Friday, May 30, 2014

Booktrailers using iMovie

Eighth graders in Mrs. Koshollek's Language Arts class have just completed reading utopian/dystopian novels of their choice following their study of The Giver by Lois Lowry. To celebrate and share what they have read, they created booktrailers using iMovie. Students had the choice to use the movie option or the trailer option. They used a mix of video and photos as well. Check out a sampling of some of their creativity.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Legos come to Life with Stop Motion Animation

Our Bullodog Time is one of my favorite times to experiment with new ideas and tools.  The 5th grade group of students that I have is willing to try just about anything.  For the past few weeks, we have been using an iPad app called iStopMotion to make simple stop motion animation videos.  The students thought that it would be fun to use their Legos to create videos after first developing a story.  Using the app, they gradually built their creations and took pictures of each step.

Once the pictures were taken, they were arranged in a timeline, and a stop motion animation video was made!  The students were so proud of what they created.  Some of them got very creative with how they arranged their characters and moved them inch by inch.  This app was definitely very easy to use and user friendly!

Check out some of their final products below.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Slice of Life at NLMSIS and Durfee Technology Magnet School

In today's Integrated Technology class, 5th hour students had a chance to partner with 5th graders from Durfee Technology Magnet School in Decatur, IL to learn more about what life is like for them.  Each school created "slice of life" videos describing our days and our favorite parts.  After viewing the other school's videos, students generated a list of questions that they would like to ask.  Today we were able to Skype with our partner school and get those questions answered.  We each shared a short introduction and then waited to get all of our burning questions answered.

What did we learn?  Here is a little "slice of life" from Durfee Technology Magnet School:
  • They are a technology magnet school and each student has his or her own iPad to use throughout the day.
  • Students have to apply to go to their school.
  • They get out of school in TWO days but begin on August 14.
  • They do not have lockers.
  • They do not switch teachers for classes.  They have to stay with the same teacher all day.
  • They live in a city with a population of about 65,000.
  • They use iTunes U to watch videos and listen to class content.
  • Their teacher uses an online behavior management system called Class Dojo to reward and monitor student behavior.
  • Their daily schedule looks very similar to ours.
  • They offer similar extracurriculars except for cheerleading, which is not offered to 5th graders here.
We found it so interesting to hear about their similarities and differences.  This was a great opportunity to hear about what a day is like in another school.

You can learn more about a "slice of life" from New London Middle Intermediate School by watching our video.  Learn what an average day is like from the eyes of our 5th graders.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Integrated Technology Showcase of Knowledge

It is hard to believe that another semester is almost over.  I end up saying that every semester, but as the years go by, it feels as if time just moves faster.  Fifth grade students who are in Integrated Technology have spent the semester learning about Internet safety, cyberbullying, online ethics, collaborating with global partners, and social networking.  As a culminating project, students were given a choice as to how they wanted to teach others about the importance of staying safe online.  Students were able to design a comic, website, Go Animate video, or a live movie using iMovie.  Many students took this as their opportunity to get very creative.  Please view a showcase of their products below. 

Courtney's website
Cara's website

Using Book Creator to Write about Animals

Our 5th grade students have been learning about different types of animals in Science.  As a culminating project, students worked with a partner to research a vertebrate of their choice.  To share the interesting facts that they learned about their chosen animals, students used the iPad app Book Creator to write and illustrate non-fiction books about their animals.  Not only was this a great way for students to teach others about different animals, but this project also connected with their recent Language Arts unit where they studied different elements of nonfiction writing. 

In addition, students learned a little bit more about "app smashing" as they were encouraged to use other apps such as Comic Life, Skitch, and Pic Collage to design some of their pages.  All final products were uploaded to the students' Google Drive where they were shared and viewed by others.

View some of our students' work by clicking on the links below. 

Prairie Dogs by Jocelyn and Emily
Okapi by Zeb and Bo

Friday, May 9, 2014

Come relax in the library

I have been doing a lot of reading lately on library renovations.  Our library was built in the 1970s, and much of it still remains the same, including the carpeting and furniture.  Slowly, we are working on doing some renovation.  Stage one of our library renovation occurred about four years ago when we built a computer lab.  Stage two is now currently underway as we begin to bring in new furniture and replace some of the old stuff. 

About a week ago, two new couches arrived.  The response from students and staff has been overwhelming. It is immediate go-to place for our students who want to just read quietly or complete homework. 

My book club even held our last meeting in this area.

What does phase three look like?  I have many ideas- paint, new carpeting, a mural created by the art club, a charging station, and more comfy couches!  The 21st century library should be a welcoming, inviting space. Thanks for all the enthusiasm that you have shared as we work to make that happen.

American Legion Poster Contest

Students in Integrated Technology this semester had the opportunity to participate in our local American Legion Auxiliary Unit digital poster contest.  Students used Google Drawing to create a poster advertising the organization.  Students were taught how to find rights-cleared images to include in their posters.  Students then had to be creative about how to convey the message of the organization while organizing their images and text in an eye-catching, meaningful way.

Once the posters were completed, the representatives from the American Legion voted the top seven posters as winners.  The organization looked for spelling, clear images of American soldiers, the use of their emblem and poppy, and how well the poster conveyed their message.  The students pictured below were all recognized as having the top seven posters, and they were awarded prizes.  Their posters will also be on display throughout New London.

Want to see what our winners created?  Here are the top posters.



Illustrated Poetry using Haiku Deck

Our 5th grade students have been busy this past month writing poems.  To help them understand the importance of using imagery when writing poetry, students used Haiku Deck to create a visual presentation of one of the poems that they wrote.  I love Haiku Deck because students can create professional looking presentations with stunning imagery.  There is no need for students to use outside sources when looking for images; Haiku Deck has an image search built right in.  The results: students were able to create a visual slideshow of a poem that really highlighted the imagery that they included.  View some of their examples by clicking on the links below.

Kaleigh's color poem
Courtney's color poem
The Fish by Weston
Kao's color poem