Who’s Telling Your Story If You’re Not?

storytellStorytelling is as important today as years past – perhaps more so. There are many competing forces and it is challenging to capture audience’s attention.  Questions to consider might be “What is your story? Who is telling your story? How are you telling it? Is it getting to the audience you wish?” Answers will differ depending on who you ask – teachers, students, administrators, community.

Social media is an easy way to get the word out. These include blogs, wikis, Twitter or even various online magazines. Even QR Codes placed on class windows and bulletin boards lend to a sharing of story. (It becomes easy for parents to use their smartphones to capture and take home little snapshots of information.)

Using multiple platforms can be wieldy. A blog is a good starting point— it offers many ways to bring out your creative genius as well as a place to share what is happening in the school or class. The platform allows for inclusion of images, audio, video and text (something for everyone). Posts can be short or long, ‘newsletter-ish’, or just capture the ‘moment-ish’. It offers students a chance to flex their voice and create a positive digital footprint. Especially when the commenting function is being used to teach communication to ‘lift and clarify’ thoughts.

So how is your story being told?

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Dialogue With A Twist

google_storybuilderlogoHow would you create opportunities for students to practice dialogue? Perhaps it’s talk between two people or two characters in a book or a conversation between you and yourself? MMhh…now that would be interesting. A bit of reflective action produced in video format. And practicing a host of literacy elements to boot.

The tool you ask? It’s Google Story Builder —just hot off the presses in April. Check out this online tool to create dialogue, monologue…the possibilities are endless.


Type in the names of characters; enter in dialogue. Add some music in the background and capture the weblink to share your conversation online.  I’ve created one on Questions (yes my favourite topic). Here’s the link:  http://goo.gl/mB5bXf

Sometimes you just have to have a conversation with yourself and sometimes it’s just about plain fun. Imagine if this was used as a documentation reflection piece in the classroom?

I would love to hear how you’re using this new tool?

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iPad Apps that Enhance your Language Arts Program

Pete the CatJoined by a group of enthusiastic K-12 teachers and principals, we explored a number of apps at our District Pro-D session on February 21st. The feature story was Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin. After listening to the story and the oh-so catchy song, we used a strategy called Milling to Music to move around the classroom to share connections with different partners. Great energizing strategy to use across the curriculum!

Hover over the circle icons and you will get additional information.

This image was created using Thinglink, which takes images and embeds interactivity.  For more on using this in your class, click here.

Click here for a copy of the handout.

Click here for ideas on how to use Popplet.

We would love to hear how your students are using some of these apps.