Heart-shaped Tree Trunk. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 11 Jun 2013. http://quest.eb.com/images/300_2267995
Heart-shaped Tree Trunk. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 11 Jun 2013. http://quest.eb.com/images/300_2267995


School’s almost over 

I wish everybody liked me

Rumors, playing games

Middle school love and drama,

it destroys people’s lives.

Yes, it happened to me.

You try to make friends

Kids think they’re popular

Call you losers.

Crazy right.

Popular kids leave you out 

Think you’re not worthy.

Mean, but its true.

Choosing to hang with popular girls

Never seemed to work out.

Girls fall in love with boys for stupid reasons 

Maybe date for one day or one month,

Have their hearts broken.

Nice  kids will be there for you.

Help: that’s what everybody needs.

Drama who would want that.

How does middle school love and drama affect you?

Am I the only one who feels this way?




Found Poetry & Easy Peasy Animoto

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Last week, with the thought of creating book trailers as a summative learning experience for independent reading, Mr. Smarth’s 6th grade students chose like independent reading books in groups of two or three students. This week, they scanned their chosen books for found poetic lines and created Found Poetry Videos using our Animoto educator account.

Students each worked independently to complete their storyboard templates and then worked collaboratively to chose the found poetic lines and boards which fit together best. Together they found and chose copyright friendly images, either by using those available from Animoto or those found on the Images Page on the Lounsberry’s Virtual Learning Commons. They created image citations on a Powerpoint Slide saved as a .jpeg and chose music available on Animoto that best portrayed the mood of their found poems.

What students learned:

  • to recognize poetic and figurative language found in literary text
  • to determine mood drawn through text
  • to use the digital creations of others in a responsible manner
  • to use a tech tool which requires downloading and uploading of images and text

This learning experience acted as a precursor or “warm up” exercise for upcoming plans to make book trailers. In addition, it encouraged engagement for their upcoming independent reading by giving them something to look forward to. Independent reading in small groups, whether creating book clubs, literature circles or simply reading the same book at the same time, while still allowing for choice, encourages discourse.

Next time I’d add a rubric that considers:  how many slides created, language/text chosen, image selection, music creating mood, correct citation format, spelling (basically because it’s plain old careless to spell incorrectly on a final production!) and overall composition.

The only draw back of using Animoto is that it’s almost too easy to use! These videos came out looking great with very little effort on the part of students. But then again isn’t that the purpose of technology- to make our lives easier! Some students have already transferred their learning by creating videos for their moms for Mother’s Day which is right around the corner. Easy Peasy; this one’s a winner! Thanks to the folks at Animoto!

Breanna’s Tall Story

My Life Is A Tall Story


My life is a tall story.

I stand up

and fall down,

but I am still tall.

I laugh loud

and cry too,

but I am still tall.

I sometimes win

and sometimes lose,

but I am still tall.

I sometimes lose track of time,

and sometimes I’m a little unorganized,

but I am still tall.

Either at the piano,


or on the field,

I know,

I believe,

I achieve

at being tall.


Enjoy! especially Nerdy Nook Book Club Kids Reading Candy Gourlay’s totally awesome Tall Story!