Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Art & Technology

At times, I will get teachers who teach a performance class tell me that they can not figure out how technology could be used effectively for their area. So when I see a use of technology that goes above and beyond and is REALLY COOL, then I just have to share it.

Britney Ray, our JH Art Teacher, completed a project with her classes recently. The kids created a stop-motion style collaborative video while using their drawing skills. Each student had 5 scenes to draw. Their scenes had to connect in with the scenes of the person to their right. So they had to figure out how the two could connect in a sequence. They put everyone's scenes together in iMovie to create the finished product. When I watch their movie, I just can't help but smile. So, I hope you enjoy it. And to Mrs. Ray, bravo!

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Getting Out of the Way

This week has been particularly fun for me with my classes. First, my students shared book talks about their independent reading books. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to kids talk about the books they are reading.

One of the fun things about this experience is that the kids (without any prompting from me) pulled out iPhones/iPod Touch devices and used the clock/timer to help each other know how much time they had left. The book talks were to last between 1-3 minutes.

Earlier in the week, the class listed the criteria that made up a quality book talk. That list created the target that everyone worked toward in their book talks. The kids really stepped up and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the quality book talks. As we began students said, "Is it ok if we take notes while people are sharing? We might hear about a book we'd like to read." "Of course!" was my response. What a joy for a teacher!

Today, the students began working on collaborative creative writing stories. They are working in groups: planning a plot, characters, and theme. All students were on task, engaged and enjoying the work. Again, extremely enjoyable for me. All I had to do was get out of the way! I am wondering why I don't do that more often.

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What Can Be Done in Just 60 Seconds?

This year, I am fortunate enough to be one of the presenters for the K12 Online Conference. I have participated in the K12 Online conference before but never as a presenter. During my preparation of the presentation, it occurred to me that preparing for an online conference is distinctly different than preparing for an in-person conference. Because the delivery of the K12 Online Conference is through podcasts, then the presenter must prepare without relying on any participant feedback. I am so used to feeding off of my students responses and reactions to guide how classes go that I didn't even realize that until I prepared my podcast for this conference.

My session titled What Can Be Done in Just 60 Seconds? is simply a sharing of how I found the 60 Second Recap Videos website to be a great resource for my students.

Below you can see my session. I highly encourage you to follow all of the K12 Online Conference presentations as I have found them to be quite inspiring. Enjoy.

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