Thursday, July 26, 2012

Goldilocks Final Project Pictures

Summer school ended last week Friday. I still have a lot I would love to share with all of you, and I promise I will. However, I decided it would make the most sense to finish talking about Fun with Technology before moving on to the next summer school class I taught (Fun in the Sun).

Last week, students finally finished their Goldilocks project I told you about earlier. They then were allowed to share them with their classmates. I was happy to see that everyone that came to school last week DID share their projects with the class. This was very important to me as they did spend four weeks working on them. However, I have learned from experience that sometimes it is better to not FORCE students to share, but instead encourage everyone to share. This normally makes kids feel like they have a choice, but they normally get so excited after watching everyone else share, that they want to share their work, too.

(Note: There are times I EXPECT everyone to share. However for something like this it is not necessary and the kids are willing to share on their own.)

Just to give you an idea of the great work my students did, here are some examples of pictures the students created for the story:

-Goldilocks Final Project Pictures-

There once lived a little girl who was called Goldilocks because her hair shone like gold. She was very fond of wild flowers and often went into the woods to pick them.

One day she walked and walked, and was soon a longer way from home than she had ever been before. In fact, she was lost. But she hurried on, hoping to meet someone who might be able to tell her how she could get home.

On and on she wandered and finally in a particularly lonely spot she happened onto a neat little house. It was really the house in which lived the three bears -- the Papa Bear, the Mama Bear, and the little Baby Bear -- but of course Goldilocks didn't know that.

The little girl went up to the door and knocked. There was no answer. She knocked again. Still no answer. And so she opened the door and went in. She was very tired and hungry.

Goldilocks looked around, and saw a little table set with a nice white cloth, and on the table were three bowls -- a big blue bowl, a middle-sized bowl, and a little yellow bowl. These three bowls belonged to the Papa Bear, the Mama Bear, and the Baby Bear.

Goldilocks lifted up the covers to look into the bowls. Each was full of delicious-smelling porridge which the three bears had left there to cool while they went for their early morning walk in the woods. Later they would return for a hearty breakfast.

Goldilocks picked up the spoon which was in the big blue bowl and tasted the porridge belonging to the Papa Bear. It was very hot, much too hot for the little girl to eat.

The little girl then turned to the red bowl and tasted the porridge that belonged to the Mama Bear. It was much too cold.

But there was still another bowl, and Goldilocks dipped her spoon into the porridge in the little yellow bowl, the one that belonged to the Baby Bear. How good that porridge smelled!

Goldilocks tasted it. Um-m-m-m! It was just right, and so she ate and ate and ate until there was not a bit of porridge left in the Baby Bear's little bowl.

After having eaten, Goldilocks wandered into the living room to sit down. There along the wall stood three chairs -- a big chair, a middle-sized chair, and a little chair.

She tried the big chair, which belonged to the Papa Bear, but it was too high, much too high for such a little girl.

Then she tried the middle-sized chair, which belonged to the Mama Bear, but it was too wide, much too wide for Goldilocks.

There was still a third chair, the one that belonged to Baby Bear. It was a cozy little chair with a green leather seat, and it looked like a very good chair for a tired little girl to rest in.

And so Goldilocks sat down in the Baby Bear's chair. It was just right, and she sat so hard that she broke it. The little girl got quite a surprise when she tumbled to the floor, but she immediately picked herself up and decided she would go upstairs and look around. She was quite sleepy by now, and maybe she could find a nice bed upon which to lie down.

Then Goldilocks climbed the stairs to the bedroom, and there found three beds -- one for the Papa Bear, one for the Mama Bear, and one for the Baby Bear. They were all fresh and clean.

Goldilocks lay down on Papa Bear's great big bed, but it was too hard.

Then she tried Mama Bear's middle-sized bed, but it was much too soft.

There was still a third bed -- Baby Bear's bed -- with a pink and white spread on it. Goldilocks tried the littlest bed, and it was just right, and so she curled up and was soon fast asleep.

