Here’s How You Can Write Like a Halloween Story Champ

Here’s How You Can Write Like a Halloween Story Champ

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If there’s any time to get creative during the calendar year, it’s Halloween. Be it the costumes, the carving, or the confections, this spooky holiday is brimming with opportunity.

From Coraline to Frankenstein, and with the psychological thriller Girl on the Train hitting theaters this weekend, let’s just say there’s plenty of suspense brewing in some of our favorite books.

To be fair, not all of us think in the macabre mindset, but we can certainly all think in the imaginative one. This Halloween season, writing activities are the perfect outlet to tap into the creative voices of your students.

It’s the common rite-of-passage for critically acclaimed novels to be adapted for film. We can’t offer you a budget to get your story to the big screen, but we have something else in mind.

It just so happens that Voki is well equipped to participate in the Halloween writing process with you. Voki avatars do the job in adding animation to your ideas—not to mention social media can get them visibility.

As for characters, Voki has all your usual spooky suspects: Dracula, Frankenstein, skeleton, witch, zombie, bat, jack-o-lantern. But if you steer clear of the haunted path, then we have over 200 characters too choose from that can meet your imagination’s needs.

Teachers can prompt their students to write about anything pertaining to Halloween, but we recommend something that gets them thinking in the spirit of the holiday, something out of the ordinary.

Students can write their essay, and then create a Voki avatar(s) to narrate it. Using Voki Presenter, they can upload images, backgrounds, and links to create scenes and settings for their stories. There’s choice in how you want the story to be told. You can upload audio, type in text and have one of the Voki automated voices recite for you, or record your own voice.

We know: this is starting to sound more and more like a movie, and the students more and more like screenwriters, producers and directors.

It’s Halloween—what better time to think box office big?

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Catherine Alvino is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Oddcast. She holds a BA in English Literature and a MBA with a concentration in Marketing. She loves to write and is proud to work for a company that adds value to learning.

 

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Featured Teacher Sheila Slawiak Transforms Her Classroom with Voki

Featured Teacher Sheila Slawiak Transforms Her Classroom with Voki

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This summer, we asked our Voki community to submit their stories on how Voki has changed their classroom experience. We’d like to share with you the story of Sheila Slawiak, our featured teacher winner, who transformed her students’ attitude, engagement level, and integrity in their work using Voki.

Last school year during Q4 I tried out Voki for the first time.  I teach inner city struggling urban middle school students at a Level 4 school and before Voki, no project impressed them!  Then I found Voki and tried it!  To my surprise, all of my students loved it (from special ed to honors); I had 100% student engagement; and I had a student focused class!  It was a huge WOW! For me and for my students.  Even my most  highly risk students produced their product using my project requirements.  Never did I hear, “this is too  much work!”

I do have to admit, I used a lesson plan from the Voki blog as an idea.  Our school requires monthly written essays that show “citing of evidence”.  I took the idea of writing a persuasive essay about the importance of healthy snacks.  I gave my students a text set of 3 articles regarding the pros and cons of healthy snacks so they could synthesize their essay.  I also told them that their audience were 5th graders so they could feel important sharing what they have learned about healthy snacks.

To my surprise, they were so involved with all the activities in order to produce a talking persuasive avatar.  For the first time, there were no moans or groans inundating the lab, or piercing eyes staring at me. For the first time, I was able to facilitate peer reviews where each student really took an interest in their partners’ work.  For the first time, each student wanted to present their findings. For the first time, each student either scored a 3 or a 4 on my rubric vs. 0-3s. And for the first time, I was rated with high evaluative scores from my principals!  We all won and I attribute these wins to Voki!  Next school year, I’ll invite parents!

Thank you Voki for being so imaginative and for not ever settling!

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Sheila is an Instructional Technology Teacher for grades 6-8. She is passionate about teaching educational technology to both her students and colleagues. Shelia has expressed this sentiment on teaching: “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you can encourage all students (no matter what their challenges are in learning) to express their thoughts by utilizing audio applications like Voki that allow students to imagine greatness!”

Cooling Down with Voki

Cooling Down with Voki

 

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Happy Friday!

July is officially in full swing, and let’s just say—we’re feeling it. Temps may be rising, but Voki is keeping it cool for us with its fresh content and features. Here’s how it can help you beat the heat:

Using Voki on the First Day of School, as a Reflection Tool, and to Introduce Personas. 

Voki ambassador Paul Solarz just made ice breakers a little more fun. From a spin on “Two Truths and a Lie” to a new way to teach the Oregon Trail, Paul shares his secrets on how he uses Voki in his 5th grade classroom. 

