Spanish Students Create Paper Slide Videos

I had the pleasure of working with Spanish teacher Angelica Musil and her students on a project to make writing come to life by creating paper slide videos. What is a paper slide video? It’s a video created in one take by putting the iPad on top of a wire shoe rack which creates a stage below the camera. Students slide paper puppets and creations under the camera and narrate as they move the papers to create the super slide video.  

Goals of the project:

  1. Write a paragraph in Spanish.
  2. Speak in the target language, Spanish.
  3. Create a video illustrating the paragraph and share it with the class.

Here is how the lesson developed.

Day 1: Students created a word web and from the word web wrote five simple sentences.

Day 2: With partners, they put a story in order and then wrote a second draft of their sentences adding transitional words.


Day 3:  Students worked in groups and were given a short sentence to elongate by adding details. Students revised their paragraphs by adding two details to each sentence.  

Day 4: Students wrote the final draft based on teacher critique and feedback. The script was handed in and graded by Mrs. Musil.

Day 5: Students animated their paragraphs by creating paper slide videos.

First period students created paper puppets to animate their script. Musil had pictures already printed out for students to cut apart and tape on straws to make paper puppets. They handed in the puppets for students to reuse in future class periods.  


Then, students practiced their script with the puppets. As they practiced, they added their paper puppets at the appropriate times to illustrate their sentences.

Next, using the camera app and a stand, they recorded the video as they slid the puppets under the camera. These are one take videos, so the recording time was less than a minute.


Once the video was created, students shared them in the Seesaw app where they were available immediately for the class to view.


When students finished recording and the video was uploaded to Seesaw, they deleted the video from the camera app.

Things we learned:

  • Have class in the library the entire hour. We started first period in the classroom to explain the project and then went to the library. We lost valuable class time in the transition. All subsequent classes met us in the library.
  • Put the Seesaw and camera apps on the iPad dock. This made it simple for students to find the apps needed for the project.
  • Only one iPad per station is needed. We gave an iPad to each student first hour, but found it easiest to use five iPads, one for each station.
  • Although each student recorded an individual project, many chose to work as a team moving the puppets or sliding papers for one another.
  • In the camera app, double tap for the wide screen and touch and hold to lock the zoom to prevent the camera from refocusing as each puppet is moved.
  • We started in the main area of the library, but moved the recording stations into a classroom off the library to minimize the background noise.  Students spoke louder, clearer, and with more confidence in the smaller room.
  • Make sure iPads are logged out of Seesaw at the end of the period.
  • Technology was transparent and did not get in the way of the learning goals. The camera app was simple to use and Seesaw made it simple to share the videos to the entire class.

Written by Ann Feldmann (@annfeldmann1)


Day 5 with iPads

As iPad coach in our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy we are often asked the question, “How do you get people started with the iPads in their classrooms?” What sets our model apart from others, all of our teachers with 1:1 iPads have been through 40 hours of Apple Foundations training before they receive the devices. Then, upon receiving the devices, they also have an iPad coach to work with as they implement teaching in a blended learning environment.

Research shows that when teachers have between 31-50 hours of professional development, they are ready to start adapting the curriculum with technology (Garet et al. 2001). The solid foundation in the Apple ecosystem, accompanied by shadowing in classrooms with similar content area or grade level, and having ongoing classroom support with an iPad coach allows for a new culture of teaching and learning to emerge.  

This post is an interview with Terry Sorensen, middle school math teacher, who is in his 5th day of having iPads in the classroom at Mission Middle School.

As Sorensen started his 1:1 classroom, he spent a class period observing colleagues at Central Elementary and Bellevue East before he started integration in his classroom. He observed Meagan Cinfel, 1st grade teacher at Central Elementary and Tina Holbrook, Kendra Wisenhunt, and Chelsea Hoglund, math and special education teachers,  at Bellevue East with the blended learning in full swing. Blended learning, as defined by the the Clayton Christensen Institute, is “a formal education program in which a student learns:

  1. at least in part through online learning, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace;
  2. at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home;
  3. and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience.”

Sorensen observed blended learning, the in-class flip model, in all of these classrooms. “I talked with teachers, gathered ideas and it gave me a good starting point,” Sorensen said. “The chance to observe, ask questions and see what they do was invaluable.”

