This whole week, my 8th grade students are working on a PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) Video project. In small groups of 4, they are making short videos about the behavioral expectations at each of the locations within our school. This is the project description they received:
Here is our schedule:
Monday: Introduce project, select groups and stations
Tuesday: Watch model videos on Youtube (Discuss and analyze), learn about iMovie, begin writing scripts
Wednesday: Complete scripts, practice, rehearse for teacher
Thursday: Videotape, begin editing
Friday: Complete editing, submit
Monday: Watch videos as a class
While viewing the videos, we were sure to analyze them for content and cinematic technique. We discussed how they conveyed their message(s), the use of audio, text, and other modes of expression. We discussed DOs (have music in the background, use transition screens with text, insert still photographs, etc.) and DONTs (use too much text, tiny text, long clips, repeat ideas).
It’s probably an overly ambitious schedule, and I actually think we will still be working on this next week. At any rate, they are very motivated and excited, and many students have been emailing staff around the building asking them to stop by and make a cameo in their video. It’s been a great opportunity for connections and relationships. I love how excited everyone is!
The students are taking all of the video and photographs on their iPads, then editing it together in iMovie. iMovie actually has some really easy-to-use options for creating videos, such as the Trailer feature. The transition screens and music are already formatted – the students just have to drag-and-drop their own video and photographs and change the text. Easy Peasy, right?! Who knew!
All I can say is thank goodness for our Technology Coordinator, because she has been just fantastic. She came into the classrooms to give short presentations on how to use iMovie, and she has been helping support our students through the process. She found out that we can use up to 30 seconds of music without violating copyright, and that there is a lot of great, free music (organized by genre) for students to use at http://freemusicarchive.org/
There are 6 classes each creating 9 videos, so the first step will be that the teachers will vote on the best video for each station. These 9 semi-finalist groups will be invited to a pizza party. Then, the whole school (students grades 6 – 8) will vote on the ONE BEST video, and that group will also receive iTunes Gift Cards and have their video featured on the school website. Plus, you know, bragging rights!
This project actually meets many of our Common Core State Standards in addition to being a strong part of our PBIS initiative at our school.
Finally, this is the rubric we created to give students feedback on their final products:
I’ll be sure to add updates and photographs of our progress throughout the week. I can’t wait to get to school today and continue working on this!
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