Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Brining Stories to Life!

So many times in my classroom I try to think of creative ways to merge classroom instruction with technology in a fun and innovative way.  Students need to be able to make that connection to the technology world by creating and doing things on their own. 

                My first grade students had made silly monsters in Art class.  They were so excited to share the monsters with me when they came back to class.  Usually with an art project the pictures just get sent home and we move on to the next activity.  However, the Art teacher, Marion McClure suggested that the students create stories about their monsters.  I thought to myself, what a great idea!  The students could write their own story about their monsters while using the writing skills we were currently working on which was using transition words in their writing.  Then we could record the students telling their story about their monster and create a QR code of the story telling- what a way to bring their stories to life!

                Recording and brining this entire project together was a learning process for the students as well as myself!  The students were surprisingly very nervous to record a video (although they had been recorded many times in the past).  The students wanted their videos to be perfect and they wanted to get it done very quickly.  They had to learn two important things.  One was that their videos did not have to be perfect and the second was that they had to put more time and effort into things that they were maybe not used to doing as first graders.  The students worked very hard on their stories and every student was videotaped telling their story.  In order to make their recordings truly look like a video we used the iMovie app to doctor up the videos.  In using the iMovie it allowed us to increase their voice volume, create transitions and add special effects such as each student’s name to their video.   The next step was creating the QR codes.  At first I did not realize that you have to convert the video into a URL.  In order to do this I had to create a youtube video of each recording.  In order to protect privacy I selected the option to not have the youtube videos available for all to see.  By creating the youtube video I was then able to copy and paste the URL link into the QR code generator.  The QR code generator I used was http://www.qrstuff.com/ which is a free and easy resource to use.  Then we were able to easily copy and paste the QR code into a word document which then could be printed and attached to their artwork. 

                My students were so very proud of their monsters and videos and how they were able to bring their stories to life.  They were displayed at North Newton’s Art Show and are now on display at North Newton outside of the library.  I have attached one of the student’s videos so you could see the finished product!  If you have any questions or need a hand in creating your own videos please don’t hesitate to email me!  Technology and video creation is an incredible asset to our classrooms and I encourage you to try it out for yourself! 

Click here to view one of the students videos!