August 20, 2012
by Mrs. Hamman

Green Screen Experiment-2012

In our classroom we have one wall covered with a fabric green screen:

Do you know why we have a green screen? We want to make a lot of movies in our classroom this year, and we might want to use special effects in some of them. If you film in front of a green screen you can superimpose the video onto another picture or video to make special effects. Last week we took some sample video to test our green screen for the first time this year.

Some students in our class acted out different emotions, and we edited the video to put some nature shots behind it. All of the background video came from

The lighting and position of the camera is very important when you make a green screen video. We can tell that we need to make some adjustments on our next project, because some of our actors were invisible or cut out of the picture!

Check out our experiment:

Green Screen Experiment 2012 from S Hamman on Vimeo.

What do you think we should do for our first real green screen project?

January 17, 2012
by Mrs. Hamman

Commenting Check-up

Mrs. Watanabe tagged us in a meme that originally started on the Langwitches blog. A group of students in our class accepted the challenge to evaluate our commenting skills.

These are the commenting guidelines we agreed to follow on our blog. As the year has gone on, we have developed a 3-point checklist for all of our comments. We are supposed to ask ourselves these three things before we hit “submit” on a comment:

1. Is it positive?

2. Does it add to the conversation?

3. Did I proofread it?

We decided to look at some of our older comments to evaluate them using this checklist. Robby agreed to let us show one of his older comments as an example. Here is his original comment:

When we evaluated this comment using our checklist, we decided that it definitely was a positive comment, since he talked about what he enjoyed about the post and the experience he had. We also agreed that it added to the conversation, because he asked a question that needed a response. Robby caught a few typos when he reread his comment; he thought he could have done more proofreading. Overall, though, we thought it was an excellent comment. Here are Robby’s notes on his evaluation.


It’s a great idea to look back on some of our past comments, as well as our new ones. It’s so important to think about and evaluate everything we write on the internet.

We have a few new student bloggers in our class, with more to come soon. I would like to challenge them to think about our checklist and evaluate all of their posts before they publish them. Our goal is to be quality bloggers who are great examples to others!

Have you ever looked back at some of your earlier blog comments?

Do you think there are things you could do to improve as a blogger or a commenter?


December 20, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Read Across Arizona

By Marijane

Our class just participated in Read Across Arizona. We were partners with a fifth grade class in Queen Creek, Arizona.

Our project this year was about Cinderella stories from around the world. We read the Cinderella stories to show the cultures and differences between the stories. We made a video and showed it to the other class in our video conference.

After our video the class in Queen Creek did a game show. They were practicing for Battle of the Books. They had judges. They asked questions to their classmates. They did a great job!

Here is our video about the Cinderella stories.

Cinderella Stories From Around the World from Mrs Hamman on Vimeo.

Did you know there were different versions of the Cinderella story?

November 19, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman

Green Screen Experiment

We have been inspired by all the great student-made movies we have seen on the Internet. We especially like the chromakey green screen videos created by Mr. Avery’s class. On Saturday, two students came to Saturday Academy to create a green screen video of their own.

Before we got to school,Mrs. Hamman had downloaded some stock video footage and photos to use as our backgrounds. We planned a rough idea for our script, then tacked up a canvas green screen at the front of the room and filmed in front of it. We only had an hour and a half to write, film and edit the movie, so we just kept our first take each time (except for the two bloopers you see at the end of the video!) After we filmed, we edited the movie, adding titles, music and transitions. Since we were borrowing Mrs. Hamman’s Mac we used iMovie to create our movie. We thought it was pretty simple to use, but there are many other ways to make green screen videos. Mr. Avery has some great tutorials that explain a variety of methods.

Here is our first green screen experiment! What do you think?

Here are few things we learned from our first video:

1. What you wear in front of the screen is really important! Unless you want to look like the Invisible Man, your clothes can’t have even a hint of green on them.

2. We should have used a tripod to hold the camera still during filming. The movement of the camera is more noticeable when you replace the actual background.

3. Making a green screen video is really fun! We look forward to experimenting more with this technology.

October 10, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman

Mystery State Skype

This photo was taken by Mrs. Hamman and edited using an iPhone app called WordFoto

In social studies we have been studying the history and geography of the United States. This year we have been learning about other states from the students who live there! We’ve been doing an activity called Mystery State. We Skype call a class in another state, and ask them questions about their state. Then they ask us questions about our state. We try not to make our clues too obvious, because we don’t want them to guess our state too quickly. At the end of the call, we each guess the other’s state.

We were introduced to Mystery State by Mr. Haney’s class, and now we Skype whenever we get the chance! Here is a Google Map with the states we have “visited” so far marked. We’d love to talk to a class in each of the fifty states before the end of the year.


Which states have you visited?

Which states would you like to learn more about?

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