June 7, 2012
I used Make Beliefs Comix. I created a comic about Amelia Earhart, which could be used in social studies when we study famous Americans:
I think the comic style would be great in lessons because it is a fun way to present a small amount of information and would get the students' attention. It could be used at the beginning of a lesson as a quick introduction or at the end of the lesson to review important facts. As a review, students could explain the reason for the dialogue or discuss events that would follow the last panel. Although I think this is a good tool for teachers, it would be difficult for second grade students to use independently. The constraints of the style may be more than students can handle. There is a limit to the number of panels and the space available in each panel. The text space is also limited by the size of speech or thought bubble. If too much text it typed, part of the text disappears. There was some trial and error in choosing bubble size. Projects cannot be saved and they must be completed in one sitting, which could be difficult for students given the time needed for this tool.
I used ABC Ya! Word Clouds for Kids to make a word cloud. My cloud uses words from the Frostwood Creed and our Life Skills. This cloud could be used to review school expectations. This is an easy tool for students to use. The only disadvantage is that there is no spell check in the tool. I can see many uses for this tool. In reading, students could create a word cloud about a character from a book. In science, students could show information about a bird they researched and use the cloud as a cover page for the bird reports. Making a cloud from researched information would help students determine which words were the most important, especially because this tool limits the cloud to 24 words. Clouds could also be made to show characteristics of a habitat or an animal. In social studies, students could create a cloud about a hero, event, or unit. Clouds could be made with key vocabulary from a unit, such as economics, and students could discuss each word in the cloud as a review.