Logotype Maker

Logotype Maker is a tool I discovered awhile ago on the Free Tech 4 Teachers blog.
I have used it for a few personal projects, but had not implemented it in my classroom yet.  Yesterday, my fifth graders were working on “Genius Hour” projects – which I will be detailing in a future post.  Some of the students are creating websites using Weebly.  One pair was trying without success to create a banner for the top of their site, and it suddenly occurred to me to recommend Logotypemaker.  They were so psyched about their results that other groups kept coming over to see what was going on.  Several students wrote the site address down so they could try it at home, and two other groups immediately got to work on creating their own logos.  If your students have blogs or websites, I highly recommend you show them this resource.  It will not only generate hundreds of logo ideas, but will also allow the students to edit them to further personalize them.
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Check for Understanding

In this blog post by Kathleen Perret on “Learning is Growing”, she gives a list of great ideas for informally assessing the learning of your students.  These are quick techniques to use at the end of a lesson just to check if your intended message got across.  Although I have used some of these, there are a few new ideas that I think would be well-worth trying – such as “Chalkboard Champs” or “Rock, Paper Scissors”.

The Artist’s Toolkit

I have used The Artist’s Toolkit for several years now to introduce my elementary Gifted and Talented students to the elements and principles of art.  Each element or principle gives the user the opportunity to “Watch, Find, and Create”.  There are also a couple of videos of artists in action.  This is a very simple, but effective site.  I like how it teaches, but also allows for the students to apply what they have learned and to create artwork based on this.

Draw a Stickman, Episode 2

Draw a Stickman” has been one of the most popular posts on this blog.  Now, there is an Episode 2!  You can play it on the web, or you can play it on an iDevice (and get an alternative ending) for free.  Although I found out about the new episode through e-mail, I thought that  Kelly Tenkely’s summary of both of the Stickman episodes and the ways you can integrate them in your classroom was an excellent post.  So, I will direct you to her for a wealth of ideas!

Inference Folders

I love this idea from Maureen at StrongStart.  Meant for primary grades, this activity could easily be differentiated for any ability level.  Using file folders with a picture glued inside, and a hole cut on the exterior that shows part of the picture, students are asked to guess the picture.  Hints can be given on the outside.  Older students could easily design these folders themselves, photographing or even drawing the pictures on the inside.  This could be tied in to any academic discipline to review or introduce terms, characters, and settings.  Visit Maureen’s blog for ideas on how to implement this in your classroom.

Easter Creative Thinking Packet

photo credit: Bibi via photopin cc

I have added an Easter Creative Thinking Packet to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  It is now available for $1.00.  It includes brainstorming ideas, as well as printable worksheets for each of the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. creative thinking tools created by Bob Eberle.  My gifted students in 1st-5th enjoy these S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packets, as the activities give them the chance to stretch their imaginations.  We are in the home stretch right now for the school year, and thinking outside the Easter basket could lessen some of the stress!

Spring Break!

Engage Their Minds will have a brief intermission in order for the author to recharge her brain.  We will return next Monday, March 19th, with more engaging resources for teachers, parents, and students!

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