As Sorensen began his journey with his students last week, he felt supported and ready to begin.“The district has put the time and effort into making sure I have the hardware (iPads, projector with HDMI, and Apple TV) and they invest in my teaching skills. This shows a serious commitment on the part of Bellevue Public Schools to improve the education for their students. Bellevue has done this iPad Academy right,” Sorensen said. “I have had 40 hours of training even before I got the iPads and then there’s the gift of Ann, the gift that keeps on giving. She comes daily with ideas, answers questions, is patient. I didn’t realize how important that was. It’s incredible the ah-ha moments that occur.“

What apps has Sorensen been using in his classroom?

Classroom App

The Classroom App by Apple allows the teacher to see student screens live, open apps, lock screens, and project student work and more. This digital classroom management piece makes it easy for teachers to monitor what students are doing on their iPads and makes them more efficient with classroom management too. Sorensen’s favorite way to use this app is to project his classroom app screen so he can look up at at any time and see what every student is doing. It’s a 21st century version of the old quote that teacher have eyes in the back of their heads.



Classkick is a free app that allows teachers to create interactive slides and a two-way workflow for the student and teacher. It is an easy way to organize and deliver the curriculum content to the students.

What does a Classkick lesson look like? Here is an example of a lesson Sorensen created and how it has transformed content delivery and workflow in his math classroom.

  1. Students see the homework slide when they enter the code and join the session. Students independently grade their own homework with the key provided in Classkick.  If students need to see a problem worked out, they raise an electronic hand and Sorensen works the problem on the student screen. Students enter their homework grade on the slide 


  2. It’s quick and easy for Sorensen to see the homework grade in the far left column as he scrolls down his screen.


  3. Sorensen shares his teacher created math video lessons to students via a link in Classkick. Students watch the video lesson, take notes, and work practice problems.


  4. When students finish working the problem, students see the answer. If they are correct, they move on, if not they view the video answer key of Sorensen briefly explaining the answer.


Here is a link to the video lesson from today.

5.  Then students begin their homework.

“Mary Beth Peppers, my co-teacher, and I both login at the same time to our Classkick session. We can both see and help all the students,” Sorensen said.  “One time I literally helped students from the library when there was a sub in my room.”

Helping students in the moment is another strength of the blended learning environment. Sorensen can see all student screens all the time. In one class, he saw a student making a common error so he popped in on her slide and fixed it with her as she worked. Only she and Sorensen knew he helped her.

Here is quick question/answer with Sorensen at the end of day five.

What have kids learned in five short days?

Kids have learned self-sufficiency and accountability.

What features do you like the most?

My favorite things about all of this is I can get more individual with my students than I have. It is the cloning of myself so I can spend my time working one on one with students and catching errors that will help them be more successful, “ Sorensen said.  “I can see they have done their work and pop in and check their work. All of them.

What advice do you have for others?

If you get the chance, don’t even hesitate, do it!

5 Benefits to the Global Classroom

Connecting is common place for students today. Students connect to people everyday via social media, gaming, and YouTube so why not tap these connectivity tools for your classroom. Globalizing your classroom is beneficial because it allows you access to experts, raise multicultural awareness, give students an authentic audience, provide opportunities for cooperative learning, and create a magical classroom environment.


Let’s look at five benefits to the global classroom.

 1.  Expertise

Let’s face it, we all can’t know everything.  In these days of tightening budgets, field trips may not be an option.  A perfect solution is to bring the experts and experiences to your classroom. Allowing students to connect with experts not only allows them to hear what they have to say, but to be inquisitive and ask questions.  Whether you participate in a Mystery Skype, explore a museum by a virtual field trip, join a global project, or bring in an expert to your students via a Google Hangout,  you will see direct educational benefits from the learning from their experiences.

2.  Multicultural Awareness

The second best thing to traveling to a new country is connecting with a country via a video conference.  Having a class discussion with two classrooms in different countries increases student perspective and allows all students to gain new insight.  While literature and videos are great ways to learn about new cultures and different languages, there is no replacement for face time with individuals actually living a different culture and speaking a different language. In addition, students gain a global perspective, understand time zones, can identify cities and countries around the world, and enjoy a first hand learning experience.  Connected teachers often hang a world map in their rooms and track their hangouts with thumbtacks. This map becomes a great talking point, is a visual reminder of their experiences, and an excellent way to keep track of all the connections made throughout the school year.

