With the Venn Diagram app, students are able to create Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast, with up to 3 circles. When working in the Venn Diagram app, students were able to customize the circles; they could decide the colors and the size of each circle, and where to position it on the screen. Each circle is able to be labeled and named, except for the middle circle (the compare circle). Students are able to type for each category, but they have to move what they typed to the correct square. Drafts are able to be saved on each Venn Diagram, that can be edited. But when the final copy is saved, it is no longer able to be edited. The final copy is then saved at a photo. When saving the final copy, 2 files are saved: one with the Visual Venn Diagram, and a list of all items found in the Venn Diagram. Below are samples of student Venn Diagrams. We are currently learning about farms, so they each made a Venn Diagram of farms that produce animal-based products, farms that produce plant-based products, and farms with both animal and plant-based products. An account must be created to use the Venn Diagram app. Since this was the first time I was using this app, I created my own account and had students work under it. All the Venn Diagrams say created by Sara, but they were created by various students.
2. Teacher Product- K3 Room 14 PowerLearning Page
PowerLearning is a Website that connects to PowerSchool and acts as a classroom website for teachers, parents, and students. In order to access PowerLearning, each user needs to have a login ID and password. For our school, this is the same login and password needed for all platforms- school website, Google and Gmail, etc. As a user of PowerLearning, you can have your own classes- which would be the classes your students enroll in and have access to- and e-portfolios- where students could showcase their work. As a teacher in each class, you have access to Pages, Calendars, Messages, Activities, and Grades. In pages, this is where teachers can put information about the classroom. For me, I update the pages each week, informing the parents of what is going on in our classroom. In my pages, I have areas for PYP and the unit we are currently covering, Math, Language Arts (which includes Reading, Writing, Handwriting, and Phonics), Online Resources, and pictures of different activities going on in school. The calendar is a great option to post all the upcoming events, breaks, and birthdays. What is nice about the calendar is that it will sync will Google Calendars you have already created! There are two subsections under the Messages tab- Announcements and Inbox. The inbox can be used like an email inbox, but it can only be accessed through PowerLearning. The Announcements sections is for exactly that, announcements. When you make an announcement, you can decide the order of the announcements by having the most important announcement always on top. You can also set an expiration date for the announcements, allowing them to delete automatically instead of the user going in manually to delete the announcement. I use the announcement section a lot, because as a kinder teacher we have a lot of different events and activities to keep track of, especially towards the end of the year. Under the activities tab, there are sections for assignments, assessments, discussion and polls. Since my students are younger, I do not really use these sections. But for teachers of middle and high school, this is a good option to generate online communication, if you do not already use another platform such as Google Classroom. Under the Grades tab, there is an attendance and grades section. These are both useful tools, and what is nice is that once you create an attendance chart or gradebook, all students are already added as long as the are in the PowerLearning system. What is odd is that PowerSchool also has attendance and grades, but does not sync up to the attendance and grades in PowerLearning. As a communication tool, PowerLearning is a great option!
3. Teacher Product- Miss Sara's Mimio Notebooks
A Mimio is a tool that is used to turn a regular Whiteboard into an interactive Whiteboard. Like other interactive whiteboard technologies- Smartboards, Promethean Boards, etc.- the Mimio Tool comes with its own software and program, Mimio Notebook. Mimio Notebooks are presentations that can be created to use with a class. When working in a Mimio Notebook, there are basic tools and functions to use. These are the following options: pointer (which allows you to move items around the screen), pen/brush, highlighter, eraser, zoom in, shape creator, insert (image or screen clipping), typed text, line styling, transparency, and gallery browser. A nice feature about the Tool Bar is that it can be moved all around the screen, allowing users to have access the whole screen surface! Creating a notebook file is the same as creating a PowerPoint or Google Slide Presentation- you work in a slide and add a new one to continue the presentation. As you add more slides, the compilation of slides scrolls along the right side of the notebook file. There is also a status bar that allows users to navigate a notebook file both in presentation and working view. Along the status bar are the following features: open files, save files, print, cut, copy, paste, delete, undo, redo, new page, new activity, go backwards, go forwards, zoom in, zoom out, zoom full, and fullscreen mode. I use the Mimio Notebooks in all areas of my teaching. Below are samples of the 4 main notebooks I use: Morning Meeting, Language Arts, Math, and PYP. What I enjoy most about the notebooks is that I can insert files. For Language Arts we work with Handwriting Without Tears, and each of my students has their own workbook. What I do is scan the pages from the book and insert into my Mimio Notebook. It allows me to work right along with the students, and allows all students to see what I am doing, from anywhere in the classroom. The only downfall with the Notebooks is when using it with a projector, it is sometimes too high for my kindergarteners to use. I would love for it to be more like a moveable Smartboard that can lower for shorter students. The Mimio Notebooks are a great presentation tool that is an excellent option for an Interactive Smartboard!
4. Student Product- ChatterKid
ChatterKid is an app that allows users to make audio photographs. With the app, students decide if they want to take a photo, or use a pre-existing photo. Once a type of photo has been selected, the creator then needs to give the picture a, “talking mouth,” someone on the photo; they do so by drawing a line with their finger. They can draw this line anywhere- it does not have to be right over the mouth. After the mouth has been selected, then they can record their message. When recording, you only have 30 seconds to record. Depending on the student, that may be long or two short. For my students, 30 seems just about right for what were were creating. After the recording is complete, then you can start to decorate and edit your picture. When editing, the first option is to choose a filter; there are many different of types of filters, but there is also the option of using no filter. After a filter has been selected, you selected stickers you want to add to your photo. There are a variety of stickers- glasses, hats, facial hair, holiday stickers, etc.- and you can add as many as you want. The stickers can be placed anywhere on the photo, with size and direction being editable as well. After you have selected your desired stickers, you can select a border for the photo. Just like with filters, you have the option of using a border, but you do not have to. And finally, you can type and add any text you want on your photo. When you are finished, you have the option of saving the photo you created to your device, but it will also automatically save to gallery of the ChatterKid app. I just recently found this app and used it with my students, but they loved it! What the kids (and I) like about it is that you can add as much as you want to the picture. In the future, I would use this as a getting to know you activity or a mystery game. I would have the students create their pictures (make them unrecognizable as possible) and give three facts about themselves, and then have others try and guess who it is. This would be a great activity to do with students or even parents! This is a simple product, but for my students it is a fun and creative way to use photos. It also introduces them how to edit photos in a safe, fun way. Take a look below at some of the creations kids can make!