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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

QR Codes, emotions and fictional characters

Whew! We are now finished with our fictional characters! You can scan the QR code below our characters to listen to what our characters feel and why they feel that way.  You can use QRAFTER OR  I-Nigma (both free) or any other QR code reader from the App Store or Google Play Store (Android).

After scanning, just go to the URL. Make sure you are connected to the internet / data.  Here are some examples -- just scan the QR code below the drawing to hear the students' voices:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Step 3: Embedding Videos and Other Links on Blogger

This is a short tutorial on how to embed videos and other links on blogger.

Other than videos, you can also embed presentations, calendars and other useful things on Blogger. You just have to look for the EMBED code.  Here is a screencast of the tutorial:

Here are the steps:

(assuming you already know what you want to embed and you know how to create a new post)
1. Create a New Post
2. Copy Embed Code / Language
    On Youtube, remove “ Show Suggested Videos When Video Finishes Playing”
3. Switch from Compose to HTML
4. Paste Embed Code / Language
5. Check if you are successful by going to your new post on View Blog

**Watch out! 
When you go back to creating a new post, switch back to COMPOSE. Otherwise you might be confused of why nothing is showing on your post.


1. On a post, click LINK on your toolbar.

2. On the window that pops out, you can put a WEB ADDRESS that you want to link to.  You can also put what you want the clickable link to show (TEXT TO DISPLAY) instead of the website address.  I also recommend clicking / checking OPEN THIS LINK ON A NEW WINDOW so that your main window with your blog will always be open.  Click OK. 

Here is what it should look like (you can click on the link below to see how it will show):


Friday, April 25, 2014

Step 4: Embedding a Photo on your Blog

Here are the steps:
  1. Create a New Post
  2. Put a Title
  3. Click on Photo icon beside the Link on your toolbar. 
  4. UPLOAD from computer or FROM A URL. Click ADD SELECTED at the bottom.  (You can also upload from your webcam, your phone or your PICASA albums.) 
  5. Adjust placement (left, centre or right) by clicking on the photo. You can resize by clicking on the photo. You can also add a caption when you click the photo.
  6. LABEL before PUBLISHING! 

Here is the video!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stop Motion Videos

The grade 3s have been busy exploring the NFB Stop Motion app! The videos they created are based on Shel Silverstein's peoms, thus having a black and white element. "The Bouncing Ball" video below was done by everybody while the second and third videos are poems chosen by their respective groups.

Step 5: How to Create a Welcome Post on your Blog (The Easy Way)

Create a "Welcome Post" that will always be displayed when your blog is accessed.  Here is a short tutorial:

1. Create a New Post.

2. After creating the post (put a TITLE, write something on the BODY, optional to put LABEL ), PUBLISH.

3. Go back to the same post.  One way to do this is by going to your DESIGN,

go to POSTS,

and click on the SAME POST.

4.  Once on the SAME POST, click PUBLISHED ON at the right side.

5. Click on the SET DATE AND TIME radio button and SET TO A FUTURE DATE.

Your WELCOME POST will always be the first post on your HOME blog until future date you set it.  From the screenshot above, the post will be there until April 26, 2020.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Step 6: How to Put a Tab on Your Blogspot

Here's a short video of how to put tabs into your blog (Blogger). Google usually makes changes for the better. Sometimes, however, one has to resort to youtube or google to navigate the changes.
Hope this helps! (Made with the free version of ScreencastOMatic.)

Most updated version is here:

Here is the older video before Google added the Pages gadget (in case you are interested):


Sunday, April 20, 2014

STEP 7: Customizing Your Blog's Design

  1. Go to Your DASHBOARD and click on TEMPLATE.


2. Explore the ready made templates by clicking on their thumbnails. You will see a preview applied to your blog.  DYNAMIC templates may load longer though on older computers or mobile devices so consider how you want your blogspot to show on the internet. 

You can also see how your blog will look like on a MOBILE device on the thumbnail next to  LIVE ON BLOG.


3. You can customize the look at this point by clicking CUSTOMIZE of you can do that later.  If you like how it looks, click APPLY TO BLOG.


Upon CUSTOMIZING, you can put your own BACKGROUND, ADJUST COLUMN WIDTHS, revise LAYOUT and change fonts and colours in the ADVANCED option.  


Don't forget to click APPLY TO BLOG.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NFB Stop Motion

The National Film Board of Canada ( has a second version to its popular PixStop app.  Called NFB StopMo Studio ( and no longer free like Pixstop, for $0.99 it packs cool features that are easy to use  even for very young students.  To start, there are 4 audio / soundtracks that can be used.  There is now no need to take pictures and then transfer them to computers to edit.  Pictures can be shot and then edited directly on the iPad.

Prior to creating their movies, the students explored the NFB app by making Lego figures move.

As I only have classes for a short period (40 mins.) in a day, their Grade 3 teachers (Ms. Schock and Ms. Rusnov - without these two wonderful teachers it would take us ages!) did the heavy lifting of preparing the classes for the actual shoot.

In their respective homeroom classes, they took up a poem (The Bouncing Ball), did storyboards and then proceed to shooting their stop motion vid in Media Literacy.  Human figures and the bouncing ball were created with pipe cleaners, backgrounds and other structures with paper and markers.

Here are pictures of the Grade 3s:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Editing Posts

It is very easy to go back to edit your post.  There are two ways of doing this:

1. You will need to go to your DASHBOARD by either clicking on the Blogger logo on the upper left anytime when on your blog,

clicking on the POST LIST

search for your post by using the search bar on the upper right or scrolling down manually.

Once you have found the post you want to edit, HOVER below the post title until you see the options EDIT | VIEW | SHARE | DELETE.  Click edit to revise your post.  

2. The other way to EDIT your post is to go directly to it and scroll down to the end. You will see a PENCIL icon, click it and you be able to edit your post.  

Don't forget to click PUBLISH when done editing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creating a Static Home Page

It took me a while to figure this out. The default setting for Blogger is that you will see all of your posts on your home / first page.

Thanks to a teacher-friend, Laura (, who directed me to a tutorial a showed me the step by step, I now have a STATIC HOME PAGE!

Here is my version of the tutorial (apologies -- what I meant at 1:52 and 2:30 of the video is "welcome page address link" not "welcome message". Please just copy the "/p/welcome..." part AND not the entire link.):

QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator from

Here is a great QR Code Generator website for Treasure Hunts!

QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator from

'via Blog this'

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blogger App for Smartphones and Tablets

One way to easily document student learning and document pedagogy is to use the Blogger App
(click here for iPhone / iPad, and click here for Android devices).  I use it in my classroom to post photos and learning in REAL TIME. I make sure that students' faces are not shown to protect their identities.  Here is a short tutorial from YouTube:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Our Make Believe Characters


The grade 1s and Ms. Ciaccia's class are creating make believe characters. They first created a rought draft and then finalized their characters.  Some had better rough drafts so we decided to make them out "final" ones.  Here are the steps we followed:

1.) Mr. Shih read "How Are You Peeling"(click here for a video from Youtube) to study how to show feelings with facial features. (Thanks for Ms. Yee for the book idea!)
2.) He handed us blank templates for our characters and backgrounds. 
3.) We created our characters and then our backgrounds.  We then cut out our characters and then stuck them on our backgrounds.
4.) Soon, we will be using Aurasma app on the iPads to record ourselves talking about our characters!

Stay tuned!