Our First Book Trailer

Classroom 1 Comment »

I will be the FIRST to admit that my students were lacking in video skills — and I will also be the FIRST to admit it was because of “my fear” of video…….again, keeping them at my comfort level rather than being brave.

So, when our ipad cart literally rolled in — I made the decision to no longer be afraid and to attempt to tackle video — with a bunch of eager students just willing and wanting to dive into the deep end.

So, here is a sample of our first BOOK TRAILER.   Now, before you start reprimanding me for not using copyright…..these first ones were made for us only — but I had to show you — so know, that in the future, we will DO MUCH better with adding the image information regarding copyright on the movies.   (and if anyone knows an easy way to do this — please let me know.)

And thank you very much to Trenton Lee Stewart – http://www.mysteriousbenedictsociety.com/ — several students made book trailers on your book!!

PhotoWalk — I Spy — 1st Grade

Classroom, Just Jen's Thoughts 2 Comments »

To be honest, the parent helper looked at me with “really??” eyes when I mentioned that we would be taking a photowalk with our 1st Grade Students.   (to be honest, I was seriously wondering if I had lost my mind too).

Before we began, I reminded the students of our rules “TWO HANDS” and made sure they knew it was a SHAPE walk not a SELFIE walk.   We practiced taking pictures around the room — had to show how to fold back our covers that blocked the camera — and then, headed out.

And took shape pictures ALL around our elementary playground, etc.

One of our students asked if they could draw shapes in our “wood chip area” — and suddenly they were all drawing shapes.

After about 10 minutes or so we walked back into the classroom.

I asked 1 student for his ipad and projected it up on the board — showed students where the photos were and how to swipe through them — and we began to play “I SPY.”

We started off simple — do you have a picture with a square, with a triangle, with a rectangle, etc……..  it was great to hear the excitement of “yes, I have that”….. or “I do but mine is different.”  etc.

After about 5 pictures, I switched his ipad out with another and we continued — but got a wee bit harder with choices — do you have a shape on a shape, do you have words on a shape, do you have a shadow on a shape, do you have a person on a shape, do you have more than 3 shapes in one picture.

And again — the excitement of “I do” and “yes!!”

Working our way through a dozen or more ipads — we had a great class of collecting pictures & then reviewing them and sharing them.

Whew, exhausting but absolutely such fun — and next time — we might go for a shadow walk.



Overheard at OCCUE

Just Jen's Thoughts 1 Comment »

I go to conferences for conversations — to get new ideas, to share some thoughts — but mostly just to listen to great stories.

And here are my top two from yesterday!
(Disclaimer — please remember this is through my listening ear, so Dennis and Scott, feel free to clarify anything I might have construed – Jen)

First Story:
Dennis Grice was hosting Mystery Skypes at his school this week.  12 to be exact — as an experiment and an example to show the teachers the power and opportunities as Mystery Skype could bring.

For the 7th graders — they had to find out more than just the State — they had to find the CITY and the SCHOOL NAME.

So, after several (SEVERAL) minutes of asking lots (LOTS) of questions — the other school had figured out who Dennis’ school was — but his 7th graders still did not have an answer.

So they asked for a hint…….

And the other school turned the monitor/camera around — and there sitting now in full view was a student that HAD been at Dennis school that had moved to the school with whom they were now skyping.  And the students at Dennis’ school rushed up to the monitor to shout their “hellos”.

This story made my cry a bit.   The power of friendships — the power of mystery skype.   It just was a great story.

Second Story:

Scott Bedley is a teacher in Orange County, CA (4th graders I believe) and he  had twittered out — a while back about mystery skype — and Microsoft noticed and contacted him to ask if they could video his students for a “promotional” video they were working on.

Scott went through all the right channels….contacted admin, contacted district, contacted parents, etc — and it was a go.  They came out and filmed for 3 days (after school), said “thank you very much, we will be in touch, etc” and poof, gone.

The Friday — TWO DAYS BEFORE THE SUPER BOWL, Scott gets a phone call that the footage would be used on Sunday — as part of a Super Bowl COMMERCIAL.

You can view that commercial here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaOvHKG0Tio

His kids are the 3 in the blue shirts and the 2nd group of waving students!

And this happened all because of a tweet.

Smiles — conversations at conferences, I love them.

Wondering — are you taking the time to listen!?!



Wondering at Educon

Conferences, Just Jen's Thoughts 2 Comments »

Educon, a conference in Philadelphia, has always had a special place in my heart.  The FIRST Educon — and the only educon I have been to so far, was a few months after a fantastic ISTE/NECC conference.  In fact — and I would believe many would agree — the ISTE/NECC Atlanta 2007 and EDUCON 2008 are the foundation of MANY of our lasting friendships in the world of EDTECH and not only friendships, but also respect and collaborations.

I was super busy on Saturday — so when Sunday rolled around and I had an extra hour, I looked to see if anything was brewing on twitter regarding educon and I saw Carolyn Foote  (@technolibrary) tweet something to Christian Long – https://twitter.com/technolibrary/status/427473340895199232 — so I decided to hop into the conversation as well.

I have admired Christian Long for a very long time — how can you NOT respect a man who so adores his wife and kids — and is exceptionally creative….. and he was team teaching with David Jakes — and DJ, my friend, always teaches me something new — so I settled back to listen.

And then something extra-ordinary happened.

They were talking about Wonder and Curiosity — 2 things that are a great part of my daily life-style — and the impact of both on children and adults — and how transforming  it could be if utilized more in learning.  (sure, I agreed with that) and then DJ invited the “participants” to get into small groups and write a manifesto with several “This I Believe”………..

well, hey there…….grins — I was a “participant” so I tweeted over to Carolyn –




and she said “YES” and we began our contribution — and we were joined by Chris Fancher and JoAnn Delaney.

We started working on our google doc — and the ideas were flying.   We started with our first 10 thoughts and then DJ came over to the camera and gave us a link to where we could post our thoughts once we had whittled them down to 3 “This I Believe”.

Link to DOCUMENT:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/15gZrJ7d4ryqrIDWINX_fnJfNbpDolcccGIDXk4slipA/edit
ink to the SESSION:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFYbSgOXDxw

This is not the first time I have jumped into a Conference and became a virtual participant — (I did this once at a DEN conference where we created a presentation about weather with about 15 other virtual attendees where we each had our own slide) but this was the first time I have been a part of a google doc where we were editing together on the fly — and it was great fun.  (the only thing I would suggest next time is that we color code our thoughts so we can see who is saying what.)

Our first two “This I Believe” went together easily but out last one — we spent about 5 minutes on — with the wording.   We wandered through water metaphors, animal metaphors, butterfly’s — etc.   Though it was just typing — I could hear Carolyn and Chris’s voices as they were thinking out their thoughts.

Finally — DJ called time — and we pushed the “SUBMIT” button –

And I had to sit back and smile — because we had just “in a way” proven exactly what the session was all about.
We had been “curious” about this session — and “wondered what it would entail.”   We were “curious” on if we would be able to participate and “wondered” if we would even be noticed — (often virtual attendees can be forgotten.)
But once seeing an opportunity to become involved– our wonderment and our curiosity instantly transformed into action and engagement

which I believe is exactly what DJ and Christian hoped the attendees would grasp.

Just my thoughts -


PS — Just a side note –
If at any time you can invite a virtual attendee into your session — please do so.  It is an excellent example to showcase that learning & contribution is not contained in the room you are presenting in.


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