Google Drawings Templates

Google Drawings is one of my favourite G Suite tools for getting creative with students. I love using it to create easy to use templates for my classes, especially at the beginning of the year or in the early years when they need some motivation to get their work started. Google Drawings Templates are easy to use and easy for teachers to make. The latest project with my grade 4 & 5 media literacy classes was to create infographics about digital citizenship and online safety.

I gave the template below to each student and away they went creating their amazing infographics. I instructed them to drag some icons onto the canvas and to add text, colours and fonts to create their final products.

Infographic Google Drawings Template - Mrs Geek Chic

The template helped them get started and avoided the time that is sometimes wasted when students are searching for the perfect images. Of course, I allow them to search for images if they need something specific for their project. I consider the template to be a nice starting point and less intimidating than a blank canvas.

Click here for your own copy of the Infographic Template.

Here are a few examples of what my students came up with while using the infographic template as a starting point:

 

How to make a Google Drawings Template?

1) Open a new Google Drawing. Use the margins to your advantage!
2) Insert images or text related to what you want the students to create or learn.
3) Place (and resize if needed) the images or text in the margins.
4) Assign through Google Classroom or force make a copy and give students the link.
5) Now students can drag the images and text onto the canvas and easily get creating!

For more info about Google Drawings and step-by-step tutorials check out my Google Drawings 101 blog post.

 

How else can I use Google Drawings Templates?

 

Green screening

Try a template for easy-peasy green screening!
Green Screen Google Drawings Template - Mrs Geek Chic

For more information about how to make your own green screen template see my post titled Free & Easy Green Screen Editing.

 

School Posters

Have a school event coming up? Make a poster template like the one below. I like to use black & white so when we print to hang them up in the halls the students can colour them in.

Movie Poster Template Google Drawings - Mrs Geek Chic

 

Math Template

Why not try using a template as a digital space to work out a math problem? Here’s an example where I’ve added the question and the digital manipulatives the students could use to help solve and think about the problem.

Math Google Drawings Template - Mrs Geek Chic

I’m all about using G Suite tools to support student learning and creativity — Google Drawings Templates helps me do just that!

Have a template idea? Please share! Have fun getting creative with Google Drawings!

@MrsGeekChic

BreakoutEDU Digital – Online Escape Games for Students

Want a fun activity for your class that promotes communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity? Check out BreakoutEDU Digital Online Escape Games!

What is it exactly?

  • An online digital escape game co-founded by Justin Birckbichler and Mari Venturino
  • Based on the BreakoutEDU kit educational games from James Sanders & Mark Hammons
  • All is organized and played on one website
  • Google Forms are used to make the locks (using data validation) and embedded into Google Sites
  • Games promote problem-solving, collaboration and can tie into any curriculum area
  • Find online clues that unlock the different types of locks in the Google Form on the site (you don’t need to find the locks in any particular order!)
  • Click around, find links, read carefully and use your “escape room” mindset to break out
  • All you need is an internet connection and a link to one of the games

Give it a try!

I’ve created two bilingual similar (but not identical!) games for a recent conference presentation. Feel free to try them out yourself or with your students.

Converse Confusion Online Escape Games - Larissa Aradj Le méli-mélo des Converse Online Escape Games - Larissa Aradj
English version: Converse Confusion (bit.ly/converseBOD)

French (FSL) version: Le méli-mélo des Converse (bit.ly/conversefr)

Here are some photos of TDSB Google Camp attendees posing after successfully breaking out!
Online Escape Games - Larissa Aradj French Online Escape Games - Larissa Aradj
I made the posters for the purpose of posing for celebration photos. You can find the folder to download and print them here or by clicking on the shared folder below.

Breakout Posters - Converse

Why?

As I mentioned above, these games are an amazing way to promote collaboration, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, critical thinking, creativity for students…and the list goes on!

I also love that as I listen to conversations while my students are playing, I can immediately hear:

  • Who my leaders are
  • Who needs to work on leadership skills
  • Who needs to work on growth mindset
  • Who my good communicators are
  • Who thinks outside the box
  • Who gives up right away (this has never actually happened because they’re always so engaged and eager to figure it out!)

For more online escape games check out the BreakoutEDU Digital site and the Sandbox for crowdsourced games by teachers like you and me! Sylvia Duckworth has also created some amazing TEAM Digital Breakouts with a Canadian theme (both French & English versions, too!), check them out and read all about it here.