3.  Authentic Audience

What is the value of an audience beyond the classroom teacher? Motivation! I have witnessed students blossom into incredible readers and writers with an authentic audience waiting to read and comment on their work. Globalizing your classroom with blogging is powerful. Suddenly, not only does writing matter, but word choice and grammar do too. Our students have enjoyed being partnered with sister blogging classrooms. With blogging partners, classrooms takes turns in the blogging and commenting process. One day your classroom adds comments, and the next day you write blog posts! It is incredibly validating for writers to receive meaningful comments from around the world. An easy way to start blogging with students it to use the free platform on Seesaw ( Amplify your student work and join with other blogging classrooms using the hashtag #comments4kids on Twitter.

4.Cooperative Learning and Collaboration

Global classrooms foster cooperative learning experiences for students. One such global classroom idea is Mystery Skype / Hangout. Students participate in a class challenge to determine the location of the other classroom. Mystery Skype is global geography game. By asking a series of yes/no questions, students narrow the location of the mystery classroom. The first classroom to guess correctly wins! This activity taps into deductive reasoning skills, collaboration, and previous geography knowledge. The students gain confidence in their mapping, geography, and questioning skills as they partake in more and more of these activities. You can read more about Mystery Skype in Mrs. Evon’s blog post here.

5.  Curious and  Magical Classroom Environments

The ARCS model of technology integration says “lessons should increase students’ focus by using novel, surprising and out of the ordinary and uncertain events.  Effective techniques should stimulate a sense of wonder and maintain interest.”  The global classroom provides daily opportunities that raise curiosity and create magical learning moments.  One magical moment was when two high school Spanish classes connected for genuine Spanish speaking practice.  As the other students appeared on the screen, it was as if a UFO landed in front of the classroom. They were glued to the new people on the screen. Students fired off questions in Spanish and began a dialogue back and forth. They were curious to learn more about each other.  This created an authentic speaking environment with a classroom over 1500 miles away.  Suddenly grammar and vocabulary mattered.  It is important to have global learning activities on the calendar so students can look forward to the next time they travel outside the classroom walls and connect with others.

Globalizing the classroom gives your students access to the world’s expertise, an raises multicultural awareness, provides an authentic audience, allows for cooperative learning opportunities, and a creates magical learning environments.

Challenge yourself to participate in one global learning project this school year.  Use these resources as a springboard to connecting your classroom globally.

  • Join a Google Community such as Connected Classroom
  • Take a virtual field trip with your students with Skype in the Classroom.
  • Participate in a Global Project such as K-6 Classroom Projects by Jen Wagner or the Global Read Aloud
  • Participate in a Mystery Skype
  • Connect to other global educators via Twitter by following these hashtags: #mysteryskypeclassroom  #mysteryhangout
  • Let’s celebrate global classroom success stories.  Share your global classroom experiences by adding a comment to this post.

Written by Ann Feldmann


Fostering a Culture of Creation with Green Screen Videos

Our first green screen room in the district appeared back in 2014 at Lewis and Clark Middle School where retired Media Specialist, Pat Smith, had a vision for a creation space in the media center.

Since that time, hundreds of kids have been through what was fondly named Studio 3B to create projects using the green screen.

Now we have two more buildings with dedicated green screen spaces, Leonard Lawrence Elementary and Bellevue East High School.  

What can students do with a green screen? A green screen allows students to take creation to new levels by putting different backgrounds, both video and image, behind them as they speak. Students plan, write, create and edit the video projects. Video creation provides an opportunity for students to collaborate, create and problem-solve while trying to effectively communicate their message.

Getting started is simple. Here is what you need to get started?

Would be nice to have:

Once students create, they need a place to share their work. A slick and easy way is to share their projects with the app Seesaw. It is simple to set up and even easier for students to use. Once they share their video, their classmates can view and leave comments, both as text or audio. It is a powerful way to let students share their creations with their classmates, teachers and parents.

