Blog Archives

Puppet Pals, not just for kids

I first learned about Puppet Pals in kinder21’s recent post about connecting her classroom to China, and the very next day it came up in my class.

My students had divided a book we were reading into chapters, and each group was responsible for creating a video of that chapter’s main events.

It was a good way to review in a dynamic and memorable way.  The history teacher across the hall had been teaching his students to make Common Craft videos, and I offered this as an alternative to filming a live scene.

In an act of media fluency one student said “I think the app my sister is using in Kindergarten would be perfect for this!”  He described how it worked and it seemed interesting, so we quickly downloaded the free app and started testing it out.

Puppet Pals brings out the creative inner child in anyone who picks it up.  You can choose pre-set characters, or upload your own images and set them in pre-set or uploaded scenes of your choosing.

When the scene is set, you can hit record and narrate or give voices to the characters as you move them around the scene.  It’s essentially a puppet show that an individual can perform and film at the same time.

If you’ve seen a young child at play, moving toys around and giving them voices, this is the digital recording of that very same phenomenon.

The videos are fun to watch and the students have to summarize, problem-solve, collaborate, plan and execute the project… without even realizing they are using so many important 21st Century skills.

I love Puppet Pals, it’s going to become a standard fim-making option in my classroom.

Students use smart phones to research and edit their script while creating a Puppet Pals video on an iPad.

Advertisements

Heritage Hall Reframed

I’m so intrigued by the book I chose, yes a hard copy.  In Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Reframed, Howard Gardner hopes to show how we can maintain traditional virtues of truth, beauty, and goodness in the not-so-traditional environment of today.  He encourages us to continually confront and reflect on new examples of truth, beauty, and goodness and seek to align them with long-standing values.

I felt this was appropriate in a few ways.  Right now I am mostly thinking about how well this goes with our goal of obtaining to ways of teaching and learning without losing the values of traditional education, which has worked for many years.  It is all about adjusting our attitude and continue to do what teachers have always done…be life-long learners!

I’m so excited to try and fail new things…just as quickly as I get tired of my furniture, I get tired of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol in the classroom.  It’s all in the best interest of the kids and let’s not forget, for us as well!  I am a young teacher, so I started my career with a Smartboard, so I am not just necessarily talking about integrating technology, but the best practices of 21st Century fluencies.  I just hope that all the teachers who have been educating for so long will maintain a positive, open attitude about the potential with moving into the 21st century!  Great things are ahead!