Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What a Month!

September has been a whirlwind of a month and ended the same way.

I started the month by presenting at the 2014 Instructional Technology Conference presented by our local area RESA.  Another local media specialist and I presented about our new favorite app, Aurasma.



I organized everything into a LiveBinder for the presentation to make it easy for everyone to follow. Of course the LiveBinder would only work if the wifi did and as most technology conferences go, the wifi had its issues.  But all in all, I think it went well.  If you would like to view the LiveBinder, you can find it HERE.



While at the Conference, I picked up a lot of great information about some new web 2.0 tools and apps that would be great to use in the classroom or school library media center.  I made a couple of Symbaloos to keep up with all the tools shared.  Click HERE to view the web 2.0 tools Symbaloo. Click HERE to view the app Symbaloo.


I had a great time at the conference. It was fun to get away for a little bit.  I am looking forward to next year, although I hope it doesn't fall around the same time as our book fair like it did this year.  It was a bit stressful getting ready for both at the same time.


After the conference came the Book Fair, Grandparents' Week, Picture Day, and a visit from the State School Superintendent all in one week...no wonder I am wiped out.


The fall book fair theme this year, as set by Scholastic, was a "renaissance" theme.  The decorating kit made it easy.  I highly recommend spending the $50 for it...well worth the price.  The kids loved the theme, too.


This year, I decided to try doing the book fair during Grandparents' Week.  While we had a great fair because of it, the week we picked was a little chaotic.


Right in the middle of the week was fall picture day and we ended the week with a visit from our state school superintendent who came to present our school with a special award that only 4 other schools in the state received.


It was a great honor and the welcome mat looks great in front of the school.


It was a day that even the little ones will remember, if only because Dr. Barge arrived and left in a helicopter.  LOL


Although September was a fun and busy month , I really hope that October won't be quite as exciting, even though I know it will be busy as I have a ton of new books to process from the book fair.  But  I am ready for a little bit of calm.  Of course, it is the month of spooks so, yeah, that probably won't be the case.




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Parts of a Book Aurasma Style!

So, I've been playing around with Aurasma and finally figured out how to do multiple overlays for one trigger image.  It's a super neat feature that only Aurasma Studio offers.  The Aurasma app is much more limited comparatively.

I've created a fun labeling activity using Aurasma to check the answers.

 

First students label the parts of a book using paper pieces.  Once finished, they scan their work to check to see if they are correct.  Super easy and super fun!


And you can get this fun activity now on my TpT store for just $3.00.  Just click here or on the picture above to check it out.

If you purchase this item, I'd love to read your feedback on it.  Hope you enjoy!  =)


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Aurasma Book Hunt

In my last post I told you that I was doing some Aurasma activities with my kiddos.  A few weeks ago, I did a Book Hunt with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades to help them review the different fiction sections of the Media Center and I used Aurasma to make it more fun.  It was a BIG hit!  I wanted a new way to teach the fiction sections of the media center and this was it.

For the Book Hunt clues I created, I used Aurasma Studio rather than the Aurasma app.  Aurasma Studio is the online version of the app and it offers tons more options for what you can do...like creating an aura with multiple overlays and actions.  I had not used Aurasma Studio before. I did all my previous auras with the Aurasma app, but I found Aurasma Studio much easier to use for what I was doing.


BTW, you can learn all about using Aursma with my free Aurasma How To Guide.  Just click on the picture or click here to download your copy.

For the Book Hunt lesson, I first reviewed the different sections of the Media Center, how to read a call number and how to look up books in our online catalog, Destiny.  Then we started our Book Hunt.   I used book covers as the trigger images.  I gave the students their first clue printed out.  They did not have to scan it.   It looked something like this:


They would then go and locate that book on the shelf, practicing their skills in reading call numbers and locating materials.  Once they found the book, they would scan the book cover with the Aurasma app and their next clue would appear as an aura.  They would then go and find the next book shown in that clue, repeating the process until they found all 4 or 5 books.

