In addition to library centers, I currently have graphic novels and Free Comic book day on the brain. One of the things that came up at the PD I took on teaching with graphic novels and comics was that we don’t often take the time to teach kids how to read comics like we do other kinds of writing. The PD I attended had some great handouts and information on doing just that, including key vocabulary to know. With that work done for me, I thought it would a good idea to find some snazzy ways to present the vocabulary and this seemed like just the (Cool) Tool for the job!
What I looked at: I looked at three flashcard creation tools. I went with flashcard creators for a couple of reasons. I’m already familiar with things like Kahoot! and Quizizz plus, flashcards and vocabulary just seem to go together. I also liked that some of the flashcard creators had the capability to create additional games with the learning content. As always, each thing I looked at had pluses and minuses.
- Easy to use
- Could add pictures from their gallery of images or upload own
- Could share directly to Google Classroom, a class folder on Quizlet site, or via link
- Variety of learning activities that can also be used with the flashcard content
- Students don’t have to log in with an account to access the flashcards and other content via the link
- Limited amount of pictures available via their gallery
- Fast and easy to set up and use
- Even more varieties of games than Quizlett
- Can embed the games right to a webpage
- Not as easy to add images
- No teacher dashboard available like in Quizlett
- Not as “flashy” looking
- No way to share via simple link like with Quizlett
- Fast and easy to set up
- Easy to share via a link
- Flashcards automatically mixed up to include things like multiple choice and fill in the blank
- Cards scaffold to help you when you get something wrong
- No predetermined amount of cards you do, if you keep getting something wrong, it keeps coming back up in a variety of ways (often with helpers) until you get it correct
- Could add own images
- Inability to add other games and activities automatically
- Have to type in the fill in the blanks exactly as they appear on the card or it is wrong
- Images were sometimes difficult to size on the cards
What I’d like to do: For the comics and graphic novels mini unit, I think I’ll use a variety of activities from each of the creation tools I tried out in library centers. I think together, they offer some great activities and ways to really get students interacting with the vocabulary without it seeming like traditional, boring memorization. In the future I can see myself using these combinations of tools do similar center based activities when we are learning new vocabulary words. I especially like that they can all be done via an iPad or a desktop computer.
What I’d like students to do with them: While I’m not sure I’ll do it with the upcoming mini unit, I can see giving students the ability to create their own accounts and make their own flashcards at the end of a unit. I like the idea of having older kids create the flashcard sets for the younger kids when we do our beginning and end of the year review units.
This tool was way easier and way more fun than I had anticipated! I’m glad I took the time to try out some flashcard creators and can’t wait to see what my students think!