Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Creating Common Craft-like videos on the Economy

Common Craft videos are made using simple paper cutouts and dialogue that focuses on explaining concepts "in plain English." Pioneered by Lee and Sachi LeFever, this style of video utilizes a white background and will have all elements planned out to make a complex subject simple. Another key to the video style is that it is short, usually around two to four minutes (definition from edutopia).
 For the first tech project of the year, you are going to create Common Craft-like videos to explain the new concepts and ideas you are learning about The Economy in Social Studies class.  Before you begin, however, you need to understand what a Common Craft video is like.  Watch the examples below.

Please, no Zombies in your videos!  So...where to begin?
1.  Decide on an idea--get it approved by a teacher!
2.  Create a script--keep it simple and clear!
3.  Create visuals--Keep them simple and eye catchingly BOLD! This is not the assignment for fancy details.  -click here to access the cut-outs from the Common Craft site
4.  Practice!  You want to be able to narrate your script smoothly without mistakes.  You also need to know when to change your props!  The actual video taping should not take more than 10 minutes!
5.  Film your Common Craft-like video
6.  Show the class---and the world. Help people understand how and why the econmoy works!
7.  Have fun!
 More resources:
Making Common Craft Style videos:  Here's a How-to that gives some good tips for making these videos.  You don't have to read everything.  Just take a look at the diagrams.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Scope Magazine: "Why are Your Clothes So Cheap?"


This narrative nonfiction article reveals the shocking truth about the lives of those who make our clothing and provides important information about the global garment industry and child labor. 

Click here to read this article.  

Log-in: barnardla68

Click here to watch the video about the article
Essential Questions
1.  What does it mean to be a global citizen?
2.  How can individuals affect huge companies?
3.  What is the power of working together?

Student Resources
Vocabulary from story 
Close Reading Questions (we will discuss as class--no need to write out)
Nonfiction Elements worksheet  
Guided Letter Writing 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Collecting Quotes about Reading and Writing

In her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott says, 

 “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

"Selecting a Reader" by Ted Kooser

"Selecting a Reader" by Ted Kooser

After reading the poem, in the Response section of your R/W Notebook describe what the woman in the poem looks like.  Underline the words that support your description.

Next, underline words or phrases that you noticed as we read the poem.  Place a question mark next to any lines that you are confised by.

Why does the speaker choose this reader?  What type of reader would you choose for your writing?  Explain your answer.

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!  It was so nice to see all the middle school students today.  Everyone found a book and spent some time reading this afternoon!  I am looking forward to a wonderful year of reading and writing with all of you.  Here's our new and improved classroom library!