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Curious Words for Visual Storytelling

17 Dec

CuriousWords_0Curious Words is a visual storytelling app from the makers of Oh No Fractions! and Curious Ruler.  Random words stimulate the child to explore the world around them, illustrating such words with what they see. Instead of drawing the word with a still picture, they can shoot a one second video – just the right length to capture a gesture, a movement, a shadow, or a smile.  A final movie is assembled with voice over and music once the child has “illustrated” up to 12 words.  The final results are unique mini films that capture the way a child sees the world.

CuriousWords_IconThe interface of Curious Words is clean and simple, allowing the child to focus on the visual exploration creative task.  Kids can even control the sequence of words by double tapping on a word to pick one from a list. Parents, teachers, and peers can collaborate with children in their visual exploration and creation.

Watch this video to learn more, check out some Curious Words creations, and visit their website to learn more! 

Gepeto for Next Generation Storytelling

15 Dec

20141031132644-gepeto-darkblueGepeto is an app that makes storytelling truly interactive. Kids can use puppets to craft and record stories instead of writing or typing. It has a uniquely open platform that allows kids to create narratives the way they would during play – using their voices and physical movements.

GepetoWith Gepeto, kids can use characters they draw, ones they take photos of, or ones great illustrators from around the world have made for them. Gepeto empowers kids to not just be passive consumers of media but instead be active participants in making, and sharing content they invent. Their goal is to give kids, parents, and teachers easy to use, yet powerful creative tools and then see where their imaginations will take them.

Gepeto is currently crowdfunding and is looking for support from lovers of storytelling. Visit their campaign page to learn more!

TIME For Kids Classroom App for Interactive Current Events

14 Dec

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 1.33.35 PMYou may know TIME For Kids from their classroom magazine and now their Classroom App makes it easy to view this content on a tablet.  Their app for iPads can help students build digital literacy skills while learning about current events and reading high quality informational text.  Students can access multimedia including video, photos, maps, and other interactive features.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 1.33.25 PMWith The TIME For Kids Classroom app educators have access to reporting and lesson plan tools and can accommodate different reading levels.  Select content is translated into Spanish and there is also a read-aloud feature.  Students can access definitions of keywords throughout the text.

The TIME For Kids Classroom app has a free trial through 12/31 so teachers can check it out before signing up for the subscription service!

Dr. Seuss Treasury for 50+ Digital Books

11 Dec
Icon512_TransparentCornersThe Dr. Seuss Treasury app gives you easy access to 50+ classic Dr. Seuss books in a single, portable, digital library. Each book is a dynamic and interactive reading experience, complete with custom narration and sound effects, tappable words and pictures, and 3 reading modes that help even the youngest of readers connect with each story.
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Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 12.45.06 PMFind your favorites easily using the Sort feature – you can organize all 55 books alphabetically, by series/reading level, or year published. Parents and teachers can use the new Reading Stats feature inside the Parents section to track books and hours read, individual words tapped, and pages turned. Explore the app using a 7 day free trial, then subscribe and save or unlock the whole app with a one-time in app purchase.
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It’s a great deal for anyone looking to round out their classroom library, diversify the Dr. Seuss content they normally cover, and keep students engaged in learning how to read.  Check it out today!

Differentiated Reading Instruction with News-O-Matic

6 Dec

IMG_0041Last month I shared some of the great features from News-O-Matic‘s new update and there is one more you are sure to love.  Teachers using this app can choose between different reading levels for students.  Each article is adapted by News-O-Matic’s editorial team to fit three reading levels (400L-600L, 600L-750L and 750-1050L).  These categories are connected to ranges of Lexile levels – a readability measure that helps measure text complexity. Teachers can assign different reading levels to each student in their class so they automatically receive news articles on their tablet that are the right level for them.

IMG_0042This new feature makes it simple to differentiate reading instruction in your classroom with a few taps of your screen.  There is also a Read-to-Me option that directly connects with each reading level.  So each article has been recorded three times, once for each reading level.  Students can listen to the article read aloud at their individual reading level.

Enter to win a full free year of News-O-Matic promotion by tweeting: “Hey @ClassTechTips! I want to try out @News_O_Matic in my classroom because ___________”   

*make sure to follow @ClassTechTips to enter – a winner will be announced on 12/15/14

Blasts from StudySync for Sharing Student Opinion

5 Dec

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StudySync’s Blast feature offers a real-world, read-write connection for students, giving them the opportunity to share their opinions on a variety of topics. You’ll be able to help students answer the question, What’s happening in the world today? and learn about what your students think about those current events.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 10.33.05 AMBlasts are one of the many resources offered within StudySync’s award-winning core ELA curriculum.  Designed for grades 6-12, they include short reading and writing assignments based on timely, high-interest topics.  Students respond in short answer format, participating in thoughtful discussion with other students across the globe.  Not only are Blasts engaging, they are a great way to build critical thinking, writing, and research skills!

Watch the video or sign up for a free trial to learn more!

Exam Prep with Academic Help

2 Dec

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 9.18.06 AMAcademic Help is a great resource to share with students preparing for mid-year or end of term exams.  Middle school and high school students will find that Academic Help has tons of guides to help young writers.  Their website provides free writing guides and samples of different types of papers.  This includes examples of critical essays, narrative essay, application letters, and even tips for creative writing.  The resources on Academic Help are totally free and work for a range of age levels.

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There is a section of Academic Help’s site dedicated to general writing tips and do’s and don’ts for each type of writing assignment.  Teachers can use the samples on this site as mentor pieces for a writing unit or direct struggling students to Academic Help for extra examples.

Explore their website to see how they can help students prepare for exams this year!

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