Thursday, August 12, 2010

DailyBooth for the Classroom?

The idea of taking an image of a student daily, weekly or monthly is actually a neat way to capture the changes in your students throughout a school year. This is not an new idea but many school filters do not allow access to social websites like Dailybooth and youtube. So, how can we do something similar to Dailybooth in an educational environment without accessing a social network like youtube or dailybooth? By using the tools available on your computer and school.

Use a growth chart, a digital camera, and video editing tool such as Windows MovieMaker or Photostory2. If you want to use an online application, I would suggest something like Voicethread or Animoto. Those are usually safe online educational applications.

Decide when you are going to take the pictures; daily, weekly, or monthly. Place one student at a time beside the growth chart and take their picture. Create a file for each student on your computer, so you can move the digital picture from the camera to the computer. Open moviemaker and import the media pictures for one student from the file you created on the computer. (Older students can create the movie themselves. Classroom teachers might want to work with their school's computer teacher to complete this project during lab time.) Drag the photos to the timeline in moviemaker. Add a title, transitions if wanted and any audio. Save as a movie.

If you have the capabilities at your school you could even consider burning the file to dvd in May to create a precious Mother's Day gift.

Here is an example posted by eoraphaely on youtube entitled, "Time Lapse-Grey Raphaely-11 mos", as an example for my early education teachers.

Take this digital project a step further for older students by recording the height of your student perhaps at the beginning of the year, middle of the year and end of the year.  How many inches your student has grown? Include all of your student's totals to explore minimum number, maximum number, mean, median, mode, and range. Graph the results. 

Or, have students plot their growth results on a free pediatric growth chart such as this one. Then, use the data on the chart to talk about percentages. 

Older students could even compare and contrast the differences they see in themselves throughout the year after they create their movie project. Students could digitally record their thoughts and add the digital comparisons or contrasts to the moviemaker project. 

Would rather not photograph each student? Elementary students could take turns taking a picture each day of the same scenery outside the school. Viewing the film will be a great way for the children to discuss seasonal changes.

Here is an example posted on youtube by eirikso called, "One year in 40 Seconds."

Another spin on this project might be for upper elementary, middle school or high school students studying a famous geographic area. Students could find as many images as possible of the area that were taken over time. Make sure to include maps. Put the images into the movie application following a chronological time period. Narrate the film sharing details about the changes the area has gone through over time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have you Filled a Bucket Today?

Today's lesson is one in making others feel good about themselves and will fit well into your character education curriculum.

After reading the book, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids," the class brain stormed a list of personality traits. Students came up with words like: kind, nice, respectful, responsible, caring, friendly, helpful, and so on. Each student was asked to expand upon his or her sentence in saying something similar to, "Sally is respectful because she never interrupts people." Instead of just saying, "Sally is respectful." If you have time, I would recommend using a template which has each student in the class listed. Encouraging students to write something nice to say about everyone by using the description words from the brainstorming activity.

After editing sentences, students design their own bucket in a paint/draw program. The images for this particular project were created in Pixie. Whatever you have access to will work. Team with the art teacher in your building and have students draw a bucket in art class then scan the image into the computer. Or during a reduce, reuse and recycle unit, have students build and design their bucket by reusing discarded items like an empty milk carton. Then, use a digital camera to take a picture.

Hopefully, you have access to a student drive and can create a single folder to save the images to. If not, you might invest in a thumb drive for projects such as this. I think you will find uploading images to the internet a little quicker than going into each student's folder and uploading one at a time.

Upload everyone's bucket to Voicethread. Then using a microphone, record the students reading their positive comment about each of their peers. Thus, filling one's bucket.

***With Valentine's Day approaching, you could easily turn this into a holiday lesson by drawing hearts instead of buckets.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Word of the Day

     Have fun introducing new vocabulary to your class by incorporating digital storytelling techniques. Try this. Present a word and allow students to use the new vocabulary word in a sentence. For today's example, I used Microsoft Powerpoint to create a my vocabulary word as an image. Then, I uploaded that image to Voicethread. All that is left now is to have students record themselves using the word of the day in a complete sentence.