Monday, June 10, 2013

Word Work in Action

  I am currently teaching summer school so I decided to write about a lesson we just did.  I was inspired by a still picture video that I found on YouTube called Everything At Once.
  I have a classroom set of iPads and during summer school, I am using them to teach the students how to create different types of iMovies.  One of the movies my students created was a still photo movie with a letters.
  For this lesson, I had the students find a word in the dictionary that they weren't familiar with.  It had to be a word that described them.  Once they found the word they had to write the definition on a sentence strip and find the letters that spelled their word.  They then worked with a partner and took pictures of the letters changing directions and being manipulated to eventually spell their vocabulary word.  Once the students had all of the pictures they needed (around 100) the students then recorded the still picture movie and put it with music.  When you watch the movie, it looks as if the letters are moving by themselves to form the word.
  I thought this was a great activity because the students all learned a new vocabulary word that described them and when the students presented their videos, their classmates were learning the new words as well.  I was amazed by how engaged the students were, and I enjoyed seeing their creativity.
  While creating these projects, we did run into a little stump.  The iMovie app automatically adds the Ken Burns affect to still photos, and there is not an easy way to take it off.  The app also does not have an apply all option.  Since the students had 100+ photos they were working with, we decided this editing piece would take too long.  So the students used another iPad to record their screen, then took that recording and added music to it in iMovie.  The project turned out pretty good.  The filming is a little dark, but we worked with what we had, and the students were fairly happy with their projects.  It was a learning experience for all of us, and it was a simple reminder that as a teacher, I need to be flexible and find ways to work around those little barriers I come across.
  If you know of an app (free would be great) that would allow my students to record their screen, please share.  Or if you know of a very simple way to take off the Ken Burns affect and add an apply all rule to transitions on the iMovie app.  Please share!!!

Here is a clip of one of the final products.


  1. Very cool Sharae!

    Great post! Thanks for explaining the idea thoroughly and making it easy to understand. I appreciate how you are thinking outside the box!
    Keep up the great work! I am sure the kids are enjoying your summer school class!!


  2. It was a really great way to incorporate vocabulary into our Summer School class. Sharae mentioned doing this similar activity during the year for Reading vocabulary! I liked how the definition stayed in view of the camera the entire time, so the kids are constantly reading and looking at the definition, but didn't know the word until it was formed. During the year the kids would be able to guess the word as it is starting to form on the camera. Great idea!

  3. Excellent. You are such an inspiration to a hopeful future ipad teacher! Cannot wait to talk with you some more and brainstorm even more! Thanks a million.