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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Literature Circles The Movie - Take 1 Done!

Late last night I finished the first version of my DVD and burned a couple of copies. I've been discovering bits I filmed and adding them. I worked out a way to get that upside down bit right side up and realised that one of the staff was being rude to a student. No doubt he deserved it, but the purpose of this is to celebrate what the students have done. Back I went to iMovie and fiddled till that frame was gone.

The credits were a problem of their own. The end credits were meant to be a lovely band I discovered on Jamendo, Celestial Aeon Project, playing a piece called Sunset, but somehow I got the voice of Kerry Greenwood talking about writing! It took a lot of fiddling to get that fixed and I still seem to have her voice underneath the opening credit music, but that will be fixed before Friday.

I just wanted to have something ready in case I don't have time to do more before we show them to the kids.

When I started teaching, there was something called the book report - anyone remember that? You had to tell the story and say which of the characters you liked best and why. If the teacher was being especially imaginative, you got to do a book cover. How times have changed!

I had to do those when I started. I gave them their own choice of book and some, of course, tried to persuade me they'd read a book they hadn't. Invariably, it was one I had read. I remember one boy who gave himself away as I was returning some work after I said, "Someone in this class has written a review of a book that person hasn't read." I wasn't even looking at him, but he blurted out, "I did read it, miss, honestly I did!"

And then there was the girl who read romance novels by a favourite writer. "Hang on," I'd say, "didn't you write about this one last time?"  "Oh, no, miss!" she would assure me. "That was set on a sheep station. This one is set on a cattle station." Which said more about the formulaic nature of some romance fiction, especially that writer, than it did about the student.

I think this is a much better way to appreciate a novel, don't you? Though I have heard that some of our senior campus folk are trying to bring back the class text for junior classes, even though there are two years of class texts before they begin VCE. I suspect some of our staff need to be removed from teaching older students and made to teach the little ones for a while. They just don't get it. Before you know it, we'd be back to book reports!

All the more reason to get this DVD ready and show it at a staff meeting.

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