If you’d like to know more and learn how to make BreakoutEDU Digital online escape games yourself please check out my presentation slide deck below inspired by bit.ly/dboslides & www.breakoutedu.com/digital 

Thanks for reading. Happy breakout’ing, hope you enjoy these online escape games!

Larissa Aradj

Là où je dors – An Interactive Website and Videos for FSL Classrooms

With the updates to the FSL curriculum in Ontario, we now have Listening and Speaking as two separate strands instead of the previous stand-alone “Oral” strand. For the Listening portion of the curriculum, I’ve found TFO’s Idéllo platform to be a great place for students to watch controlled content videos and for teachers to find ample resources, all in French. You can search for videos by grade level, subject, type, theme or skill – there are so many to choose from! Another bonus is that it’s free if your school board has a subscription. One of my favourite video series from Idéllo also has its own website, it’s called “Là où je dors“, and it is completely free.

Là où je dors is an interactive website with a selection of videos of Francophone children from all over the world who each give a glimpse into their lives and bedrooms. I love that this site exposes my students to several French accents and dialects that they wouldn’t necessarily hear here in Toronto.

Here’s a look at the website:

I had my students begin with the ‘Carte du monde’ tab in order to explore what areas of the world the Francophone children were from. Each star is a location on the map that features information and videos about specific children.
Là où je dors CARTE - Mrs. Geek Chic

When you click on the “Chambres” tab you can see an interactive photo of the children’s bedrooms. Certain items in the photo are hyperlinked and you can read about the objects in the room. The child’s name appears on the left and you can choose to view their video or click “Son Histoire” to look at one-page overviews of their story.

Là où je dors - Mrs. Geek Chic

Here’s an example of the one-page overviews, you can choose the tabs along the top to view “Son pays”, “Sa maison”, “Ses passions” or “Bric-à-brac” – there’s one for each Francophone child.

Là où je dors - Mrs. Geek Chic

There’s more! Within the Idéllo platform, you can find “à l’écoute” downloadable PDF teaching tools (les fiches) that go along with each of the Là où je dors videos. They include curriculum links, language acquisition strategies, assessment suggestions and lesson ideas. Here’s an example of one of the many “fiches” available for this video series.

Là où je dors FICHES - Mrs. Geek Chic

To find the above PDFs sign into your Idéllo account at https://www.idello.org/en (top right) –> search “Là où je dors” in the “Search by Keywords” field (top right) –> go to “Filter” (on the left) –> click “Type” –> Check off “Thematic Folder” and you’ll see them in the results (page 2-6 of results because the videos show up on page 1). Here’s a gif to walk you through it.


Last month I was featured in their French publication called Idéllo Magazine in the “Coup de coeur” section, I wrote about “Là où je dors”.

idello Là où je dors Magazine Mrs. Geek Chic

Là où je dors Magazine -Mrs. Geek Chic

Here’s the link to the full online Idéllo Magazine from December: http://magazine.idello.org/doc/idello/magazine-idello-decembre-2016/2016120701/16.html?key=b49841d3b59a0cb5367affeb6736bf9e#4

I’m heading to TFO’s Les Tablettistes Conference in Ottawa on Friday, looking forward to a great day of bilingual learning!

Give Là où je dors and Idéllo a try, I’m sure your students will enjoy them as much as mine do!

FSL Website List for Teachers

frenchwebsitesmrsgeekchic

I updated my collection of FSL teaching websites over the summer. I wanted to do a quick post to share it with all of you. This is a work in progress and will be updated often as I find new French sites for teachers. I’ve divided it up by subject to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. You can see the list on its own separate page in the tabs at the top of my blog.

