Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Year with The Hunger Games

After a long absence, I am back to blogging and hopefully better than ever. In about two weeks, we (my planning team and I) are planning to release a short documentary about our year with The Hunger Games and PBL. For those of your who don't know, we've read The Hunger Games series with our 8th grade students and have worked within the Project Based Learning model to create some amazing social justice products.

The documentary will tie together with interviews with students, administrators, teachers and consultants talking about the nature of the project and the year over all. We are so excited about it, and are working very hard to show how this series can help change the minds and hearts of young people. 

For the posts that lead up to the documentary reveal, we'll be posting some student products featured in the documentary. Today, we are posting a video created by a team of 8th graders. After reading The Hunger Games, they were desperate to read the following books. They designed a campaign to persuade our administration to let them use Catching Fire as a way to study American History. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

iPads, iMovies, and All That I Learned...

After a solid month spent doing iMovies with all three levels of my students, I feel like I've received an honorary degree in it. I surprised myself the other day when a student from another class came in with an iMove question, and without missing a beat, I showed him exactly how to find what he needed. And, after posting the movies here, and receiving lots of acclaim from our administration, I've learned a few things that I want to share...

1. Choosing a theme for iMovie gives it that special polish and tone that makes it seem professional. The best videos used a theme.

2. When iMovie does not have the exact music you want, never fear! Record your video clips, and then go in a quiet location and play your favorite song as you would do for a voice recording.

3. Always upload the iMovies to YouTube, especially before you post them on blogger. Not only are the videos on YouTube easier to access, but they don't do this. (By the by, I'll repost the rest to YouTube soon).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

GT English 6 JMS Commercials

My 6th graders have been studying advertising and persuasive techniques. Their assessment was to first analyze a commercial, and then to create a new one which reflected the advertising claims and persuasive techniques of their original ad. As a class, we choose to market our school for incoming 6th graders. Here are some of the great commercials they came up with for our school!

More great commercials to follow!