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.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

I-Speak Video

For this project we were required to take a poem and interpret it using digital video.  I chose the poem, Pride, by Dahlia Ravikovitch (given to me by Amy Vanderwater) because I thought it was a very deep and meaningful poem.  I thought the poem was about strength of pride and spirit.  As people age, so does their pride.  Although you cannot see pride, you know it is there.  Pride can be very strong, but one small thing can happen and easily destroy this pride.  

Book Preview for YOKO

This project was meant to be like a movie trailer introducing a book or concept.  It could have also been an Edu-mercial, making a commercial and putting a spin on new curriculum or a current issue.  This video is a book preview for the story, Yoko, by Rosemary Wells.  It can be used as an anticipatory set to a lesson for active engagement.  The video can be used as a prereading comprehension strategy because it serves as a picture walk that gets the students thinking about the details and plot of the story.  

Monday, July 21, 2008


Hello, my name is Miss Militello and I will be a fifth grade teacher at Big Tree Elementary in the Frontier School District.  I was previously a special education teacher in the district, so this is my time having my very own class. I am really excited to decorate my room and meet my students!

I am also starting a coaching position in the winter for Frontier High School as an assistant coach for the Girls Indoor Track and Field team.  This is one of my first coaching experiences, and I am looking forward to coaching a high school team.