LANGUAGE:
Il était une histoire: http://www.iletaitunehistoire.com/
Brain Pop: https://fr.brainpop.com/
ReCreatisse: https://www.recreatisse.com
Weekly News in Slow French: https://www.newsinslowfrench.com/
Journal des enfants: http://www.lalsace.fr/jde/a-la-une
Il était deux fois…: http://cf.tfo.org/jeux/
Apprendre le français avec TV5 Monde: http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/
Animated story with words: Le match de foot
Ebook kids: http://ebookids.com/fr/livres-enfants/
Free Rice: http://fr.freerice.com/#/vocabulaire-français
1jour 1actu: News Headlines & Articles for children: http://www.1jour1actu.com/

MATH:
NetMaths (Free for Ontario educators): https://on.netmaths.net
ReCreatisse: https://www.recreatisse.com/
La souris-web: http://www.lasouris-web.org/
Logiciel educatif.fr: http://www.logicieleducatif.fr/math.php
Les champions des maths: http://championmath.free.fr/
Kangourou des mathématiques: http://www.mathkang.org/
e-learning for kids: http://www.e-learningforkids.org/math/
 
MEDIA LITERACY:
Branché (OPHEA): http://www.lavraievieenligne.ca
Habilo-Médias: http://habilomedias.ca/
École Branchée: http://www.ecolebranchee.com/
Zoe et Molly http://www.zoeandmolly.ca/
La Souris-Web – Internet Safety: http://www.lasouris-web.org


SOCIAL STUDIES/GEOGRAPHY
:
Musée Virtuel: http://www.museevirtuel.ca/centre-des-enseignants/
GeoGuessr: http://www.geoguessr.com
Ça bouge au Canada: http://cabouge.tv5.ca/
Là où je dors: http://www.laoujedors.ca/
Musée canadien de l’histoire – l’Égypte: http://www.historymuseum.ca/

SCIENCE:
Brain Pop: https://fr.brainpop.com/
Bout de gomme -science: http://boutdegomme.fr
Hector le castor – agence de l’eau: http://www.eau-rhin-meuse.fr/hector/
Planète astronomie: http://www.planete-astronomie.com/
Jurassic world – dinosaures: http://www.jurassic-world.com/
Cybersciences junior: http://www.buzzons.ca/

FRENCH RESOURCE BANKS
:
Librairie Ineractive: http://www.librairie-interactive.com/ *NEW
Quia – French games & activities: https://www.quia.com/shared/french/
Ressources pour les profs: http://ressources-profs.info
Learn Alberta Resource Bank: http://www.learnalberta.ca/

MULTIPLE SUBJECTS:
ExoFiches: http://www.exofiches.net/ *NEW!
Moufle Clipart Bank: http://www.moufle.net/ *NEW!
France TV Education: http://education.francetv.fr/
Google Feud en français: http://www.webinette.fr/
TV5 Monde: http://enseigner.tv5monde.com/
Idéllo: https://www.idello.org/fr/
Atelier: http://atelier.on.ca/edu/core.cfm
Taka s’amuser: http://www.takatamuser.com/
TFO éducation: https://www.idello.org/fr
Brain Pop: https://fr.brainpop.com/
Chateau Jean-Jean: http://123geant.telequebec.tv/#ChateauJeanJean
La Souris-Web: http://www.lasouris-web.org/
Le grenier de Bisou TFO: http://www1.tfo.org/mini/JeuExterne

GENERAL:
French Teacher.Net: http://www.frenchteacher.net/links/interactive-sites/
List of French Internet Sites: http://atpf-th.org/sitepedago.html
Bonjour de France: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/
Momes.net http://www.momes.net/
Simply-Land: http://www.simply-land.com
Canadian Parents for French: https://cpf.ca/
French Street: http://www.frenchstreet.ca/en/

Please feel free to leave a comment below with your “go to” French teaching sites.

SignatureLarissa

Coding in French – Free Printable Coding Blocks

It’s a pleasure to have a guest blog post today by Ashley Soltesz, a fellow French teacher who like me is on a mission to share French resources with others so we don’t have to keep recreating the wheel! She’s made some amazing free French printable coding blocks you can use in your classrooms, enjoy! 


Free Printable French Coding Blocks @MrsGeekChicA primary goal for me as a French Language Teacher is for my students to see the relevance in learning to communicate in French, be it in Reading, Writing, or Speaking.  I want my students to know that what they do in English, they can do in French and in turn, receive many opportunities because of this skill that they have.  If, somewhere in the future, my students think back to the time spent in my classroom, I want them to remember that what they learned, was useful and important to them.  This includes use of the French language to discuss and teach others about their interests.  A large interest of students (of various ages) is in technology.  Many are starting to develop an interest in coding and creating using different forms of technology. Coding encourages students to try something new; to create something they thought was impossible; to use a new language to communicate; and to use critical thinking skills to solve problems.

But, as many Core French teachers are on a cart, or if a French teacher is in a classroom, they may not have access to the technology to permit this type of learning when many rooms have more than 30 students and fewer tools to use.

