Thursday, August 28, 2014

Paper slide Videos Are My New FAVORITE Thing!

Paper slide Videos Are 

My New FAVORITE Thing!

Last year was the first year that my school was full throttle BYOD. I wanted to do something more than just play games on websites. Although I did want to do that too, I just really wanted to use the technology for more direct projects and activities. So last year, I focused on Edmodo. I made a couple of quizzes and a couple of surveys. But my favorite thing was to have my children do reading responses and then make comments on the posts of their classmates. Later, we all learned how to add pictures to our posts and write about our pictures. I felt good about my class projects and the kids really enjoyed it. 

Then, one of my teammates told me that she wanted to do more with technology and wanted some help with Edmodo. I was so glad to have someone interested in something I was interested in! It is so much fun to bounce ideas off of someone else and sharing just makes everything more worthwhile. Another friend at school told me about her grandson's teacher at another school and encouraged me to get in touch with her about technology.  So my teammate and I decided it would fun and we wanted to know more, so I contacted Mrs. Jessi Anderson and she was so nice and agreed to meet with us and share ideas immediately. We were so excited. 

We met at a local coffee and talked about several different aspects of BYOD and several resources she was fond of. I will share those in the future as I get to work with them. Today, I want to talk about the paper slide videos. She used them for Mother's Day Gifts. They were adorable. First she assigned the project. Her students illustrated their mother's character over the span of several sheets of paper and Mrs. Anderson video taped them talking about each picture one at a time. Then she uploaded them to You Tube and sent each parent the link to their child's project.

I used them with my students to practice nouns. My second graders made a cover page introducing their project and one page each for a person,place and thing. They ended their projects with an ending page. I video taped them and some had to be done and redone because, well because I was learning. Some came out sideways or upside down. Others came out with just the media player sign and I could hear the student's but could not see them. Those I later learned (from volunteer high school students that I am so very thankful for) that they could be opened with Movie Maker and then saved again and they would work just fine.
Below is the link to.....


My students were very excited to watch their videos and very kindly clapped for each other.

I started very simple. But these projects are going to provide all students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge without writing a book. I hope in time it will give them the confidence to tackle larger projects and perhaps even happily throw in some captions, diagrams, and graphs....Oh my!

Next week:
The Tools I Use For Science Inquiry

Below you will find a link to Mrs. Anderson's school videos. She has a variety of video projects that are very interesting and enjoyable to watch. I have also included a link to her Teachers Pay Teachers store, just for fun.   Thank you Jessi Anderson!

Jessi Anderson"s School Videos      Jessi Anderson's Store   

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I have finally done it!!

I have for years said I wanted to create a website for my class. I have finally done it. You see, I was still bogged down in the everlasting state of procrastination. Always saying "I would like to" and "I am going to", but never just sitting down and doing it. This is how it happened:

In the Spring of 2013 my school became a BYOD (bring your own device) pilot school. No one, and I mean No one I talked to, was as excited as me! I thought this was the best thing ever. My students and I were all over the place! But by the end of the year I had a better idea of how to begin the next year, but I had mostly figured that out by knowing I didn't want to do anything I did that spring.

The next year I did not allow myself to get bogged down in the search. The ideas on the internet and the resources are both astounding and exciting. But I let  myself earlier become overwhelmed by the search for the "best" thing to do with a class. Not this time, this time I focused on just a couple of things and did them thoroughly. But still, no website and I had exhausted myself trying to do so much at once. Again, I procrastinated making a class website.

 I love my fellow teachers, but I really had no one with which to share my excitement, wonder or need to experiment.

Last year, and by last year I mean last school year. A Media Specialist friend of  mine made me play with the site our county had supplied us. She knew I wanted to do it and was making a bigger deal of it than necessary and had let the whole thought of it just weigh me down to the point of inertia. Well the county site got my feet wet, but wasn't really that easy for me to work with. But I began to seriously picture in my head that I might really, actually make a website.

Then another friend whom I actually work with began communicating to me that she was interested in becoming stronger in our BYOD (bring your own device) program. She wanted me to help her remain motivated. Last spring we started bouncing ideas off of each other and this always led to a better idea. A beautiful collaboration was being born. We met with a real techy person in the spring and vowed to do so much this fall. I planned on doing so much this summer. I didn't do a thing!!

In my defense I had a beautiful granddaughter on July 9th, She was due in June. The summer was filled with labor starts and stops, it was quite the drama. But the very beautiful Lila Grace was born.

This fall came and the realization of all that is necessary to kick off the school year hit me. I thought, here I go again. Then yesterday, my friend messaged me to look at the website she started and had brought up to date and ready to share with parents. She had started working on it during the week, but she DID it! She said she was going to and did. I was inspired and wanted to preserve our new found collaboration, our new partnership that added the fun and excitement back into what had been my passion.I had to keep up! It is so much more enjoyable to share and work with someone that has similar goals. I don't think I can say that enough. So I just sat down and made myself do it.

I couldn't be more excited! It has no content yet, only framework. I can hardly wait to get to school tomorrow and add the content! But here it is:

Please check it out and let me know what you think!