One Little Pigeon and the Big, Bad Spider: The Final Draft

Last night we shared our movie with family and friends.  We rolled out the red carpet, enjoyed pizza and salad, and smiled for the paparazzi.  This project couldn’t have been possible without the children’s creative ideas and the help of Mrs. Haluszczak.  Filming in the past, we discovered that attempting to film the story straight through was a painfully long process.  This year, we tried arranging filming day a bit differently.  While Weird Eric and I worked with current scene actors, Mrs. Haluszczak took the remainder outside.  They spent the morning exploring Spring as it presented itself that day.

For those that are intersted, our final draft follows.  I’ve also attached some of our shot notes and the storyboard if you are curious to see how we organized ourselves for this process.

2018 Pre-K Movie_Final

Scene I: Pigeons’ House, exterior

Narrator:  Once upon a time there was a little pigeon playing basketball.  A Big Bad Spider came along.

BBS: “What are you doing?”  

Pigeon: “I’m playing basketball”

Narrator:  Then the pigeon ran into his house.  The BBS was very hungry and now he was grumpy and lonely.  He knocked on the door.

BBS Knocks

BBS: Pretty please, can I come in and get some food?

Pigeon:  Not by the feathers of our feathers, feathers, feathers!

Narrator: The BBS tries to wrap the house in a web.

BBS tries to throw a web on the house

Narrator:  The police officers came.  

Four police officers and two police dogs enter the scene.

Officer X: Halt in the name of the stars!

Officer R: Halt in the name of the star loft!

Officer N:  You’re going to prison.

Officer F:  I’m going to capture the Big Bad Spider

The BBS is hiding from the police.

Officer N: The police dogs can sniff out the Big Bad Spider.

PD V:  We’ll find him, sir.

Police dogs run back and forth sniffing for the spider.  Eventually, they find him and go get the police officers.

PD Kate: Woof Woof! We found him!

PD Victor:  We found him! Can we have lunch now?

Officer R:  Yes, you may.

Officer X:  Good job, doggies!

Officers F & N:  Good job today!

Police give the PDs dog bones.

PD K:  Woof, woof! Thank you!

Narrator:  They captured the BBS and took him to the police car.  

Police take BBS to car and drive away.


Scene II: Pigeons’ house, interior

Narrator:  The pigeon decides to watch tv.  

Pigeon W: (turning on the tv using remote) I’m going to watch, “The Unicorn Drives the Bus” show.  


Scene III:  On the TV, Unicorn driving a bus

Narrator:  The Sparkly Unicorn decides to drive somewhere.

Sparkly Unicorn:  I’m going to have some mac and cheese and some Brussels sprouts.

Narrator:  Then the Sparkly Unicorn gets dressed in pink stuff.  Then she puts on some make-up. She begins to drive.

Sparkly Unicorn: I have to pick up White Cat on the way.  

Pick up White Cat on the bus.

Sparkly Unicorn:  Come on, let’s go to our meeting.

White Cat: I hope we have fun at our meeting.

Sparkly Unicorn:  Sparkle Butterfly and Rainbow Butterfly are going to be there.

White Cat:  Ok. Well, that sounds fun.

Narrator:  They drive to the meeting.


Scene IV:  An office or meeting place

Narrator:  Rainbow Butterfly and Sparkle Butterfly are at the meeting.  They are all talking about work.

Improv “work talk”, Sparkly Unicorn, White Cat, Rainbow B, and Sparkle B.

Narrator:  Rainbow Butterfly and Sparkle Butterfly accidentally end the meeting by being too silly.  

Rainbow Butterfly and Strawberry leave scene.

Sparkly Unicorn & White Cat: What in the world!!!!


Scene V: The bus

Narrator:  White Cat and Sparkly Unicorn get back on the bus and leave.  After they drive for a while, they stop and go to sleep.


Scene VI:  Pigeons’ House, exterior

Narrator:  The pigeon goes back out to play basketball again.  

Everyone that isn’t BBS or police slowly comes over and says, “Can we play, too?”  All play basketball for a bit.

Order:  Rainbow G, Sparkly B, Sparkly Unicorn, White Cat

Narrator:  Then they all get tired and fall asleep in a heap.


Scene VII:  Police Headquarters, interior

Narrator:  The police officers drive the BBS to jail.  

Police taking BBS through the headquarters.

BBS:  “I just wanted some food!”  

Officer X:  We have some spider webs in the closet.

PD V:  They are really yummy.

PD K:  They are super good for spiders.

Officer N: They are very healthy!

Officer F:   “We have a web cage that can help you with that!”  

Officer R:  You have to keep eating it all day because we have lots.

Narrator:  The cage is made out of webs.

BBS: This cage is GREAT!

The BBS eats the web jail.  

