Graphic Project Using Canva

For my visual/graphic that I created, I used Canva. After reading the article presented in our homework, I wasn’t quite sure which tool I wanted to use. Both Piktochart and Canva seemed like amazing resources for what I wanted to accomplish. So I decided to check out Piktochart first. I went ahead and created an account and started browsing around the different options it offered. I soon realized that a lot of the things offered cost so I decided to check out Canvas. Canva has so many different FREE options! It was fun to look at all of the different backgrounds and layouts that were offered. As I was looking through the layouts, I was surprised to see all of the free options that were available. There were also so many things to choose from! You can create a poster, presentation, Facebook cover, blog post graphic, etc. The possibilities are endless.

After spending some time looking at the different options I decided to go with a layout under the category “Presentation.” There were so many cool and eye catching options and it was hard to choose just one. It was kind of confusing at first learning how to organize and set up the poster. There are so many different things you can change on your graphic; background, color, text, layout, images. With more practice I’m sure I will get the hang of it but it was just a little confusing at first.

This is my finished product!

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I had fun playing around with the colors and even found an option to edit and add a filter to my picture. I wanted my graphic to include information about yoga but I didn’t want it to clutter the poster. I wanted my poster to motivate people to try yoga and experience the benefits!

I think Piktochart and Canva would be great tools to use in the classroom. I think it would be a great way to display classroom rules. There are so many cool and creative things you can do with a poster and it would be a great way to get student’s attention.You could also assign a project for older students to create their own piktochart or canva.

I loved this assignment and loved using Canva and think it is great for any kind of project!

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Top 10 Books I Want to Share with Students

I have read so many great books over the past 16 weeks so it is hard to choose just ten! After much contemplation I think I can narrow down my choices to ten. My choices consist of a few picture books that I loved and a couple young adult/juvenille fiction books that I really enjoyed reading. Here is my list:

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This book was so great because I think everyone can relate to going to Grandma’s house! The Hello, Goodbye Window had a sentimental meaning behind it and I think every kid would enjoy reading this book.

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I picked this book because of the title and figured it would have a lesson to go along with the story. This is probably one of my favorite books so far!  It is a great book about true friendship and what we would do for the ones we love! I loved the illustrations also!

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I picked this book because of the title and because of the author. I have read some of Shel Silverstein’s books but not this one. I like this book because at the end, it teaches us that life isn’t about materialistic things but it’s about friendship and how important it is to have someone by our side throughout life when things get tough. I loved the illustrations.

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I loved reading this book! It shows what lengths people will go for the people they love and care about. I also loved how this book ended with a happy ending!:)

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I loved this book! It is not so much an elementary book but more for middle schoolers or older. I loved the storyline of the book and I also like how it was written from two different points of view throughout the book.

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This book is awesome! It is about a girl who finds a stray dog and decides to give it a home. They become great friends and do everything together. Along the way, the girl makes friends with other people in town and learns a lot about the new town she lives in. I think this would be a great book for older elementary kids. I think it would be fun to do a friendship unit on this with the whole class and then watch the movie at the end!

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This is probably my favorite young adult book that I have read thus far. It is about a girl named Maggie who is too smart for her own good. During the book, there are a few obstacles that her family has to go through and it feels as if you are going through them with her when you are reading the book. I loved this book!

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I absolutely loved this book! Everytime the girl sees this certain dog, she sees her mom too even though she is not alive anymore. It goes to show that even if our loved ones aren’t on earth with us anymore, they are still in our hearts!

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This is another one of Mo Willems’ books and it was great! It seems to me he really enjoys writing about sharing.  This book has a great lesson that goes along with the story and would be a cute book to read to younger children to teach them about sharing!

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I loved the innocence of this book! It had great illustrations and I think it would be an easy read for any young reader. It didn’t have a lesson to it, I just thought it was a cute and fun book!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

For the last Monday reading post I decided to do a Christmas theme! Lately I have been getting into the holiday spirit and thought it would be a good idea to read some Christmas books.

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The first book I read is called “The Beautiful Christmas Tree”by Charlotte Zolotow. This is such a cute book. I would assign it to mostly middle school students or read it to elementary students. It is a 4.0 reading level. It’s about an older guy, Mr. Crockett,  that moves into a run down house in a neighborhood that is full of wealthier people. During Christmas time, everyone has their houses decorated and their Christmas tress up but Mr. Crockett doesn’t decorate his house with anything fancy. The neighbors look down on him because he doesn’t have a fancy Christmas tree and even skip his house when they go out caroling. One day, he goes to the flower store and buys an old pine that is in horrible shape. It needs a lot of care and attention but Mr. Crockett doesn’t care. He says, “Beauty is as beauty does.” He plants it in a spot in front of his house and nurtures it for the next couple of years. His neighbors think he is crazy but they don’t know that Mr. Crockett has a secret; all living things need love. Finally one Christmas, his tree is grown and full of life. Birds love it and make it their home. For Christmas that year, they don’t skip his house while caroling, but stop and stand in front of the tree and sing!:)