While using twitter one night, I saw a teacher using coding blocks.  Hand’s on, tangible, printed blocks.  No actually technology was involved.  I loved that this was a fun and easy way to include coding for French learners.  I googled the blocks and found them.  (http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/resources/vector-scratch-blocks).  I knew that these blocks could help my students, but I needed them in French.  I asked on Twitter, on Facebook, anywhere I could.  They were nowhere to be found.  So I decided to make them and I would like to share them with you all.  You can find them here:  https://goo.gl/A1ajhN (or in the folder below). This link will take you to the blocks that I have made and other helpful documents.

I have created two sets:

1) a small set for centers (to be printed on 8.5” x 11” paper); and,

2) a larger set (to be printed on 11” x 17” paper) for use in more open spaces (i.e. gymnasium)).  

I am working on editing, and revising these blocks as needed.  The language is from the Scratch Website so that if students want, they can transfer their knowledge to the Scratch platform.  I wanted to have a tool that is both useful and transferable from one classroom to another.

I printed off some, laminated them, and then cut them out.  They fit together like a puzzle!  By laminating them, the students can fill in the blanks using dry-erase markers for words, values or whatever is required, and then reuse them over and over again.

free French printable coding blocks1 @MrsGeekChic

 

Now I’m wondering: How can I use these blocks to further my students knowledge in ALL subject content?  I’m not sure, but I’ve put together some ideas for primary (I’m teaching grade 2 French Immersion in the fall).  You can find them here: https://goo.gl/ME8Qtg. Please feel free to add to the Doc and let us know how you’ve used coding blocks in your classroom!

free French printable coding blocks3 @MrsGeekChicfree French printable coding blocks2 @MrsGeekChic

Do you have other ideas?  How would you use these in your classroom? I would like to know and share the ideas in this PLN that is quickly growing.  Join me in sharing ideas and pictures on Twitter this upcoming year (use the hashtags: #FSLchat #FRIMM #CODINGinFSL).

-Ashley Soltesz
@mmesoltesz

 

SharedFolder
Here is the folder with everything you need to get coding “en français” with your students!

Printable French Scratch Coding Blocks Folder

 

Have fun with this great free French resource! Happy unplugged paper coding!

 

SignatureLarissa

French Media Triangle – Triangle des médias

If you’re here I’m sure you already know what a Media Triangle is used for, but for those who don’t it’s basically an easy way to have students read and analyze media forms and texts. The triangle prompts the children with questions to help them look at media from different angles and perspectives to help them create their own meaning. Here are a couple examples of Media Triangles in English:MediaTriangle Example2 @MrsGeekChic

MediaTriangleExample @MrsGeekChic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to only teach Media Literacy in English for my junior classes because it is it’s own strand in the Ontario curriculum and didn’t explicitly exist in the French Immersion primary curriculum. However, now with the new FSL curriculum came some pleasant changes and additional expectations rolled into Reading, Writing, Listening & Speaking that involve media literacy! I was thrilled, but that meant yet another translation because I wasn’t able to find a French version of the Media Triangle that suited my needs in the classroom. With some searching online I found this French lesson/unit plan from http://www.lavraievieenligne.ca/ which contains a Media Triangle version in French on page 38 which they adapted from ‘A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction (Grades 4 – 6); Volume 7: Media Literacy, Ontatio Ministry of Education‘. I decided to jazz it up and make it more interactive for my students. I made a plain version that could be a poster or a handout and another one on which the students can answer questions in text boxes right inside the digital GAFE file online.

Here they are:
Click on the images to make yourself a copy, or see shared folder below.

Triangle des médias @MrsGeekChic

 

Triangle des médias avec réponses @MrsGeekChic

 

 

SharedFolder

 

Triangle des médias FOLDER

 

Please feel free to download, share, make a copy and modify to your needs!

SignatureLarissa

From Intolerance to Acceptance with Patience and a Whole Lot of In-Between – Guest Post by Tamara Bolotenko

My good friend Tamara Bolotenko (@TamaraBolotenko) has been doing some wonderful things at her new school this year and wanted to share some of it with all of you! She’s written this amazing post in honour of International Day to End Homophobia & Transphobia (May 17th, 2016) and has some great resources to share. Check it out!

Intolerance.

Ignorance.

