And so, the year begins

Our school year began today and although I had a fitful night of sleep (which included a middle-of-the-night inspiration for an opening day activity with tech), I have to say: I have a wonderful class of sixth graders. Wow. They seem wonderful in so many ways that I figure I am a lucky duck.

So, what was my inspiration?

As with most teachers, I try to do opening activities in which students identify their goals and dreams for their lives and then think about why those dreams are important and how they might be achieved. These activities give remarkable insight into our students. In years past, I had my students create a Dream Scene —  an illustration of levels that lays out elements of their dreams for themselves.

But, what, I wondered, if we could do it on the computer. What would it look like? And how hard would it be to introduce? My insight was this: have kids illustrate a picture of their dream, or a symbol, in MS Paint with at least three complete sentences explaining what the dream is, why it is important and how they will achieve it.

After completing the illustration, students could move that picture into PhotoStory 3 and narrate their picture as a video, with some “sweeping” across the illustration. I could then bundle them together and share out at our classroom blog.

And it worked. My kids LOVED working with technology on Day One of the school year and many are already moving into PhotoStory. They were helping each other with the programs, and giving advice on using Paint, and showing each other how to use PhotoStory. I walked around, but let all of this unfold around me, quite pleased with my idea.

Here is an illustration for a movie that I made as a sample (which is too small to upload in either YouTube or Edublog TV or Flickr, I guess). But I wrote about my dream of playing with my band on the stage of the local music hall.

Peace (with breaking the silence),

PS — This week’s Day in a Sentence is over at Deb’s Blog. Come on over and participate. We know you have deep thoughts to share.

  1. So you have students on the computers creating on the first day of school! Man, what a start. Glad to see your tweet announcing your new blog post. I’m really looking forward to seeing all the cool things you and your students will create this year. As always, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Kevin. I learned about your site from Blog Walker (Gail) I always enjoy reading it. When you get everything onto your classroom blog, my class would love to view it. We are working on a technology project as well, but it’s the 3rd week of school here. I am new to REALLY integrating technology. We are going to do a Voicethread book talk. Maybe your class would like to hear it when we get it done sometime next week. Tammy

  3. Kia ora Kevin!

    As they say here, I’m with the dags in getting through the new posts on my Reader! Here’s to a new year for you. Good to see you back on the screen.

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

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