To learn more about how to use green screen in the classroom, check out Lisa Pack’s (@ilisapack) resources on her website at

Leave us a comment and share some of your green screen projects and ideas with us!

Written by Ann Feldmann and Jeff Bernadt
@annfeldmann1 and @jeffreybernadt

Connecting Parents to the Classroom

Communication plays such an important role in giving parents/guardians a look inside the classroom. Technology provides us with a variety of ways that teachers, administrators, coaches and sponsors can connect with family members and the community. Here are four of our favorite communication tools.


Remind is a free text messaging app that allows you to send messages to students and parents without having to share your actual phone number. You can schedule reminders ahead of time and it will allow you to see who has read your messages. Another feature of Remind is that it will translate into over 70 languages.

Facebook Page

Did you know that 75% of parents are on Facebook? What a great place to reach out and share what is happening in your classroom, on your team, or in your club. Creating a FB page gives parents, grandparents and the community the chance to “like” your page in order to get updates when you share a post. You can post pictures, videos, reminders and important dates to your page.

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is an online behavior management system used to encourage positive student behavior and create a positive classroom culture. Students are given Dojo points for positive behavior and can connect parents by sharing photos and videos of classroom moments.

Written by Jeanette Carlson

What’s All the Buzz About Classroom App?

What’s all the Buzz about Apple Classroom?

In the latest iOS update, Apple rolled out Apple Classroom? What is Apple Classroom and how does it work?  Apple classroom is a game changer because it gives teachers the power to manage student iPads from the teacher device. Teachers have the power to

  • open apps on all devices
  • lock all devices into an app
  • lock all screens
  • send all students to a website
  • send individual messages to students
  • group students and manage each group of iPads separately
  • see a thumbnail of every student screen
  • AirPlay student devices
  • broadcast one student screen to everyone   

In order to use Apple Classroom, student and teacher devices need to be iPad 3, running 9.3.1 or newer and teacher rosters must be uploaded into our Mobile Device Management (MDM) system. We have 25 iPad Academy classrooms using the classroom app this fall. Curious about how Apple Classroom works? Talk to your Building Tech Coordinator to find out who is using it and schedule a visit. To read more about the Classroom App, see this article from Apple.

Written by Ann Feldmann


Another Successful Year of Operation Read

Operation Read is a district-wide trivia-bowl type competition for 4th-6th grade students.  All of the questions come from the current year’s ten Golden Sower nominees (the Golden Sower is Nebraska’s Children’s Choice Book Award).  Students work together with their team of 3-5 to tell the titles of the books that correspond with the questions that are always phrased, “In which book…”  One of the questions from this year’s competition was “In which book is there a life-sized statue of a character?”  This statue was only briefly mentioned in the book Escape from Lemoncello’s Library.

The students spend countless hours reading in preparation for this competition.  They have to read at least four of the ten books, but many read more than that and even read them more than once.  This truly is a remarkable event to be able to offer our students.  That they would get excited about reading is something we should all celebrate!  We had 215 students on 48 teams with each elementary school represented at our competition and hope to see the enthusiasm for this event continue to grow!

Operation Read
Congratulations to the team from Belleaire that took home the trophy this year!

Using Seesaw to Create, Curate, Collaborate and Connect in the K-12 Classroom

As access to technology continues to grow in K-12 classrooms, teachers look for different ways to check for understanding, curate student work, collaborate and share. Teachers look for ways to “get into” the minds of the student to understand their learning process. They look for ways to bridge the gap between home and school in a 1:1 classroom. How will they curate work efficiently in a digital classroom? How about collaborating and building a sense of community in a technology driven classroom? Seesaw: The Learning Journal has provided answers to many of these questions. With its ease of use and limitless possibilities, Seesaw allows students to easily create and curate content while collaborating and connecting with classmates and parents.

In this blog post, I shared the basics of implementing and using portfolios with your students. One of our favorite apps/websites to use is Seesaw. We have seen the use of Seesaw grow in Bellevue Public Schools and it is now being used in many of our K-12 classrooms. So, what makes Seesaw so powerful? Here are 4 ways to use Seesaw in the K-12 classroom.