Now while Goldilocks was sleeping, the bears came home from their walk.

They were very hungry and went at once to the kitchen to eat their porridge.

The Papa Bear had picked up his spoon and was about to begin eating when he suddenly growled in his big-bear voice, "Somebody has been eating my porridge!"

When the Mama Bear saw her bowl, she said in her middle-sized bear voice, "And somebody has been eating my porridge, too!"

Baby Bear saw his empty bowl, and began to cry. "Somebody has been eating my porridge, and has eaten it every bit!" he wailed.

Then the three bears went into the living room to sit down and rest.

Papa Bear noticed that his chair had been pulled out of its usual position.

"Somebody has been sitting in my chair!" he grumbled in his gruff voice.

"And somebody has been sitting in my chair!" said Mama Bear.

Baby Bear began crying harder than before. "Somebody has been sitting in my chair and has broken it all to pieces!" he sobbed.

Baby Bear had no chair to sit on, and so the three bears decided they would go upstairs to rest. They would take a short nap.

As they entered the bedroom Papa Bear glanced at the big bed. "Somebody has been tumbling in my bed!" he growled.

"And somebody has been tumbling in my bed!" said Mama Bear in her turn, walking over to the middle-sized bed and carefully smoothing the spread, which was quite rumpled.

All this time Baby Bear had been staring hard at his own little bed. Finally he found his voice and piped up, "Somebody has been tumbling in my bed, and here she is!"

At the sound of the Baby Bear's voice the little girl awoke with a start. She sat up and glanced about her. Then she sprang out of bed, and dashed down the stairs and out of the house as fast as her legs would carry her.

And Goldilocks never, never went near the house of the three bears again.


Each of the pictures above is from different students, so they do not all necessarily go together. However, you can get an idea of what students did to represent this story.

I hope you enjoy the creativity and expression of my students' work.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Animations and Transitions

Once students completed, exported, and transferred all their pictures onto the Powerpoint (which took about 3 1/2 weeks) they were finally ready to do the 'fun stuff' - animating their PowerPoints. Many of the students in my class had never even worked in PowerPoint, so they had no idea how to add animations or transitions. The directions were they had to have at least one animation and/or transition for each slide.

In case you aren't familiar with how to use PowerPoint, here is a short tutorial using PowerPoint 2010.

1) Click the animations tab:

2) Click the item you want to animate:

3) Use the drop down menu to show you all your different options. Notice that the green would be entrances, yellow stress, and red exit. It is best if you do not choose several entrance or several exit animations, otherwise you will end up with a lot of clicks that show nothing. :(

3) Once you choose an animation it may give you other choices to the right of it. These choices could affect the direction or how it works. It is pretty cool!

4) If you want to add another animation make sure to click the 'ADD ANIMATION' button. If you do not it will only allow you to have ONE animation per item.

5) You can remove animations or reorder animations by clicking the 'ANIMATION PANE' button.

6) Move the icons around or click the arrow and remove the animation altogether.

Along with animating your slides you can also add transitions between slides.

1) Click the transition tab:

2) Click to expand the menu and choose from the many options:

3) Some have extra settings that you can manipulate, just like the animations:

4) You can get rid of the transition by clicking the none option. You can also apply the same transition to ALL the slides by clicking the 'APPLY TO ALL' button:

After about 2 days of playing on PowerPoint, students were ready to share their final projects. It was really cool to see what they created.

I hope you found this helpful and I look forward to sharing more of my teaching experiences with all of you in the future.

What are you waiting for? Go create a PowerPoint of your own!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

The second half of my Fun with Technology consists of a project they started the first day and are just finally finishing this week. This project is based on the popular story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I am assuming most of you are familiar with it, but for those that aren't here is just an overview of the story.

