#DigiLit Sunday Google Slides, Wordle, Veterans Day

My favorite presentation tool: Google Slides.

First of all, it has really advanced since the time my students created the project I will share. Take a look at this Parent Night Slideshow. Google Slides has transitions, animations, and themes to really help students learn talking points and design.

That’s part of what two students did in my class a while back. The loved Wordle.net, but wanted to bring it in line with what we were learning about presentation, and to connect it with Veterans Day.

Every year the Nespelem American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a contest for Veterans Day. The theme is usually “Honor All Veterans.” Veterans Day is an important event in our community. In all the towns around, breakfasts, dinners, school assemblies, and Pow Wows honor those who served our country to keep us safe and free. We thank all those who sponsor activities, and especially the Nespelem American Legion Auxiliary.

The seventh and eighth grade students started with a prewriting plan in Google Docs which helped them think of nouns, strong verbs, and actions of those who served in the Armed Forces. Next the students revised and edited their work.

Two students, Tristen and Mysti, asked the  students to create word clouds using their essays as the source for the words (Wordle.net ). Each then saved the images, uploaded the wordles, and pasted their essays into a Google presentation. Each student explained why they chose the colors, word arrangements, and layout. This is their gift. Thanks to Tristen and Mysti for asking their peers to join.

We asked other schools in our Quad Blog Team to comment about our project and about Veterans Day. You can read those at our student blog here.

It was an engaging way to learn writing and design while also honoring our veterans. We may just do that again this year. How about you?

Based on this post: Writing Class Veterans Paragraph


DigiLit Sunday is a Sunday post on literacy, an invitation by Margaret Simon, to share literacy strategies and tools for the classroom. This week’s list of bloggers: Sunday, October 5, 2014.


Live Learning

I can’t help it. I’m curious. I wonder a lot. My students giggle when something strikes me as interesting and I MUST discover more.

I know it takes time, and that we don’t learn because some one wants us to; we learn because we want to.

So when I explained to my husband time and again on our country walks about the hexagonal/pentagonal shapes of the basaltic columns upon which we hiked, that concept slipped in one ear and out the other. Until one day, he stopped and looked down and around at the top of the columns.

“Look,” he exclaimed. “Each of these basalt columns are shaped like a pentagon. That must be how the lava cooled.”

“Yep,” I nodded and smiled, because we learn when we are ready.

Knowing that makes it difficult to teach in a testing world where pacing calendars and interventions fill every moment of every day.

But because I know this, and because I wonder, I learn along with my students — I learn what they, and I, wonder about. We squeeze it in; I work it into the lessons. Without their wonder; they can’t learn.

So, I live learning.

And when my  granddaughter joined twitter in 2007, I joined twitter to be a good grandma and monitor her online presence. And that was the beginning of an amazing learning experience.

I met my friend, whom I’ve never met in person, Denise Krebs. We heard about Connected Educator Month and decided to put our ideas together and present!  We had learned much together and through our PLN that we wanted to share with others. We jumped into sharing, and not just lurking.

Here’s one of our trailers:

Digital Learners Extend the Conversation from Sheri Edwards on Vimeo. A second trailer is here: Give a Little Bit

and here’s the info on our presentation:

Extend the Conversation
Jump in
Join, Lurk, Learn, Extend
Build your own bytes.


Denise Krebs @mrsdkrebs
Sheri Edwards @grammasheri

It was so much fun planning it in Google Docs, on Twitter, and with Google Hangout. We hope it helped someone else jump in and connect with others in our global world. I hope to add more with the connections in #ETMOOC , extending the conversation and the network to build knowledge for others.

So, thanks to Denise, (and many others in our Google+ / Twitter PLN, I’ve continued learning through more than just “lurking.” And I’ve joined the #ETMOOC to continue that conversation, inviting others to join in, and learning more. I need the inspiration to brighten my own and my students’ test practicing days. I want my students to see how I continuously learn — wherever I am.

How about you? Have you been impacted by your personal learning network? Has it helped you jump up and out into the cloud of conversation? Have you brought that inspiration back into your classroom?


Join us and Extend the Conversation – Jump In!

"Extend the Conversation... Have you joined twitter? Are you lurking on the sidelines to learn from others? Are you retweeting?

Have you started blogging? Are you participating in the Connected Educator’s Month Blogging Challenge? Between tweeting and blogging, I know have many new friends and colleagues all over the world, including Denice Krebs, and my life has been energized ever since.

Denise and I have collaborated with our classrooms and students. Whether it’s blogging or Google Docs, our students have been connected, and we as teachers have reflected on how access to the Internet and technology has improved both our professional and our students’ lives.

We have created and curated a Flickr TFotoFri group … but there’s so much more to share about our stories:

How do you become a connected educator — and why?

That’s our next project: sharing our story of connection — and how you, too, can become a digital learner, a connected educator.Thanks to Karen Fasimpaur at P2PU for encouraging and sponsoring us.  Join us this Saturday, August 18th at 10:00 AM Pacific and 1:00 PM Eastern for Connected Educator’s Month to learn how you can Extend the Conversation. Denise share’s a bit here: Join Us! and here are two trailers to pique your interest:

Will you join us?

Cross-posted at NSD21