How do I create using Tour Builder?

Watch this tutorial:

Access this website for Google's own tutorial pages:

No matter what you choose to include in your tour, I KNOW you'll use Your Smarticles!!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Classroom Cagers That AR-n't Mediocre!

Finding ways to integrate technology into the classroom in purposeful, meaningful ways is a slam dunk!.  With a little ingenuity, just about any app can be ad'app'ted to meet the needs of your classroom.

Yesterday our focus word of the week was MEDIOCRE.  It's neither a good word, nor a bad one. Nonetheless, in my flipped classroom concept, the students interacted with the vocabulary word by viewing a video (via Edmodo) and completing a Word Activity Sheet. They do this with the promise that in class we will play a class game featuring the word of the week.

For the word, MEDIOCRE, our class game involved the FREE augmented reality app called:  AR Basketball.

My muse for this lesson came from a video the students had seen featuring the reading strategy of context clues and the word MEDIOCRE.  Here's the video from Learning Upgrade  In the video, the singer states that Zac is a mediocre basketball player.  He is neither a good player, nor a bad player.  You can say he is somewhere in between.  
In the end our objective was to determine the most MEDIOCRE basketball players in the classroom using AR Basketball. When you open the AR Basketball app, AR Basketball provides a target that you aim the ipad towards.  When the target activates, a virtual basketball net appears.

 Here's how the class game works:

-Open the AR Basketball App

-Activate Single Player Mode (no log-in or account needed)
-Enter Training Mode

-The time is set to 5 minues
-Students take turns shooting to obtain a score. To shoot, pull back on the small basketball and works best if you use a mediocre amount of force!!
- At the end of 5 minutes, record every team's scores.
-Calculate the mean to determine the most MEDIOCRE team!!

AR Basketball for vocabulary is an alley oop using Your Smarticles!!