“You Get Summers Off” & Other Damaging Myths About Teaching.

We’re sure you heard some of these before, but do those who aren’t teachers know the real stats? The dismissal bell might ring at 3:30, but teachers are actually putting in an average of 53 hours per week. You might want to furnish yourself with the rest of these facts in case someone gets them wrong. 

Grade 5 Social Studies: Complex Societies

Looking for an engaging way to educate your students on the Inca, Aztec, and Mayan People? This all-new Voki Teach lesson will take you through what attributes make up these complex societies, including the technologies they introduced to civilization. 

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Vokis are now available!

It’s hard to escape the mugs of these two—but why not bring a fresh face to the table? We’re talking about our two newest additions to the Voki library—the presumptive nominees themselves. Check them out on our Instagram page and see them in avatar form! 

“The Road to the White House”

Teaching politics can be tough, so we listened to teachers’ concerns and created a non-partisan hook presentation that covers the main stages of the presidential election process and gives students the chance to host their own classroom vote. We’re keeping the media frenzy out of the classroom, and refocusing on themes like government and democracy. 

The Voki App is now available on the iOS Appstore.

Just a hunch, but we bet you’re looking for a new app to try out. We felt the same way, which is why we launched the Voki for Education app. Not only is it free, but it also streamlines the Voki experience so you can now create and share avatars from your desktop and mobile devices.

Voki 2.0 is better than ever.  

We don’t know what feature of our recently updated site we like best. It offers both monthly and annual subscription options to keep things within budget, not to mention the navigation is incredibly easy. Did we tell you Voki Presenter got a makeover too? Well it did, and the sleek design will captivate any audience. 

Has Voki had a positive impact on your student’s life?

If so, we would love to hear about it and inspire others! Please email feedback@voki.com and share your story with us. If your story is featured, we will provide your classroom with a free, one-year level 3 subscription valued at $100.

Stay cool, Voki fans! Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,

Catherine Alvino, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Fun Fact: The winner of the July Fourth hot dog eating contest at the historic Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island devoured a record-breaking 70 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes. 

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Voki: Changing The Way My Students Learn

Voki: Changing The Way My Students Learn

gurgastudentphotoHow is Voki revolutionizing the way students learn in the classroom? Find out in Gianna Gurga’s

(Our newest guest blogger’s) blog post!

https://fishphilosopher.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/voki-changing-the-way-my-students-learn/

gianna gurgaGianna Gurga is a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher at 2 PK-8 schools in Waterbury, CT. She has been teaching for 4 years and has developed a passion for increasing students’ learning abilities by incorporating technology into various lessons and activities. Currently, Gianna is 5 weeks away from completing her Master of Education program in Instructional Design and Technology at Post University in Waterbury, CT. In addition to being a full-time teacher and graduate student, she is a High School Girls Tennis Coach, a ZUMBA Fitness Instructor, and a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant.

Tips on Remembering Your Students’ Names

Tips on Remembering Your Students’ Names

School is starting soon and that means a new group of students will be coming into your class! Unfortunately, some teachers might have problems remember names and faces. Let’s face it, if you’re a teacher with 50 (or more) students, you’ll probably have some trouble remembering all their names!

But don’t worry; we have tricks that you use to remember their names! Let’s get started!

Assign seats

On the first day of class, assign your students to seats. Have them sit in the same seats for the first few weeks of school until you are able to remember their names. You can seat them alphabetically; or, you can create a seating chart and post it up on the board.

Make name cards

Making name cards is the easiest way to remember your students’ names. Have your students create name cards and place it on their desk during class. They can also decorate the name cards to make the activity more fun! Before the class ends, collect the name cards. Test yourself the next day by handing out the name cards to you students.

Play a name game

Playing a game is a great icebreaker for a new class. Not only that it is a good way for your new students to get comfortable with the class, it gives them a chance to know each other! Students can come up with an adjective (have to be the same letter as their name) to describe themselves, i.e. Funny Fanny, Silly Sally, Crazy Craig. Each student will have a chance to participate. The first student will give his/her name (along with the adjective. Then the second person will repeat the first person’s student and give his/her name. The third student will recite each name from the beginning and adding their own. The last person to go should be you, the teacher!

What other tricks do you have for remember students’ names? Let us know!

Until next time,

Eva D.

The Voki Team

1560505_10152516453053764_8553617582835278394_nBio: Eva is the Community Manager for Voki and is part of the Marketing Team at Oddcast. She enjoys playing the piano and knitting on her free time. (She’s also a Rubik’s cube master!) She loves to hear your feedback and comments for Voki!