Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Shift Happens": Remixed and Updated Again

I think I have posted all of the "Shift Happens" videos, originally created by Karl Fisch. Here is another remix that emphasizes the statistics that reinforce why we need to teach students 21st century skills. Everyone involved in education should watch this - teachers, parents, and administrators.

Practice Grammar with Grammarman!

Grammarman is a site where you can follow the story of the hero Grammarman, who saves the world from the evil villian, Sammy Colon. There are 6 stories written in comic strip style where you can choose to read the comic on your own, listen to the author read it to you, or watch it as a short movie on YouTube. This is great for English Language Learners! The comic, as you might notice, is filled with grammatical errors, which you have to find. Check your answers at the end of the comic to see if you identified all of them! I must admit this site is a lot of fun, and the creator of the site is a published children's book author and English teacher. Check it out!
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Monday, March 9, 2009

Kidspiration: Customizing Clip Art

Did you know you can customize the clip art colors in Kidspiration? Why would you want to do this? Well, if a student is looking for a picture of a child or an adult to respresent themselves or someone they know, they may not find a good representation in the clip art library. When you add the clip art to the page and select the clip art, the colors that are used for it will be listed along the bottom toolbar (see below).

Once the colors appear at the bottom, click the skin color or the hair color to see a color palette so you can choose a different color for your clip art. This allows you to personalize clip art to be more realistic to what people look like. (see below)

Scholastic Keys: Spell Check

When teaching students Max Write (primary version of Microsoft Word), remember that spell check works a little bit differently. For example, in the regular Microsoft Office when students are presented with a red squiggly line underneath of a word, they know that they have spelled the word wrong. Right-clicking on the red squiggly line would give the student choices of correct words to choose from. Right-clicking on the red squiggly line DOES NOT WORK in Max Write. When students see the red squiggly line in Max Write, they need to click the "spell check" button on the top toolbar to activate spell check.

**Please note: the spell check button is not available in Max Show (PowerPoint), even though the red squiggly line appears underneath the misspelled word. Max Count (Excel) and Max Data (Access) does not offer any spell check features at all.