Yesterday I attended the Gretchen Bernabei Fun Sized Academic Writing Staff Development in Houston. I was fortunate that she came to visit us in Spring Branch. I had signed up for this wonderful workshop before I knew that she was going to grace us with her presence in SBISD. It never hurts to hear things again. I know I learn so much the second and third time. It's the sink in effect. So any day is a great day for writing. Yesterday, I met some wonderful educators in the Houston area, who are jazzed about writing. I had the wonderful pleasure to visit with a 7th grade ELA teacher named Amy Green. I was fortunate to capture some of her enthusiasm in an interview that I conducted. Having a blog has recharged my desire to write and take up new movements of media blitzing. I am not TMZ for sure but I do, however, have my eyes and ears open for a good interview. I hope to interview an upcoming young elementary writer very soon. His name is Andrew Salas and he is so looking forward to showing me his new projects. His mom tells me that he is excited that someone has taken an interest in his writing. I will be posting his latest creation very soon accompanied with an interview. Love the avenue that this blog affords me.
Anyhow, I digress in a cathartic kinda way. Last night and until now, has been total frustration and bedlam in my technology world. I contemplated throwing my computer out with the bath water. I went to Staples to unload my distress with a techie guy, who helped me find some solutions. Unfortunately, they didn't work when I tried them at home. I was and continue to look for a quick way to change MOV formatted files into a WMV or MP4. I seems that when I took video with my Samsung S4 and my new iPod Touch on Friday, that the files came out MP4s and MOVs. The MP4s haven't been a problem to upload to You Tube or in Movie Maker until this weekend. I don't know what the problem is with MP4s. I was experiencing some other problems with the MOV though. MOVs drive me crazy because there's nothing out there that will convert them. Realplayer won't work with them. I tried HandBreak and even watched several tutorials on how use it. My files wouldn't appear when I went to my browser. On the Youtube Videos they work instantaneously. HELP! I am living in MOV hell. Wanna get away? Yeah, like yesterday! I thought the iPod would render and MP4 and that is easier to work with mostly. I don't know what happened yet but I worked for like maybe 4 hours straight as I listened to the sound of rain upon my rooftop. It was quite relaxing until....Yes, there is an until... until my mind was frozen along with my stupid laptop work computer. I edited until the cows came home and boy did they come home in droves. It was raining cows and movs last night and I am eating more chicken! So what's up doc? No words to explain the feelings of dire primal scream that emanated from my mind last night at 2am. I had everything, I mean everything, including the great video clips perfectly tripped with wonderful transitions. Then I was going to publish it and half way through a twenty loading party my dastardly laptop exclaimed, " Corrupt files!" I thought I had ebola or something. No hazmat suit would do the job. I was freeze dried and fried to a crisp! What? Seriously! NOOOOOOOOOO! So I calmly, and I must emphasize how much my inside voice was rebelling against me, but I was too tired to do anything remotely stupid. So I calmly put the laptop down, walked away from the crime scene and went to bed a rather broken hearted individual! Yep, that was me last night. I don't learn very fast most of the time because I thought that maybe there was away around this debacle. I tried it again. Loaded it on my new laptop thinking that this might help. I did what the Staples guy said but to no avail. So I am here at 12 o'whatever time it is right now and am venting something horrible. I decided to try for the zillionth time beyond any type of hope, to upload my video clips to Youtube since I found a converter that is slower than the slowest snail stuck in molasses hooked on Valium. I purchased the pro version. Professionally SLOW is what I bought! Calgon take me away! Anyhow, I decided to convert those blasted MOVs from my iPod to an MP4 and I hope for the best because I haven't checked to see if they would take. Fingers crossed and Advil in hand! Vamos a ver! We'll definitely see in the morning. So now I am thinking that I have 5 hours of Gretchen Bernabei and some Writing Rubric Staff Developments to upload on my overworked and memory challenged laptop. The files will be in....wait for it....MOVs...yeah you know me! I am down with MOV... no, not really...hardly...root canals are preferable!
So I think of the snail in molasses, trudging through. I am that snail! Just me, myself and I! I did finish one Windows Movie Maker Video though. It wasn't as tight as last night's series of unfortunate events, but it will do. I am waiting on my YouTube channel to come through so I can show some of the video clips and my little snippet of a video about my experiences on Friday. Friday? Oh, yeah! I am almost forgot. Seems like an eternity! NOT! Well, thanks for lending an ear! I am going to sleep and I will sleep a little sounder tonight, for sure. TECHNOLOGY HAPPENS!
I was working on a staff development from Mary Shea's work from Where's the Glitch?and her book about administering running records for grades 1-3. I decided to take a short video administering the one minute running record with a third grader. The parent has given permission for this to be viewed. I had a reflection piece where I spoke to another educator about what I learned from watching the boy and myself. My computer stated that that video was corrupted! I didn't do anything really! I didn't! Who know what that actually means. To me it means lots of lost time in editing! Technology! Sometimes I love it and sometimes I want to throw it out the window!
After viewing the video on my own, I realized that I need to work more on the prompting and questioning. I knew it wouldn't be perfect, but that's life. If it benefits someone from watching this, then it was worth the risk on my part. Enjoy at your own risk!
I interviewed a teacher from Pasadena. She is a 7th grade teacher who has tried out many of Gretchen's Bernabei's strategies from her books Fun Sized Academic Writingand The Story of My Thinking. She was so pumped to show off her student's thinking and hard work. You can tell that she loves teaching and is a great advocate for her students. Her name is Amy Green.
A teacher friend of mine sent me these photos of student work. The students were working on a map of their hearts. She was so proud of their work that she had to share. Enjoy! I love to see student work! Bright young minds!
I wanted to share my Stupeflix creation with you. There are some photos from yesterday's wonderful and super engaging staff development delivered by Gretchen Bernabei. We had over a 100 participate! Please check out my poem that follows! Mil gracias!
Gretchen Bernabei came to SBISD yesterday to share her many, many strategies and philosophy of the quality teaching of writing. I got a chance to interview her. Here is the interview in three parts. It was a joy to interview her. We really had nice conversation. Unfortunately I didn't get all the footage because my camera kicked off before we finished some of the conversations. Enjoy!