Tuesday, May 24, 2011

End of Year Projects

With standardized testing over, students get antsy and unfocused.  Today, however, went great.  I am working on 3 different projects with my kids.  These are long term projects started before testing so the students were already excited about them.  They are now able to focus on their products.  Favorite sound today...students begging to stay in for more "work time" instead of going outside for recess. 

Digital Storytelling
Before testing, students went through the writing process to write a new story.  They brainstormed using a graphic organizer, wrote a rough draft, and edited and revised their draft using a writing checklist and specific revision points (transition words and alternate "said" words). After students self edited they could peer edit and then conference with a teacher - in the class during this time were myself, the EC assistant, and sometimes the EC inclusion teacher.  Students then wrote a final draft.  Students were very use to this process as we have used it throughout the year.  Then came the new stuff.  Student created a storyboard that they used to break down the text and match it with related images that they could create or find through an image search.  Then came finding the images.  Students struggled because some of them wanted very specific images but once they broadened their searches, they were able to find some great and somewhat hilarious images.  We are now at the stage that we are working with Windows Movie Maker.  Students are importing their images, adding transitions, and text.  Next will come the audio.  This is the part I am most nervous about.  Hopefully it goes smoothly and I have some great projects to post. Stay tuned!!

Microsoft's Digital Storytelling in the Classroom
Storyboard Template

Since the school I work at is focused on project based and experiential learning, we take part and lots of real life field experiences - team building, mountain trip (orchards, caverns, gem mining), revolutionary war stations, the symphony and capitol building, nature museum, and coast trip (island walk and aquarium).  After each of the trips students reflected on their experiences through writing projects of various genres - poems, lists, labeled diagrams, non-fiction/informational (PPT and website from technology class), and narratives.  These pieces also went through the writing process to be published in our scrapbooks.  I also printed out photos from our field trips and class activities that students wrote captions for.  Until now, students have just had their writing and photos collected in a folder.  NOW, they get to bring out their creativity with scrapbooking paper, paint, stickers, borders, etc.  The students will leave this year with a book that (hopefully!!) they will keep for many years.  After laminating their covers today, I might be even more excited than my students to see the final products :)

Beginning of the Year Directions
Creative Scrapbooking

Book Projects
I posted earlier that students would be working on independent book projects...well they started today.  So far so good.  A few of the students decided to change their minds on what project they wanted to complete so luckily I had a couple extra direction packets so things went smoothly.  The kids were engaged and going back into their texts to work on their projects.  An engaged class is a well behaved class. 

Link to Post on Reading Partnerships

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