Category Archives: Art

WordFoto

WordFoto is an iApp ($1.99) with a lot of potential for creative minds.  The app allows the user to either take a picture or load a photo from the device’s Photo Gallery.  Once loaded, the designer can then crop the picture if necessary.  The main appeal, however, is adding words to the picture.  There are sets of words already provided, or a creative mind can provide his or her own.  You can also choose the style by selecting from different themes or creating your own.  In addition, there are some fine-tuning tools to tweak things a bit more.  Below you will find an example of an original photo by one of my 4th graders, and her interpretation using WordFoto.

Original Photo
WordFoto Version

Thanks to Laura Moore, who first brought this app to my attention in her blog!  Be sure to check out her post for ideas on how to use WordFoto in the classroom.

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Nature By Numbers

This is the week of video posts, so here is your third one – an absolutely stunning video that visually relates how nature and math are absolutely connected.  This video was brought to my attention by a fellow teacher, Shari M., who knew that my gifted students would enjoy it as much as I would.

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

You could: pause this movie after the number pattern to see if your students can identify the pattern, have them research Fibonacci, challenge them to list all of the natural objects represented, ask them to find other items in nature that have connections to this pattern.

The creator of this video has an amazing website that explains the math, shows stills of his work in progress, and more.

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Ira Glass, the radio host of This American Life on NPR, gives his opinion of how to become great at your art.  Although he is speaking of writing, this could be a great motivational tool for anyone who has ambition in a particular field. David Shiyang Liu created the typography to go along with Ira’s words.

Guess the Wordle

What a Great Idea!Whether you use the Wordle riddles that “Jen” has created, or set off to make some of your own, this is a great concept that integrates technology with practically any topic you are learning.  You could use your Wordles to introduce a topic or to review something that has already been taught.  You could have students create their own Wordles that others need to guess.  One of the cool, and quite simple, features on this site is the way that she embedded the Wordles in her blog so that when you roll over them the answer appears.  This can be done when you add the alternate text to a picture you are inserting in your blog or website.  Of course, Wordle is not the only site that creates word clouds.  Tagxedo is another fun way to make these, and allows you to format them to different shapes.

Surprisingly Educational Apps

Pictorial” is a free app.  I envision using it with an iPad in a center.  The app is a great way to practice spatial skills.  However, the user can choose even harder puzzles if or she finds these too easy.

The puzzles show a series of dots.  By sliding your fingers around the screen, you can manipulate the dots until you see lines connecting them.  The darker the lines become, the closer you are to creating a picture.  Once you slide the dots into the correct place, an image will appear, such as the ice cream cone in the picture to the left, and a prompt appears for the next puzzle.

A student could be asked to solve a puzzle, then identify the picture.  To increase difficulty, a student could be directed to write a sentence with the picture, or even a story.  A high level user could have the additional challenge of connecting several pictures together within a story.

A screen pic and Screen Chomp (another free app) could be used by students who have difficulty writing.  Or each student could be directed to add the title of their picture to a class brainstorming map to use for writing or creative thinking. Another possibility would be to have students add the pictures to a class mind map to be used for vocabulary and/or spelling practice.  Creative students could try to find as many ways to connect the pictures as possible or use the pictures artistically in drawing a scene.

I think this app would be appealing to students in K-5.

For more ideas on how to use apps in the classroom, please visit www.techchef4u.com, another great resource for teachers!