July 10

Creating social media posts


creating social media posts large

The four categories of focus for a RAFT include:

  • Role of the Writer: Who are you as the writer? A movie star? The President? A plant?
  • Audience: To whom are you writing? A senator?  Yourself? A company?
  • Format: In what format are you writing? A diary entry? A newspaper?  A love letter?
  • Topic: What are you writing about?

Discuss with students the importance of considering each element — role, audience, format, and topic — before they begin writing. For example, taking on the wrong role can dramatically affect the response. If a student is supposed to write from the point of view of a flighty teen, but writes instead from the point of view of the strict mother, their RAFT writing would not be accurate because it came from the wrong point of view.

Instead sharing the usual boring biographical research results for a famous historian or scientists, have students imagine what would be on their phone. Have them step into the shoes of their research topic and identify some of the apps, games, pictures, text messages and emails that would be found on his/her phone.

THEIR phone

Think about how well they need to know a character to be able to build a social media profile and posts. Either have them recreate a phone, create a social media profile and posts or just have them to identify the following:

1. Screen Name:They should be creative and use what they know about the character. Have them try to think outside the box.

2. Avatar: Their avatar should be an image or photo that represents the text’s character / author / ?? .

3. Quote: Twitter and Facebook users can identify or pin a favorite quote, song lyric or personal sound byte.

4. Playlist: Consider what songs might be on their phone.

5. Contacts: What people would be on their friends list: they can use real people, historical people, or fictional characters.


July 10

Creating Interactive Images

creating interactive imagesAfter students read text have them create memes or gifs regarding the themes, characters, main ideas, concepts, etc.  They use critical thinking skills to find ways to create the parodies/associations.

Here are some How To slides to help you and your students create artifacts.

Students can create memes or gifs in any of their classes. It’s not just limited to English class.

Math or Science

  • Highlight an important inventor, mathematician or scientist and publish a quote or relevant biographical information.
  • Demonstrate measurement, angle, and percentage concepts.
  • Create a riddle or question for a mathematician or scientist.
  • Summarize the main idea of a text over a snapshot of a book’s cover.

Social Studies

  • Illustrate a region’s strengths, weaknesses, geographical markers, etc.
  • Highlight an important historian and publish a quote or relevant biographical information.
  • Promote political figures.
  • Debate controversial issues

Create a slideshow, assign students slides and have them to paste their memes on their slides.

Many CCSS anchor standards are addressed when students create interactive images.

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening
February 22

My Scholars are Online and Passionate

We are in the midst of Pursuing our Passions as we work through our #PassionateScholars Project. My Scholars are researching a topic that is important to them. I have decided to try out the 20% Project and allow my students to research a topic of their own choosing. This topic should be one that they feel passionate about because they will be researching it and presenting findings for it to the class in a Ted Style video.

  • What? – What in the world is 20%?
    • The basic premise of the 20 percent time project is that it is student-driven, passion-based  learning.
  • How? – Did I hear about this idea?
    • Everywhere = Daniel Pink’s book, Drive. Pink,
  • Why? – Did I think that it was a good idea for my Scholars?
    • It is important that they have some freedom and selection in the work that we do.
  • When? – Do they research, plan, share and present?
    • I have no idea. They research inside and outside of the classroom. They will share and present in about four weeks to the class annndd..???

and the final question:

  • Did? – I lose my mind? LOL
    • Yes. How can a classroom full of students all panic when told to research what they wanted to know more about and felt passionate about.

First, if you tell students that they will have one day a week to research a topic of their own, the first question is WHAT SHOULD I RESEARCH?

Second, when I asked them to create a blog, something happened to their ability to turn on a computer and click a link. 

Third, I obviously need to hold on real tight because I feel that we will have a bumpy ride ahead.

These Wordles house links to the student blogs and proposal pitch videos.

Work from my 2nd period Scholars

Work from my 3rd period Scholars

Work from my 4th period Scholars

January 22



I signed up for an Educator’s account on the Thinglink.com website and I haven’t had time to play. I just created my first one, this vocabulary list for my class.


On the ThingLink site there is one for a MLK contest that I love and want to remember when want to create and publish …..  

March 28

Smore posters

Smore online posters are great tools to use to publish and showcase work/information. I have not used them in class yet, but I intend to have the kids create posters. Here are a few of the ones that I have created.

Poster for last year’s EdCamp

My 13/31 slice



March 28

More about Weebly.com

Lately I have been delivering presentations about creating ePortfolios using Weebly.com. My latest presentation was given for Live.Classroom20.com

Click here to see the Live Classroom 2.0 blog post that features my presentation.

Here is a link to the livebinder that houses tons of resource links about using Weebly.com for websites and ePortfolios.

Here is a Smore Poster that I created for Weebly.com ePortfolios

I created this Weebly site to house resources to show why you should use Weebly.

Here are the Presentation slides for this webinar

http://msbisonline.weebly.com/weebly-for-eportfolios.html (Exemplars to examine)

My 12/31 slice



February 25

Our Students Consume Information more than snacks

Our kids are not just consuming chips and cookies. Technology has allowed them to be consumers of information.  They use laptops, tablets/pads and PDAs to google, tweet, post, view and listen.
In 2013, our students are capable of researching topics that interest them, design media/text to reveal the results, author articles/reports that displays research results and write blog/publications that can be read and shared by others.
If your assignments don’t reflect this, are you making the most of their abilities? 
April 24

My Me Manifesto

I am working my way through Shelly Terrell’s #30GoalsEdu http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/30-goals-2012/.  Each week there are a few goals to reflect upon.  Goal 1 is to create a Me Manifesto that identifies what you want to accomplish in your class.


For me that is easy – technology integration and the publication of student work.  I want my kids to publish photomovies, blog posts, fake tweets/facebook pages and essays on their ePortfolios.  It is my experience that I can engage the ‘unengageable’ more with technology than I could with pen and paper.


Here are some of the ePortfolios that my students have published.  Some are better than others BUT I am pleased with them all.  The students rose to the challenge and completed more work for me on their ePortfolios than they did completing worksheets.

Sarah’s work

Myesha’s work

Sheldon’s work

April 23

RAFTing – a writing strategy to demonstrate understanding

The RAFT writing technique requires students to focus on the Role, Audience, Format and Topic of their writing assignment.  I use the RAFT technique to have students look at a situation from the perspective of a story character and compose a blog/journal post as that character.  I can see whether or not they really understand the character and story events.


Here is a screenshot of a blogpost created by one of my students.  This assignment is from our from Romeo and Juliet Unit: she is Juliet’s mother after Juliet is found dead.

Thanks to Shelly Terrell and her Teacher Reboot Camp Goal Challenge for the idea behind this post: Goal #8: Share an Activity

March 5

Visible Tweets

Visible Tweets

is a visualisation of Twitter messages designed for display.


Plug in a keyword, hashtag or Twitter name and Visible Tweets will pull in references for your search term.  Change the animation of the display from letter by letter, rotation or cloud tag.  Very interesting way to search.  Great for class, presentations or anytime you want “pretty” search results.

Here is a silent video that I did using @MsBisOnline as the search term to visualise.