Posts tagged ‘writing’
It’s been a while since we have posted about how elementary school classrooms are using Scribble Press and there are some innovative projects happening around the country and the world that we wanted to share. Thanks to all the teachers who have shared their class books in the public gallery so that we can all learn and be inspired.
Spanish: We’re seeing lots of books posted illustrating students’ knowledge of verb declensions. It’s a great format to show you’ve mastered all the forms. Other classes are creating reports about different countries’ environmental problems to show mastery of vocabulary. Here’s a goodexample .
Math: Many classrooms are using Scribble Press to create math stories. We love this example created by a fifth grade teacher.
Science: Wow! So many great science projects. Check out this book about simple machines - this project uses the iPad camera to send students on a scavenger hunt for simple machines in the classroom, and then write about it. A great group project.
Social Studies: Historical biography projects work really well on Scribble Press. Here’s a nice one of Abraham Lincoln, complete with creative spelling!
Creative Writing: With the huge library of “fill in the blank” story outlines, students can get off to a fast start creating their own stories. Allison wrote this one, The Dog Ate My Homework, “only for people ho like dogs.”
In closing, here are some great tips about using Scribble Press for iPad. These are some questions that have frequently been posted in reviews or sent in via email so we wanted to share them with you.
Printing. A printed book ordered from us is $14.95 plus shipping, However, we DO offer volume discounts for classes – just email us. Also, you can download a PDF once a book is shared, right from our website, and print it however you like.
Sharing. Books can be shared and unshared, made public or switched back to private, but in different places. ”Unsharing” happens in the App, and “make private” happens on the website, once a book has been uploaded. ”Unsharing” means that no one will be able to find the book, even if they have the direct page link. ”Make private” means that only people who have the link can see the book – it won’t show up in the searchable gallery.
Content packs. Some of you have asked about how to create your own content packs or story outlines, or whether we can offer more choices. We are planning to build a system allowing teachers to create their own content packs and share them (or even charge for them!) but that is probably for the following school year. In the meantime, we’ll be launching some new packs in the spring and adding new stickers and story outlines.
We continue to be thrilled with how many classrooms and parents are using Scribble Press! Thanks for all the creative applications you’ve come up with and please share your feedback and stories from your classrooms.
In the United States, we are in that small pause before the holiday insanity of black friday and holiday shopping and finishing end of the year school and work projects. What a great time to step back with our kids and create a book about what we are thankful for, or write a narrative celebrating Thanksgiving traditions.
In the Scribble Press gallery, there are some terrific examples including When the Turkey Ran Away by Lorelei and Favorite Fall Things by Erin – many more I would love share about thankfulness, but the authors are only sharing them privately.
There are some great Thanksgiving writing p
rompts from unique teaching resources that would work well for a home project with Scribble Press for iPad as well.
We have a great Story Pack available on the iPad or the website for creating Thanksgiving stories – see the details here
This is my favorite holiday – its about food, family and gratitude. My six year old said, when asked what he was thankful for, “I’m glad we have desks so I don’t have to sit on the floor.” How wonderful to be able to see the everyday things and be thankful.
by Leah Lacrosse, 5th Grade Science Teacher. Read Leah’s blog here and follow her on twitter @LLacrosse Thanks Leah for this contribution and for sharing your ideas about using Scribble Press in the classroom! - Anna B.
As educators around the world start recognizing the possibilities with iPad integration into the classroom, we are diving into some amazing apps. When looking for an app to support student reading, writing, and science content, I discovered the ScribblePress app. I was instantly impressed with the ease of use as my 9 year old daughter and I quickly created a fantasy type
book while sitting in the doctors office. We were writing, talking, drawing, laughing, and CREATING! This is the environment that I want to see my science student work within.
Imagine…taking a field trip to the science center and returning to create a class book! The science content would be revisited with reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills automatically integrated. Or, completing a study of the solar system objects and developing their own textbook version. Creating their own work will make the content so much more relevant and memorable. These artifacts of learning could easily be revisited at testing time as they can be printed or saved to the iPad. Conference time? These books would make fantastic discussion points for learning and areas to grow.
Wow! The possibilities are endless!
In our Summer Learning Camp session, we have been utilizing the ScribblePress app for students to create books about
themselves. With the easy to use template, my emerging readers/writers are creating phenomenal works! Sharing with each other, I hear confidence in their voices. We are furthering the use of the app by printing out copies for the students to share with their new teachers in 2 weeks. What a great way to introduce yourself as a reader, writer, and student by being a published author.
