May 19, 2013

Screen Chomp App

Mi Comida Favorita - Desiree and Janel from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

Here's a cool lesson that may be of interest to you.  Earlier this year, I collaborated with Mrs. Vinluan, who teaches Spanish I at my school.  The goal was to extend the classroom lesson into a digital project where the students could record their voices.  When this was first presented to me, I immediately thought about Screen Chomp.  It's free, very easy to use and can post completed projects to the internet, video hosting channel or the camera roll.  Plus, with various levels of iPad experience in her classes, we both decided that it would be easier to use the very basic screen annotating app.

The students were assigned a simple project which was to identify their favorite family member and describe one of the following:
- why this person(s) is special to them
- characteristics of this person (relationship, age etc.)
- something unique about this person

Mi Familiar Spanish Project - Erianna from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.
The challenge for this project was to use the Screen Chomp iPad app and record their narrative in Spanish correctly.  Students created their narrative and used Avancemos online as a reference tool to check their work. The students also had to select one picture of their choice that they would use for their project.  Annotating the screen was optional for the completion of this project.  The students presented their final projects in class using the classroom Promethean Board.

A couple of students completed their project early and were encouraged to record an additional  project.  Students selected their favorite food of their choice and identified an English to Spanish matching game online to annotate.  The worksheet used in the video was converted to a pdf and imported into Screen Chomp for use.

The overall goal of these projects was to demonstrate the growth of students who have been introduced to the Spanish language.

Meeting the Mayor of Chicago

Greeting students
The Behind the Paws crew recently attended a ground breaking ceremony at Mandrake Park, a Chicago Park District football field.  This field is part of a multi-million dollar project paid by the city of Chicago.  The field has a sophisticated drainage system and is constructed of astro turf.  Phillips High School is especially excited because we are one in several high schools in the area that will be permitted to schedule sports games/activities.  Finally, students, parents and supporters of Phillips can remain on 39th street and enjoy games in our school neighborhood.
Mayor Emanuel asked, "What are you doing with the iPads?"

Mayor Rahm Emanuel greeted students, took pictures and spoke at the ground breaking ceremony.  My students, Ariel, Orlanda and Savannah had the opportunity to speak and take pictures with the Mayor.  I'm so happy that they were able to experience meeting the Mayor.  Most importantly, they now have an interesting talking point on their resume.....  :-).   Please enjoy the pictures!
Nothing but smiles!

Chicago Violence

Have you ever thought about what it is like to be a teen living in Chicago?  My colleague Mrs. Henderson recently challenged her students to write poems/skits describing what is taking place in some neighborhoods in Chicago.  Like my previous post, "Breaking the Cycle" these students are dealing with a reality that is not kind and shows no mercy.

These spoken word videos are raw, unflinching and describe a reality that many don't want to deal with.  My students are brave and despite of the obstacles placed in their path are determined to succeed.  The concept for these videos were solely the students with guidance from their teacher.  After developing a concept, poem and presentation style, I worked with the students to edit and finalize the project using iMovie.   All video was shot on the Library Media Center's iPads and images that appear in these videos are from Google images.

I'm really going to miss this group of graduating seniors.  I hope you will enjoy just a small sample of these presentations as much as I have working with the students.  Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section of this post.  All comments will shared with the students.

Henderson 1st period Keyon, Mike from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

Henderson 8th period Kendrick, Briana from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

Henderson 7th period Tatiana, Leon, Don from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

May 9, 2013

"Breaking The Cycle"

I shared the video below with a couple of fellow 'Warrior Librarians' earlier this week.  After much encouragement from Dr. Vanessa Irvin Morris, I decided post the video here so that everyone could view it.  

My students tackling a difficult subject
My co-worker Ms Banks recently assigned her freshman writing class an interesting project.  The students were instructed to work in teams and create a persuasive advertising commercial.   The concept was solely the students as Ms Banks allowed them to be creative.  These students worked for weeks developing the concept/script  and used the Library Media Center iPads to shoot their commercials.  One group in particular, created a powerful commercial that brought tears to the eyes of some of the staff members at Phillips High School.

The honest fact is that students in today's society are dealing with real issues.  Sometimes these issues affect their behavior, self-worth and overall view of life.  Though very raw in presentation, the message is very clear.  I was not a part of the creation of the skit with the students and Ms Banks, I merely collaborated with them to edit the video in post-production.   Also if you look carefully, you will see Ms Banks standing behind the glass partition observing the students shooting the video. 

I hope you will enjoy this presentation and please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section of this post.  All comments will shared with the students.

Banks Project #11 from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

May 8, 2013

Overdue Library Books

Librarians have you ever said this phrase, "Just bring them back"?

I'm so happy that my students are checking out books regularly from the Library Media Center. The major problem is that they are so slow in returning their books. One of the reasons I learned why books are grossly overdue is that the books checked out by students are often times read by other members of the family that live in the same home. This wonderful because as a school librarian, I want to spread the love of reading, but I still need the books returned by the end of the year for inventory.  Recently I encouraged three of my students to create a commercial that emphasizes bringing overdue books back to the Library Media Center.

Just sharing one of my many ways of getting all the books back before the end of the school year. Wish me luck as I begin this journey of collecting back books from the 2012-2013 school year.

Just Bring Them Back! from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

May 4, 2013

The Harlem Shake...In the Library

Testing is over and my students enrolled in the 'Behind the Paws' class are tired. They have worked hard, overcome challenges and definitely deserved a break. My co-worker, Mr. Brown and I decided to allow the students to create, shoot and produce a 'Harlem Shake' video. The students made not one but two videos. Take a look at their creations below and get ready to laugh.

Behind the Paws Harlem Shake (students and staff) from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.

Behind the Paws Harlem Shake (students) from WPAHS Video Page on Vimeo.