Here are six tips collected from some of the most experienced StoryStarter teachers. Use them to get a head start with StoryStarter.
Using StoryStarter in your classroom is not much different from using other learning tools. If you are new to StoryStarter, here are a couple of tricks we have collected from some of the most experienced StoryStarter teachers we know.
Explain the color coding to your students
To ensure that all the StoryStarter sets are kept in order by the students, start the first couple of lessons with a walkthrough of the color coding used in the trays. Use this time to give the students some inspiration on what they can use the different elements for in each bin. Perhaps you could ask them to build some examples of what you are talking about.
Do random inventory checks on certain items
As a teacher, you naturally don’t want to be policing the kids, but you could offer a kind of “inventory check service” at certain intervals. You and the group can go through the different bins in the trays to ensure that certain items are all available in the set.
Assign each bin to a group of students
Assign certain bins to each student in the group so they take ownership of that bin. As you go along, it is their responsibility that each bin contains the right pieces and that any missing pieces from the bin are found or are reported as missing.
Keep models for the writing process
When the students start writing their stories, they have usually taken the all the photos necessary to document the story using the models. While it can be tempting to ask them to dismantle their models and tidy up, you will find that students write a more detailed story when they have the models in front of them.
Often, the story keeps developing as they type the text in StoryVisualizer. Sometimes, they need to take new pictures or they might need to tweak their models or check on some details.
Therefore, it is a good idea to keep models available throughout the writing process. This way students can refer back to them and take new photos if need be.
Encourage details and dialogue
Often, a second rework adds more details to both the story and the dialogue. So, before publishing, encourage your students to revise their work in StoryVisualizer to add more details and additional or revised dialogue. It might be a good time to check that they have met all the curriculum targets.
Post work on the class home page
Does your class have their own home page? Then ask the students to post their finished stories there. It makes it easier to share with everyone – including classmates, parents, brothers, sisters, grandmothers, and everybody else that might be interested! Mom or Dad can download if you provide a link, so you don’t need to print copies every time.
Share your best StoryStarter tip
We hope the tips above inspired you and gave you some good inputs for your work with StoryStarter and StoryVisualizer in the classroom. Maybe you have some other tips that you want to share with us and your fellow teachers around the world?
If so, head over to the StoryStarter forum.
Perhaps one day you will even end up seeing one of your tips on this site!