We continued on with our character project on Fridays. Last week we filmed over 40 segments, each less than a 6 seconds a piece about the character pledge that our entire school says together each morning. I had noticed this year that while we were saying the pledge, they weren't feeling any sense of importance with it which made me wonder if they actually understood what we were saying. This inspired the new video. Using a green screen and iPod along with three apps for filtering and editing, we broke down the pledge into its parts and explained each piece. As with any video, I fully admit that it's not perfect but I love that it is about kids teaching other kids that the things we say have meaning. Our words should not ever be just words. They should be understand and most of all, have purpose.
I am officially starting what I am calling the Character Project. This is a year long endeavor that involves creating short videos on topics including good character traits, habits, and school behavioral expectations. While I will be facilitating the project and doing several of the more technical aspects, my students will be a part of the decisions about what we are doing and of course they will be the actors in the videos. While we may work on them at other times as well, we will be using our Friday morning intervention block to plan and film. Today was our first day and I couldn't be more pleased with how things went. We spent a little time brainstorming ideas for the project before the class voted on what they felt was the most important and should therefore be first, the playground. We took some time to talk about examples and non-examples of how they should behave on the playground. One of the things that stuck out as we are currently in the midst of a month long kindness challenge was including others when they are playing. We went outside as a classroom, quickly talked through and chose volunteers to star in the main parts of our quick film, and got started. Using a simple iPod (in the Padcaster verse Pod) we took the shots we needed and then processed them using an app called Olli, which creates a drawn almost cartoonesque filter. From there, the clips were put into iMovie where music and titles were added. The end result is only 59 seconds long but it has impact and we are all proud of this first step in our Character Project. (Click the image above to view a Google Drive preview of the clip.)
That's Elementary Explains is a teacher with almost 2 decades of teaching experience and a technology degree who is still trying to figure out the new and unexplained.