Prejudice.

Discrimination.

Hatred.

These are words we hear on a daily basis. Words that, sadly, describe many current societies around the world; societies in which fear of the unknown and distrust of differences propagates hatred, incites violence, leads to oppression, and even translates into discriminatory government policies.

Acceptance.

Respect.

Inclusivity.

Plurality.

Love.

These are all words that we hear often as well, whether at work or in the media, words used to describe utopian societies in which individuals with different ethnicities, cultures, races, religious orientations, genders, sexual orientations, and other diversities characteristics and histories, live together in peace and harmony. And not only do they co-exist, but they also engage in positive interactions with one another on multiple levels many times a day, creating pluralistic communities.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 11.18.19 AMOne thing, however, that we do not often hear about, is how to get from a world of hatred to a world of peace. How does that shift from intolerance to acceptance occur? Well, the answer is not straightforward; several conditions have to be in place in order for it to be possible to create a pluralistic culture in which every member is accepted and valued precisely for those differences, that in many societies, are reviled.

 

Open-mindedness and Non-judgment.

People have to be ready and willing to learn about others’ ways of seeing and doing things, without judgment.

Listening and Sharing.

TBolotenko2People must be able to and willing to listen actively and to explain one’s own experiences in order to learn about other groups and in order to teach about themselves. They must be open to and desiring of engagement in positive and respectful dialogue. This is not to say that everyone must eventually agree on everything, rather that we learn to discuss feelings, rationales and thought processes without yelling or screaming or creating “winners” and “losers”. In the end, we should be able to gain another perspective and that makes everyone a winner.

Introspection and Improvement.

Here is where the process gets a little more active, as individuals will have to make time and space for self-reflection and make attempts to understand why they act in a certain way. The goal of introspection is to create a deeper understanding on oneself and others and oneself in relation to others in order to find ways in which to improve oneself. Everyone can improve at something. We are all works-in-progress.

Cognitive Dissonance.

TBolotenko3

Enduring those periods of confusion when preconceived notions about certain cultures, religions, genders, races, etc. don’t quite match up with the reality of one’s experiences is paramount. No one likes to feel confused and anxious and it is easy to throw in the towel at this stage and revert to prior stereotypes, but that just takes one back to a world of intolerance and prejudice. Stay here. Endure. Overcome.

Patience and Forgiveness.

Change doesn’t happen overnight and committing to an accepting, heterogeneous, pluralistic society is a lifetime commitment. Forgiving yourself when you’ve made an assumption and trying again is key. Forgiving others when they have made incorrect assumptions and having the patience to educate them is also what this process is all about.


In order to try to educate students about how to move from hatred to love, intolerance to acceptance, homogeneity to diversity, exclusion to inclusion, I’ve created a set of 3 posters depicting words associated with a hateful society, a society in-progress and a pluralistic society. Since FSL resources are sometimes hard to come by, I’ve translated them into French as well. Please use freely and share widely. I know that change doesn’t come with a couple of posters, but they are a good starting point for engaging in meaningful dialogue.

I’ve also created a set of 3 posters promoting safe spaces, inclusivity and harmony using the LGBQT flag as the background (in French too!).

Happy “International Day to End Homophobia and Transphobia”. On May 17th, how will you mark this important day with your students?

SharedFolder
Here’s the shared folder containing all 12 of Tamara’s posters. 

FOLDER of Bilingual Posters by Tamara

 

I’d like to thank Tamara for being the first guest contributor to Mrs. Geek Chic! She’s an amazing teacher and friend, go follow her on Twitter I promise you she’ll be a great addition to your PLN!

SignatureLarissa

Tech it Forward – Our Inspired Minds Learning Project Idea

If you’ve been anywhere near me in the past week I’m sure I’ve asked you once (or more!) the question, “Have you voted yet today??”

My amazing teacher friend and colleague Jesselyn and I wrote up this proposal in an attempt to win $100,000 for our downtown Toronto school library. I wanted to share our idea via my blog in hopes to get the word out a little more! We are currently sitting in 24th position, nowhere near the top 10 where we need to be to get into the judging round. I’m hoping we can gain a few extra votes from my trusty blog followers – especially since Justin Bieber, Drake, Prime Minister Trudeau, Members of Parliament, Mayor Tory and others haven’t responded to us on Twitter 😉 (it was worth a try, right?).

