Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Imovie rules

I'm experimenting with digital stories using Imovie with a group of middle school teachers. I can't even begin to describe how much better Imovie is than Windows Moviemaker: yet another example of how Macs are superior. This is a quick short I created with some flip cam summer footage (mostly filmed by Solana-- more shaky camera action). (Thanks, Eileen!!)

Using flip cams for booktalks

This was the first time I tried using flip cams informally with students in groups. They're a great tool for student engagement as well as critiquing, sharing and reflecting. Students were asked to take turns filming each other sharing a book from their independent reading with a group. I realized that we needed to do more modeling and instruction for both the student speaker and the student using the flip cam. (Note the shaky cameral syndrome.) We had a huge issue with noise in the classroom and will need to problem solve around that next time.

The two book choices below struck me because they reminded me of a great presentation by Kathleen Baxter I recently attended on getting boys interested in reading. She advised an audience made up mostly of school librarians to go with the students passions and not expect students (especially boys) to want to read the kinds of books we like.

When I see "BMX" or "sports" on student interest inventories, I can't say I feel excited by the topics. However, after I heard the students below speak about their book selections, I really did become interested in Mat Hoffman's biography as well as the sports science series. This experience reminded me that we're always working on expanding students as readers, but by allowing them to share their interests, they are helping us grow as readers, too. These two students took the assignment seriously and with some more practice, could create some interesting videos in the future. I liked their technique of filming pages from the book: I hadn't thought of that.

Toondoo for Spanish class

Going to try out toondoo with students in a middle school Spanish class tomorrow: here is my example. (I forgot the shortcuts for the accents-- will have to edit that.)

pizza o sushi?