Officer R:  “We’ll drive you back if you say please.”  

BBS:  “Please drive me back.  I want to make new friends.”  

Narrator:  The police drive everyone back to the pigeons’ home.  


Scene VIII:  Pigeons’ House, exterior

Narrator:  Everyone was inside when they arrived.  

Officer F:  Go knock on the door, spider.

The BBS knocks on the pigeons’ door.  

Pigeon:  “Who’s there?”

BBS:  “The Big Bad Spider, can I please have some webs to eat?”  

Pigeon:  “Sure! Here’s a web.”

Pigeon hands BBS some web.

Pigeon:   “You can have as much as you want.”

Rainbow B:  Let’s make a cake for the spider.

Officer X:  We’ll make it banana flavor

Sparkle B:  Let’s have a party.  

Narrator:  Everyone has a party at the pigeon house.

Dancing and partying ensues.


If you are curious about organizing an amateur shooting schedule here is how I did it:

Play2018_Storyboard

2018 Movie_Shots-character

Shooting_Order_2018 Movie_Shot List

Unboxing a Mystery

P1240712An unusual box arrived today.  Curiosity and excitement are bubbling out the door and down the hall.  What could be inside?

  • A hamster in a cage, because I saw one once.
  • A turtle because ___ put his finger in and he said something bit him.  It must be a turtle.
  • I think it’s a stuffed cat.  Stuffed cats come to your house in a box like that.
  • Glass because you said that it is fragile and can’t get hot or cold.
  • A turtle because that’s what some other people said.
  • A real cat.  When kittens came to my house, they came in a box.

We tried listening to the box for clues.  Unfortunately, we didn’t hear anything that might give us clues.

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Everyone wrote down their ideas using one of our Feely Box Friday forms.  The top says, “I think it is a________.”  We use the bottom to write about what we actually find.

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Finally, we opened the box.  Its contents were not what we expected.  Inside we found bugs! In fact, there were four containers of them.  The bugs are very small and a few of the children were a bit nervous that they might be poisonous.  I quickly assured them that I would never invite a dangerous bug into our school.  The package also contained some white fuzzy things, two little Petri dishes with what appear to be seeds, and some sort of crispy, hard thing that reminded the children of a butterfly “cocoon.”  I’ve set up all of these items in an observable space so we can keep an eye on them.  Our little scientists are looking forward to watching this drama unfold.

 

Map It Out

Our car is coming along.  In fact today it was suggested that it should be a camper instead since we are “making” such a long trip.  Since I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to stay awake for the whole drive to Florida, I thought it would be good to train some fellow navigators.  This atlas we’ve been looking over is way too complicated.  We decided to start with something a bit simpler.

map_my_neigh

We began with Map My Neighboorhood by Jennifer Boothroyd.  In this book, we learn how to draw our own maps.  We begin with a list of the places we would like to include and work from there.

Our first attempt was made out on the Northbound Trail.  The children used a large notebook, scissors, paper scraps, and glue sticks to create the areas they felt were important.  This map was made together.

The most difficult parts were deciding what to include and choosing a size for each piece.  Scale might be a bit beyond us at this point, but the practice with position in space was valuable.

Our next mapmaking enterprise took place in the classroom.  Each child created their own map.  I set up the paper first with the locations of the doors and windows marked.  When placing the paper in front of the children, I made sure that their paper was oriented so that the doors and windows were aligned with the room.  The children had many different takes on what was important to include on their classroom map.  None of you will be surprised to hear that the loft was almost always the first furniture added.

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Road Trip (Part I)

Two of our dear friends moved back to Florida last week.  We are already missing their smiles.  Sigh….

No worries! The children have a plan….

We’re going on a road trip to Florida! Yippee! Oh, fine, it is only imaginary, but we can still make our plans.  To assist in the planning, I photocopied all of the pertinent states from my trusty road atlas and stitched them together with old-fashioned scotch tape.  The class was quite surprised to find such a spaghetti mess of roads between here and there.  Yet undaunted, they began to take action.

First, the children decided we needed a car to get there.  Enter our trusty stand-by, a nice empty box.

Here are a few bits demonstrating the process and explaining some of the technical details:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YA9XSOPMVs]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwehzMJmp0A&w=560&h=315]

I think we’ll need to attack the map next….

A Change of Perspective

Our cup creations have evolved from balancing to creating large scale pictures.  As the children were building this image, they discussed the placement of the colors to create a shark.  I noticed something a bit different when looking from my head height.

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When the children realized what I was smiling about, they wished to see from my perspective as well.

Now much of our building must be viewed from “up high.”

