Making Over Third Grade!: And It All Started with CUE
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

And It All Started with CUE

This week was so not an ordinary week! A few months ago I was on Google+ and saw a post by CUE for a professional development that Shutterfly was doing for their photo story app. (They will be conducting another PD on the app on January 24 to attend sign-up here.)
makingoverthirdgrade.blogspot.com It All Started with CUE
Two co-workers and I signed up for, and went to, the PD in Mountain View and while there we signed up to be part of the pilot program to test their app in a classroom setting. WE WERE SELECTED FOR THE PILOT!! 
A perk for piloting the app in the classroom was a class set of free Shutterfly books for each student who turned in a permission slip. I have 19 of 20 permission slips turned in now and am still working on the last one. The kids are so excited about the prospects of being published authors! We have been given a task to investigate and research different biomes as botanists, meteorologists, and zoologists we have been given only four weeks to discover all we need to know about each biome so that we can save the planet. 
makingoverthirdgrade.blogspot.com It All Started with CUE

We are taking our research and writing multi-paragraph reports (they need to be at least three paragraphs but most of the kids have been working on more than that!) citing at least two sources. We have been researching sites that I listed collected and shared with the class via a class blog page and biome posters with QR codes to the blog pages. I used Ashley Hughes' clip art for the posters. I love them because they are clean, simple designs, that are clearly identifiable as each biome. 



I even used this clip art for our first Kahoot! The kids L-O-V-E-D it! They can't wait to do even more Kahoots! (That is something for another blog post). 
We started working in the Shutterfly Photo Story App this week. We have been working for weeks on writing our reports and gathering photos (yes, we have been mindful of using only images labeled for reuse) for our books. 
A few weeks ago one of my fellow teachers and I were approached about having Shutterfly come to our site to film--yes, FILM--our classes using the app and/or receiving their books. So, yesterday, Dec. 12th, the team from Shutterfly came! 
makingoverthirdgrade.blogspot.com It All Started with CUE
My kids were SO GOOD about having a film crew in our classroom. Roughly half of my class had permission slips to be filmed so we had to split the classroom and the class. The Shutterfly crew came in and stayed and filmed in my classroom all morning. They filmed me teaching the class about the app (due to the fact that 8 of my 20 students were absent the day before because of the rain). They took still shots and filmed the kids who were allowed to be on camera using the app. They were also able to troubleshoot the issues we had with several of the kids signing in as teachers rather than students. (That was bound to happen though as they are 8 and the student indicator box is very small.) Next, the film crew interviewed three of my students individually and the rest of the class was WONDERFUL about not making any noise during the filming. While the kids were at music (we have release once a week for an hour) they set up and interviewed me! I was so nervous! But as anyone who knows me well can tell you, once I got started talking I was good to go. Guess that is the upshot of being a talker.
After the crew was done filming in my classroom they went to my co-worker's class and filmed the kids receiving their Shutterfly books and completed interviews there as well. They filmed in there all afternoon so it was a full day of excitement at our school! 
makingoverthirdgrade.blogspot.com It All Started with CUE
The film crew was wonderful! They put everyone at ease and were very helpful as we worked around their equipment and dealt with the excitement of having a camera crew in our classroom. The lights and cameras made the kids feel like they are going to be movie stars. I was so impressed by their ability to ignore the crew as they worked on their books and at their self-assurance and poise as they were interviewed. They make me SO VERY PROUD!

I can't wait for our biome reports and personal narratives to be written so that we can send in the information to have our books printed too. I know the kids are going to be so excited!

In addition to the book students will be able to access digital audio files they add to their book via a QR code in the printed book and a button in the digital copy. This has been like a dream and I am so very excited for my kids to have these books and memories as part of their experiences in third grade. This has been a wonderful adventure and I am excited to see the final Shutterfly products both those made by my students and the film project that we have been lucky enough to be a part of. 
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