Back Alley Goes Evil by the Super 5

Story telling -Voice threading…A Collaborative Creation byRedland Crew
The Back Alley Crew
Director: Jessy Lee
Cinematographer: Zach
Props Manager:Taneshia
Villain: Rebeca
Hero: Taylor
Script Writers: The Crew
Special Effects and Audio: The Crew
Slurpee Provider: Cori


The Back Alley Goes Evil  

I love storytelling! But I’m tired of my stories. The task was to reflect on using one of the 50 ways to tell a story tools and reflect on its application to teaching… I remember two things from class, try voice thread, and try telling a story in five frames. I’m sure the two were not related but they stuck in my mind.

There is gaggle of younger middle years kids that live on my street, and they all have far greater imaginations than I do. It was a pretty simple decision to teach the tool, observing its application to learning.

I played with voice thread a bit in the afternoon, and it looked easy to use. After school yesterday, I gathered the crew and set the task. They were to tell a story in 5 frames and the movie script had to be under one minute. I modeled how to story board by writing a quick story about the tree outside our house. I listed the tasks on a piece of paper. I told them that each of had to talk for one segment (the segments being divided into 12 seconds each, but they were soon negotiating among themselves). We talked about the parts of a story and what makes a story interesting. The crew started after school, shot the scenes at 7:00 p.m., and had everything finished by 8:23 p.m with slurpees promised for the next day, my treat.

The project turned into a collaborative creation. They had entire ownership of their project. Capes, costumes and makeup went out the door, down the alley. Halloween decorations where rummaged through. As told to me, these are their titles: Zach is the Cinematographer, Taneshia is the props manager, and Jessy Lee is the director. Rebeca is the villain and Taylor is the Hero. Script was a collaborative effort..

The kids were excited to see it posted to a blog, and to have it sent to each of their emails. Each of them said, “thanks for such a great time.” The applications are endless, in every subject, for introducing topics, for engaging in debate, and for celebrating student success. I also see this tool as mean to give voice to students who are anxious about face-to-face interactions, or students who may require more time to process content. The tool also offers a product that is easy to make and is visually gratifying.

The Crew know that their story will change, that others will add to it, or comment on it. They were OK with that. Their plan is to wait until others comment and then comment again.

the beginning…


Virtual Trinket

A classmate mused that the majority of her friends on facebook are extras, collections, souvenirs.  SomeDSC00867 of my friends collect friends as well, having easily over 500 friends on their facebook site.  Perhaps I’m only one of their trinkets…   Amid the rising tide of passwords, login codes, updates and commentaries, what is the meaning of all this collecting?

Heritage Fair Fun

jl and cori feet and computers 006Two weeks ago I was one of many judges for the entries in the Heritage Fair, Prairie South School Division Regional Finals.  The best sentence of the whole day went to a young adolescent who wrote a lengthy paper about Canada’s best inventions.  Writing about poutine and making connections to its relevance to Canada’s future, the student stated, “It’s a damn fine mess!”

Technological Outage

jl and cori feet and computers 002Last Thursday evening, much of Moose Jaw was without power as the fire department fought a huge fire near Moose Jaw’s downtown.  My daughter and I were at soccer when we saw the flames.  Upon our return, we wanted to veg-out and thaw-out in front of the TV.  Once home, when the power went off a little before nine, we each lit candles, and, at my daughter’s suggestion, powered up our laptops.  My growth-spurt experiencing young carnivore wanted to nuke some cheese for notchoes but was forced to settle for yogurt and an orange, commenting, “Wow Mom, people who had to live without power sure had to do things differently.” 

So the power came back on but Jess and I turned the lights out, left the candles going, took off our headphones, made mint hot chocolate, stayed up really late, snuggled in tight and watched a movie, together.  We tossed what we didn’t need, and kept what we wanted, a little bit of both the past and the present while making the best kind of connections. 

sense of place

Copy (3) of DSC02002

I’m currently writing a literature review for two Univeristy of Regina Education instructors, Dr. Carol Fulton and Dr. Marilyn Miller .  The review focuses on how schools build communities.  Within the literature, three overarching themes are emerging.  Though I’ll let the researchers share all the findings at a later date, I’m keenly interested in one finding, the idea that community development must directly focus on a sense of place.  Having a sense of place honours a community’s narratives and shows how those stories affect today’s landscape.

 Starting with a sense a place is much like starting with belonging which I believe is the foundation for all growth.  I want my students to have a global sense of place, yet at the same time, I want my students to have their own local and their own embodied sense of place.  How much of a sense of place is defined at a community level?  How much of a student’s sense of place is defined by others, and much is defined by the school?

didn’t toss my cookies

DSC01548I was sitting at my desk last night listening to Dean lecture from his from porch, Lisa lecture from New Jersey and every so often, a bird chirping.  I liked that one of my classmates was at home when her daughter lost a tooth, I liked that I was able, for the most part, to keep up with the lecture. 

I was nervous before class.  Sherman Alexie, in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, which, by the way, is my new favourite middle-years novel, says as the voice of his own Dad, “Nervous means you want to play.  Scared means you don’t want to play.” (p. 181)   But like Alexie’s main character, before class I was texting Lindsay, saying I thought I might toss my cookies.

I was not able to keep up when Lisa screen shared, but I watched, and wrote down where she went and went back and found my way this morning.  I hope I’ll be fast enough to be a Google jockey.  It’s a great goal! 

The language is new, makes me shake my head, and makes me smile.  Last class we had to do an ‘about me page,’ so I put that in a post, thinking a page and a post are the same things… then I read Lance’s blog.  Ok, now to sort out how to move those around.  I tucked Jessy Lee into bed last night and told her I learned about widgets.  I told my Mom that the entire class gmailed the prof last night, and that no, that’s not an inappropriate action. 

Today, I figured out how to hyperlink.  So celebrate with me, come on, this is a joyous event!

Here is an interesting little form about a topic that will likely get me back to the university someday… since you’re stopping by why not fill it out?