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!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sorry for the posting delay... we're plugged in!

This was the scene out of my 7th grade GT class today.

My 7th grade classes recently read The Giver. As part of their previous project, they choose a scentific element out of the novel to explore. Several groups choose the death penalty, growth hormones, climate change, etc. For their last assignment, they create a graphic novel about their endeavors.

Our current assignment has them focusing on persuasive writing. Each group is currently researching their topic and formulating a "pro" or "con" written argument. Today, they groups were plugged into our online library date base, reading through credible sources, and finding atleast 5 for the task at hand.

Most students used:
*Safari (for internet)
*Google Docs (to store their citations and notes)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Loving ComicStrip App!

My GT English 6 classes (using Level 2 in Springboard) are creating Illustrated Myths which explain a natural occurence. We are loving the ComicStrip App that makes it so fun and so easy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Unit One Unpacking

I was kind of stupidly hanging on to this, my Springboard Level 3 Unit 1 "Unpacking" poster. This essay was due today for my 7th graders, and we began a new unit/project as soon as class began.  I have a number of students who are still working on it or who will need to remediate it, so I really didn't want to toss it just yet. Then, one of the 7th graders causally suggested that I take an iPad picture of it. That way I could show it to parents who want to know the criteria of the project, email it to students who want to keep working on it, and save it for future years. Duh, what a novel idea!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We got our iPads!

Just in time for GT English 7, our CT rolled in the new cart of iPads. Everything worked out really well today, since they were doing a Writing Workshop with their essays. They all logged into Google Docs, opened their essays and read away!

Friday, October 21, 2011

An iPad Cart...

I don't have my iPad cart yet, but I have had several people ask me what they look like. So, yesterday afternoon in our iPad training, I snapped this picture of our history teacher's cart.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One More!

One more awesome GoAnimate video here! This one touches on some very deep themes :)

GoAnimate Video

Check out this awesome video that one of my 6th graders made. Their assignment was to create a personal narrative about a choice they've made. Our JMS/PBL/Tech twist is that it had to be a personal narrative movie about a choice they've made about going green/helping the envirnoment. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My 1st iMovie!

Our 8th grade Reading project launched today! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having fun! On Friday, my team teacher and I went to the administration building to film the "launch video" for our Voting Campaign project.  Not only was it great to meet these two awesome ladies, but making the movie was fairly easy, and dare I say, enjoyable.

I shot the video on my RCA Small Wonders camera (similar to a Flip). Small Wonders files load as .mov files, which makes them QuickTime ready. I edited the entire video in iMovie. Choosing the theme, the music, and making the credits was great fun. No lie, this is honestly what I did on Friday night.

After 3 "takes" filming, we got one useable run through with no errors, so I didn't collage many scenes or clips. Next go-round, I'd be interested to see what it's like to throw in multiple clips. The best part of iMovie, is its direct to YouTube button. You click one icon, and your video is on it's way to YouTube fame.

This software was super easy, really fun, and very user friendly. I think the kids would have a blast building and posting videos with this. For right now, they are pretty amazed that their launch video is posted on YouTube for all to see :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cart In-Progress

I saw my cart being put together yesterday!! I was tipped off by our work order system. Here are the intial apps that will be on it...

• Keynote
• iMovie
• ComicStrip - CS
• Jot!
• neu.Annotate PDF
• neu.Notes
• Side by Side
• QR Code Reader and Scanner
• Pic Stitch
• ShowMe
• iBooks (if not already installed…)
• Google Earth

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Uploading a Photo...

It works! Thank you, Jill for your suggestion!
(photo uploaded directly from iPad)

Photos With My iPad

So, I don't have my class set of iPads yet, but I do have mine, and I wanted to test out the camera. I opened up Photo Booth, selected the "normal" setting and took several pictures. My GT 6th grade English classes are making "Personal Narrative" videos (on HP Netbooks) and they made great subjects :)

The Good: The Camera takes great hi-res photos. They were easy to delete and displayed well on the screen.

The Bad: The iPad cannot directly upload to blogger, and there is no Blogger iPad app yet :(

The Ugly: I had to email the photos to myself from my iPad, upload them onto my HP computer and then load them onto this post.

There's got to be a better way!! I'm off to investigate!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Is that MY iPad?!

How in the heck did I wind up with a class set of iPads? Well it's quite and long story, one which I hope to eventually tell here, but for now the long and short answer is "my students". A few weeks ago, when I learned that having iPads was a possibility, I thought that the best way to make it a reality was to ask my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. So, I posed a question to the 120ish brudgeoning adolescents that I have in my GT English and Reading classes: Would you like iPads in my class? Resounding doesn't quite describe their response as they'd began to discuss how amazing it would be to use them in English and Reading. So, I told them if they wanted them really really badly, they would have to ask.

So, for the next few days, most of my them made their way to our principal... During breskfast, during lunch, during silent lunch (when they got in trouble), during passing period, and after school to ask, "Can we have iPads in Mrs. Mutschler's class?" Eventually their request was granted and we were officially told that iPads were headed our way.

Currently, all of the Social Studies teachers at our school have a class sets of iPads. My courses would be the first ELA-R students in our school to use them as a class set. Obviously, I was elated. This device is so unique, and truly has limitless uses for a classroom. I began to think of the books that we could read, the journals that we could write, and the engagement the students would have.

But then, I realized with great privilege comes great responsibility. Once the iPads came, there would be no return, no PCs to fall back on. Fear began to set in... Not the kind of fear where you know that you are doomed, more like the fear you have before a big game (you know you CAN do it, but you know it won't be easy, and you know that you will have to work really hard).

So, today, during 3rd period, our campus tech came in to give me my iPad. I looked at him with great big excited-scared-disbelief eyes and whispered, "Is that MY iPad?!" Very calmly he looked back at me and said, "Technically it's the state of Texas' iPad, but it's yours to use." I took it from him gentally and unwrapped it, as a steady steam of 6th graders surrouned my desk. We all were almost quiet as the I carefully lifted it from it's box and placed it neatly in its case. Behold, the iPad.