Sunday, June 11, 2017

Green Screen in the Classroom - Five Easy Steps!

Are you looking for a simple way to use green screen technology in your elementary classroom?
Well, recently I took on this task, and I found it to be very easy!
1. For this method, you need an iPad or iPhone.

2. Download the app called Green Screen by Do Ink.  It is $2.99, but well worth the three dollars.
For more information about how to use this app, check out the short video clip from Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasboard.  I credit him with my inspiration for this project!

3. Purchase green tablecloths from any dollar store.  I bought 5, but really needed only 3. I layered the three tablecloths over each other, and used push pins to attach them to the wall in our filming area.  The whole wall in my classroom is made of bulletin board material (lucky me) so this was an easy set up.

4. We started this project because my students chose to do a television news show to share their persuasive writing projects on a social issue.

 Last year we did a classroom newspaper from a template I found in Google Drive,
 but that's for another post.

So, I asked the students to choose a background idea that connected to their persuasive writing piece, and went to work searching for their backgrounds.
I would highly recommend this site - pixabay for free images and videos!  I found many of the background images I wanted on this site.

5. I saved the images and videos to the iPad I was using for filming the students, and it was easy to layer these two videos together because the of the simplicity of the app.

Here are a couple samples of the videos that were created:


After I collected the videos from 20 of my students (4 chose not to be videotaped), I compiled them together into a class news show with iMovie.
Our news program was shared with parents at an end-of-the-year program.

We also shared the video on our class Seesaw feed.
Questions?  Feel free to message me below!

I hope you'll try out green screen technology with your students.
We got a lot of "WOWs" after sharing our class news video!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Five For Friday - Easter and Earth Day

Hi All!
Happy Easter Weekend!
I'm happy to be joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five For Friday.
I found some cute Easter decor this year, and will be sad to put it away come Monday.

 The lower right bunny is from Pier 1.
The lower left egg and candle is from Steins.
The upper pieces are from Gordmans.  Sadly our Gordmans is going out of business.
We've been working on synonyms, so I found an Easter egg template online that was a simple stripe pattern.
I put different words in the line under the name, and students chose which word they wanted.
We used the website to find a variety of synonyms.
I have an online thesaurus investigation available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
These made for a cute bulletin board display!
Have you ever received recipes in the mail and wondered what to do with them?
I used to receive lots, and decided to take them to school. I noticed on a standardized test once that students were required to read and analyze a recipe.
This station activity is always a BIG hit with my third graders.
 They are required to answer questions about the order of the directions, and I run a copy of recipes that students are really interested in.
My Spring Break was two weeks ago, and I went to Los Angeles to the NSTA conference.
I was lucky to meet two fantastic authors, and get their autographs on classroom books.
Ashley Spires was giving away her book!

Andrea Beaty's books were only $5.00!  Many of us teachers in line bonded over our love of these books!

I was also lucky to attend the premiere of this movie with a group of teacher friends while in LA.
 The producer of the movie spoke to us about the making of the movie.
The visuals in this film were beautiful, and it had a cute story, too!
I would highly recommend it.

If you are looking for a pack of fun and engaging activities for Earth Day, check out this pack, which is available in my TpT store!

 Hope you had a great week!
Happy Easter!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Five For Friday - Digital Resources for Fables and Myths

I'm back for a look at my week through Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday!
We've been working on reading traditional literature.
A few years ago I came across this great app that features many popular fables, and they are told through animation.  My students love them.

The app is called Animated Aesops Fables and is $1.99.  You can find it at this link.
I created a reflection booklet for our unit on Fables, and it covers many of the Common Core skills.
You can check it out in my TpT store here.  It is a great deal at $2.50!
These are some the books we use for our Fables unit. 
You can find the suggested titles in my TpT product.

We also read myths as a part of our unit on traditional literature.
I used the easy myths from Starfall, but was surprised to find that the website is no longer free.
Luckily, they do offer a free app, so my students were able to access the myths through that.

Our current social studies unit is on Russia.
Our city has a sister city in Russia, Kurgan, so we research what life is like in this large country.
I created a class Google Slide presentation, and groups of three each worked on a specific topic.
So, each group was responsible for preparing one slide of the class presentation.
It was a jigsaw-like activity where students then presented their research to others in the class.

We had President's Day off which is a rare occurrence in my district.
My college friends and I took advantage, and drove to St. Louis to see BON JOVI!
The concert was awesome, and we got a great deal on a hotel room on Hotwire.
Our hotel was right next to the Arch.
Unfortunately we missed the photo shoot of the band that apparently took place the day after the concert.

How was your week??

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Five For Friday - Stone Fox, Black History Month and More

Happy Weekend!  It's Five For Friday time!
Here's a look at five events from my teacher life this past week.

We started Stone Fox as a read aloud.  I LOVE this book, and so do my students.
To invoke curiosity about this book before we begin reading I put a potato, a dog collar, and a tax bill in my classroom mystery box.  I pull out each item and explain that each one is somehow important to the story.

On to number two!

I'm part of a teacher book club, and this was the book we read this past month.
I'll admit that it was hard to read, but it really got me thinking.
The author spent time living in two separate poverty-ridden areas in Milwaukee.
We had a great discussion, and all agreed there are no easy answers for solving the problem of housing in low-income areas.

We do a poem a week, and this is our poem from last week.
I created a template of the poem for students to revise, putting their own spin on the concept.
I loved their ideas.
We just don't get to do enough poetry!

I have ten iPads in my classroom, although obtained through grants.
Recently, the screen on one of our oldest iPads shattered. 
I heard about a match offer on Donors Choose from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The crux behind the match offer is that the project must support student/parent communication.
We use the Seesaw Learning Journal app to communicate with parents throughout the school day, so it seemed like a no-brainer to write the project with this idea in mind.
The wonderful parents and grandparents of my students funded this project in
We are so lucky to have such supportive families. 3>

Black History Month has begun, and we will soon tackle some research about Famous Black Americans and their contributions.
My students love the projects within this packet.
There are guidelines for working through the projects, as well as rubrics for scoring.
Take a look at this product here.

Below, you can see one of the projects included in this packet.
The product also includes a colorful display banner!

If you'd like to use the poem by Eloise Greenfield to begin your study of Black History Month, 
you can find it here.

Be sure to check out all the posts on Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Five for Friday - Show - Not Tell, Using Padlet and More

Happy Weekend!
I'm excited to be joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday this week. 
Here's a peek at our week:
Do you do Guided Reading?
I love these short reads from Scholastic.
There are leveled, and a variety of text types is included at each level.
Check them out here.  I am in no way reimbursed by Scholastic for this link - I just like these sets.
We're working on writing realistic fiction stories right now, and one of the lessons this week was on Show - Not Tell.  I loved this freebie idea from Deb Hansen.
Night Noises is a great mentor text to use with this lesson, too!

We are studying simple machines in science, and on Thursday we used the free Epic Books app to find related vocabulary by analyzing text features.
Then students took snapshots of the text features, cropped the photos, and added them to a Padlet page.
Padlet is a free online bulletin board!

So, on to the next subject area!
We are telling time in math, and we used Mega Math for a quick, fun review of elapsed time.
We get the Mega Math games with our Harcourt math series.

In this photo you can see that each child was given a time card.  The pairs had to measure the elapsed time between the times noted on each card.
You can never get enough practice with elapsed time!

We watched the Kid President's video on "Twenty Things We Should Say More Often".
Then students used a sentence stem to write a quote they thought they should use more often.
The quotes look really nice on the front of each student's desk!

This post was all over the place with content!
Hope you found something inspirational!
How was your week??