February 28, 2015

Make Instagram Videos with PowerPoint and QuickTime

Make Instagram Videos with PowerPoint and QuickTime

Hello Ladybug Friends! I've been spending a lot of time learning about making videos on Instagram lately. And this is thanks to my sweet sister, Melissa, over at Fashion Craze Learning Days. My sister showed me how to use a PowerPoint slideshow as a video and then upload it to Instagram. Then, in that maddening thing that younger sisters do, absolutely refused to listen to me when I told her to blog about it! Why don't they listen?! Here's her blog if you'd like to stop by and say hello, since this is really her idea:
Anyhow, Melissa  told me to go ahead and blog about it. So I learned some new tricks along the way after making MANY mistakes…and I would love to share what we have learned with all of you!

You will need PowerPoint and QuickTime in order to follow this tutorial. And an Instagram account, of course!

First, create a short slideshow of what you would like to show in your video. I used the cover of my newest product as the first slide:

Then I edited a few slides to show the features of the product:

On the last slide, I used the cover again:

Next, open QuickTime to record a video of your PowerPoint slideshow. Leave your PowerPoint file open as is and go to QuickTime. Choose File, then New Screen Recording:

You will see a recording box pop up:

Slide this box down to the bottom of the page, where it won't be in your way but you can still click "record":

Click the record button and you will see a message pop up asking you to click to record the full screen, or to select part of the screen to record. Choose the full screen option, since you will be recording your slideshow:

After clicking this message, quickly click on your PowerPoint and go down to the Slideshow icon (this will launch your slideshow right away):

Now QuickTime will record as your slideshow plays:

Once your slideshow is finished, click stop on the recorder. Then go to Edit and Trim…this will help you cut out the parts of the recording you don't wish to see:

Since QuickTime records everything from that first click, it will have recorded your PowerPoint file before the slideshow even began…so you will want to get rid of those extra parts. Plus, Instagram only allows up to 15 seconds of video. Go to the trimmer at the bottom of the screen and move the slider to capture the parts of the video you would like seen:

You can trim from the beginning and the end of your slideshow. I made sure it began and ended with my cover, so it looked complete:

Once you have trimmed the video, go to File and Export:

Name your video and choose the Format for iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV:

Now you must get the video to your phone or iPad to upload to Instagram. You can email the video to yourself and save it from there, or use DropBox.

You may also need a free app: Insta No Crop Video. This app automatically sized my video so it would fit on the screen…otherwise it was getting cut off.

Open the video in Insta No Crop:

You can choose a border color (of course I chose black!). Then save your video. It does say "post to Instagram" but then prompted me to save it first…so I saved it to my camera roll:

Head into Instagram and click on the video camera:

Select the video you just edited:

Click Next (you've already trimmed and cropped with the app):

Keep on clicking Next until you get to your Share screen. Now you are all set to share your new video with the world!

You can see my finished video here: Ladybug's Teacher Files Instagram

I hope this was of help to you!

I have another PowerPoint tutorial to share with you as well. It's a new one over at Blog Hoppin' (it's my very first post there and I'm so excited to be blogging with those incredible women!). Click on the image below to hop over:
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February 24, 2015

What To Do When They Are New

Tips to help your newcomer English Language Learners.
I feel so fortunate to teach newcomer English Language Learners. They work so hard and absolutely love coming to school each and every day! And there is nothing more rewarding than seeing them acquire English as they learn grade level content.

It can be challenging work though…especially when new students come midyear and are not speaking English yet. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help your newcomer English Language Learners. My dear friend Elizabeth and I would like to share what works for our newcomers…and to learn what works well in your class too!

Here are some of my tried-and-true tips for newcomer English Language Learners:

Use Hand Signals to Encourage Participation
My newcomer ELL students often feel hesitant to participate in class discussions, so I am always on the lookout for ways to get them to participate non-verbally as well. This year, I've been using more hand signals to get my newcomers comfortable in sharing their knowledge…and it has worked like a charm!
When we review a math paper, we show a one for the same response and a two for a "slightly different answer" (as we politely phrase it in my 5th grade class!). I've noticed that my newcomers are the first to remember and use these signals in our daily routine. It is wonderful to see them participate along with the rest of the class!

Label Everything with Visuals
The more labels you use, the more organized your students can keep the room, right? But labels can also serve another important purpose. They can help your newest ELLs gain basic vocabulary.