Goldilocks is a little girl who loves to walk in the woods and pick wild flowers. One day she wanders too far and gets lost. She happens upon a cottage that belongs to the three bears, however she does not know that. She knocks on the door and when she finds the door open she wanders inside. Once inside she eats porridge from three bowls. The first is too hot, the second is too cold, and the third belonging to the baby bear is just right so she eats all of it. Next she goes into the living room and finds three chairs. One is too big, one is too wide, and one is just right but breaks. Finally, she wanders into the bedroom. She lays in each bed, but only the third is just right and she falls asleep. While sleeping the bears come home and find their porridge eaten, chairs sat in, and find Goldilocks in baby bear's bed. At this point Goldilocks awakes screams and runs out of the cottage never to return.

The first step of this project was for students to illustrate the story. Students used Pixie which is a fun illustration program much like paint, but a lot fancier. I taught students how to add stamps and use some of the different tools. Each day they had another part of the story to illustrate. This part of the project took much longer than I expected. This is partially due to the fact that many students do not come to school every day. So, they get behind and need a day or two to catch up. The illustrations were finally done by Wednesday last week and we started on the PowerPoint presentation on Thursday and Friday.

In order to put the images onto PowerPoint I learned that you must export the images. In most image editors you can just save the image as a JPEG or PNG so that is can be uploaded on PowerPoint. However, in Pixie it automatically saves the image as a Pixie image. There are no other options. However, if you are looking to save something as a JPEG in Pixie, here is how!

1) Open the image you want to save in Pixie

2) Click option that says EXPORT:

3) Choose the type of file you want to save the picture as and then click export:

4) Save your file: (I had my students save it as the exact same thing they saved their other image as. It will not save over your original since it is a new format)

Once it is saved as a JPEG you will be able to upload it into PowerPoint and here is how:
1) Open a new PowerPoint presentation:

2) Click the insert tab (this may not be an actual tab if you are using an older version of PowerPoint this image is from PowerPoint 2010)
Click the picture icon:

3) Browse for the image you want:

4) Click insert and it is now in your powerpoint:

5) You can use the small squares to make the image bigger or smaller:

My students inserted all 8 pictures of the story into their powerpoint before beginning the editing process.

The 8 pictures for this project were:
Title Page
Goldilocks gets lost and finds a cottage in the woods
Goldilocks tries the porridge
Goldilocks sits in the bears chairs
Goldilocks tries the bears beds and falls asleep
The bears come home and find their porridge eaten
The bears find their chairs sat in
The bears find Goldilocks taking a nap in baby bear's bed

Remember, it is great to get students to really think about the environment of the story. When they are illustrating don't just let them illustrate the objects like all the bowls. Have them really imagine what the kitchen of a bear's cottage would look like. Does it have wood floors? Linoleum floors? What color is the walls? Do they have wallpaper or paint? Maybe they are also wood... Really let them use their imagination and put details into their story.

Miss De Laruelle

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fun with Technology

Summer school at my school is split into three sections. Each section is 55 minutes with a 5 minute passing time. School runs from 8:30 am - 11:30 am. However, students normally arrive at about 8:15 am and start by eating breakfast. At the beginning of summer school they used to have students eating in the room they had their first class in. However, having 15 students from the ages of 6-9 eating in a computer lab is just a recipe for disaster. So, about the second week we switched it to students eating breakfast in the cafeteria. I am a bit anal and will not allow my students to eat in the cafeteria alone. So, I have ALL my students meet in the cafeteria and then walk down to the computer lab at 8:30 am.

Once students are in the computer lab they have specific directions to follow. First they must log into their computers. Then they go to my teaching website and fill out a form for attendance. I linked this to my email so that I can fill out my attendance later. After filling out the form it takes them to a different website. The websites I have used are typing websites so that students are practicing their typing. I have used a wide variety of them, but my own personal favorite is Dancing Mat Typing. This BBC website is very interactive and helps students learn the home row of keys. It is colorful and fun for kids and makes it fun to learn!
Dance Mat Typing Website

When students complete a level they are then allowed to spend 10-15 minutes playing a game of their choice.

