Thursday, March 8, 2012

Parent Involvement Part #2 - Monthly Videos!

Last week I posted about Mystery Readers and utilizing Skype to bring the classroom to parents and families who might not be able to come in.

This week I'm going to share about my monthly videos!  At the start of the school year, I took a ton of pictures, and decided to create a video to send to parents after a few weeks to show them how we were starting our school year.

This video then evolved into a monthly video that I send to my parents and families with the pictures of things we are doing.  You may be wondering if I'm CrAzY at this point, but I promise I'm not!

It is so easy with Animoto! Animoto lets you upload pictures, pick a design, and pick a song from their selection or upload one from your own song list.  Then they put it all together with transitions for you!  You can email the movie link to your parents or put it on your website!

Steps to make it easy for you:

1. Take pictures during the month.  Don't worry about getting all of the kids, just make sure you take a few group pictures of each table group and a class picture of some special day during the month and you are assured to get them all at least once or twice.

2.  Upload them and store in a monthly folder.  ie.  a folder for January, February, March, etc.  This makes it easier when you go to upload pictures to Animoto later.

3. Register at under the educator setting which will give you unlimited videos (or just click on the link above).

4. Start a project, and pick a theme.

5. Upload all of your pictures from your folder (they'll already be grouped with things similar to them based on when they were taken, so you won't have to do much rearranging later).

6. Pick a song or upload your own.

7. Add text slides if you want to tell about pictures.

8. Let animoto do the rest!  I promise - it really is that easy!

The parents enjoy LOVE the monthly videos and I get great feedback.  It's also a wonderful way to share POSITIVE news and events with parents.  I often highlight students who have met their reading goals, received character awards, or our mystery readers who visit or skype with us.

Although parents aren't coming in or sharing their expertise with this part, the videos open up the classroom and make them seem more attainable.  Parents love to actually see what their child is doing during the day.

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