Writing Wonderland

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Mrs. Marino’s 4th Grade Class

Isn’t December one of the best months to be a teacher? I love the atmosphere, the school being decorated, the Christmas magic. I love the kids telling me what their traditions are and seeing the light in their eyes. Christmas is magical. Teaching is magical. Every teacher knows there are a ton of Christmas themed units, assignments, projects, etc the weeks leading up to Christmas break. I love it all. Santa letters, Christmas acrostic poems, we are even writing Christmas plays this year. Tuesday I checked out the iPads with the intention of writing Christmas stories with the app called Write About This. May I back track?  Last year when we received our iPads there were so many cool apps for reading and math and science and grammar…but nothing for writing. I teach 4th grade WRITING, so I was a little bummed. I was fortunate to have the chance to attend iPadpalooza in Austin this summer (follow them on Twitter) where I sat in a session called Celebrity App Smack-Down. I can not remember for the life of me if it was @ipadsammy or @techchef4u that presented on Write About This, all I knew at the time is that I wanted to do a round-off flip flop down the middle of the auditorium. The wheels started turning in my mind, and I started writing down ways to utilize this app in my class. I seriously tell every teacher I meet about this app. It is hands down my favorite writing app. We literally use it every week. There are a ton of built in prompts with beautiful visuals. You can also take your own picture and make up your own prompt. My students LOVE that. Their favorite thing to do is to email their finished project to me and their parents. Back to this week…when the students came in my room I told them to go to Write About This and pick their Christmas picture. Some chose the Santa and some chose the snowman. Then I told them they had a choice.  Kids love choices. They could write a letter to Santa, an acrostic poem, or a creative writing story about Christmas. The kids did an awesome job. I loved their stories and their poems. It always tickles me to see their thoughts. Listen, if you are new to tech, scared of tech, don’t know what to do…start with this app. It is simple; but it is AWESOME. The possibilities are endless with this one, and it is beyond easy to navigate. Merry Christmas to everyone. I pray that you always remember why you began teaching….Let Your Light Shine!

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