Saturday, April 28, 2012

Test Practice

We have been practicing for the SAT-10 test we take next week.  I have made some Test Practice pages for students to practice for the test.  Check them out!

Test Practice for Kindergarten.  Get your kindergarteners ready for testing!  Help them learn how to fill in the bubble.  

These pages include:

Match picture to word.

Match picture to two words describing picture.

Read sentence and find picture that matches sentence.

Find punctuation mark, a word and a sentence.


Intern Gift

Yesterday was my intern's last day (boo!).  I have been so lucky this year in getting a great intern.  I wanted to get her something for her last day.  I thought back to what I got when I was interning and knew I wanted to do something just like what I got.

In my weekly newsletter, I wrote a paragraph asking for my classroom parents for donations.  I told them I was making a basket of items for my intern.  They could bring in anything that a teacher would use and I would place it in the basket.  I also bought items for the basket that I thought she would be able to use.  I found a white basket at Michael's one day when I was there that I thought would work.  I decided to jazz it up by adding zebra print ribbon to it.  Then I found some more black and white items that I thought would really work and look well in the basket.   I also bought other more teacher items.  I printed off the subway teacher writing from a blog (eighteen25) and put it in a frame.  I thought that would be nice for her.  My students brought lots of items too for the basket.  One of the girls brought the cork board with ribbon on it.  I love how they added the interns name to it.  That is such a great idea.  I love how the basket turned out.  I think it is adorable.  My interned loved it too.

I actually had so much stuff for the basket I ran out of room so I bought two more baskets I thought would work well for a library.  I put them in one another and added more of the items.  I also put matching ribbon through the basket to make it look prettier.  I ran out of the ribbon so I was only able to do one book basket. 

Here are how both baskets looked together.  My intern got a lot of items for her classroom.
I hope she likes it as much as I do.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Relay for Life

This weekend we have Relay for Life happening in my neck of the woods.  We set a goal at my school to raise $7000.00.  If we were able to raise that much, our principal said he would let our cancer 'survivors' and our 'fighter' shave his head.  

Well, we did it!  

We raised $7000.00.  Can you believe that?  Isn't that AWESOME!  

So today our principal got his head shaved and his mustache.  (He has had a mustache since I have known him.  7 years at least)  We have 3 students that are cancer survivors and 1 who has had it and it is back again (boo!) so we call him the 'fighter'.  Unfortunately, our 'fighter' had chemo yesterday so he wasn't able to come to school today so his brother stepped in for him.  I have had two of the four in my classroom for kindergarten.  Here are some pictures of them shaving our principal's head.

 I work at such a wonderful school!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Show off your Word Wall

Do you have a Word Wall?  What does it look like?

Mine is low to the ground and it has words on it.  Some are handwritten and some of the words are typed.  Some of them are on the wall straight and other are cricked. It really isn't too fancy, but I do love it.  So do my students.  When they are writing, they walk over to the word wall and grab the word they need to help them spell it.  I feel it serves it's purpose very well.  Here is a picture of mine.

   I thought it would be neat to see other word walls.  I would like to see how they are organized and where they are located.  I am hoping others want to see too.


I put together a...

 I know some of us are getting close to finishing school for the year, so our word walls should be all filled up.  What a great time to take a picture of it and join the party!



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Poem Notebooks

I work at a school that is a Core Knowledge school.  Being a Core Knowledge school we have a curriculum that we have to cover that spirals throughout the grade levels.  We also do our state standards and common core.  With being a Core Knowledge school we have a lot of  poems that we have to cover.  Since we learn poems throughout the whole year I have the students make a Poem Notebook.  This is a great way for the students to have a collection of poems for them to keep.  We use a spiral notebook for our poem notebook.  I usually print out a cute title for their notebook on a label and then a label with each child's name.  

At the beginning of the year we start these books.  We always start the year learning our color words.  I have awesome songs I teach my kiddos from Heidisongs for the color words.  I print out the sheets that go with the songs and on one side of the notebook we glue the poem/song/saying and the other side we put a picture.

For the color words I use Heidisongs songs for the poem and for the picture I use TLC Art Color Book. Here are some examples.