Creating (Multiple Apps, Images, Paper Samples, Reflection)

The possibilities that Seesaw allows for creation are limitless. Seesaw gives students the ability to create and upload their work from over 100 apps. What if you have a colorful graph that students created on paper? No problem, take a picture and upload it to Seesaw. Even better, if you want the students to explain their graph, have them upload the graph to Seesaw and record their voice explaining their findings. Bring in images such as maps and math problems for students to mark up and complete their work. Have students record themselves reading a story they have written while a picture that they drew is showing on the screen. Students need to learn how to balance a budget? Upload a picture of a worksheet or an image from the web and have them complete the budget, share with classmates and ask for help it needed. Another game changing use of Seesaw is having students use the whiteboard feature to reflect on their learning. After completing a math lesson, students can open the whiteboard and work a problem while explaining how to do it. Reflection is such an important component in the learning process and Seesaw makes it easy. The possibilities for creation are endless.

Curating (Work sample comparison, student led P/T conferences)

Curating student work is one of the well known benefits of using portfolios. Seesaw makes it easy for students to upload their work throughout the year using the examples above. Students are able to see their writing and other work improve throughout the year. How powerful it is to look at writing from August and compare it to writing done in May. The curation of content also allows for the use of Seesaw at parent/teacher conferences. Students can upload work to a folder title parent/teacher conferences or teacher’s can flag student work to share. During conferences let the student lead the conference and show parents their folder or flagged work.

Collaborating (Peer to Peer, Blogs)

Another powerful piece of Seesaw is the ability to use it as a student collaboration tool. Students can upload work to their portfolio and ask for peer editing help. Through the use of text/voice comments and likes, classmates can offer advice to their classmates. In one of our high school classes, the teacher uses Seesaw to share student created projects such as iMovies. Students listen individually to the movies and give two stars and a wish (two things they like about the project and one wish for making it better). Students then gather together in their groups and read through or listen to the comments and decide what they will change about their project. By doing this, the students know that their audience is bigger and the work turned in is of higher quality. They are also learning the skills of collaboration, social media etiquette, and the proper way to give and receive constructive criticism.

Connecting (Parents, Blogs)

Bridging that gap between work and home in a 1:1 classroom can sometimes be difficult but with an app like Seesaw it is much easier. Seesaw gives you the power to invite parents to view student portfolios. Parents can sign up to receive updates by text message or e-mail. By downloading the app on a phone, a parent can turn on notifications and be alerted when their student uploads something to their portfolio. Even better is the ability for parents to like and comment on their student’s work. Seeing students grin when they get a voice comment from a parent is priceless.

Seesaw has recently added the ability to create a class blog within the app. Students no longer have to navigate to another app or website to add work to their blog. The teacher can control the privacy of the blog and students can add anything they add to their Seesaw account to the blog. And better yet, classes can connect with other classes around the country or world. This allows the students to see and comment on other student’s work.

The options that Seesaw provides for teachers and students allows for the easy creation and curation of student work while weaving in collaboration. The ease of inviting parents into the classroom through the use of Seesaw parent logins bridges the disconnect sometimes felt between the classroom and home. And with its ease of use, students from kindergarten through twelfth grade can benefit in a variety of ways from building a digital portfolio with Seesaw.

Take a look at the video below which contains testimonials from Bellevue Public School teachers on how they use Seesaw in the classroom. How are you using Seesaw in the classroom?

Written by: Jeanette Carlson (@mrsjcarlson)

Eight Ways to Improve Student Created Videos

One of the most meaningful ways to get students creating and collaborating is to have them shooting and editing videos to show their learning. However, for a lot of teachers, student created videos can become frustrating because of what often times turns out to be a low quality video. Below are eight tips that teachers can use to support students during the video creation process that will yield much better videos, and as a result, more effectively show student mastery of a learning goal.   

  1. Focus on the Purpose

Far too often, students become so consumed with shooting the video that they lose focus of their purpose. Before setting students free make sure they think about the purpose of the video they are creating. Questions like, what is the purpose of shooting this video? Who is the intended audience? Where will people access the video? Getting students to think about these questions not only in the early stages of creation but throughout the process will yield a much better video in the end.  

  1. Content Before Creation

While students are busy shooting their film it can be very easy to lose sight of the most important part of the whole video, the content! Remind students throughout the process to keep their focus on the content and how it is being shown throughout the video creation process.