Please vote daily until Monday, May 16th here: bit.ly/techitforward

Here’s our proposal, have a look and if you like it please pass it on and VOTE VOTE VOTE!!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tech it Forward Larissa Aradj Jesselyn DungoIdea Description:

Imagine this… you hear a buzz of people even before you step into the space. You know that this is the place you were looking for. Open and airy, filled with light and all different walks of people. They are paired together, different ages all engaged, pointing to a screen, brows furrowed wickedly solving problems together and there, right then a crack of a smile as the solution is found. Welcome to the LLPS learners hub. The hub of our project would be in the Lord Lansdowne Public School *new* Learning Commons Media Centre. We want to help build community and connections through our Tech it Forward project in which we would reach out to local senior communities in order to build teaching and learning relationships with senior citizens, new immigrants, ESL learners and newbies to technology from our surrounding community. They would come to our school and learn all about new technologies: smartphones, ipads, internet, etc. from our elementary school students. In turn, community members could forward their own learning to others within their family and other community circles.
Learning becomes meaningful when it is made real in an authentic way. Our students are in dire need of these real-time experiences where they can affect their communities. As teachers we are always looking for ways to make learning authentic and meaningful for our students. Research on the internet and texting on their phone are natural extensions of their day-to-day. It cannot be denied that this ease within the digital world has made them leaders in this capacity. This access to people around the world has made theirs smaller than ever before. Those who do not have these skills are left vulnerable to being excluded from these learning communities. Inclusivity can be made accessible to those in our society who are most vulnerable, the lonely amongst our elderly, those new to the country within the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis and those who have no access due to financial constraints. Many of the new strands in the English and French Ontario curriculum documents centre around media texts, being digitally literate, digital citizenship, and having an overall sense of how technology works and how to use it to enhance their learning.
Our parent board, the Toronto District School Board, is promoting the use of technology, digital fluency, collaboration and seeing the students as leaders. Our project hits on all of these aspects, we are just in need of the equipment necessary.

Who we are:

Jesselyn Dungo and Larissa Aradj are teachers from Lord Lansdowne Junior & Senior Public School in Toronto, Ontario. They both have a passion for technology and infusing it into their teaching. This idea would mean bringing more technology and collaboration to our school community. The children at our school are completely engaged in technology and have a thirst for being digitally literate, but it’s difficult to push them in this direction without the resources they need. The students from our school who we consider “digital natives” are so willing to teach teachers who are “digital immigrants” all about new technologies. We thought we would take this notion and give it a wider scope through the lens of connecting the senior citizen community and new immigrant community with our students so the students can take what they know and “Tech it Forward” to others who would like to learn. Larissa has built up Lord Lansdowne’s virtual identity since she moved to LLPS last September. She has created a Twitter & Instagram account for the school (@LL_TDSB) and the School Blog: www.lordlansdowne.wordpress.com where parents and students go to find information, photos and videos of the wonderful things happening at Lord Lansdowne. A digital presence is important part of our schools these days, it builds community and keeps everyone on the same page. Our hope is to build up the more hands-on aspect of our community through this Tech it Forward project. When we see how these new technologies make the world a smaller place, imagine teaching someone’s grandmother or great-grandmother how to Skype with their grandchildren or seeing photos of their grandchildren via email from across the world, through this project we will open doors for seniors that they never thought they’d never be able to walk through and discover new ways of connecting.

Lord Lansdowne Junior & Senior Public School:

Lord Lansdowne Jr. and Sr. Public School is located in the heart of downtown Toronto at Spadina Avenue and College Street. We are a small but mighty school hub of diverse cultures whose parent population includes ESL learners and new immigrants. We are in close proximity to various senior communities and steps away from the Scott Mission for the homeless. Our school is a caring and giving outlet of community support and this project of Tech it Forward would be a natural extension of our commitment to serving the community via helping those understand how to use and access technology. Currently, we are at a stalemate within our funding for technology at our school since we are in the middle of the LOI, Learning Opportunity Index used by the TDSB. We find that we are in an interesting position as those schools who are positioned on the lower end of the index are eligible to receive funding and resources from various community partners in addition to equipment and professional development of which we do not qualify. However, our school community does not have the financial means as those in wealthier neighbourhoods to outfit the school with much-needed technology and as such we find ourselves being the “forgotten middle” when in need of functioning laptops for community projects, and general teaching and learning of 21st century skills. The power of Tech it Forward could give avenues to those students who might not otherwise have opportunities to serve their community in such a real way, fostering empathy, compassion and social responsibility.

