Photo Sandwich–First Project

So far in Photo Sandwich the students have practiced their skills on combining layers. While I was gone at the MACUL Conference, they created an original image with at least two layers, and in some cases several more! All images were taken from Pics4Learning, a website that offers educators photos from the public domain. No attributions are necessary. Click on the thumbnail to see a separate post (where you can leave individual comments!), then in that post click that thumbnail to see a bigger version of their photos. Next, they add photos of their friends.

Minecraft 4 Romans at Stage III Family Night

The biggest motivator for the Minecraft 4 Romans class was Stage III Family Night. This evening event is the culmination of the big unit study of the year. This year was  Ancient Rome. The homerooms each focused on different aspects of Rome and put together a display of the student work for the families to tour.

We started the evening with Sandy’s Dance Performance students, who had used Ancient Rome as their theme inspiration. The kids chose music and choreographed their own group dances, complete with costumes. As always, it was completely charming and child-centered, and it was wonderful to see their beaming faces as they took their bows.

Then came the Minecraft 4 Romans video. Most of the 48 students who took the class were able to use Screencast-O-Matic to record a tour of the individual houses and apartment buildings they designed and built in MinecraftEdu. Some of the videos were more than five minutes long! My job was to edit them down under 15 minutes total. The math was undeniable–that meant an average of under 15 seconds each.

The first rough cut was over 30 minutes long.

I won’t bore you with the angst I went through when I realized what had to happen. Or the number of hours I spent on it. And honestly? The editing process created a video that was far more watchable. I was able to introduce the video as a “teaser,” and then invited the families to stop by the computer lab during the Stage Tour and let their children give them a live walk-through. It was busy all night, so I think it worked.

I wish I had been able to walk around and see the homerooms do their presentations. The creativity and investment of the kids is always worth seeing and celebrating. But by all accounts it was a successful evening.

After all of that, here is the video. I’m so proud of what they were able to accomplish–but more about that in a future post.

Image Blender Makeup

I’m getting ready to take down the display of pictures in the hallway outside my room. If you haven’t seen them, they are from a project the second years did a while back. We used Image Blender to find a background picture and then insert each of the kids into that photo by using layers and erase tools. We learned a bit about how to resize and to use the softening tool with the eraser. While the expertise is not always perfect (nor should it be! They are just learning!) the creativity is, as usual, off the charts. Just between you and me, this is one of my favorite projects to do with Stage III. Click on the thumbnails below to see a bigger image.

Not all projects are displayed. Some students forgot to save their work after printing. Others do not have a photo release permission form turned in to the school, so I could not include them. Don’t worry though, all the printed pictures will be coming home at the end of the week.

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