 

Hour of Code 2016

Today Pre-k participated in our fourth annual “Hour of Code” event.  We didn’t actually spend an hour on the project, but the computer programming that we played with was lots of fun!  The instructors (Mrs. Kate Weber and Dr. Anne Faye, our Director of eLearning) explained that computer programming was as simple as giving someone or something directions.  After a quick practice with paper arrows and maze, the children moved on to Kodable, an iPad app with similar parameters.  For this task, the children directed a fuzzy creature through mazes while practicing planning, problem solving, the Scientific Method and visual-spacial skills.

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If you are more curious about Hour of Code, check out  Computer Science Education Week.  Here is a short introduction found within their site:

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.

That’s why schools across the nation joined in on the largest education event in history: The Hour of Code. During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14), students will be amongst over 2 million worldwide spending one hour learning the basics.

See http://hourofcode.org for details.

Conferences (Team Family)

There are many ways for teachers to approach conferences.  It could be a time to focus on the academic strengths and weakness of a child.  The social and emotional skills of each student could be the star of the conversation.  We could spend our 20 minutes discussing the activities the children have been involved or their interests in over the past few months.  We could even discuss troubles the child has at home and school, seeing where they meet and work on solutions together.

In the past, I’ve prepared notes for each conference detailing strengths and areas for growth for each student.  I’ve spent the first 15 minutes talking to the parents and then, in the last five asked them if they have any concerns or questions.  I think it worked, but I think we can make our conferences more useful.

This year, I want to try something new. I want to know what you, the parent or caregiver, are most interested in discussing.  We’ve spent two months with your child and are getting to know them pretty well.  You are the members of our team that we don’t know well, yet.

Before you meet with us on Friday, please consider what you’d like to talk about most.  I want our time together to be productive for you, especially since you are taking time out of your busy day to visit with us.  For this reason, one of the first things I’ll ask you on conference day is:

What would you like to talk about today?

 

 

Introducing: Book Buddies

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We met with our fourth grade book buddies for the first time today.  This year, Mrs. Ferguson (the Fourth Grade teacher) and I are hoping to get together at least once every six day cycle.  Right now, we’re are scheduled to meet on Day 2.

This tradition is held very dear here at WTN.  All of our grades have reading buddies.  The elder children get the opportunity to model literacy and be a mentor for the little ones.  The younger buddies love having the one-on-one attention.

 

Scheduling: Oct. 25th Parent-Teacher Conferences

Dear North Hills Campus Parents,

I am writing with important details about the Parent/Teacher Conference Day scheduled for Friday, October 25, 2013.

What to Expect
You will have the opportunity to meet with your student’s teacher to discuss his or her progress.

Please note the following before scheduling your appointment with your student’s teacher:

Appointments will be approximately 20 minutes long.
All appointments should be scheduled through our online appointment book, which will be available at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 26.
Appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis; so schedule early.
How to Schedule Your Appointment
1. Register

Visit the online appointment book at: https://www.pickatime.com/client?ven=11602347
Enter your email address and a password (you can select your own password), then click “Login/Create Account.” Fill in the required fields to register.
If you have used Pick-a-time before, you will use your email address and password that you previously used. If you cannot remember your password enter your email address and click “Forgot My Password.” Your password will be emailed to you.
For each student, enter his or her student ID — all student IDs follow the formula: “FirstNameLastName” i.e. John Smith would be JohnSmith (no space or punctuation) — and his or her birthday — in the form MM/DD/YYYY i.e. March 7, 1993 would be 03/07/1993.
2. Schedule

Each colored square represents an available meeting time.
Click on a square to book that time.
Enter when you want the reminder email to be delivered, and be sure to click “Create Appointment.”
If you want to make changes to your schedule, you can log in at any time with your email address and password.

If you have any questions, please call Kim Rovnan at 412-486-8341.

Extended Day
Students in PK – grade 2 may attend Extended Day, held in the Science Room, during your conference time, free of charge. Students in grades 3 – 5 who come with their parents during conference time should bring a book to read or a quiet game to play while they wait for their parents in the corridor outside the classroom.

The full day Extended Day program will be available from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for students in PK – grade 5. The charge of $65 will be added to your monthly eBill. A fun day of activities, crafts, and playtime has been planned. Time will be spent outside and children should dress appropriately in play clothes. Please pack a lunch and a beverage, a snack will be provided. To register, please contact Dionne Brelsford at brelsfordd@winchesterthurston.org.

What to Do on Conference Day
On October 25, please be sure that you arrive promptly for your appointment. Upon arrival, please meet your child’s teacher in his or her classroom. Finally, we ask that you adhere to the allotted time for each teacher so that the day flows smoothly for everyone.

We are excited to offer this opportunity to you. If you have any further questions about conference day, please contact me or Kim Rovnan at 412-486-8341.

Regards,

Laurie Vennes
Director of North Hills Campus