 

Storage Wars Customizable Cross-Curricular EdTech Game #GAFE #HyperSlides

Screenshot Storage Wars Title @MrsGeekChicEncheres Surprises @MrsGeekChicI’ve been busy working on a customizable GAFE cross-curricular game template that can be used by teachers across all levels and subjects. I wanted something that had a hook, was interesting and fun for my students yet still educational. I came up with Storage War$ (Enchères Surprise$ in French, yes there’s even a version française!). I made the English version for my Grade 4 Media Literacy class, so the activities are based on Media Lit strands from the Ontario curriculum. The French version is based on the Media texts strands from the Grade 3 FSL Language curriculum.

Screenshot Storage Wars Doors @MrsGeekChic

A SHORT DESCRIPTION:
Storage War$/Enchères Surprise$ is played by students in Google Slides. Students follow on-screen instructions to interactively play, learn and complete activities. The wonderful thing about this project is that it can be modified for almost any grade level and any subject area. The best part is you can take a copy, use it as-is right now or modify it to match what you are currently teaching. The activities can be completed individually, in pairs or groups.

LEARNING:
Students learn through playing and doing the media-rich activities on the slides and in Google Docs/Drawings templates that open as “make a copy” for them to work from. The learning really depends on the content you decide to put into the template. By playing the game and completing the different activities students are able to engage in a vast range of curriculum areas (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and mostly Media Literacy) all in one template platform. My students began working through the activities last month and are thoroughly enjoying it!

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VARIATIONS:
It’s easy to change the activity slides for this game to make it appropriate for any subject or grade level. You would just have to change slides #20-35 to suit whatever you are studying in your class and make up questions/activities to match.
For more experienced GAFE users, you could even change up the content of the storage locker (change the images on slide #15 and link your new images to slides #20-35) and use items/images from a particular part of history you are studying, have images based on a theme, have less items,  etc. I’ve made a roadmap to make it easier to see how the slides are connected, English version HERE & French version HERE

SUGGESTIONS & CONSIDERATIONS:

  • If you don’t have enough technology, students don’t need to each have a device for this game, they could work in groups or in pairs.
  • Use the game in a literacy centre and have students move through the game during centre time.
  • Students do not need to finish the activities in one sitting (there’s no way they could!), the activities should be completed over several days/class periods.
  • This game works well on laptops, Chromebooks and desktop computers. You can also use iPads as long as you have the Google Slides App installed.

GET YOUR COPY & START CUSTOMIZING (or use it now!):

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Have fun….yuuuuuupppp!
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Update
Here are a few Tweets from when I presented this project at the Digital Lead Learner Marketplace on May 19, 2016:

P.E.N.S.E.Z – French Digital Citizenship Posters

Think Poster Screenshot Mrs.GeekChicI’ve seen these Digital Citizenship “T.H.I.N.K before you post online” posters floating around on the Internet and Pinterest for a while now. Today being International Day of Pink to raise awareness for all types of bullying, I thought it would be a good time to post these printable posters that lead in well to discussions with your students about to cyber bullying. I know for me having colourful reminders around the classroom is always helpful since Digital Citizenship is such a huge part of my program these days. I really liked the idea of them, and as usual couldn’t find a French version. I decided to translate the posters and made a few different versions ‘en français’ using Google Drawings for my fellow FSL colleagues out there. You’ll find the shared folder below, please feel free to download, edit or modify to your needs. Enjoy!

I also wanted to share my list of Internet sites related to Digital Citizenship. There are some wonderful resources, units and starting points that promote great discussions and learning opportunities. Check them out!

Digital Citizenship Sites:
Branché (French): http://www.lavraievieenligne.ca
Habilo-Médias (French): http://habilomedias.ca
Media Smarts: http://mediasmarts.ca
ConnectED: http://www.lavraievieenligne.ca
Digizen: http://www.digizen.org/
Digital Literacy & Citizenship (UK): http://www.digital-literacy.org.uk
Teaching InCtrl: http://www.teachinctrl.org/
Ophea: http://teachingtools.ophea.net
La Souris-Web: http://www.lasouris-web.org/

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P.E.N.S.E Digital Citizenship Posters FOLDER

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