Our 2011 Family Christmas Card

Inspired by Ben Grey‘s December 7th post, “Challenging Seconds,” I’ve opted for a sixty second video this year in lieu of a family Christmas Card. Following the rules outlined by Ben, this is a 60in60 video:

  • 60 images
  • 1 second per image (total of 60 seconds)
  • The video tells a story

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Fryers in Oklahoma City!

Merry Christmas 2011 from the Fryers

Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman

Buy “Declaration Of Dependence” on: Android Market, AmazonMP3, iTunes

Remembering “Go Green, Go Electric” from Earth Day 2009

Last year on Earth Day for the Film on the Fly digital storytelling contest, my kids and I created the three minute and fifty second video, “Go Green, Go Electric!” My son (who was 11 at the time) did some the editing for this video using iMovie, and I did the rest. In following the rules for “Film on the Fly,” we shot all the video for this movie using a cell phone. Since we wanted different people in different scenes (and my son couldn’t legally drive the car) we alternated being the videographer and being actors in the movie.

We actually won first place in the contest. This was a lot of fun to create together, and certainly got us thinking more about the viability of electric car technology.

Thanks to Miles Electric Vehicles of Tulsa, Oklahoma for helping us with this video!

Do you have a favorite student-created video focused on Earth Day and “going green?” If so, please share the link!

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Role Playing Annabeth Chase in St Louis (The Lightning Thief)

Sarah created the following digital story today before school using VoiceThread about the book, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” She role-played Annabeth Chase in a video we shot last Wednesday in St Louis using my iPhone. This is the first VoiceThread we’ve created which includes an embedded video and not just still images. Several of the photos in this VoiceThread were created using the $3 iPhone application Pano. She was required by her teacher to create some type of supplementary “teaser” about the book, which she also wrote about in a traditional book report she’s turning in today at school. All of the photos we used, with the exception of the book cover and movie poster, are included in this Flickr set.

If you’ve seen the movie version of The Lightning Thief, you know the writers changed the plot so Percy, Annabeth and Grover visit Nashville instead of St Louis. Sarah and I were VERY disappointed at this theatrical setting and plot change, since the scene at the St Louis arch was one of our favorites!

I’ve added links to this VoiceThread on both the Great Book Stories project wiki, and the Voicethread4Education wiki in the grades 3-5 category.

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American Girl Site

American Girl SHOP FUN FOR GIRLS MAGAZINE MOVIES STORES

Explore the largest American Girl store and enjoy FREE shipping for a limited time. Plus, see what’s new for spring.
SHOP >

Enjoy games, quizzes, advice, and more activities—like Chrissa’s new games—all just for girls!
FUN FOR GIRLS >
MAGAZINE >

Fun today, memories forever—that’s what you can expect at American Girl stores. Make reservations today for spring break!
STORES >

Discover more about our movies, including An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong, only on DVD—watch the trailer!
MOVIE HEADQUARTERS >

This is the front page of the American Girl site. It has fun games including quizzes and water balloon battle also my favorite game What’s your volunteer style. This site also has a place where you can see a movie trailer and a behind the scenes video plus a photo gallery. Also one of my favorite things it has a thing on bullying and to try and stop it. Also on the site there is a shop where you can order American girl stuff. It also has a thing on visiting and that says where the American girl stores are.

Rachel’s writing and drawing skills developing

It is amazing to see how fast our 5 year old is growing up. Last night before Rachel and I watched the movie “WALLE” together, she drew the following picture on our living room whiteboard. If you click on this image and view it on Flickr, you can read the annotation notes I added with Shelly’s help. These explain what the different parts of the drawing are, according to Rachel. She is showing a great deal of attention to detail here, and also starting to try drawing in three dimensions instead of just two.

Daddy and Rachel - Watching Walle

Rachel REALLY enjoys using our family iTouch and my iPhone whenever she can, and this morning spent some time watching part of the first Harry Potter movie in the living room.

Rachel watching Harry Potter on our family iPod Touch

During the morning, Rachel (who is 5 but has not started kindergarten yet since her birthday is after September 1st) wrote the following note to her mother:

Letter to mom from Rachel - asking to not interrupt her as she watches a movie on our iPod Touch

In case you can’t read all the words, here is the text:

Dear Mom:

Do not mess with my movie.

Love, Rachel

We can see Rachel is not yet getting the idea that text is written and read from left to right and top to bottom, but this is her best effort writing to date I’ve seen. This is great work developmentally for her age, I think.

Even more amazing than seeing her attention to detail in drawing and writing, however, is hearing her observations and questions. During WALLE, for instance, she asked me if our earth ever WAS really “like that.” (All full of trash.) We had a discussion about pollution and our responsibility to be good stewards of the earth, keeping things clean and working to pick up trash.

She had lots of other good questions during the movie which I don’t remember now. I love the movie WALLE. Like all other Pixar movies, it has important themes which are big but also simple, straightforward messages that are easy for anyone to understand. The love story here, and the journey WALLE and EVE take to eventually hold hands, is very touching. It was special to share this movie again with Rachel! How amazing we can watch a movie like this, which we own on DVD, anytime we want. That was not the case when I was growing up, before the advent of the VCR. My kids probably can’t relate to the idea that there was a time when we couldn’t listen to a song or see a movie with just a few clicks on a screen.

090105 Ikebukuro Sunshine City
Creative Commons License photo credit: ナギ (nagi)

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Sisters perform (dance) at football halftime

This week we attended our first Edmond Memorial High School football game on Thursday night. Both sister and little sister went to a Saturday cheerleading camp last weekend, and this week’s home football game halftime show was their opportunity to show what they’d learned. Are these girls cute dancers or WHAT?

Thanks to my flash-based video camcorder and Flickr’s relatively recent capability to support 90 second video flash transcoding and publishing, I was able to immediately publish these videos Thursday night before I went to bed, and the next day grandparents watched them! (I got feedback on the phone Friday.)

It’s the day of “publish at will” video, and here’s a great, constructive example of how these capabilities can be wonderful! 🙂

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