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Thursday, December 08, 2011

After Midnight, Still Going

I've spent the evening at the opera (and couldn't believe that parents would bring children to see an opera about a dying courtesan in 19th century Paris, but serve them right if they have to explain it). Now, I'm sitting here on-line, after midnight, loading my students' book trailers on to iMovie, adding them to the Literature Circles movie, so I can burn more discs. Today I showed my class the last of A Midsummer Night's Dream (they loved it! I hadn't intended to show them the lot, but they wanted me to, so...) and then, with a few minutes left, I showed them the book trailers done by some of them. They were interested and when I asked them who wanted a copy of these and the Literature Circles movie (they've seen bits of that before I edited it on iMovie) nearly every hand went up. So, because next Friday will be our last class together (sob!) I thought I'd present each student with a DVD.

And there were some nice trailers there, though everyone chose music which cut out before the trailer finished (but the music was appropriate in all cases). Andy and Amadeu did theirs on Dragonkeeper, using almost the same images and the same music, but they were different. Andy asked me if he could fix his up because he spotted some errors. He can, of course, though if he doesn't get it to me by tomorrow, I won't have time to add the corrected version to the student DVD - I want to do some on the weekend. Andy is our computer genius, but it was Amadeu who knew how to convert raw Moviemaker files to WMV(and then I converted them again, using Handbrake!). Michael's trailer for Once was beautiful.  Minh had done his on the novel his group read, Cirque Du Freak (Darren Shan). I watched him research it, looking for pictures of freaks from freak shows. They aren't exactly the ones in the novel, but impressive all the same, with a good musical soundtrack. Taylor kept looking through Google Images for just the right pictures to use to represent Wolfgang and Audrey and families for her trailer of Justin D'Ath's Pool (and I will be sending Justin a copy at some stage, as promised). Emily did a very good trailer of Marianne De Pierres' Burn Bright, with music changing abruptly when she got to the bit about Ixion, the isle of Evernight, to a loud rock beat, appropriate for a place where teenagers party all night. "Hey, I did one on Burn Bright!" called Brittany and I suggested she gets it to me so I can add it to the DVD. It was supposed to be a part of the assessment. She was actually studying Pool, but loves Burn Bright. Elizabeth and Rana did A Ghost In My Suitcase, but it was too late to add music. I'm putting on the silent trailer anyway.

I will be adding Paige's lovely, if short, trailer for Fallen, because the rest of the class admire it.

Gotta go to bed, guys! I still have to be up at six, but Amadeu's trailer is taking ages to load.


Lan said...

Reading your blog really makes me wish I has such dedicated teachers when I was growing up. Our librarians were so disinterested and I knew more about the books in the library than they did. It's great that you do all these things for your students!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks, Lan! Well, that's actually wearing my English teacher hat, but I have been experimenting in the library all year. I meant to have a book trailer festival for Children's Book Week, but only Kristen (see post below) came up with one and I tried to get some entries in for the Random House competition and it didn't happen. And then my book club went en masse to Queensland for the school camp during Book Week, so that was that! Without their support, I just couldn't get it going.

I know you weren't at school all that long ago, but I suspect your library staff (multiple?) had it a lot easier than we do today and just couldn't be bothered. I'm sole teacher-librarian and I teach a Year 8 class for two subjects and I also teach literacy and my budget was slashed in half from a not-very-high amount to one that might be a couple of weeks' petty cash in a private school. I took it as a challenge -and being a writer and reviewer helps, because I know people... ;-)

I love books and I love my students and I have to say, this year's class was very easy to love. Some of last year's are still in book club and hang out in the library at lunchtime, hang out with ME.Nice, huh?