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Sunday, September 29, 2013


Ever run across a product you couldn't wait to tell others about? Educreations! First, credit must be given to blogger Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources. She previews technology, and Educreations was tops on her list. Thanks, Heidi!

Click to view an Educreations presentation on narrative writing for developmental college students. Another example to view is Road of Life Maps. Having already moved to a flipped classroom format, Educreations added supplemental instruction for students who needed extra reinforcement or missed daily class information. Students like it because it is personalized with their instructor's voice, allows for multiple playbacks, and is available 24 hours a day. 

Educreations works by holding created lessons in a folder within its program. From there, users have many choices: upload to social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter; share with others through email; create student accounts; create multiple classes accounts; share links; and more...

How user-friendly is Educreation? Anyone can do it! Download the program to an IPad, Iphone, PC, or Mac. Sorry, Android use is in development phase. Then, think about what images, pictures, presentations, want to use in your lesson. If your device has a camera, pictures can be taken and used. If no camera feature is available, Educreations can still be used much like a Whiteboard. Store images as jpegs for easy integration. Finally, click on "Record" and begin. 

The Whiteboard has great features! Touch the colors on the toolbar, touch your finger to the screen, and write in colored ink. Touch the text box and type away. Use the graph paper or coordinate paper for math courses. Scroll up and down or left and right with your fingertips to add more pages. The program pauses when you leave the screen to find an image, so hit "Record" to resume your lesson. A cheap mic headset (like those compatible with Iphones) works perfectly--no need for an expensive, external mic. Recording sessions can be up to 30 minutes. It's that simple!

Currently, I'm in practice mode with Educreations, and as I become more familiar with it I'll become more professional. However, the program is doing exactly what I need it to do--reinforce concepts and skills for students once classroom sessions have ended. And, it's free!

Use these interactive presentations with Educreations:

Homographs and Context Clues 

FREE! Parallelism

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Time for Homecoming

Parades, marching bands, floats, costumes...these bring back memories of Homecoming Day. As an elementary  student, homecoming meant a half-day of school. But, we were much too excited to learn, and, try as they might, teachers often gave in and celebrated homecoming within their classes. There were games and party favors then we were dismissed to line up to participate or to watch the Homecoming Day parade. 

In the town I lived in, junior high and high school shared one building. Therefore, once elementary students entered seventh grade, Homecoming Day took on new meaning. The morning was spent putting final touches on floats, which took all week to build in secretive places. The element of surprise might ensure a first place win in the float contest. Trailers were secured early in the school year, and themes were voted on by students. Then, board frames were built on the trailers. These were covered with chicken wire, and the holes were stuffed with colored toilet paper squares. Not one public restroom in town could keep toilet paper during Homecoming week. Streamers were made from crepe paper and hung on the floats. Students in themed costumes were chosen by their peers to ride on the floats. The floats were pulled by farm tractors, lawn mowers, or large vehicles down Main Street, which was lined with spectators of all ages. Some of the floats' riders threw candy to children as the parade moved slowly toward the opposite end of town.

As a member of the high school band, we practiced daily for weeks in advance to put on a great Homecoming half-time show. These often featured twirlers with fire batons that lit up the night sky. Queen candidates rode atop back seats of convertibles as the sports cars circled the field then stopped in front of the hometown crowd. Sweaty football players, called kings, escorted girls in beautiful formals to the center of the field then waited for the winners to be announced. Within minutes, the excitement was over, and the king ran back to the sideline to join his team mates while the queen took a seat on the fifty-yard line with her royal court members to await the outcome of the game. 

After the football game, whether win or lose, a pigskin party was held at one of the local churches that took turns hosting after-parties. Desserts, drinks, finger foods, and music provided great Friday night fun! Without a doubt, Homecoming Day was greatly anticipated, and memories were made that have lasted a lifetime. And, there are pictures stored away in boxes that are proof  Homecoming Day was full of excitement and fun.

To help your students create their own Homecoming Day memories, try the  Homecoming Activities packet at my TpT storefront. 

Happy Homecoming!

Homecoming Activities Packet