Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Ok, there are many different types of cartoons and comics out there: some you find in the Sunday paper, some in comic books, others on Cartoon Network. What do you think about this type of cartoon? How does it apply to you?

This is an example of a political cartoon because there is a political message behind the characters and their dialogue. Using this cartoon as an example, create your own cartoon on how you feel about the State Tests. Take a few minutes to think about the message you want to send to your readers before jumping right into it. Also, use the site Political Cartoons... under the Fun Games, Activities, and Sites heading. This site can help students and teachers with ideas for using political cartoons in the classroom.


For this assignment, use lyrics from the Jonas Brothers or other pop singers to create a digital video of your interpretation of the words. You can work on this assignment with partners! Please make use a Scene Sketcher first, then record your pieces using your Scene Sketcher as a guide. Also visit the link, Sing Along with the Jonas Brothers to help give you ideas!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teen Ink Magazine

The Teen Ink Magazine is an online magazine, book series, and website devoted to teenage writing and art. It is an open avenue for kids to express themselves, and explore the writing of other kids their own age. It offeres some thoughtful and creative work that includes the topics of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photos, opinions, and sports! To visit it, Check out the list of links under Fun Games, Activities, and Sites!

Think Critically Think About Your Education

"...Its reading and math, forget all the rest
you don't need to know what is not on the test.
...The school board is faced with No Child Left Behind
with rules but no funding they're caught in a bind.
So music and art and the things you love best
are not in your school 'cuz they're not on the test..."

These are some lines from the song that Tom Chapin wrote with John Foster. Think critically about the song and the video: What are the objects seen, and what is being said? Is it positive or negative? What is happening and how it is said and heard?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


For the first project, we had to pick someone in class and learn about them. This was a great ice-breaking activity that helped with summarizing and interpreting because we were only allowed 30 seconds for this film. Then, we had to think of an object to portray the person we talked to. I talked to Kelly, who is a fifth grade teacher in Kenmore. She teaches students that come from low-income families. For an object, I used the pillars of a building to represent Kelly because she was like a foundation - a source of stability in her students' lives.

Personal Narrative

For this last project, we were required to create a personal narrative that was meaningful to us. This video is an example of a small moment story, or a personal narrative. It is a meaningful story about a time when I crocheted with my Grandmother. I was never very close with her growing up, but I still cherish that small moment that we shared together. This video can be used to teach children how to visualize and write small moment stories.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Small Moment Film for Second Graders


Unit Topic: Small Moments: Personal Narrative Writing
Subject of Lesson: Stretching One Small Moment
Grade Level: 1-3
Time Estimate: 1 hour daily for three weeks

• After brainstorming and making a list of small moment ideas (i.e. opening a present for a birthday or fishing with dad), Miss Militello’s second grade class will choose an idea from their list and write about it by stretching the event across several pages and including illustrations.
• After editing and publishing their stories and watching an example of a small moment video, Miss Militello’s second grade class will create small moment videos in class which will range between 1-2 minutes in length, and include their voices as the narration and items that portray their stories.

a. Rationale
• For students to focus on one main idea and stretch it across several pages because that moment is so important.
• For students to learn how to write stories using a beginning, middle, and end.
• For students to interact and work together to prepare their videos.
• For students to incorporate digital video technology to interpret their stories.
• For students to develop their higher-order thinking skills and apply them to assessments and further education.
b. NYS Learning Standards
• ELA – Standard I – Language for Information and Understanding 1.1, 1.2
• ELA – Standard 4 – Language for Social Interaction 4.1
• MST – Standard 5 – Computer Technology 5.3
• The Arts – Standard 1 – Visual Arts 1.1
c. Professional Resources
• Calkins, L. & Oxenhorn, A. (2003). Small Moments: Personal Narrative Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Firsthand Heinemann.
• Williams, V. B. (1982). A chair for my mother.
• IMovie Program on Mac Computers.
d. Student and Teacher Materials
• Teacher:
o Small Moments book by Lucy Calkins and Abbey Oxenhorn
o Stack of writer’s booklets
o Markers
o Big Chart Paper
o Pens
o Film equipment (video cameras, MacBook Laptops, etc.)
o “Small Moment Video: A Stitch in Time with Grandma” by Miss Militello
o Smartboard
• Students:
o Pencils
o Erasers
o Crayons
o Edited and published small moment stories

a. Anticipatory Set
• To engage students, the teacher will introduce small moment stories by reading A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams. The teacher will read with expression and comment on the details Williams adds in the story.
• The teacher will explain that the technique Vera used was using details.
• The teacher will help the students brainstorm ideas for their small moments and write them on the big chart paper.
• The teacher will explain that they will be writing small moment stories, and then making digital videos out of their stories.

b. Body of Lesson
i. Part I: Writing the story
• The teacher will encourage the students to write small moments like those written by Vera B. Williams.
• The students will choose their own small moment story from the list they made together, and begin to sketch their illustrations on the different pages.
• After sketching, the students will write their stories making sure to include details and a beginning, middle, and end in their stories.
• The teacher will encourage the students to use the Word Wall, ABC Chart, and their Personal Dictionaries to help with spelling.
• The teacher will aid the students in editing and publishing their stories after writing them.

I. Part II: Making the video
• The teacher will show the students an example of her small moment story (“A Stitch in Time with Grandma”) using digital video on the Smartboard.
• The students will discuss what made the video a great small moment story with a partner, and then discuss as a class.
• The teacher will explain that they will be making their own Digital Videos using their small moment stories that they just published.
• The students will use their stories to make an 8-square storyboard for their own videos.
o The teacher will tell them, “Look around the classroom and outside the classroom, what kind of objects can you use to represent your story?”
• After they finish, the teacher will group them in groups of 4, the teacher will review how to use the camera.
o The students will already have prior knowledge in working with digital video. The teacher will also put directions for importing and editing on the Smartboard for the students to follow.
• The students will then take a few days of class time to shoot their footage using classroom objects and classmates in their videos. The teacher will walk around to mediate.
• When the students are done shooting their movies, the teacher will help them import their clips on the individual laptops.
o We will work on the videos during the Computer Lab time block so the Computer teacher can come in and help the students in making their videos.
• The next few days, the teacher will take 10 minutes before each class to review the different characteristics of the IMovie program on the Smartboard such as Transitions, Titles, Audio, and Special Effects.
• After a week of editing, the teacher will present all the students’ videos on the Smartboard and have each student give a brief presentation on why their story is a small moment story.
o The students will also discuss the meaning of their shots and why they used certain objects to represent their stories.

c. Closure
• After viewing all the videos, the teacher will review the meaning of a small moment story.
• Each student will state one thing that they learned in making the digital video.
• The teacher will discuss the next unit, which will be Poetry, and have the students start thinking of a digital video idea for a poem.


As a teacher, I:

Yes No Partially
Provided readiness
Gave clear directions
Used questions effectively
Was enthusiastic
Used positive reinforcement
Maintained pupil interest
Responded to student behavior
Had materials ready

The students:
Yes No Partially
Paid attention
Completed the tasks
Met the objectives
Behaved appropriately

Did the students actively participate in the class discussion?

Did all students complete a published story and a video of their story?

List three or four strengths of the lesson. What went well?

List three or four needs of the lesson. What did not go well? What could be improved on?

Based upon the analysis above, set one or two specific goals for yourself in behavioral terms, which will aid you in developing your effectiveness as a teacher.