Thursday, July 24, 2014

Positive Thinking, Technology, and Throwback Thrurday & A Product Update

Later on today, I will enjoy the afternoon with my two year old niece.  I am linking up with my awesome friend, Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for Positive Thinking Thursday to share great quote that shows one of the reasons I love kids.  I think it is perfect!


I am also linking up with the fabulous Teaching Trio for Technology Thursday.

This is a throwback to one of my first technology posts.  This activity turned out to be one of my favorites of the year.  The kids thought so too.  Since this is a throwback post, I am also linking up with the wonderful Angela from The Teacher's Desk 6 for Throwback Thursday.

I would like to share my experience using iMovie during a social studies unit on the French and Indian War.

We started off the unit with some reading, discussion, SMART Board activities, and a Brain Pop on the French and Indian War.  After several days of these activities, we brainstormed the most important reasons/causes of the French and Indian War. I typed up the students' ideas and handed out the skit requirements to each group member.

I divided the students into three groups.  Each group had to write a skit from either the French, British, or Indians' point of view.  The students made signs to introduce their skits.  I recorded all the skits on an iPad.

We did not act out the war for obvious reasons.  However, I had students make signs for some of the major battles. I took photos of all the signs and incorporated them into the movie. The last sign stated that the war was over, and the Treaty of Paris was signed.  The final part of our movie was an interview with all three groups.  In the interest of time, I scripted this one.
With the help of my tech committee, we were able to add some fun sound effects.  My students especially loved the suspense and footstep sound effects.
If you are interested in using iMovie, but don't know how to get started (like I was), here is a great video with the basics.  Having a crew of tech savvy students is also a huge help!

My students LOVED this activity.  It was highly motivating, and they learned a lot.  

Update - I ended up using iMovie quite a bit last year.  I highly recommend using it or some other video program.  Next year, I am going to play around with Photo Story.  That one is loaded on our computers at school, and comes recommended by our awesome GATE teacher.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I have updated one of my products.  Previously, I had writing and language learning targets posted in my TPT store.  I gave this product a makeover, and I added learning targets for Reading: Information, Reading: Literature, Reading: Foundations, and Speaking & Listening.  I have marked them 20% off until Saturday.  Click here (or on any of the pictures below) to view the product in my TPT store.

***If you have already purchased my Writing and Language Learning Targets, you should be able to download this new version at no addition cost.

That's all for today.  I'm off to check out some other posts on positive thinking, technology, and throwbacks.  Afterwards, I am going to finish getting ready for my niece's visit.  I can't wait!  I just love being an aunt!

Have a great day!
Thank you!


  1. You are so right about spending time with little kids. They have such a wonderful perspective on everything. Thanks also for sharing your iMovie project again. I had forgotten about that one (loved it though!) and am pinning it so I don't forget again. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. My niece is almost two and I love spending time with her. She is all about giggling and laughing, just having fun and enjoying life. It's hard not to be happier and more joyful when she is around. :) I use iMovie in class, but haven't yet let the students make their own iMovie. I'm thinking that this year that will change.
    Visiting from the TBT Linky Party!
    ~Amanda from His and Her Hobbies

    1. Thank you! Spending time with my nieces and nephews is definitely one of my favorite things to do!


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  4. Mary, I can testify that even though iMovie can be a deep program it can be used at a surface level to produce some really quality products as young as Kindergarten. I am so glad that you wrote this up!

    1. I completely agree! I think these programs benefit kids (and adults) of all ages.


  5. I spent the day today with Mandy from 4th Grade Journey and her two year old daughter. They were so much fun and absolutely precious. Two year old hugs are the absolute best...I'm convinced!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. I've been thinking about trying imovie....I'm going to try it out today. Thank you for sharing.