Thursday, December 16, 2010

Powerpoint Review

Powerpoint presentations can be so informative and are rather easy to develop.  But easy and quick isn't always the answer when you want to impress your audience and keep their attention.  We talked about composition, color choices, fonts and font sizes.  There are also templates that add to the options when creating a powerpoint presentation.  Students will soon have the option to create a powerpoint or a prezi for their Reading WWII project.  They will work in their reading and technology classes on this project.  I hope they have great visual ideas planned for their projects.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

MS Word

What can you do with Microsoft Word?  Be ready to explore the possibilities.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Graffiti Lettering / Letterheads

A friend of Miss J's shared the Graffiti Creator site with her at a recent Art Teachers meeting. This free on line program has many possibilities when it comes to creating labels, posters, wall designs or graphic works. Students experimented with the program in class and then took screen shots of their images. (the image uses a lot of ink so students were not to print at school but could put the images on their flash drive to use at home)
We found we had a variety of lettering choices and the could adapt those letters by making them taller or wider or slanting them and even move them around randomly on the page. Adding color was fun and differed according to the font you would choose.
Once we got all our choices made and made the screen shot of the image we turned it into a Microsoft Word letterhead. We talked about what goes on a letterhead and why people use them. About half the students knew how to change the layout so we could move the image around on the page. All we had to do was double click on the image and select the right format for our needs.
Back to the word document, it's best to keep the same space around the edge of out graffiti image. Some had to be reminded not to put it too close to the edge or it wouldn't print. Selecting the right size and font is tough, you want to make sure your reader can read what's in front of them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We're Done Presenting Prezi's!

All three sections of 7th grade tech completed their presentation to their class of their first prezi, one about themselves. Students were asked to share eight catagories that revolved around them. Favorites, Activities, Family, Talents, etc.... We kept to copyright laws and didn't include images on our prezi's that we didn't take or have permission to use. Some students brought in images from home or their family photo albums, some took a photo on Photo Booth and some used clip art images from the AEA web site.
Students need to be reminded that any story has a beginning, middle and end and they needed to follow that idea when creating their prezi document. What was their introduction? What was the "meat" of the story and how did they come to a finish or close things down? It was as if they were creating a story in visual images and words.
It's not acceptable to make anyone else feel bad by something you present in class, so listing friends and omitting someone off your list was in poor taste.
Sadly there was some trouble in the 7th grade class using the same prezi account when someone signed into the account and ruined other students work. It was a fellow classmate and a handfull of presentations were tampered with. Hopefully that student or students will learn from the experience and not need to do that again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Zoo Comes to the Classroom

Students were excited about visitors to Technology class on October 11th.   These visitors were unique in more ways than one, as each was so different. They flew, crawled, scampered, had scales, feathers, wings, etc.  quite a change from the regular guest to a classroom.

Miss J. took a class offered by the Blank Park Zoo of Des Moines last summer, which created the opportunity for her to have the Education Coordinator of the zoo, Kathy McKee, visit her classroom with some animals. 

We studied digital photography and composition in the weeks before the visit while learning about the rule of thirds in composition along with studying photographs from the National Geographic animal photography website.  We practiced using the cameras looking for an interesting subject, the right view and angle and best overall shot.

Three sections of 7th Tech classes, averaging 20 students each, with cameras in hand, descended upon: a hedgehog, skink, leopard gecko, a tropical bird and a hissing cockroach.  Supplementing the photography stations in the art room were a mounted walleye and crappie compliments of Mr. Moon, another leopard gecko brought in by Cameron Corday and a mounted prairie chicken brought in by Miss Johnson.

There was an air of excitement traveling throughout the art room where the photos were taken.  Students snapped up to 26 photos of the animals in as many minutes.   They got the opportunity to touch and pet some of the animals and learn about their natural environment.  The next lesson in Tech class was to learn to download the photos and then edit them with the iphoto software on our computers.

McKee is excited about receiving the edited photos from the students.  She shared this was the first time she had done a unit that focused on photographing the animals on a classroom visit.  She’ll be pleasantly surprised when the final photographs arrive!