Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009

In honor of Taylor Swift's win at the CMA awards, we watched three of her videos and chose our favorite. Here is the winner:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day, 2009

Today we watched three good videos related to Veteran's Day. They all tied for the "favorite" vote so I decided to post them all.

This one contains President Ronald Reagan's beautiful Veteran's Day speech:

This video contains testimony from a number of people talking about Veterans and our freedoms at Arlington National Cemetary:

This one is the poem "In Flanders Fields" done with interpretive dance:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009

We were going to vote for a Veteran's Day video today but then we learned that today is Sesame Street's 40th birthday. So we decided to take a nostalgic walk down memory lane (for most of the adults anyway) and go to this site to help vote for the best all-time episode of vintage 70's Sesame Street. The adults each chose their favorite video from the 40 nominated then the kids decided their favorites. We submitted all our votes and are interested to see which one wins.

We had a tie between "Rubber Ducky" and "Being Green." What is your/your class's favorite?

Monday, November 9, 2009

How we vote and answers to other questions....

Michie commented and asked several great questions that I thought I'd address in a post rather than hide in a comment. :-)

I'm very curious how you plan to use this activity to make it year long - sounds like a project we could do too, if you don't mind!
I'm still working on ideas for this. Right now I'm saving our daily graphs and I think we'll go back periodically and compare data between videos from different days or between winning videos. My kids are really liking this and it's a great way, like Kate suggested, to expose them to different kinds of music and other concepts (since I'm not limiting them strictly to music videos, although that will be a heavy emphasis).

Today I had my class (which is currently down to one) watch one of the videos from Kate's blog, then the Thanksgiving and Native American one from your blog. My classroom (mostly staff) voted that we liked the Thanksgiving one best.
I remember the days of only one or two students. Wow! Not sure how I kept from going crazy. I'll take my big gang anytime. Glad you all liked the Thanksgiving video as much as we did.

How are your kids voting? I'm not sure my students understand "favorite." I showed each video and asked the one student today, "did you like this?" and tried to get a yes/no answer. The only one I got a definite yes from was the Thanksgiving one, so I counted that one as her "vote." This voting thing is a new concept for us, but I think it could be fun.
We've done voting a couple of different ways. Since this is kind of new for us we are currently using the simpler method of answering yes or no after each video. All of my kids, with the exception of one, are pros at yes/no questions. My one who I'm not so sure about his understanding of yes/no concepts still votes and we also evaluate his responses to the video (orients to it, seems engaged, moves to be right next to the projection, totally ignores it, etc.). I quickly make communication pix for the the videos as part of my Morning Meeting Prep and print off enough copies for all 8 of us (kids and adults), which I cut out while we watch Kate's video/s. Then we show the kids the picture of the video while it plays. If they say they like it then we put it on our graph (picto graph made with the symbols, taped to a blank piece of paper in vertical columns). We count the number of "yes" votes after each one (rote counting, 1:1 correspondence). Then at the end we look at the graph and figure out which video got the most votes, which got the least, and if any tied. If we end up with a tie for first place, the kids choose between those two symbols and the top vote getter wins.

The other method we tried, which did not work as well for my kids for various reasons, was watching all three videos first then having them select their favorite from the three symbols/choices. This was too hard for us right now as the kids' memories couldn't retain all three videos long enough and they didn't really understand what I was asking. As they get the hang of this voting thing and figure out that the concept of "favorite" or "like better" means you can't like them ALL, we will start having them vote between the current video and the previous video (two choices).

I do think we will end up doing some sort of Video of the Week and Video of the Month, maybe on Fridays? That would give us three videos to vote for "top spot of the week" since we don't do VOD on Thursdays. And if/when we get comments about other's votes about our top videos, we'll start doing more counting and simple addition by adding those votes to ours and comparing that information.

Sorry for such a lengthy post - now I'm thinking I need one of these video of the day sites too! :)
It would be so cool to have an idea like this spread between several classrooms. I've wanted to do a pen pal type project for years but could never make it work. This woud be such a neat substitute for that and sooo easy to do. I do our entries right there with the kids. It takes me approx. 10 min. the day before to choose videos and save to my favorites (I often go video hunting for a whole unit, season, topic, or music genre at one time and save everything I like to folders in my favorites in which case I spend a couple minutes in the morning selecting three videos from that collection). It takes me about 5 minutes to make the symbols in the morning when I'm prepping my Morning Meeting boards with the daily changes (do that while the kids eat breakfast) and we spend approx. 15 minutes or so watching videos and voting (since we're sneaking in some math--GASP! Don't tell the kids!--I think it's a great use of our time) and maybe 5 minutes to post our blog entry. I need to adapt the actual writing process to give the kids more control of that part of the project too (oooh! more academics!). I run the videos out of YouTube in tabs on my browser for voting which makes it easy to quickly copy and paste the embed code into the blog. It would take a bit longer if I had to convert the videos at home ahead of time but fortunately so far YouTube is open to us, at least on "teacher" computers.

Best of all, the kids LOVE it. I've not ever exposed them to the world of online social networking and really didn't think they'd understand (they don't do it at home either). But being teenagers, they must have innate knowledge of this stuff because they've taken right to it. I'm thinking next up will be video Skyping another class somewhere. That would be WAAAY COOL to do. Cross-country classroom cooperative video day anyone?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 9, 2009

No VOD today because it is an inservice day. But I added a stat counter so we can see how many people come to visit us. And welcome to Michie who is our first follower. The kids will be so excited to see that on Tuesday!

Meanwhile we would like to invite all our visitors to help us with a year long data interpretation project related to our state assessments by giving us your feedback on our video choices. Did you like it, yes or no? And if you are watching our VODs with your whole class, let us know your yea and nay vote totals too.

Also comment if you would like me to post the links for all the choices of the day. I'd be happy to do so, although I'll only embed the winning video (reduced confusion for my kids when we go back and look at previous winners). I think once a month we will also go back and look at all our top picks and vote on the Video of the Month. Or, hmm..., maybe we should do Video of the Week and vote between those to choose VOM. Thinking...thinking...thinking....

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009

No post for yesterday because we were busy bowling.
Today we watched three Thanksgiving-related videos. This one won the vote hands down (or up as the case may be). The kids especially liked watching it projected on the wall. Beautiful! Tune in next week for some nice Veteran's Day videos.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 20009

Today we watched three videos with Native American music since November is Native American month. We had a hard time deciding which was our favorite but eventually this video won the vote.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009

Today we chose between 3 videos we've seen before: Vivaldi's Four Seasons Autumn by Wintermood, Crazy Cow, and The Gummy Bear Song. A, J, and N voted for Autumn but T, D, M, and I voted for this video as our video of the day:

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 1, 2009

D chose this video to be our contribution to Video of the Day because it is his very favorite: