Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Everyone Needs a Brain Break...

GoNoOdle is a great site offering free brains breaks for the classroom.  All students come to class but not with the same home experiences.  Some have had plenty of rest and plenty of food, some have not;  some come to school ready to use their energy to learn, some come ready to use their energy for anything but learning; and there are some who come to school with no energy at all...this is where GoNoOdle comes to the rescue.  GoNoOdle is a great site offering videos lasting anywhere from one and a half minutes to 7 minutes, promoting physical activity that can be done in the classroom.

GoNoOdle is kid friendly.  The look and feel appeals the students in your classroom.  Teachers set up their class in GoNoOdle and choose a silly "champ" or mascot (like the one below) to encourage your students to get up and move.

The videos provided by GoNoOdle encourage different physical activity like running, dancing, and stretching - pretty much anything to promote movement.  The videos are from Zumba for Kids, YouTube, some GoNoOdle Games.

Once you have your GoNoOdle classroom set up the class mascot offers words silly words of encouragement and keeps the class on track by keeping count of the number of minutes that the class has spent in movement.  Once the class has accomplished the set goals then GoNoOdle will take the class to a new level and allows the class to pick a new champ.  

GoNoOdle is fun and engaging and does a great job of giving kids the brain breaks they need.  

YAKiT Kids = Fun, Fun, Fun...

Oh my goodness...there are no words for the fun YAKiT Kids creates!  YAKiT Kids is an app that allows users to bring their photos to life.  Photos can be taken from the device's camera roll or camera or choosing photos from a web search.  After choosing your photo you then add a mouth, which you can create or use a pre-exiting mouth from the options. After choosing a mouth you can also add extras such as a face which includes, eyes, eyebrows, and noses.

You can even include other elements  provided by YAKiT Kids, such as talking characters, special effects such as confetti, smoke, rain clouds, and even props that include the sun, glasses, money, and various other items. 

Not only is YAKiT Kids loads of fun, incredibly easy to manipulate, but it's FREE! Yep, you read correctly, it's free. 

The YAKiT Kids app can used to to enhance and reinforce learning.  YAKiT Kids can be used to demonstrate understanding of various skills such as  presenting facts about a historical figure, having a character tell the summary of a book or story, or it could even be used to prove understanding of science topics such as weathering and erosion, phases of matter, or even science vocabulary.  I see the uses for YAKiT Kids as being endless.  And the best part...kids are having so much fun they forget they are learning!  

Here is a sample of a quick YAKiT Kids that I created from a picture of my nephew's steer which he showed at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodoe...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An App of Fun...

While attending TCEA 2014, I learned about a fun, new (new to me) app called ChatterPix. I had so much fun playing with this app I could hardly wait to share it with my teachers!

ChatterPix can make anything talk...yes, that's correct anything.  ChatterPix is also incredibly easy.  You simply choose a photo from your camera roll or take a photo, draw a line for the mouth, record your voice and suddenly you have a talking picture.  ChatterPix also allows you to decorate your project with stickers, frames and filters to give your talking picture even more personality!

ChatterPix also allows you share your creation through email, FaceBook, YouTube, or you can save it to your camera roll.  I can see many opportunities to use ChatterPix in the classroom.  This app could be used to to show understanding of characters, give summaries of assigned readings, it could also be used to define math terms and shapes. ChatterPix could also be used to teach the alphabet and words that begin with the appropriate letters. Depending on your imagination, the possibilities with ChatterPix are endless.

Here is a sample one of my students created...