Some favorites of my students are the following:
This site has a WIDE variety of different games. As you can see from the picture it has a tree on the main site that links to games of different age levels. They also have a wide variety of games under each grade level. There are typing games, math games, science games, puzzles, fun games, etc. One game the students really liked was Sugar, Sugar (5th Grade - Just for Fun). I have to admit it was even fun for me to play! :)

Fun Brain
Fun Brain is a site with all sorts of academic games. Students were begging to go on this website to play the games and it is great that this site encourages learning.

Keyboard Climber
Keyboard Climber
This website was one I linked for typing practice one day. However, students play this one even when they get a choice for all the other games. They absolutely love watching the monkey jump from branch to branch as they type the correct letters. However, keep in mind this is better for the kids going into 2nd or 3rd grade as it is a bit difficult for the younger ones.

After the gaming and typing practice they are half done with class. This half normally goes really fast and the kids are sad to have to turn off their games, but the second half normally goes just as fast and it is soon time to go. More about what we do in Fun with Technology coming soon!

Remember every day is a good day to practice typing! :)
Miss De Laruelle

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer School 2012

There are a lot of perks to being a music teacher. One of them is that you get to know almost EVERY student in the elementary school. The only ones I do not know are the 4K students, since they do not have music class. Though it can be difficult learning all those names, I find it very important to get to know as much as possible about my students. It may seem tedious, but kids are extremely happy to know you care about them and want to know about them.

In order to get to know my students more I try to pay close attention to them even outside of class. I pay attention to what they play on the playground. I pay attention to who they play with. I try to have conversations with them about things they are interested in and try to relate to them as much as I can.

This summer, I have taken a break from teaching music and instead am teaching Fun with Technology (going into 1-3 grade), Fun in the Sun (going into 4-6), and Scrapbooking (going into 3-6). This has given me the advantage of learning even more about my students. It is amazing how I suddenly see different sides of students I worked with the whole last year.

Summer school will be over this week, but I have learned a LOT of cool stuff that I want to share with you. I have found interesting sites that you may be interested in checking out, I have learned new scrapbooking techniques and much more. This blog for the next couple months will highlight some of the things we have done in summer school that I think may be helpful for all of you.

Thanks for Reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Dream Come True

As you can see from my about me information, I have had the dream to become a music teacher since I was only 8 years old. I made this decision back in 2nd grade when we were asked to write a short paragraph about what we want to be when we grow up. I still have this paper and other journal entries like it. They all stated close to the same thing.

"I want to be a music teacher just like Mrs. Schmidt! I want to be a music teacher because I love to sing and I love music!"

It is funny how the innocent dream of a young child can come true about 14 years later. Now, here I am out of college and going into my 3rd year of teaching music.

Since becoming a music teacher I have often been asked what I actually do. I often find this question disconcerting and kind of strange. Didn't other people have music teachers as elementary students? Do they not remember the wonderful experiences of singing, playing instruments, listening to music, etc? Why do they understand what a middle school choir teacher does, but not what a general elementary music teacher does?

The answer I often give is "I teach all the basics of music to get students ready for band and choir at the middle and high school level." People still look at me with confusion. So then I continue... I teach students the difference between singing, whispering, humming, shouting, etc. I teach students how to read music, count rhythms, and play instruments. I teach students how to act in a concert setting. I help students prepare for at least one concert each year to get their first experiences on stage. I introduce students to classical music and teach them the lives of various composers. I introduce students to the wonderful world of music! I open the door to all of their later music experiences!

There is so much to a music teachers job that I cannot explain in just one post. So instead, I have decided to start writing this blog to share some of the experiences I share with my students. Look forward to bulletin boards, lesson plans, and much more!

Thanks for reading!