Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Watch out...Mom with a mission...iMovie

You may not feel the ticking of the clock, but I do. It's getting louder and louder each day my twins finish something significant in their lives. 

This fall, my daughter Samantha "Samm" is finishing her second to last swim season at OPRF.  I know I have one more year before she graduates and I should live in the moment, but the project for my tech class made me realized I don't have enough time to finish all those projects I have been meaning to do. Actually, it starts back to their baby books.  I think maybe I lost tract of the milestones a month after the twins were born. The one thing I do have are thousands of photographs and hours of videos. So while most children have the written words from their moms, my children will have a digital story of their lives. I started with Samm for my Digital Storytelling Project and hope to continue with Andrew's love of baseball. I focused my story on Samm as a swimmer. I kept the story focused on her love of water and her passion for swimming.

I really liked the Digital Storytelling project because it had set criteria. I had to narrate the story, use movies and photographs, add music, a title, and credits all under four minutes.  In addition I used a template, included transitions between the slides and added in special little notes on some of the photographs.  This way Samm will always remembered the names and competitions she participated in.  The criteria kept me focused on what were the most important photographs and movies to show.  I included two movies, one where she achieved first place at the State meet and another where she swam for Team Illinois in the Central Zones. The photographs were in chronological order.  The music was light and uplifted and I used a adapted poem about swimming for the narration.

The application was very easy to use. If I didn't know what to do, I just used Google to find the answer.  I may try to use this resource with my students but I would have to make the criteria very simple to start since they are in first grade.  I know I will use it for classroom lessons and to make iMovies for the parents at the end of the year.  In the next year, the real use for me will be to "digital story" my children's lives.  I have so many ideas and now I am a Mom on a Mission!  Wish me luck!  

I became a Tweeter!  

It's hard to believe, as much as I love technology, Twitter has never been my thing.  Over the last four weeks I have embraced Twitter (@diananeilson), much like a stalker instead of a real active participant.  Why you might ask...time, but I am trying to find a few moments each day for the purpose of educational sharing and collaborating.

So I dabble in Twitter.  Sometimes I like to re-post articles or respond to what others are tweeting. For example, this week I told another teacher I loved the ideas she shared (because I saw someone had written something negative to her and I thought it was uncalled for.)  Us teachers need to stick together, no room for negativity on Twitter!  :)

I participated in an #edchat.  In first grade we have been discussing homework. How much is the right amount?  We teach in a community where parents have homework expectations, even in first grade.  During my #edchat a participant, @NancyWtech, share a great article with me called  Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let's ban elementary homework.  I read it and immediately shared it on Twitter.  Also, I share the article with my first grade team an we had a great discussion about our feelings on homework.  Also in the #edchat we discussed how demographics and socio-economics changes the expectation. Finally, we discussed technology use and homework on sight words and math facts.

I enjoyed my discussion with #edchat and #Educasic.  My learning curve was definitely on using the hashtags.  I forgot the #edtechchat hashtag on most of the conversation and forgot #edu776nz.  Now I know.  

I will continue to use Twitter, especially with the hashtag #D90Learns.  It is good for our community to see what is happening in our schools.  Also, I would like to open up discussions with other first grade teachers about some curriculum and share ideas. Tonight I asked for input from other teachers on our Holidays Around the World unit.  I can't wait to see what ideas come from talking to others around the globe.

You can find me on Twitter :  https://twitter.com/DianaNeilson  @diananeilson