Educational Technology Review: Animation-ish

icon-aiAnother ed tech review is up on the Yellin Center Blog.  This time it is for an incredible animation software program that has the power to assist educators in differentiating their instruction and cultivating a maker culture in the classroom. I was over the top excited to learn that one of my personal all-time favorite children’s authors has launched an award-winning software program titled Animation-ishPeter H. Reynolds is the bestselling author and illustrator behind the incredible titles IshThe Dot and The North Star. Each of the aforementioned held a very prominent and special place in my curriculum when I was a classroom teacher.  Now, Mr. Reynold has moved beyond books and into the digital space with the launch of Animation-ish, which is described as “an easy-to-use animation software program that inspires creativity and enables children to show what they know.”

For more on how to use the app, its undeniable merits for the classroom and more unabashed praise singing of this amazing tool head over to my review at the Yellin Center.

Teaching Moments: Valentine’s Day Game

Love Bug Game_000001With Valentine’s day right around the corner I thought I would share a simple Valentine’s day game I created last year while I was substitute teaching.  I always tried to bring in my own creative lessons and activities that I could bring with me to classrooms in different grades.  I found this left the kids excited to have me, and relieved some of the pressure the classroom teacher felt to ensure they left me full day plans.  However, as a sub who is trouncing from classroom to classroom you can’t always be lugging around mass quantities of materials, so simple is always the best approach.

This game is just that.   All you need is a set of dice for half the class and the handout, leaving both the prep and needed materials minimal.  I used this as an early finisher activity all the way up to grade 8 (even the older kids like a break to be a kid now and again) or paired it with a Valentine’s day picture book to turn it into a math activity for the primary grades.  I always kept the students switching partners which made this is a great social and interactive activity that fills up the spare moments of time before transitioning to something else.

Here is the pdf version of the activity for you to download: Love Bug Game