With pictures on these labels, newcomers are also able to access materials with ease, even if they are just beginning to speak English. Visual labels also allow them to help keep the room organized, along with their mainstream classmates:

Every single sign I use in my classroom has a visual to help my ELL newcomers (in a bright and fun colors, of course!). This resource features a large collection of labels my newcomers and I use all throughout our classroom this year:

You can also see my other visual labels here: Classroom Organization

Use a Document Camera for Clear Instruction
I cannot imagine teaching without my document camera. It's been said again and again, but a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially for students with limited English. 

We use our document camera for note-taking, science experiments, math activities…anything that requires a visual so my newcomers can follow along with ease. 

Of course document cameras can be costly...but there are some options if you don't have this kind of technology. One of my favorite alternatives that I have used over the years is the iPevo camera:

This little camera is less than $70! And the all of the visual instruction you can provide your newcomer ELL students…well that is simply priceless! You can read more about this document camera in this post: Cheap Document Camera

Scaffold Instruction
My newcomer English Language Learners experience the greatest success when my instruction is carefully scaffolded. Each time we learn new content, I activate prior knowledge, teach vocabulary before the lesson, model how to complete a task, provide practice in groups, and so on:

I gradually release until my ELLs are comfortable in working on a task independently:

In addition to breaking up my instruction in order to scaffold, I have also found it helpful to break up math concepts. For instance, before teaching powers of ten this year, I really needed to teach my newcomers about exponents. This led to my newest series:

This resource features two tiers of notebook pages with built-in scaffolding, all ready for you to just print and instruct. 

Make Meaning with Morphology
Once my newcomers have started speaking more English (especially that academic language!) I know it is time to break out my morphology resources. The study of affixes and roots helps all of my students acquire challenging vocabulary.

Our class uses Spelling with Morphology for both spelling and vocabulary instruction. It features an entire year of tiered lists, all related under similar categories:

These categorized lists really help my ELLs make connections between the affix/root and its morphological meaning, helping them acquire some advanced, grade-appropriate vocabulary.

I also love to decorate our classroom with morphological posters, to provide meaningful visuals. My latest resource features three sets of ELA posters my class constantly refers to throughout the school year:

What are your favorite strategies for working with English Language Learners? Elizabeth and I would love to hear your tips!
Fun in Room 4B and Beyond

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February 10, 2015

Check your mailboxes for extra inspiration!

The second issue of Inspiration Cubed has been sent outhave you read yours yet? It's full of ideas, tips, and resources from the classrooms of Runde's Room, Teaching in Room 6, and Ladybug's Teacher Files…sent right to your email (and your classroom)!

Here's a sneak peek of my organizational tip for this month:
And that's the only place you will find it! 

All of the resources I share in Inspiration Cubed are ideas that won't be shared here on my blog, so be sure to sign up and get some extra inspiration!

Click here to sign up now: Inspiration Cubed
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January 25, 2015

Design with the Best Resolution (in PowerPoint)

Resolution Tips for PowerPoint Printables
Are you looking for some professional-quality, high-resolution images in your designs? It may be easier than you think, thanks to some great options available in PowerPoint!

To backtrack just a bit...  

PowerPoint (among it's other wonderful features!) has an option to save slides as pictures:
(does the mini-80s homage give away my age a bit??)

So after you have designed a presentation, each slide can be saved as an image:

This is ideal for creating previews images of your products or for embedding images into the background of slides, to create editable resources (would you like to learn more about that? Please leave a comment below if so!). There are so many possibilities with this feature!

The only problem? The image resolution. 

The default setting for "Save as Pictures" in PowerPoint is a lower-quality JPG...which means the images can come out a bit grainy. And all of those beautiful clipart images you have so carefully chosen for your printable can start to look a bit pixelated.

But there's a solution!

Your slide images can be saved as a PNG (a higher-quality format). AND you can choose the picture resolution! 

Which means you can go from this grainier-looking slide:

to this clean, crisp, and more professional-looking image:
(click on this image and toggle back to the previous one to see the difference)

And it's very easy to do!

When choosing "Save as Pictures", click on the Format drop down menu and select PNG:

 then click the Options button:

This will bring you to a menu of different choices:

For a higher image resolution, change the dpi (dots per inch) to a higher number. I usually go with 600:

You can also adjust the image quality in a drop down menu at the bottom of this box:

Once you have made the adjustments of your choice, click OK and PowerPoint will automatically set up a folder of pictures for each slide...and you are on your way to designing with high-quality images.

Please Note: If you are uploading preview slides to TpT, you will want to adjust these settings back to a lower-quality JPG (and 72 dpi)...otherwise your preview images will be too large to upload.

Have you used the "Save as Pictures" feature in PowerPoint yet?
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