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Theme Analysis with Powtoon

A few weeks ago I received an email from a parent.  She said that she and her child were struggling with adapting to all of the technology being used at school.  I had to laugh!  Believe me, I totally understand.  I got through college with an electric typewriter!  When I first started teaching twenty-three years ago, there wasn't a computer on campus for teachers to use, we did not have voice mail, and grades were kept in a binder for the teacher,  not the students!  Boy have times changed!  I am constantly learning about new ways to enhance the classroom experience and facilitate learning for my students.  I don't want to get left in the dust!  

 Here are a few things I've tried this year:

1) Noredink.com-This website allows students to both practice and take quizzes on both grammar and punctuation.  Students can personalize their interests, which means that the sentences they may contain their best friend's or favorite sports player's name.  It also provides instant feedback, as well as an explanation of each missed question!

2)  Class Dojo-I started using this this week.  Each student has a cute little monster with their name under it.  I project all of the monsters onto the big screen.  When a student is  on task or doing something positive, I can click on his other monster on my ipad.  Their monster will then pop up on the screen with a positive comment from me! The kids love it!  It also allows me to randomly select students to participate or answer a question with just a click of  a button!
My Little Monsters



3) Turnitin.com-Students submit most writing assignments and projects to this site. It allows me to make numerous comments on their work, use rubrics I create to score their work, and I can even leave voice comments on their work.  It also saves paper.

4)  Powtoon-Students can create digital, animated presentations on this site.  The presentations look VERY professional.  It allows students to do much more than they could do on a Google Presentation.  Some of the characters are even animated!
Learning to use Powtoon

Collaborating in our Beautiful Media Center

Working on Theme Analysis Powtoon






This week we are using Powtoon to create a theme analysis presentation of Monsters on Maple Street.  Before beginning the project, students had to create a theme statement (basically a thesis) about the teleplay.  We discussed using eloquent, sophisticated language in their statements and really trying to come up with something original.  They then had to find quotes from the text to support their theme statement.  Finally, they provided the context and analysis for each quote.

After that, they were instructed to create a Powtoon which will be shared with the class.  They seemed to really enjoy it, and they put a great deal of effort and thought into choosing and analyzing their quotes.

Finding Textual Evidence in Monsters are Due on Maple Street


Coming up with a Theme Statement

Being Silly 


Love these kids!

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