Lit Picks and Tech Tips

Lit Picks and Tech Tips has moved!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on September 25, 2009

Lit Picks and Tech Tips is now hosted on my school server. Please change your booksmarks, feed reader, etc. to the new address.

http://branson.k12.mo.us/blog/matzatc/

Hope to see you at the new blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Doodle 4 Google – Time to Vote!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on May 13, 2009

Well, the people from Google have the entries in the Doodle 4 Goole contest narrowed down to the finalists. Now, it’s your turn to select your favorites. This would be a great sponge activity to do as a class. I hope you enjoy seeing the results. The winner will appear on the Google website on May 21st, so cast your votes now! Voting ends on May 18th. You can cast your votes at http://www.google.com/doodle4google/vote.html.

Posted in Just for fun | 2 Comments »

Classroom Ideas from Author Visit

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on May 13, 2009

I hope you all enjoyed our author visit from Carolyn Crimi as much as I did. I heard lots of positive, excited responses from the kids, and Carolyn had so many wonderful things to say about our school.

As you are trying to fill the last days of school with meaningful activities, it might be fun to incorporate some of Mrs. Crimi’s writing tips for the kids. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Have the students write a “calendar story”
    Encourage the students to bring in a calendar from home that has interesting pictures (especially ones that have pictures showing “trouble”) and select one of the pictures as the theme for the story. If finding calendars doesn’t work, you as the teacher could go online to Flickr and find some interesting pictures to use as story prompts (don’t send kids to search for pictures online). I have an example of using some Flickr images as prompts on a Voicethread project I use with my eMINTS teachers. This will show you some of the interesting photos you can find online that make great writing prompts.
  • Create a story idea treasure chest
    Have the students go on a story idea treasure hunt around the school (or you could have them do it at home) and collect interesting objects that they could use as writing ideas. They could bring in shoeboxes and decorate them and add the objects to their box. Of course, have them select one of the objects to use to write a story. :-)

Again, I hope you enjoyed our author visit and found it beneficial to the kids. I hope to continue bringing in an author each year. Sell that Cookie Dough and bring in Community Cash! ;-)

Your Library Lady,

Cindy

Posted in Authors, Lesson Idea | 3 Comments »

Scholastic Summer Challenge – Submit your questions now!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on April 17, 2009

Believe it or not, it’s almost time to think about summer reading! This summer, Scholastic is offering a summer reading opportunity for your students and their families. The details will be shared on April 30, and they are kicking off their event with a live game show that will be broadcast online. Right now, they are accepting question submissions for the game show. This would be a great activity to do with your kids in the afternoon after MAP testing. :) Have them come up with questions and answers about their favorite books and authors. Then, check back on April 30 to watch the show! Find all the info on the Scholastic Summer Challenge website.

Posted in Just for fun, Lesson Idea | No Comments »

Celebrate National Poetry Month with an Online Book Launch Party!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on April 6, 2009

April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to get your students excited about poetry than hearing about a new poetry book by that book’s author! Laura Salas, the author of the new poetry book Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School, is having an online book launch party today. Check out her launch site to hear her read some of the poems, watch some silly videos, play some games, get teacher resources for her new book (including a readers theater script!), and chat with the author! If you don’t get a chance to visit the site today for the “live” launch, be sure to visit sometime soon as the site will still be posted. Enjoy!

Posted in Lesson Idea, Poetry | 1 Comment »

It’s Doodle 4 Google Time!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on February 18, 2009

 

The people from Google are back again this year with another contest to create a Google Doodle! This year’s contest theme is “What I Wish for the World”.

You can read the contest details on their website. Like last year, I registered our school as a participant. If you would like to have your students participate in the contest, just let me know. I would be glad to help you develop this as a project with your students. We can only submit 6 entries in the contest from our school, so I will have a panel of teachers help select the entries to send in from all of the classes that participate.

Entries are due March 31, so start planning now for this fun learning opportunity!

Posted in Lesson Idea | 2 Comments »

Story Starters – a new cool tool!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on September 28, 2008

I recently stumbled on this great site for writing that I thought I would share with you in case you haven’t seen it yet. It is Scholastic’s Story Starters, and I think it would be a great site to use in your classrooms as a writing center or it could be a good computer lab activity. The tool generates funny story starters for students based on their grade level, and then takes them to a place where they decide on the format for their stories and create them right there on the computer. It looks like a lot of fun, and I think it would attract even the reluctant writers in your classrooms. Let me know what you think of it!

Your library lady,

Cindy

Posted in Tech Tips | 3 Comments »

Vote for Books!

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on April 22, 2008

Upstart promotions is hosting a Vote for Books project. Students can nominate their favorite books until April 30. The top 10 candidates will be announced online on May 1. A general election will run through summer and fall. Votes will be tallied on Election Day, and the winner will be announced on November 5. Have your students nominate their favorite books by going to VoteForBooks.com.

Posted in Just for fun | No Comments »

VoiceThread Collaborative Project

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on March 14, 2008

Here is a VoiceThread project I did in the LMC with Mrs. Sheets’ and Mrs. Vejraska’s classes during flexible time. The students made their own Field Guide based on the Spiderwick series. Check it out! If you would like to try a VoiceThread project, just let me know. I will also be teaching a workhsop on VoiceThread on April 24th.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=80612" width="480" height="360" wmode="transparent" /]

Posted in Lesson Idea, Tech Tips | 3 Comments »

Contest – Doodle 4 Google

Posted by Mrs. Matzat on February 17, 2008

doodle_logo.gif

Have you ever noticed those fancy Google logos they have on special holidays? Google calls these Google Doodles, and they are having a contest for kids to create a Google Doodle! How cool would it be for one of our kids to come up with a design that would be featured on the Google website? Well, here’s their chance.

Doodle 4 Google is a national contest that asks kids to come up with a logo based on the theme “What if…”. You can read the contest details on their website. Here are some examples from past contests in the United Kingdom and Australia.

home_whatif.gif

I already registered our school as a participant. If you would like to have your students participate in the contest, just let me know. I would be glad to help you develop this as a project with your students. It would be a great activity to do during those stressful MAP testing weeks, and it would definitely keep our students engaged in learning. We can only submit 6 entries in the contest from our school, so I will have a panel of teachers help select the entries to send in from all of the classes that participate.

Entries are due April 12, so start planning now for this fun learning opportunity!

Posted in Just for fun, Lesson Idea | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »