Using Wixie to increase an ELL’s ability to understand Common Core

Posted by Carolyn Daly on Jan 19, 2015 3:19:00 PM

Fact:  10% of students enrolled in our schools today are second language learners.
Fact:  ELL’s need to spend at least 50% of their instructional time “producing” oral language.
Fact:  ELL’s students will be assessed on the Common Core Standards in the majority of the states.

With these facts in mind, how do you start preparing students for learning in another language in a meaningful and deep way as the new Common Core standards propose?

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Topics: ell, common core, literacy

Transport your students with chroma key

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Jan 6, 2015 4:50:07 PM

Using chroma key is a great way to transport your students across time and space. What is chroma key?

When you use chroma key, you combine two images (or videos) together by removing a specific color (or making it transparent) from the top image.

When you use chroma key, the top image includes a main character in front of a single color. You may have heard of 'blue screen" or "green screen" because of the common use of these hues.

Even if you aren't familiar with the techniques, you probably have some idea how it works already. Think about a weather reporter. They stand in front of a map that you know isn't really there. That is because the map, or background changes, and they are really standing in front of a green screen.

Using the idea of chroma key, students can become:

  • explorers in a different time or place
  • protagonists in their own story
  • tour guides at historical sites
  • part of personalize greetings
  • comic book heroes
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Topics: digital storytelling, animation

Great ideas for first animation projects

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Dec 9, 2014 10:49:00 AM

Frames has tools that make it perfect for stopmotion, cartooning, claymation, and digital storytelling. While there are a lot of features, it doesn’t have to be difficult to get started.

Like all our tools, you will find Recipe tutorials that can help you learn enough to have the confidence to start with your students. You can follow the tutorial directions to build some really fun curriculum projects, or use them as inspiration. Here are some ideas.

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Topics: frames, digital storytelling, claymation, stopmotion, animation

Winter lesson ideas for primary and elementary classrooms

Posted by Danielle Abernethy on Dec 2, 2014 10:59:49 AM

Winter may not officially start until December 21st, but it sure seems as if Mother Nature has other ideas for much of the United States!

While you may already have the winter blues, the winter weather provides lots of opportunities to engage students in science learning and a creative approach to informational reading and writing. 

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Topics: common core, Wixie, activities

How to get your child started with Pixie at home

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Nov 17, 2014 3:47:00 PM

Holiday season is upon us! I can tell because my in-box is starting to fill up with emails from parents looking to buy Pixie for their child at home and teachers looking to recommend Pixie as a gift option for their students.

Pixie is a great way to bring “school” home, while avoiding worksheet, or workbook, style activities. But when Pixie opens for the first time, a lot of parents (although not many kids), can be intimidated by that blank white page! What in the world are you supposed to do? 

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Topics: pixie, parent guides