Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lego Stop Motion Movies DONE!

We finished our Lego stop motion movies! Last week we held a red carpet premiere night in my classroom. Yes, we had a red carpet! I rearranged the room to look like a theater. We had a concession stand with popcorn and bottled water. It was awesome! I have never seen so many people in my classroom. I am sure my dad (the retired fire captain) would have closed it down for overcrowding. But, we all piled in and watched our movies.

It was so cute. Some kids dressed in their finest. All were proud and anxious. No one had seen all of the videos except myself. I watched them all the day prior. So, this was truly a premiere.

The lights dimmed, the movies were cued and the crowd quieted. We watched all ten movies. People laughed, clapped, cheered and had a great time. It was a SUCCESS!

This was a great project. The kids had a great time creating. They worked so well in their cooperative groups. I learned a lot about how to make next year better.

We are taking our show on the road already. For the next two days we are visiting the 2nd grade classes and my groups are teaching their groups how to create short movies. I am hoping they will download the app on their devices this summer and practice. Having kids with experience coming to me next year will definitely make the process easier.

If you'd like to see our movies, go to my teachertube channel. You can view the videos and download them if you want. Enjoy the viewing!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Geeking Out!

Hi All!

We have 10 more days to go here in Huntington Beach, but we are still going strong. Today and tomorrow I am attending the Illumination Education Users Conference in Aliso Viejo. Who knew that data systems, assessment and common core could be so interesting? I certainly didn't.

Today I learned about implementing the common core standards from one of my favorite presenters, Jason Willoughby from Action Learning Systems in Pasadena. He is a wealth of knowledge on all things standards and assessment. He is also a hoot to listen to!

He also gave a great presentation about Action Learning Teams (aka Professional Learning Communities). He had some great insight about how to make the most of these meetings and how to use them to increase student achievement.

I learned something else from Jason and he didn't even intend to teach it. When we walked in, he had a QR Code on the screen. By scanning it, it provided us with his presentation electronically. I had seen QR Codes before and had even seen some information about using them in the classroom, but I never really got it. Now, I get it! I have all sorts of ideas for using them now. Back to School Night, a scavenger hunt for my students with research questions, etc... I found a cool website that will generate codes for free called QRSTUFF.COM. My son and I have been playing with it and having so much fun!

Another great presenter was Ben Starr from Illuminate. He taught us more about our Gradebook component. Wow, I wish I had known some of those tips and tricks earlier this year. It would have saved me a lot of time. I am ready for next year!

My absolute favorite presentation of the day was with Annie from Illuminate. She showed us how to analyze our test data using M&M's. Yes, that's right... the candy. Using each color of M&M's you look at a different aspect of your data. It was AWESOME!

As difficult as it was to prep for two days out of my classroom this week, the work was all worth it!