 Sometimes I don't use the TLC Art projects.  Sometimes I create my own project.  The one below is a pig.  I guess the girl didn't finish hers. 

Other times, I print a picture from the internet that matches the poem we are working on.

Sometimes I have the students illustrate the poem.

 Sometimes I make copies of worksheets I have on a certain topics the students to use.

Below is a saying that we cover.  I love having the students illustrate the sayings before I explain what it really means.  Their interpretation of the sayings are so cute to look at. 

Throughout the year we work on Nursery Rhymes.  These are also added to our poem notebooks.

I just love these notebooks.  They make a great end of the year keepsake.  The parents of my students also love them.  They make a great collection of their work. 

Do you make something like this with your class?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Green Screen Tutorial

After posting about how I make movies with my kindergarteners, I had some people ask about how I use the green screen. So, I thought I would write a tutorial for you.  It is super easy to use. 
  This is how I use my green screen.  It is probably not the only way you could use it, but this is how I do it.  I am not a professional.  I have played around with it and it seems to work for me and my classroom movies.  I hope this tutorial inspires you to use a green screen in your classroom. 

First you need a green screen.
 I originally purchased Kelly Green fabric from JoAnn's.  The fabric worked very well for a green screen.  You could also buy a professional green screen or use green butcher paper.  In the picture above, I used green butcher paper.

Any part that is green will be covered by the picture I place on it.  If you notice my set up in the picture, the calendar is to the right of the green.  If the video camera would have gotten the blue calendar on it, the calendar would be seen on the video.  Also, when using a green screen, if you are having a student in front of it they can't wear green or they would be invisible.  I have also had a problem with gold.  I guess gold is too much like green so it doesn't work very well.

Once you have a green screen, you will need extra light.  The more light you have, the better, but you don't want too many shadows.  I had a parent buy me the construction lights.  I put one on each side.  I would like to get another one to have in the middle.  I usually put them on a stack of something so they are off the ground.  You could also buy a stand for them to get them higher.  

So now you have a green screen and it is well lit.  Now double check and make sure the green screen doesn't have any deep wrinkles.  Sometimes the wrinkles will show up on the movie.

Now you are ready to film what you want in front of the green screen.  Once you have all of your film, open up iMovie.

iMovie- Screen when you open it.

Click File, then click New Project.
Select the theme you want your movie to have.  Give it a name and then click Create!

Next you need to put what you want as the background in the top box.  I had the picture on my desktop so I dragged it to the box to put it into iMovie.  You could click the T on the right hand side to add pictures from iPhoto if that is where your picture is.  You could also use a stock video as your background.

Next you are going to click File.  Then you need to import your video clips.  You can import from your camera or you can import from movies.  Where you keep your video clips is where you will import them from.

Once you import your clip, they will show up in the bottom box. 

Next you need to click the clip you want to use.  The clip I want to use is highlight in yellow.

Once you click the clip it will say how long the clip it.  (Mine says it is 15:07 seconds long) 

  Then I go up to the background I added and see how long it is.  Once I click the background it will be highlighted and say how long. (Mine says 4:00 seconds long)  As you can see, my background is too short.  I need to make it the same length as my video clip. 

  Click the wheel under the length.  Then click Clip Adjustments.

This is what opens.  Then change the Duration to the time of the video clip.

 Here my time is changed to 15:07 seconds just like the clip.  Then click Done.

Once you click done the background will be the same length as the video clip.

Now click your video clip.  Mine is highlighted by yellow.

Then drag your clip up to the background you chose.  Go to the spot you want to add the video.  Once you unclick the video a window will open.  Go down to Green Screen and click that.

Then you should see your video clip added to the top of the background.  Then on the right side it should be put together so you can view it.  This is how it would really look.  If you are not happy with how it looks there may be a way to fix it.

Click the setting button on the background.  Then click Video Adjustments.

 In this picture I played with the Exposure.  This one has 25% exposure.  As you can tell, this doesn't make it look better for my video.

Here I played with the Exposure again but moved it the opposite direction.  Adjusting the Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, and/or Saturation may help your video.  Also adjusting the red, green, or blue gain may help. 

I think my video looks good without making any adjustments to it.

That is how to use a green screen.  I hope this is helpful!