The Communication Magnet Program is designed to improve the quality of instruction through a comprehensive curriculum integrating reading, writing, and oral speaking.
Instruction will be enhanced using the latest technology. Children’s literature in the areas of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and prose will be part of the daily curriculum.
The pre-kindergarten program emphasizes developmentally appropriate learning activities and problem-solving skills. Learning is viewed as an interactive process. The children use materials and engage in activities that are meaningful. The school day consists of a rich variety of activities, including readiness skills for reading, math, social studies and science, sharing discussions, technology projects, outdoor play and story time. Children learn through active manipulation and exploration.
The kindergarten program strives to meet the needs of the whole child through a developmentally appropriate program that offers introduction to formal learning. Learning takes place in kindergarten through a wide variety of hands-on activities. The children work on reading and math readiness with an emphasis on personal development. Physical education, music, art and daily technology activities help to achieve these goals.
SVN: Tell us about your background and how you decided to start teaching TV/Video production?
M.B.- I was a classroom teacher for 15 years. I taught 4th grade my entire career. At the beginning of this school year, I was given the opportunity to become one of the communication specialists for the newly created magnet schools in our parish. With this title came video production! I was able to enroll in video professional development our parish offers and became instantly addicted to my newfound job! It has been a great experience!
SVN: How did you obtain initial funding for your program? How do you fund the class now?
M.B.- The funding came through a magnet grant written for our parish. This is our first year of implementation; therefore it is still a work in progress. Once the federal funding expires, the school should be able to maintain the program on its’ own.
SVN: Did you have equipment available?
M.B.- At the beginning of the year, I started with a green screen, a Flip camera, and Pinnacle software. Now, we are very fortunate to work with a portable Tricaster unit.
How many kids are in the TV/Video Production classes? How is it broken down? Is it a multi-year program?
M.B. – Currently Woodland Park only services pre-k and kindergarten students. We are hoping to add additional grade levels in the future. Therefore, we do not have a designated video class for students.
SVN: Can you tell us a little more about the sessions: How long are the classes? How many students? What types of projects?
M.B. – The daily broadcast show features the basics such as the Pledge of Allegiance, announcements using Crazy Talk software, lunch menu and then special segments. Each day a special segment is added to each basic show. For example, Monday Math, Letter Tuesday, Word Wednesday, Artist of the Month, I have a Dream, Did you Know Facts, and Classroom Spotlights. We are in the early stages of project based learning. All classes must create themed based units and showcase their work using the latest technology available. Teachers create videos, slide shows or presentations which showcase their work. All of these productions are then featured on the broadcast show.
SVN: How many kids to do the morning news broadcast? Do you also do a weekly broadcast? Special events coverage?
M.B. – Students are selected based on a set criteria and pulled from their homeroom classes as designated by a calendar to perform the basic broadcast show each day. All filming is pre-recorded.
SVN: Do your students capture other school events? Sports? Assemblies? Board meetings? Musical Performances?
M.B. – Through project based learning, all classes must perform and submit video productions once each six weeks.
SVN: What jobs do the kids do? Do the kids rotate through on-air talent and crew positions or are they “hired” for a specific task?
M.B.- Students only perform on- air talent. They are able to say the Pledge each day along with scripted announcements. Since the students are so young a lot of time is spent editing the content.
SVN: How long does the show run?
M.B. – A typical show lasts 5 – 7 minutes.
SVN: Can your broadcast be viewed outside the school? District-wide? Local cable access? On your school/district web-site?
M.B. – Teachers access the Daily Broadcast show through the school’s website each morning. Because the show is posted on the school website, anyone with Internet access can watch the show. Parents and grandparents love this!
SVN: Where do you post programming? YouTube? Vimeo? SchoolTube? SVN-TV? Other?
M.B. – Our daily broadcasts are posted to the school website through SchoolTube.
SVN: Do you have an equipment list you can share with our readers?
1-Tricaster Studio System
2- Sony HDR-FX7 video cameras
2- Soft Box lights
1-Telepromters with software from 1Prompt
2- Lapel Microphone
School wide Flip Cameras
School wide Digital Cameras
SVN: Have any quick start tips!
M.B.- You don’t need fancy production equipment to make a broadcast. Just grab a video camera and some students. Film them saying simple things about the day or about what they’re learning and let it grow from there. I’m always amazed by what students come up with on their own once I get them started! With these few things, you’ll be up and broadcasting in no time!