Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our 5th Graders Are Going To Make Their Mark On The World....and All Throughout The Year!

The 5th graders are already making their mark on the world during the first week of school.  They have been using several really awesome digital tools to let their voice be heard.....not just in the library but outside of the library walls too.
And with International Dot Day coming up in just a few weeks on September 15th we have been talking about the uniqueness of our own marks.  

As I wrote a few weeks ago, this year the 4th and 5th graders will be creating "Related Arts Student Portfolio Blogs" using KidBlog (you can read about the portfolio blogs on this post).  The students have been using KidBlog for the last 2 to 3 years so they are good little bloggers, but this will be the first time that they have created a digital portfolio of their year.       
For their first post I wanted all of them to have something special and meaningful to share.  And since this portfolio blog is for related arts I wanted it to represent being heard as a reflection of our creative self we all have.  I spoke to them about how their posts might look different this year.....that they might be a picture or video they have taken to represent what they are learning within art, music, library, and technology classes.  

I want to embrace that their blogs will be the most creative part of themselves and feel comfortable in showing them to others. 
First, I showed them a new digital tool that I learned about this summer.....ReciteThis! It is very easy to use by typing in what you want to quote and then picking a template from the bottom of the page.
Once you have your quote, the site gives you the option to share it through a variety of social networks and email.  You can also download the image right onto your computer, which is what we did for this project.  
After they had their ReciteThis! quote downloaded they went to the "This Year I Am Going To Make My Mark On The World" Padlet that I set up for them before class.   (If you scroll down on the box above, you can see all of their images.) 
On the Padlet I chose the "Stream Layout" which puts each post one below the other.  
One just clicks on the wall, then on the middle icon with the little arrow pointing up (upload), and picks the image they want to use that is saved on the computer.  This automatically uploads the image onto the Padlet wall.  

A name and description can be added to the top of the post too.  The students put their name on the top of their ReciteThis! that they added to the Padlet wall.  
To make this really simple for the kids to get to I created a tile on the 5th Grade Symbaloo for the "Make My Mark!" Padlet, right next to the tile for ReciteThis! After I showed it to them in the beginning of class as I explained the project, they would be able to locate these resources from the 5th Grade Symbaloo easily.  
The last step for the day was to add the ReciteThis! image to their KidBlog.  I also linked each of the 5th grades KidBlogs to the 5th Grade Symbaloo....They were very excited to find their KidBlog for the first time and log in.  
The posts, even though very simple with just a title and image were meaningful to them and were so much fun to share with everyone else in the class.  
And we also have their Related Arts Portfolios opened to the all of you can read and comment too.  You can find them at these two links: 

As they made their first post I walked around to talk to each of them about their Kidblogs.  It is so powerful seeing how connected they are to their very own blog, even with that first post.  It is a space online that they can personalize, share what they want, connect with others, and receive feedback from others.  
To listen and watch them connect with their KidBlogs during this activity truly does show the power of blogging, publishing online, and using digital tools with young people. 
After school one of my 5th grade friends Josie came by the library.  During their technology and library time today, Josie thought it would be fun to put together a few of her favorite ReciteThis! images that her classmates created.  

I suggested that she use the collage tool in PicMonkey, which I already know she loves.  She was extra excited when I mentioned I bought the premium version of PicMonkey over the summer....that I let all my students use too.  
I love what Josie created and especially LOVE the message that all of all these words mean to our young people at Van Meter.  

I am going to have the students create more collage posters like this and we will hang them around the school so we can share the message with our entire school community.  

Also with all of you through our Padlet and KidBlogs.  

As you start school don't forget to ask your students how they are going to make their mark on the world.  And don't let the year go by asking them this just once....keep asking and have them share these marks along the way.  Digital portfolios, detailed blog posts, creative posters, unique images, and wonderful quotes are just a few ways they can do this.  

They will make a lot of marks on the world this year.....and on all of us too.  


  1. Awesome idea!! I really like both these sites!! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you....I like them too. :)

      Have a nice week.