  1. Tell a Story

Have students approach video creation in the form of telling a story.  By telling a story the video will have a beginning, middle, and end. This will get students thinking more deeply about the video, their message, and the overall layout of their video, which leads to tip number four.

  1. Storyboard Before You Shoot Video

One of the biggest mistakes students often make is shooting the video way too soon. Provide students with time to plan their video and more importantly individual shots by storyboarding. Storyboarding will help students think more critically of the shots they are going to shoot and how their story is being told. Storyboards should include basic drawings of the scene, description, the type of shot, angle of the shot, and notes about the audio. One of the best storyboards I have seen was shared with me by Don Goble (@dgoble2001).  

  1. Write a Script

Another important part of the planning process is having students write out a script.  Like storyboarding, this will get students thinking more about not only what they are going to say, but how they are going to say it. This also provides a powerful way for students to do meaningful writing..  Although the end goal is to create a video, students will see the value in writing as they figure out the best way to share their content.

  1. Teach the Basic Shots

Although most teachers have not gone to film school and have little to no experience shooting video, they can still teach some of the basic shots and angles, which can take videos to another level. The first strategy to teach students is the rule of thirds. This is a simple strategy used in taking photographs and filmmaking that is all about how to position the shot. Check out this short video for more information. In addition to the rule of thirds, students need to be introduced to the basic shots and angles of filmmaking. The key is for students to transition between these shots as they tell their story.  Here are a couple of great resources that will help teach your students about the different shots and angles they should be using when making their videos.

Basic Camera Shots for Filmmaking

Shot Types

Camera Angles with Zach King

  1. Don’t Forget About the Audio

By far one of the most important parts to any video is the audio. Whether it is noise in the background while filming or the music/sound effects placed in the film later, students need to be aware of the audio that will be happening during each scene. A great shot will be lost if the audio component isn’t there to compliment it.

  1. Invest Time into Editing

No matter how much time you have put into planning and shooting the film, none of it will matter if students don’t invest time into the process of editing. This is the point where all the other steps during the process will come together. It is in the editing where the video will truly come to life.  

Video creation is a powerful strategy to get students actively engaged with the content they are learning.  However, far too often students are not given the support and guidance when it comes to the process. By introducing even a couple of these strategies students will be able to more effectively show their learning.

If you have any tips or resources to add please leave a comment.

Written by Jeffrey Bernadt (@jeffreybernadt)

Bellevue PD Day Bursts Beyond the Classroom Walls

While students enjoyed one more day of vacation, Bellevue Public Schools teachers were hard at work collaborating and learning in classrooms at Bellevue West on February 15, 2015. The classrooms were buzzing with teachers actively engaged in professional development activities. Teachers were able to choose from a variety of session topics including instructional technology, math, co-teaching, art, NeSA-ELA, HAL and others.

Sessions were led by a number of our own Bellevue Public Schools educators as well as members of the ESU 3 professional development team. Some of the experts from outside the district included Dr. Villa on co-teaching, David Dechant from EHA and Julia Hebenstreit and Jill Hamilton with suicide prevention and mental health.

Schoology, a learning management system, was the tool of choice to smoothly share resources with teachers throughout the day. Presenters uploaded their materials to the February 15 PD Schoology course for easy access by the 698 teachers enrolled in the course. If teachers weren’t able to attend a session, it is not a problem.  They can find the information in Schoology anytime, anywhere. Schoology organizes and streamlines content which makes it a consistent way to share materials and resources efficiently and effectively.

Shortly after kicking off the inservice, Nicole Fox, Director of Curriculum and Classroom Assessment said, ”The day is off to a great start with our dedicated BPS educators! We have some phenomenal presenters, and the best part of learning is sharing what we know with our colleagues.”

Led by our District Instructional Technology Specialists, Building Technology Coordinators and iPad Academy teachers, the #bpsne hashtag was brimming with tweets about the learning that took place during the day. By utilizing Twitter, Bellevue Public Schools was able to share the incredible day with each other, along with educators and community members near and far. The tweets from the day were captured in this archive and available for anyone to access anytime.

Written by Jeanette Carlson @mrsjcarlson and Ann Feldmann @annfeldmann1