Monday, March 24, 2014

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Mrs. Fritch's eighth grade talented and gifted students created impressive multimedia projects for the Shakespearean classic play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students were given a choice of how to demonstrate their understanding of the play.

Close your eyes and listen to this original musical composition by one young man. Relax and imagine the fairies putting Titania to sleep.

Another student created an animated short of Oberon and Titania fighting over the changeling boy.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

BrainPOP Francais

Did you know that BrainPOP is available in English, Spanish and French?  

The Spanish and French versions are immerse students into these foreign languages.  They can watch videos and take quizzes to master subject material. They study all core subjects, cultural and fine art subjects in the selected language. French students put this to use today to study various topics they were interested in.  Take a look.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Can I Persuade You to.....

Sixth grade students use Google Docs for the majority of their writings these days.  Here are a few examples of their persuasive essays. Students wrote their pieces and collaborated with the teachers to get feedback through online comments. Students then made revisions.  Several students used revision history to resort to a previous version of the document if mistakes were made.

One of the most important parts of this exercise was to cite their sources of information.  Using the Google Research tool made this task a breeze. A word is highlighted and Research is clicked. A pane of websites are brought up on the side of the document. You can narrow the search in necessary. Sites can be previewed as well.  When the correct site has been selected, the student can click on Cite. This function adds a footnote at the bottom of the page for the selected website as well as a superscript number for the appropriate location in the document.

Upon finishing the document, a student simply shares that with the teacher to be graded.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Students and staff get into the spirit for Valentine's Day.  Mrs. Wilkinson, our News Media teacher created a Google presentation and shared with the staff and students.  Each person created a slide and the result is full of well wishes.  You can see the entire collection on the Canyon Echoes website - a production of her News Media class.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

MinecraftEDU Pilot

Canyon Vista is one of three schools in the district piloting a MinecraftEDU program.  I have devoted a separate blog for this - you can check it out here. The kids are super excited about this program.  There are so many possibilities. It's like having a never ending supply of virtual building blocks.  Kids can create anything they can think of and can be used in nearly every class.  Worlds can also be created to teach specific lessons such as cell structure, math concepts, human body systems and even electrical engineering.  

Their first project is creating a model of the school.  They are measuring the school with their feet, translating that into measurements for the virtual world, then designing, selecting, and implementing their design with various Minecraft blocks in the 'creative mode'.  Some students are also working on models of various Austin landmarks.

Tour de Paris

French students are not racing on bicycles --- this year, but they are preparing a tour guides of Paris.  Would you like a guide on what to see and do in beautiful Paris for a weekend?  These students have created such a guide using a multi-step approach to create travel brochures.

Students first used Google Earth to research famous landmarks and tourist attractions in Paris.  They combined this knowledge with Google Maps Engine Lite to create their own maps.  They plotted points at the locations they selected, drew tour routes using lines over a satellite image of the city.  Once completed, they used the snipping tool in Windows 7 to grab screen shots of the completed maps.   The next leg of their journey involved PowerPoint. They wrote French descriptions and added pictures and their map to slides which they then saved as .pdf files.  Those, in turn, were fed into FlipSnack where they will become travel worthy tour guides.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The PSAs Are In

As promised, here are a couple of film highlights from the 8th grade public service announcement films.  The entire films are not posted, but here are some clips from them.  The students used their school environments to create some powerful messages.