Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quilts of Healing and Sweet Dreams

Inspired by the children's book The Quilt Maker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, Mrs. Saisa (literacy enrichment teacher) and Mrs. Mahon (health teacher) paired up with students in their classes to create quilts and pillows to be donated to the Yale New Haven Pediatric Center. Mrs. Saisa, for a second year in a row, has spearheaded this project along with teachers and students from Bethany Community School. This community outreach project which emphasizes the importance of giving to others, is a real labor of love. Mrs. Saisa and Mrs. Mahon, with generous contributions from students and staff at Bethany Middle School, spend a great deal of personal time gathering materials and organizing this wonderful service project. This year the project generated 23 pillows, 51 pillow cases, and 89 fleece blankets which will definitely bring joy to the children who receive them. I could not include all of the photos in this post, but the ones included will give you an insight into how much joy the project also brought to the creators.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pic Collage for iPad and iPhone is really neat

I am cross-posting this entry from the entry I made on the DEN blog for CT.
Some students at my middle school had been asked to create a collage of family members as part of their Spanish unit on vocabulary having to do with the family. When they asked for help in printing their collage, I discovered they had created it on their iPads using a free app called Pic Collage. After downloading the free app, they were able to select a background and then add pictures from their pictures library, live shots from the camera, or pictures from a Facebook account. Once the pictures were added, they were easily able to size, rotate, and send them to the back or in front of other pictures in the collage. There were even simple editing tools for brightness, contrast, effects, etc. Once they were satisfied with their layout they had a number of options such as saving their masterpiece to their picture library, or uploading it to Twitter or Facebook, or emailing it to someone. Since they needed to print it out, they had mailed it to themselves at our school Google domain. Once the email was opened, the picture appeared. To facilitate printing, I had them right-click on the photo and save it to their network folder. They then opened it using Windows picture viewer – chose a size- and printed it to the color printer. The collages came out really nice. I am sure that app will be used for lots of school projects from capturing events during field trips to photographing student artwork displayed around the building and putting it together in a nice collage.
Inspired by the students, I created the collage show here using pictures I’d captured on my iPad at the Westchester Day of Discovery in White Plains, New York. Hall Davidson was the keynote speaker, but I also got shots of Cindy, Max, Whitney, and Leslie.