Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Well hello there stranger! & Digital Storytelling

It has been entirely too long since I have last posted. I'm surprised they haven't booted me off blogger...well if they did that sort of thing. Life has just been so crazy hectic that I haven't had the time or energy to let you know about all of the AMAZING things that I have found! BUT, not to worry! I have a list began, begun, started of new cool tools that I will be posting. It is my those aren't just for New Years, you can have one whenever you like! post once a day....ok, at least 3 times a week! Wish me luck!
Ok, now onto the GOOD STUFF! I was introduced to an awesome website called Storyjumper back when I attended the NCTIES Conference in Raleigh, NC in March. (That just so happens to be where I met the one, the only...Richard Byrne (pause for applause!)) So anywho, I just now got around to using it with a couple of my second grade groups and it is just as AMAZING as I thought it would be! This is a free website, of course. You create a teacher account and then create as many student accounts as you need under the main teacher acct. Because I work in the computer lab, I created 30 accounts, one for each computer. The children can log in at school and at home. They create a virtual hard cover book, complete with illustrations, a cover page and a dedication page. The website has a plethora of clip art, images, and scenes to use, but you can also upload your own images, which is super cool!
So how did I use this great resource you might ask? Well, my 2nd grade techies are studying insects and life cycles in science and they are working on adjectives in writing. So we read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. The students then got into partners and came up with their own story involving an insect, which they described with an adjective. Once they finished writing up a rough draft, they then logged into Storyjumper and the magic began. Because I only have them for an hour, we only got the first few pages typed, but they will come back in a week to finish typing, add illustrations, and complete their book.
The most AWESOME thing about it is, when the books are finished, the parents can go onto the site and actually buy the book for a very reasonable price of about $25-$30! Yes, they actually get a hard cover copy of the book their child created! How cool is that?! This is a great website for uploading pics of mom and writing a book for Mother's Day or the end of the year! The possibilities are endless! Click on the image below to learn more!