Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vote for us In SLJ "Trailies" contest

Holy frijoles! We have two, count 'em TWO videos in the School Library Journal Book Trailer contest. This is so cool because these videos did not win in another contest but here they are in the final four of this one. Our kids were thrilled, but they would be more thrilled if you would vote for one of them. I can't choose and I know that having two in the finals probably splits our vote. I guess that means we need twice as many votes to win :) PLEASE, if you've enjoyed my "Hot Dog" reviews, give us some love in this contest and pass it on. We are in the PK-6th grade student category. Either "Cam Jansen" or Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus." Both kids are equally deserving so I'll leave it up to you the viewer to decide. Look at the other categories as well, there is some fine work there. Thanks to SLJ for recognizing this kind of video work. It is time consuming and difficult at times. Here is the link:
SLJ Contest

Storytubes Contest Entry: Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus from Doug Valentine on Vimeo.

Storytubes contest: Cam Jansen from Doug Valentine on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The year so far

It's been a busy year so far. This is my third year at my school so a lot of the groundwork I have been laying is coming to fruition this year. The teachers are very responsive to the things I would like to do and of course this is a mixed blessing because they are now bringing me additional projects! I do enjoy it though. I had to expand our news crew because of the number of applicants. The thing I dislike about doing this is it really cuts down on the total time each student will get to work with the technologies. Our musical is also going well. It is SO different working with 5th and 6th graders as compared to 3rd and 4th. They actually have an attention span! They will need every bit of it as this is a far more complicated show than we have tried in the past. I don't know if I metioned it before but in a past life I directed a youth theatre group. It was made up of high school kids although we also worked with middle and elementary aged. We did a full season of plays and musical every year. I missed it a lot and felt like the kids at our small district school should have a chance to perform. Two years ago my wife and I created an after school program to give them that opportunity. I was so happy this year when several kids that had been in our program enrolled in summer performing arts camps in the area. We saw every show and beamed like proud parents. Here are a couple of pictures from our first choreography rehearsal:

I've also started my Hot Dog Book Reviews again. I hope to get a little more descriptive about the books this year. The problem is, the longer the review the more time it takes to actually create them. Maybe we'll work on our adjectives. Here is the latest from one of our 4th graders:

Hot Dog Book Review: Horrible Harry from Doug Valentine on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Success breeds success...

Wow. After starting a daily news broadcast last year I wondered how this year was going to go. We only have K-4th at our school so the 4th graders are the leaders on campus and make up the News Crew. Last year I had 3 crews with 5 in each crew. They rotated weekly since they had to come in early each morning to tape the news. So anyway, we put out the audition notice this year. 66 applications came in. 66! There are only 110 kids in the grade level! So I have to decide through audition and application which kids to take. I'm no stranger to this but it's always difficult to make these decisions. I don't always make my decisions based on talent alone, sometimes I base them on need. Who would really benefit from this activity? Not only that but I also have to cast our musical this week. My wife and I are directing "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" with our intermediate school so some of our former students can continue performing. We have 30 kids signed up for that. We are going to try to give them all an opportunity. Success is great but it sure leads to hard decisions down the line. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New video awards

Earlier this summer we enterd four videos into the International Student Media Festival competition. We received word that all four received the honor of "Judges Favorite." This is given to the top 10% of the videos out of 1,000 entries. Our winning entries were our news broadcast from the Starship McKillop, an animated book review of Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a review of One Potato, Two Potato, and a video my wife did with her class called Super Duper Shopper Sophie. Our kids are the greatest!