Friday, September 6, 2013

Oh the places you'll go... with technology

Tonight I went on a journey with my kids. A few weeks ago we spent some time learning and talking about heroes and super heroes. Tonight Rylee asked if we could please learn again like we did for the heroes. Obviously as a parent I couldn't say no, so she chose to do a "lesson" on planets and space. We started while I was making dinner by watching this:

Side note - why don't more people teach like Miss Frizzle? They are hands on, messy, problem-solvers in this classroom! And the kids are excited to come back each day. In this episode she ripped a map in half, took the half they needed, and told them to come find her by figuring it out. The proceeded to give hints along the way until the kids were successful. Sounds like good learning to me!

About the time the show was over, they had finished eating, so we moved on to the book the kids had ordered from their Scholastic book order.

And took some notes about what we had learned.

I then suggested we write a story and make a movie about what they knew about planets. Rylee set to work writing down her thoughts and the story she wanted to share, while Aaden and I "built the set" (including wrapping his football helmet in foil so that it could be an astronaut helmet) and found pictures for our green screen - we even talked about Creative Commons while we searched for pictures that we were allowed to use. 

It was at this point that I learned a lot about my kids. Aaden was happy just to cheese it up and play. I think it's part age (5) and part personality. You'll see what I mean in the video. 

Rylee, on the other hand, can be seen holding up a hand-drawn picture in each of her frames. Between each "take" she would return and check her notes. 

Both kids had a creative process, but they went about it in a very different way. It was interesting for them to watch each other. We talked about how Rylee had created a story board, while Aaden enjoyed doing "improv". Our whole adventure took us somewhere around 2 hours, at which point it was bed time and I spent another hour editing their video. 

Another side note - I am still learning the green screen app AND iMovie, so forgive the imperfections. At least I'm trying. :) Next time we'll get an earlier start and I'll have THEM do the editing in iMovie.

But ultimately, it took about 3 hours to work through this entire process. The kids got to read, watch, act, play, take notes, and now have a video (not a super video, but a video, nonetheless) of themselves in space. What kind of experiences could you offer your kids? Your students? With technology?

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