I am going to write more about this later this week but I have been on a self-exploratory mission to learn more about embedding video without the use of Google or YouTube or TeacherTube, etc.
It has to do with showcasing puppet shows for families and not wanting to have any external links, and fast buffering (we have wireless in our school and if I have 20 students viewing puppet shows, I need a quick buffer).
So here is a test:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.box.net/shared/static/fs58j88g88.swf" width="350" height="300" wmode="transparent" /]
I normally don’t give out class presents. I figure that my presence and energy each and every day is enough (hopefully) of a gift to my students. They work hard, and I work hard, and we all have fun. This year, however, as I was sharing some of my podcast work with the sixth graders at this blog, a friend suggested that I burn the audio files onto a CD for families who might not have access to the classroom blog where the podcasts are shared.
What a great idea, and so I went ahead, and burned each of my homeroom students (20 of ’em) a copy of their voices, with a quick intro and outro from me, and then used some new CD package software to create CD covers for them.
It didn’t take much time and I believe it will be most appreciated by the parents and students.
Peace (in sharing voices),
Each December is puppet creation and theater writing for my sixth graders, and it is always a flurry of panic (we perform for younger kids this week!!) as time runs out, scripts are completed and puppets are constructed. I usually try to film the puppet shows for the web (and will try this week) but until then, I created this little video so that parents can get a glimpse of what we are doing.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-2300864688933673392" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
(I taught a group of my students how to use my Super Dooper Music Looper software and then I asked them to create the soundtrack for the video)
You can also access a few of the scripts as PDF files (all plays revolve around an invented holiday):
Peace (in puppets),
(Note from Kevin: This has been sitting in my bin for a few week)
My sixth graders recently completed a short adventure story project and we created these podcasts in which they choose a tiny bit of their story to share with the class and the world (through our class website — allowing parents to listen in, too).
(A view inside a diorama of Ali’s adventure story)
The young writers have been hard at work developing adventure short stories, using the concept of Plot Development, character development and the use of action to move the story along. Today, before they turned in their stories for a grade, they chose small sections of their stories to read aloud for this podcast.
Listen in as they provide a snapshot into their stories:
Peace (in young voices),
As part of expository/informational writing (coupled with creative writing), my sixth graders worked on a project in which they invent an Imaginary Land and then create a travel brochure, using techniques gained from examining real travel brochures and advertising campaigns. They amount of investment they put into this project is pretty cool, and the coupling of writing and art really fuels a lot of them to do great work.
I scanned in a bunch of the maps, in particular, to share with parents and so I share them with you, too.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=1577320511090925048" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
Peace (in new worlds),
My sixth graders just completed a short, 300-word essay that focused on the suburban town where they live and what issue they would address if they were elected a leader of the community. This was a new project for me and I brought in some local elected officials and the town administrator to talk about local government. Many of my students were quite oblivious to way that decisions that affect them — such as maintenance and creation of new recreational areas or funding for technology for schools — were actually made.
We almost always share out our final writing to the class and this time, I brought in my Blue Snowball microphone (high quality, USB connected) and set up my teacher chair and offered to record them reading their essays. Almost two-thirds of each class volunteered to the podcast, which amazed me. I guess they want their voices heard. The podcasts have been posted on our classroom weblog and are being shared with town officials and parents and school administrators.
Here are a few:
Peace (in fostering change and leadership),
My sixth graders started out the year in literature class reading the short novel, The Whipping Boy, and worked on a storyboard project that uses the computer and Powerpoint to identify the main plot points in the book. The book is about a prince and his whipping boy and it is set in Medieval times (aka The Dark Ages). The story is a twist on the class Prince and the Pauper story.
This use of Powerpoint allowed me to both introduce the program to the students (and get them using Paint for illustrations) and get a sense of their ability to identify main elements of a story. We shared these via our classroom blog, too.
Click on the pictures or student names down below to view the Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows created by students on the major scenes on the book:
Peace (in powerpoint),
My sixth graders have been working on descriptive writing in class and the culminating project was something called the Monster Exchange, in which our young writers had to create a monster and then write up a one-paragraph story that featured good descriptive writing. Then, everyone got someone else’s writing and had to identify the creature in the story.
I got the idea for the Monster Exchange years ago as part of an online, collaborative project in which students from different schools created illustrations, emailed them to each other, and then wrote up descriptions of the “visiting monsters.” I liked the idea and adapted it to the fact that I have four sixth grade classes (80-odd students) and they kids just love it.
Here is a video tour of the monsters:
Download Video: Posted by dogtrax at TeacherTube.com.
Peace (in monsterville),
Steve H., whose creation of Classroom 2.0 got me interested in Ning social networking platforms, just published an article about Web 2.0 in education and in an accompanying wiki companion to his article, he features folks who are using different tools in the classroom.
I had responded to Steve’s initial request for folks using tech in the classroom, andI wrote a bit about using a Wiki to create a collaborative dictionary with my sixth graders. So I find myself in good company on Steve’s list of teachers. You can view all of the teacher profiles and projects that Steve is featuring at his own wiki site. There are some great ideas there and inspiring teachers for all of us to follow.
And here is his master list:
RSS / READERS / AGGREGATORS
Peace (with profiles),
In this first week of school, I try to get my students on the laptops at our school and introduce them to some simple programs: MS Paint and MS Publisher. These are two applications we will use more in the school year. We work on a writing prompt in which they design a vehicle of the future, and the move to the computer to use Paint to draw it and then Publisher to create an advertising flier. I grabbed some of their illustrations this year for a short movie:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=415531743774331741" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
You can also view two of the ads:
Peace (in exploration),