I love teaching songwriting to kids! Most of the time, when I teach songwriting, I am teaching adults. By the time adults get around to taking a course in songwriting, they are full of doubts about their creativity and process. They are not sure if their ideas are original enough, good enough, unique enough… What I love about kids is that, for the most part, they don’t have that baggage! Every idea is fair game! And this is the beauty of songwriting: finding ways to show the world how you perceive something different to everybody else, and why it is exciting to you.
The cool thing is that in the end, the stuff I teach to adults is the same stuff I teach to kids:
- Decide what the central idea of your song is.
- Find unique images, word pictures, and sounds to describe your ideas.
- Structure your song like you would structure a story – with a beginning, middle, and an end, so that the ideas flow in logical order.
What is amazing about songwriting for kids is learning how to focus on one idea, find cool and interesting ways to explain or describe it, using melody, rhythm and rhyme to start understanding the structure of language, and seeing how music can create a powerful emotional backdrop to the lyrical ideas you have.
I am so excited to share my love for songs and songwriting with other budding young songwriters!
-Keppie Coutts, Scribble Press Santa Monica Songwriting teacher
Keppie’s Favorite Artists Whose Songs Tell Great Stories:
CONGRATULATIONS to 10-year-old Simon, winner of this month’s Faber-Castell Scribble Your Story contest! Hidden treasure, far-away planets and a great escape were the topics of
Simon’s creative and colorful comic book, “The Adventure of Bob.”
Our guest judge this month is Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of one of the best picture books of 2011, GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE. Why we love Rinker: Her book is filled with surprising rhymes and creative uses of words. Also, she wrote Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site in her free time – while juggling multiple full time jobs as the head of her own graphic design firm and mom of two. What a great inspiration for all our aspiring young authors. Scribble Press was lucky to be able to host Rinker for a reading during her book tour, and we’re thrilled she’s joined us here to help choose the first of 12 winners of the Faber-Castell Scribble Your Story Contest! Simon received $100 of art supplies from Faber-Castell including a Young Artists Essentials Gift Set and a Comic Illustrations Set. Simon also received a gift certificate to make more books at Scribble Press.
Here’s what Sherri wrote about Simon’s book:
“I love the creativity shown in Simon’s book (dare I say “graphic novel?!”), The Adventure of Bob!
Simon shows great maturity in his illustration style and his ability to aptly divide up his pages into strong graphic vignettes that move the story along and keep the reader interested. Additionally, Simon’s plot twists are lively and his dialog nicely fits the illustrations (and sometimes elicits a laugh from the reader!). Simon’s’ combination of text and graphics make him a sure winner with a promising future ahead! (Nicely done, Simon. I can’t believe you’re only almost-11 years old!)”
Congrats again to Simon! We can’t wait to read all the stories you’ll write!
To read other great books written by kids, to learn how to enter the Faber-Castell Scribble Your Story contest, check out the Scribble Press eBookshelf.
“Once upon a time there was a guy who worked at the pound, which means he was a dog catcher.”
The story goes on to tell us how exhausted the dog catcher is from chasing one vexing dog in particular and how much he needs a vacation. Of course, the dog catcher’s tranquil stay at the Four Season’s is abruptly interrupted by… guess who.
For two days straight, I read this story aloud to a rapt audience of campers. Ten classes of more than 20 second and third graders followed every page, every picture. By the last class, I was sure the nurse in the room adjacent to ours would come barreling in and holler, “It’s President Obama’s dog!” – of course, spoiling the story’s random but entertaining ending. Thankfully she exercised restraint. And the children were left to cheer and laugh as the story concluded.
Written by Daniela Perez, The Missing Labrador was a raging storytime success. No listener called out “I’ve read that book before!” or “This is boring.” Everyone wanted to see just what it was that they, too, could accomplish. After all, Daniela was only in third grade.
There is such value in sharing the stories that children write. We are mistaken to think only the glorious bound book of a best-selling author can inspire a child’s creativity. In fact, I might argue that children are the best writers for other children. After all, they share a certain appreciation of the improbable.
How else can you explain the universal acceptance of the idea that the exasperating, chicken-stealing dog causing mayhem at the Four Season’s ACTUALLY lives in the White House?
Want to create a space that will heighten your child’s creativity?
