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? 

Read More

Topics: pixie, parent guides

Using Special Characters in Tech4Learning Tools

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Nov 11, 2014 3:21:05 PM

Tech4Learning tools effective in helping students acquire a second language, and students can even use Tech4Learning tools in other languages!

Read More

Topics: pixie, ell, frames, literacy, share, Wixie

Engage readers with creative projects during “Picture Book Month”

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Nov 6, 2014 7:24:00 AM

"A picture book is what you read to someone sitting on your lap." Nick Bruel

Most of us have fond memories of reading with our parents or children. We probably even have a favorite picture book or picture book series. November is Picture Book Month and it’s time to celebrate that love!

No matter what grade your students are in, it’s time to get out the picture books and don’t limit your celebrations to just reading them. While most students love listening too and looking at picture books, they also want to write, make, and publish! Combine reading with technology and creative projects to engage learners and engage students in reading.

Read More

Topics: literacy, Wixie, literature, writing, ePub

Move beyond the book report

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Oct 28, 2014 1:08:00 PM

The book report may be the most dreaded elementary classroom assignment of all time. The elementary Common Core writing standard for argument includes opinion pieces about books, encouraging many teachers to incorporate some form of literature review rather than worksheets filled with information.

We do want students to comprehend a book’s who, what, when, and so on, but a book report that is simply a summarization of a book’s plot isn’t really any better than the worksheets we’re all keen to avoid.

A regurgative book report is devoid of thought and presents no argument. Being assigned such a task is an open invitation to copy and paste a summary from a wiki or even the book’s dust jacket. While we can police student work for plagiarism, we can also do much better.

Read More

Topics: pixie, creativity software, Wixie, literature, comprehension,

Wixie or Pixie?

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Sep 25, 2014 10:09:00 AM

“Should I use Wixie or Pixie?”

We often hear this question from educators looking to do creative work in their classroom. Wixie and Pixie seem like they do the same thing, and they aren’t sure which tool they should use.

The answer almost always starts with “Wixie is Pixie in the cloud.” But this response is only part of the picture.

Both Wixie and Pixie provide easy-to-use tools for students to create projects with their paintings, their writing, and their voice. Both Wixie and Pixie give students many options for sharing what they have created.

This is where Pixie ends, but Wixie keeps going. The big differences are how and where students access Wixie and the additional tools teachers have to integrate Wixie into their classroom.

Read More

Topics: pixie, creativity software, Wixie, cloud-computing, iPad, Android, 21st century classroom, chromebooks