Their final clue looked like this:

I created six groups for this Book Hunt with 4 or 5 books to be found per group.  (Each group had a different color frame around their clue.)  Third grade had 4 books to find and fourth and fifth grade had five books to find.  Below are some pictures of the books they had to locate.  If you follow my Aurasma channel you can scan each book separately to see the clues that the students saw when they scanned the book covers. (To follow my Aurasma channel, type in this URL in the browser of your device that has the Aurasma app on it:  http://bit.ly/MESMCAC  Once you are following my Aurasma channel, you will be able to scan the books below and see the auras I've created.)




They had such a great time on this Book Hunt.

I am hoping to use Aurasma with my first grade classes this week...but that is for another post.  Stay tuned!

Do you have any great ideas for using Aurasma in the classroom or media center?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I love Aurasma!

I LOVE AURASMA!
In case you haven't heard of Aurasma, it's a free augmented reality app and website that let's you bring pictures and images to life.  It's super cool and the kids love it!

A few terms you will need to know in order to understand how Aurasma works:


I've been playing around with Aurasma the last few months and have learned a lot about how to use it.  I will be presenting with a fellow Media Specialist about Aurasma next weekend at a tech conference, so I really needed to know a lot about it.  I have also recently made a couple of fun activities for my kiddos to use in the Media Center and they have loved it!  I will be posting about those activities soon, so stay tuned.

One of the most important things I found out was that the Aurasma app and Aurasma Studio do NOT synch up, even if you use the same login information.  This was really confusing to me when I first started playing around with Aurasma, but once I realized that each account is separate, it made more sense.  Basically you make two separate accounts. You cannot edit auras you create in Aurasma Studio with the Aurasma app and vice versa....at least not with the free account.  I have not looked into the upgrade.


I have some other great tips, tricks, and resources for using Aurasma Studio and the Aurasma app as well as some ideas for using Aurasma in the media center and in classrooms.  And I've put it all together for you in a free Aurasma How To Guide download.

Although Aurasma is a fantastic app, it's not without its frustrations.  But considering all that it can do and the fact that it is free, it's kind of worth putting up with some of the aggravation.  I have listed some of the common frustrations with Aurasma in the free Aurasma How to Guide download.


There are so many possibilities for using this app.  I started a Pinterest board because I was finding so many great resources.  It started off as just an augmented reality board, but pretty soon it was mostly pins of Aurasma ideas.  I have put the link to this Pinterest board, plus many other Aurasma resources in the free Aurasma How to Guide.

Have I piqued your curiosity?  If you'd like to see how I'm using Aurasma in my media center, you will first need to download Aurasma onto your device and then follow my Aurasma channel.  Aurasma is available for Droid and iPad as well as iPhone.


Once you've downloaded the app, you will need to follow my Aurasma channel.  To do that,  just scan the QR code above or click on or type in this link in a browser on your DEVICE. http://bit.ly/MESMCAC  Go ahead and do that now.  I'll wait...

Okay.  Now you are ready to try it out.  Scan the image below with the Aurasma app and see how cool it really is.  =)  (No, you won't be able to scan this picture if  you are reading this from the device you would scan it with.  You will need to view this post on a different device or computer and then scan it with the device on which you have the Aurasma app.)


Now, I bet you are thinking, "That is really neat!  How can I do that?"

Just download the free Aurasma How To Guide I created.  It's full of step-by-step instructions with screen shots, as well as helpful video links and tons of resources.

If you download the free Aurasma How To Guide, please leave some feedback on TpT and let me know what you think.

Thanks!







Monday, September 1, 2014

Free Author Poster

I have decided to spotlight an author each month again this year and will again offer the posters as freebies.  This month's author spotlight is a twoffer...Jan and Stan Berenstain.


To download your free author poster, click on the picture above or click here.

Enjoy!