So wonderful Scholastic contributor, Linda Foote, introduced me to CrazyTalk 5.1 last week. If you have never heard of this program before, you can turn photos or drawings into realistic pieces of animation. This includes eye, mouth, and head movement that goes with imported voice recordings. I downloaded the program on Sunday (49.00 dollars) and was finished with production on Wednesday. All work was completed by the students, including the script, filming, editing, and tech. skills (ex- animation, green screen work, etc.). Photos from behind the scene are now included for your viewing pleasure.
Want some help teaching cell parts and functions? Here is a cell music video my class created in class using portions of Mr. Duey's performance of the song "Cells" at our school. My next lesson plan posted on Scholastic will explain how we created the video together in class. I will be posting another cell video shortly that involves awesome animation using CrazyTalk 5.1, a green screen, and ULead Video Studio. It will focus on the differences between animal and plant cells.
Kid Lit writer, Sonja Cole, asked the advisors to report on their favorite book for the 2008 year. The Blue Stone was the first book that came to mind for me, and rather than probe any deeper, I believe this book surfaced first for a reason. This 88 page picture book was released in March, and required a lot of talk about metaphors, symbolism, and schema with my classroom last year. This quiet book is simply amazing and can be used under the reading and writing umbrella. Here are a few things I did with the book:
“What would you do if you were not afraid?” I love this line from Dr. Johnson’s, Who Moved My Cheese? Maybe that's why I have moved around so much. Tenure-smenure. And then there's the simple title of Rafe Esquith's book, There Are No Shortcuts. I have to remind myself of that one sometimes. And Smart Answers to Tough Questions. I could go on. I can't imagine who I would be without a few key authors along the way. Here are ten books/authors that will refresh and revitalize what you are doing in the classroom...great for a nice holiday read.
My husband has put me on this horrible thing called a budget. Yes, I am hurting. Bad. We all know how much comes out of our pockets each year. So, with the whole budget thing looming over my head, I am creating four gifts for my kids (and parents!) for less than ten dollars. I might add how impressed I am with myself on this one...