Posts tagged ‘writing’

PowerPoint – How To Use it in the Classroom So It’s Innovative

“Powerpoint could be the most powerful tool on your computer. But it’s not. Countless innovations fail because their champions use PowerPoint the way Microsoft wants them to, instead of the right way.” Seth Godin

Some people hear the word PowerPoint and cringe but just like all technology, PowerPoint is only a tool. If the tool is used correctly, it can be effective, powerful and transform learning. PowerPoint has gotten a bad rap because it has been used ineffectively so many times for presentations. Incorporating PowerPoints into your classroom as a tool can help promote all 4 c’s (create, communicate, collaboration and critical think) of the 21st century. Here are 3 ways I have used PowerPoint in my classroom to take PowerPoint to the next level.

1. Who remembers ‘Choose Your Own Adventure Books’? They are fun to read but even more fun when the students are creating their own and reading each others. You can easily create choose your own adventure books by using PowerPoint and hyperlink the different slides. Having the students start with a story board to draft their ideas and thoughts before beginning helps the students be more productive when they start the PowerPoint. Creating ‘Choose Your Own Adventure Books’ helps students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop an innovative product. You also can connect multiple Common Core Standards such as W3, W4, W5, W6. Check out this site for more information and examples of Choose Your Own Adventure.

2. You can use PowerPoint software so students can create multimedia projects on any subject matter.  You can have the students take their PowerPoint and share them with the world by embedding them into blogs or wikis. Students can create ebooks by using a site called flipsnack. Having students create a non-fictional book using PowerPoint, demonstrates mastery of a concept and is a great way to informally or formally accesses a student without paper and pencil. Have the students create an ebook on the rock cycle and turn it into an ebook for the other students. Here is an example on Rhinoceros:

3. Another way  you as an educator can use PowerPoint is by making an interactive quiz using PowerPoint. Create a quiz and have students use it to guide their learning and goals. Take it to the next step and have the students make the quizzes for each other, this way the students are using their 21st century skills while mastering the concept. Check out this video for a how to guide of making interactive quizzes using PP:

I would love to hear other ways teachers are having students use PowerPoints in the classroom. Please share in the comment section.

Applying 21st Century Skills with Common Core and Trading Cards

“Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”  by Richard Paul

My new favorite FREE tool for the classroom, for grades 3-12, is Trading Cards; which is an iOS App and also web based  by ReadWriteThink. This tool is user-friendly  and allows students to practice 21st century skills with integration of Common Core Curriculum. The Trading Card tool gives students a choice to demonstrate their literacy knowledge by creating a trading card about a real or fictional character.

When you use this tool in the classroom, the learners apply all their 21st century skills. The students  have to….

– critically think about the information they need to write in each section. The sections have guiding questions to help the students if they need it.

– communicate the information in 120 characters or less per section.

– create the card adding a picture of the character they are describing.

– collaborate if you have the students work together.

The tool is user friendly and the creator can chose different backgrounds/designs and can also organize the cards by putting them in different collections. My favorite feature is that you can also share the cards multiple ways. One way is you can download them to your camera roll and then upload them to Edmodo or Gaggle accounts and have class discussions about the cards. Having students create cards based on characters in their books help them think about perspective in a creative way. This is also a great way for students to reflect on a biography they have read to synthesize the information.  There are a lot of lesson plans already created for grades 3-12, check them out here.

Here is the one I created on Steve Jobs on my iPad, then saved it to my camera roll.


If you have used ReadWriteThink- Trading Cards in the classroom I would love to know how; please share in the comment section.

10 Reasons You Should Blog with Your Students

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list.” Unknown


Blogging is a powerful tool that meets many Common Core Standards for grades K-12. It also provides students with higher order thinking skills across all subjects. You can blog in math by having the students reflect on their topic such as fractions and how it connects to the real world. In Social Studies, you could have students give their opinion on a topic such as a new law or you can have students synthesize a science experiment. Here are my top ten reasons why students should blog no matter what age or subject area.

It teaches the students to…

1. be authentic writers

2. how to communicate with digital tool

3. be effective digital citizens

4. that they have a voice

5. how to comment through comprehending as well as critiquing

6. to understand other perspectives and cultures

7. to build strong content knowledge

8. to reflect on their work and ideas

9. to draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support their ideas

10. to produce and publish writing

Creating expectations and a rubric of how you want your students to blog is helpful when you are first starting. It’s important to set a purpose for each blog post and emphasize the content! Remember you can add mutlimedia such as hyper links, videos etc. to blog posts as well. Having kids that are in Kindergarten blog through using pictures is a great way to start teaching them about digital footprints.

Here is a great link that has some tips in helping you get started with blogging in your classroom.

Please share the ways you have used blogging in your classroom.

%d bloggers like this: