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Laptop Cohort Student Projects

Mrs. Baig Is Missing
by Theresa McDermott

(.mov, 56.7 MB, 6m16s)

This is an adaptation of the book Miss Nelson Is Missing, by Harry Allard and James Marshall. In the book, the students think Miss Nelson is missing when she doesn't show up for class one day. At first they are happy, but their happiness is short lived after they are introduced to the mean Miss Viola Swamp (Miss Nelson in disguise) who gives them lots of homework and yells at them. Desperate to have the sweet Miss Nelson back, the students turn to a detective to help them find Miss Nelson.

As part of a lesson on descriptive sentences, Theresa has written a short story in which the students' teacher, Mrs. Baig, plays the role of Miss Nelson. In Theresa's version, Mrs. Baig is missing and the students have to come up with their own explanations of where she might be. Theresa had the students draw pictures to show what they think has happened to Mrs. Baig. Each picture has a corresponding descriptive sentence written by the student, as well as audio of the student reading the sentence.


(.mov, 9 MB, 5m25s)

Theresa first had the idea for this project after attending a training in the Laptop Lounge on Keynote, the presentation application from Apple.. The idea came to her after watching James Welsh demonstrate the page flip transition during the training. In addition to Keynote, Theresa used other technologies such as Garageband, iTunes, and Inspiration. In the video to the right, she describes the process involved in creating this project using the programs listed below.



Inspiration is the concept mapping software that was used to help the students brainstorm the sentences that went along with their drawings. The students used Inspiration to sort their sentences into two groupings: descriptive and not so descriptive. They then worked to revise the not so descriptive sentences so that they would be more descriptive.

This image shows an example of the brainstorming activity done by the students using Inspiration.


Garageband is an audio editing application that allowed Theresa to record her students reading their descriptive sentences. Garageband can be used with the built in microphone on the Mac laptops to record any kind of narration.


Once the students had recorded their sentences in Garageband, they had to be exported into iTunes so that they could be converted into a file that could be inserted in the Keynote presentation.


Keynote is a presentation application that is part of the iWork suite from Apple. It is similar to Powerpoint. Theresa created a Keynote presentation that had a slide for each of the students' pictures. She then added the audio files with each student's recording of their descriptive sentence to the individual slides. To give the feeling of reading a book, Theresa used the page flip transition in Keynote. She had learned about this transition effect during a Laptop Lounge workshop.


Lesson Plan

You can download the lesson plan for this lesson as a PDF.




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