Ed Tech In the SpEd Classroom

Using Technology to Help Bridge the Learning Gap

Book Trailers Completed! \(0.0)/


Oh, happy day! I totally felt like this on Friday when we presented our book trailers!

It’s been a long journey, through reading our novels, planning our trailers, then creating them on the iPads, but they did it.  I was so proud of them! This was a first-time journey for both them and me, but I think it turned out wonderfully.  Were the trailers perfect? No. But going from no experience on iMovie to creating a trailer using the Project feature on iMovie (not the Trailer option), they were able to do great work.  Some things I learned along the way:

1.  Daily conferencing is crucial! Being a Resource room, we couldn’t work on the trailers for any straight consecutive days because of other work we had, but I had to communicate with them often to make sure they were understanding what to do as well as staying on task.  There were a couple of students who reaaaally waited until the last minute to get their reading done.

2.  Be firm about the order of things being done! I purposefully made searching for images and music towards the end because I knew they’d spend the most time doing that.  I required that a book summary be done after the reading, then the storyboards be completed.  Some students wanted to skip right to finding pictures after their summary, which was a no-go.

3. Having an iMovie tutorial saved my life.  I found a great video on YouTube which did a fantastic job of explaining iMovie on the iPads in a short and sweet video.  I posted this on our class Edmodo site so the students could reference it as often as needed.  Even though I had it there, I still had kids ask me, “Miss! How do make the picture show longer?” My response: “The tutorial explains how to do it–go watch it again.”  And the video tutorial was only a few minutes long, so it wasn’t a big deal to go back and watch it over again.

4. Have deadlines! By having these, students were always aware at what point they should be in their book trailer creation process. Too much lagging (as some of them learned the hard way) really hurt them later as they struggled to get caught up.

5.  Make a big deal about their finished products.  I threw a “book trailer premier” party on Friday, presenting everyone’s trailers to the class.  I brought in popcorn for everyone to munch on while we watched them.  I know for middle schoolers it was probably not that big of a deal to do that (or at least some acted like it), but I wanted them to celebrate the work they put into them.

One thing I did as we watched the trailers was distribute Peer Evaluation sheets to each student.  Everyone got six of them in order to evaluate everyone else’s besides themselves.  They were to point out one good thing, one suggestion, and whether or not they would read the book based on the book trailer.  I did this because I thought each student could get feedback from their peers, which could hold more weight than my own feedback, potentially.  Plus, I wanted students to analyze each other’s work instead of just “watching” them.

Last, I created a Google Form for students to do a self-assessment on this project.  I did this not only for them to think about their own work, but to give me an idea as to what they liked/didn’t like.  From their submissions, all of them said they’d prefer to do a book trailer in the future over a written assignment/report.  I’m very pleased that it was worth it to them.  Hard work really does pay off.  🙂

Photo Apr 23, 9 37 33 AM

Writing a book summary.

Photo Apr 23, 9 37 55 AM

Finishing his reading…


Planning his trailer.

Planning his trailer.

In the early portions of storyboarding. Some tweaks were made along the way.

In the early portions of storyboarding. Some tweaks were made along the way.

Searching for images.

Searching for images.

Recording his narration.

Recording his narration.

Book trailer.

Book trailer.

Showtime. :)

Showtime. 🙂

Saying nice things about their classmate's video (while enjoying some popcorn).  :)

Saying nice things about their classmate’s video (while enjoying some popcorn). 🙂


And although they begged me not to show their trailers, I thought one wouldn’t hurt. 😉



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