Sometimes, it really is about space. Not the size so much. Just a nook where you can read your favorite book, a favorite chair that slides up to the tabletop just right so you can write with ease, a special lamp that casts light just the right way on the page. The same way we like our “stuff” the way we like it, so too do kids need their space. Especially their creative space.
While having the luxury to gift your child a writer’s lounge or art studio in the home is unlikely, there are some simple things that parents can do create “space” for their young authors and artists.
First things first. You will likely need to embrace the concept of creative chaos – which means this space may not be neat to your typical standards. That does not mean there is no organization. Figure out the tools your child needs and then work together to place these things in an accessible way. Paint some coffee cans to hold the pencils. Put up a shelf or two for the various kinds of paper or art supplies. And then, get your child a tabletop or desk space that is his own. I would argue that a postage stamp-sized surface is better than half of the dining room table – which, let’s face it, either is piled with your own tower of unfinished projects or is cleaned regularly by someone who can’t stand piles at all. This is your child’s space. Let ‘em have it.
Then, let ‘em write on the walls.
Seriously. Get a white board or a large piece of poster-sized paper and put it on the wall. Encourage your child to outline and story bubble and sketch out ideas before sitting down to the creative task at hand. Give him a bulletin board to collect notes and ideas and funny pictures of things that may inspire.
There are so very many reasons to do this. First and foremost, it makes your child’s thinking visible. Even better, it introduces your child to the process of developing and reflecting on ideas before barreling ahead. Regardless of whether your child is a visual or verbal learner, the process helps creative minds purge the clutter. Okay, yes, that means they are purging onto your wall. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. White boards can eventually be erased.
In time, if you pay attention, you might even start to notice some things—like how ideas in your child’s head are best sorted out. Does he use more pictures, shapes, charts, words? Or it a smorgasbord of all of them? When the time comes to help junior get organized with homework and writing assignments, knowing “how” his mind works things out and the tools that work for him will be invaluable.
Rest assured, in time the process will likely come down from the wall and become a bit more mobile (and aesthetically tolerable)—a box of index cards or a notebook to carry around. But for now, let creative chaos spill onto the walls of your child’s creative space. Unlike the art projects that go on the refrigerator door, these musings and pictures are for your child. Judge not. Ideas are supposed to be big and messy. Embrace the chaos.
And if you’re really daring…buy your own white board and see what happens.
We all try to keep our kids offline for as long as possible, but eventually it happens. Facebook status updates, text messaging, Twitter… today’s children are growing up in a 140-character world. The shift in communication has inevitably sparked some debate around whether this abbreviated dialogue is helping or hindering the development of storytelling, writing and literacy skills in children.
It is difficult to believe that children are becoming better writers and readers when single letters (“u,” “r”) stand for words, and when a few letters (BRB, TTYL,) mean complete phrases. These shortcuts are also taking the nuance out of their communication – everyone needs to use the same abbreviations or they lose their meaning.
It would be pointless to try to force your child to write in complete words or sentences when they communicate online or by text message. Not only would it be near impossible, there is some value to a character or word limit. It forces us to express our thoughts clearly and concisely, which is often the most difficult part about writing. Parents should strive to find a balance between the two extremes. Here are a few things you can do to keep your child writing thoughtfully:
Have her write letters
- Instead of catching up with friends and family via e-mail, have your child write letters to extended family, friends who attend different schools and even teachers. While it is easy to write “how r u? i miss u,” when sending an e-mail, your child is unlikely to use such abbreviations when handwriting a letter.
Make personalized cards
- Avoid buying greeting, birthday and thank you cards from the drugstore and have your child create her own personalized cards. Even if she just writes a sentence or two on each card, it requires much more thought than simply penning a signature.
Encourage her to keep a journal
- Journal writing is a great in-between to writing in school and texting or Tweeting. Journal writing allows your child to write in an informal, conversational tone while still developing compete thoughts and sentences. She won’t have any teacher specified or character count related restrictions. Plus, while your child will be developing writing skills, it won’t feel like work.
Pose questions that require thoughtful answers
- Before she can spit out an answer, tell your child to really think about the question and have her write down her response. Questions can be silly (“If you turned into an animal for a day, what would you be and what would you do?”) or serious (“If you could do one thing to make the world better, what would it be and why?”). Even better, write down your own answer to the question and take turns reading aloud your answers. Not only will hearing her own writing help your child become a better writer, you’ll have fun learning about each other.
Check back for tips on leveraging tools like Twitter to help your kids write intelligently while sticking to 140 characters.