Thursday, May 30, 2013

Don't Summer-ize Quite Yet!


We're in the home stretch!

Time to finish up those last few assignments. 
We do not have finals in Computer Literacy or Image Design.

Image Design - June 7
Comp Lit - June 12

Don't forget to comment on this blog for extra credit points!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vamp is Blogtastic!


Have you heard the news? Vamp has finally created her very own blog! She is so excited, that she wanted me to share it with you!

If you are in Computer Literacy, you can use Vamp's blog as an example of Assignment 6S. She has everything listed on the assignment check off sheet. She decided to add a few extras, and you can too if you want. You can see the breakdown below.

[click here for a printable copy]

Here is the scoring guide, assignment instructions, and blog privacy info...
[click here for printable copy]

If you would like to see student-created blogs from
first semester, click here. More to come!

May Book Trailer: Sam and his Dad


"Dad can make all sorts of dress up costumes. He can also draw. He can draw Sam as a wolf with great big teeth. He helps Sam jump across posts and throws him in the air and they have the best play fights (which, of course, Sam always wins). Loving the quirky, very French illustrations of this gorgeous lad and his family – with a focus on Sam’s wonderful dad and the valued pieces of the puzzle dads contribute to the family so well." - Kids Book Review

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Literature Circles


I Literature Circles! What a wonderful way to teach teamwork and independence simultaneously. Students enthusiastically read and discuss books of their choosing with a small group of five classmates. These "book clubs" require minimum class time with major benefits. Each student has a different job: Definition Detective, Summarizer, Illustrator, Quotation Finder, and Discussion Leader. After reading the assigned pages/chapters, students complete their page and prepare for their next group meeting. I have students meet twice a week for about 30 minutes each time.
It's fun to walk around the class and listen to each group excitedly engaged in their discussions... sharing, analyzing and debating. Who doesn't like a good ol' book discussion with buddies? I know I do!

If you are new to Literature Circles, or if you are looking for a printable, here is what I use. This packet includes all five roles. After 1-2 books, you may decide to skip the formalities and just let kids discuss their novels. I enjoy the structure of "jobs" but once the students get the hang of it, you can have them meet and chat about the book they are reading as a group more often.

I also created this single sheet for whole-class literature discussions. Whether you are reading aloud to the class, reading as a group or independently, this can be used to help students organize their thoughts and prepare for discussions.

For Literature Circle book ideas, visit the websites below!
Student Recommended Chapter Books

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

US Presidents


My son is memorizing the presidents this week for a fun class activity called The Great American Challenge. I was looking for a helpful resource when I came across this gem...
Cute and useful.

You can also download an iBook of these illustrations with info on each president.
It rhymes and it's silly. 

To purchase this poster and view more of Jason Pruett's work, visit

Thanks Mr. Pruett!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Creatively Thinking


In school, many times you are asked to give the one correct answer to a question.  However, in life and on the job, it is important to find many solutions to a single problem. This leads me to believe, that we all need to practice thinking “out of the box” to strengthen our creative or “divergent” thinking skills.

Divergent Thinking: creative, open-ended thinking aimed at generating fresh views and novel solutions (many solutions to a single problem).

Convergent Thinking: thinking that brings together information focused on solving a problem (especially solving problems that have a single correct solution).

Put on your creativity hat and use your divergent thinking skills to answer the question below…
How many unusual and uncommon uses can you come up with for this mouse?

I look forward to your answers!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Masking Images


In Project 7, my Image Design students were asked to blur the background of an image while leaving the one part of the foreground perfectly clear. They used a technique called "masking" to pull this off. A mask is a special kind of layer that lets you hide or reveal previous layers.

Here is a video to help explain how to create this effect in Gimp...

Check out these student-created samples!
 By Yamilex

By Maria

 By Nick

 By Angela

Amazing work kids! I love the way you created one clear image within the photograph. Keep it up!