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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lights, Camera, Green Screen, Action!

Green screening is a video technique where you to film in front of a green background and then you are able to replace the green background with another.  This is the same technique used in the movies and with weather reporters. 

My students have really enjoyed creating green screen movies this year.  I have worked with several classes from Preschool through 5th grade to create green screen videos for reader's theaters, songs, poetry, and historical or informational reports.  It is so much fun to transport your students to another place or time through the magic of green screening.  The students are also highly motivated to complete research and prepare for a video project.  Here is an example of a green screen video created by 2nd grade students about thunderstorms.

I recently presented a workshop on green screening to show teachers how easy and inexpensive it is to green screen.  This presentation outlines how to create a green screen movie in your classroom.  I suggest creating your own green screen studio with inexpensive materials and purchasing older versions of the software to save money.  The presentation shows how to use Adobe Premiere Elements but you can also green screen with iMovie, ULead, Pinnacle, or with Windows Movie Maker.  There are links at the end of the presentation on creating green screen movies with these other programs.  Have fun green screening!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fakebook Biographical Profiles

Here is a fun new way to create a biography or timeline project- make a FakebookFakebook by Classtools.net allows teachers and students to create an imaginary profile of a person in the style of Facebook.  Start by typing the name of the person at the top.  Fakebook will automatically pull in an image from the web for famous or historic people.  Then just add friends, posts, and comments to tell more about the person or events.  View the Fakebook of Marie Curie for a great example of how to use this resource in the classroom.

Thanks to iLearnTechnology and Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day for sharing this great resource.

Explore the Rainforest

Explore the rainforest from your Smartboard with these interactives:


PBS Jungle Journey:















Rainforest Alliance: Jewels of the Earth:

















PBS Amazonia Explorer:
















Mr. Nussbaum's Amazon Rainforest:















BrainPOP Rainforest Animals Game:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wufoo Forms

Wufoo is an online application that creates interactive forms for your parents or students.  Think about how much extra time you will have if you no longer need to collect papers and sort through them for information.  Wufoo does it for you!  The Wufoo application is easy to use.  You can use preformatted, editable forms or create your own from scratch.  Plus you can customize the form background, colors, and fonts.

How can you use Wufoo in the classroom?

*Collect parent emergency contact information.
*Sign up volunteers for a class event or field trip.
*Create an invitation to your back to school night, parent night, or concert.
*Create field trip permission slips.
*Register students for after-school clubs.
*Register parents or teachers for training events.
*Create an exit slip for your lesson or event.
*Create a quiz for students and use the results to guide your instruction.

Once you create a form you can share it through email, by providing the link to your form, or by embedding it in your web page.  The FREE Wufoo account will allow you to create 3 forms with up to 10 fields and allows you to collect 100 responses per month.  There are also subscription accounts if you need more.
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