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The next book I read is “The Innkeeper’s Daughter” by Jill Briscoe. This book is about a little girl named Keturah who was born with crippled hands. Her father owns an Inn and is always busy with his work. Kids in the village always make fun of Keturah’s hands which makes her very sad. She spends her time in the stables with her favorite donkey. One night at the Inn it was very busy. Keturah was in the stall with Donkey when another donkey was forced to stay in the same stall. Keturah couldn’t get out so she decided to stay the night in the stable. All of a sudden, a star shone through the roof and angels came down into the stalls. They cleaned and pampered all of the animals and left as quickly as they had arrived. Soon a young couple, Mary and Joseph, came to the stay at the Inn. There were no rooms left so they were forced to stay outside in the stall. Jesus was born! Mary asked Keturah is she wanted to hold Jesus but Keturah was skeptical of her crippled hands. She ended up holding Jesus and her hands were healed. This is such a great story of Christmas miracles and tells the story of what Christmas is all about. Since religion is such a huge debate in the education world, I think it would be best to read this to students if you teach in a private christian/catholic church or even in Sunday school!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

For my four hours of reading this week I decided to read two juvenile fiction books. One of them was “The Meaning of Maggie” written by Megan Jean Sovern.meaning-of-maggie_9781452110219_norm

This was a fantastic book! It is about a girl named Maggie who is extremely smart. She is only eleven but she acts like a mature adult. She lives with her mom, dad and two older sisters whom she refers to as her “hot” sisters. They dont pay much attention to her because they are older and too cool. Their mom stays home with them and does all of the normal housewife duties until one day when their dad quits his job. He has a disease called Multiple Sclerosis which is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. His disease has gotten so serious to the point where he is not able to do his normal tasks at work. So the mom takes over and the dad stays home. He isn’t capable of doing some of the tasks at home so the girls have to step up and help. Maggie doesn’t really know what is wrong with her dad. She knows of the disease but doesn’t know how it progresses. Throughout the book, Maggie learns more about her dad and his disease. I had no idea this book was about MS but was very surprised when I started reading about it! I can relate because my mom has had Multiple Sclerosis for about 22 years now so I know some of the things that Maggie was going through. Even though this book was somewhat more serious than other books, the author tied in some humor as well. I was laughing throughout the book! I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone and I think it would be great for middle school kids!:)

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The next book I read was “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I read this book because I recently watched the movie and loved it! It was basically like the movie but different things happened to the book Alex than the movie Alex. I thought this book would have had a happier ending like the movie did but it didn’t. It was still a good book and the illustrations were fun to follow along with as well.  I won’t spoil it because I’m assuming most of you have or will see the movie!

Mock Newberry and Caldecott

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I loved reading about Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott! I thought his steps for Stage 1 were great and I really loved the rubric they made. I also liked the fact that he designed this with his students instead of him just doing all of the work. In Stage 2, Mr. Shu has the students design and name their own mock award. I thought this was such a clever idea because it’s something fun for the kids to do and it gets them involved! In Stage 3, they announce the winner of the Mock award design and name. I loved this idea of doing a Mock Caldecott award in the classroom. The students learn more about the actual Caldecott award but making the project so student centered helps the students learn how it really is to select a winner for that book award. I thought the book nominees and interviews were great! All of the books look like they would be awesome to read.

In Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott blog posts, I learned that getting a child to read is hard but doable if you can make it fun and interesting. I think doing a mock award would be great for the students. It would help them learn about what goes into choosing an award and learn to appreciate the books that they read a little more by learning about them and their authors. Some challenges might be that some students wouldn’t want to participate in the activity because they don’t like reading.

The 3 books I would choose:

  • Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
  • My Teacher Is a Monster! No, I Am Not! By Peter Brown

Mock Newberry and Caldecott

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I loved reading about Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott! I thought his steps for Stage 1 were great and I really loved the rubric they made. I also liked the fact that he designed this with his students instead of him just doing all of the work. In Stage 2, Mr. Shu has the students design and name their own mock award. I thought this was such a clever idea because it’s something fun for the kids to do and it gets them involved! In Stage 3, they announce the winner of the Mock award design and name. I loved this idea of doing a Mock Caldecott award in the classroom. The students learn more about the actual Caldecott award but making the project so student centered helps the students learn how it really is to select a winner for that book award. I thought the book nominees and interviews were great! All of the books look like they would be awesome to read.

In Mr. Shu’s Mock Caldecott blog posts, I learned that getting a child to read is hard but doable if you can make it fun and interesting. I think doing a mock award would be great for the students. It would help them learn about what goes into choosing an award and learn to appreciate the books that they read a little more by learning about them and their authors. Some challenges might be that some students wouldn’t want to participate in the activity because they don’t like reading.

 The 3 books I would choose:

  • Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
  • My Teacher Is a Monster! No, I Am Not! By Peter Brown

The Skyping Renaissance

Before reading “The Skyping Renaissance” I never really put much thought into using Skype in the classroom. I always though it was used for family video calls and sometimes even conference calls. I loved reading this article and it opened my eyes to new possibilities as a teacher! I loved the idea of using Skype for meeting different authors. Even though the author may be 1,000 miles away, the students still have the opportunity to meet and talk with an author via Skype. I really like the other uses of Skype this article mentioned. A classroom could be doing a unit on wildlife animals and at the touch of a button, they could instantly be talking to rangers or wildlife specialists without the trouble of them actually coming to their classroom to talk. I also thought it was really neat that the skyping is helping students step out of their comfort zone. I loved this article overall and plan on using Skype in my future classroom!