Mystery Teacher Reader

Last week I held our second annual Mystery Teacher Reader Contest.  I started this last year to get my students excited for our Scholastic Bookfair and it was such a hit I did it again this year.

Mystery Teacher Reader Contest  are movies of different teacher’s voice reading a story and the images from the story.  Every day a different movie is shown and students have to guess which teacher is reading the story.  At the end of the day two student names are pulled and  they win a $10 coupon to Bookfair. (This year’s movies)

As I walked through the school last week I heard,” Miss Kordek! Miss Kordek! I know who the Mystery Teacher was. It was ……!”  or “Miss Kordek! I thought yesterday Mystery Teacher was ……. but I was wrong.”   It was great to listen to them and feel their excitement as they tried to guess the mystery teacher.

Mystery Teacher Reader Contest is an idea I got  from my cooperating teacher when I was on Block (semester prior to student teaching) in Allegheny-Clarion Valley School District.  This is a very simple project that can be used throughout the year for many different purposes such as Read for the Record, Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’s Birthday), Bookfair promotion, or just a random library/reading week.

It is a relatively simple process to make the movie.  I used GarageBand and iMovie since my district is Mac based and that is what I am comfortable using.  The movie can be made using any application or Web 2.0 tool.  They can also be made using just a video camera or simply having a teacher read a book over the intercom.  How you make the movie depends on your resources, how comfortable you are with technology, and time.

I try to start the process of recording voices about a month or more in advance because with how teacher schedules go it sometimes takes a while to finally meet.  There was one teacher that I didn’t record her voice due to conflicting schedules and then we were both sick.  I also try to choose teachers that all students will know as well as some that will be a challenge.

I record the teacher’s voices using GarageBand.  I like using GarageBand because once it is recorded I am able to manipulate the recording.  This year the teachers had good pacing and pausing between pages  but last year there were some issues.  Last year I had to delete sections to shorten pauses, extend others, and delete interruptions (I can be a perfectionist at times).  When it was done being edited I exported them into iTunes as an audio file.

Next I take a picture of every page of the book.  When I take the pictures I try to focus on just the illustrations and keep the amount of text as limited as possible (Difficult with some books).


Once I have both the recordings and images loaded onto my computer, it is time to compile them together in iMovie.  I love using iMovie because of how the iLife applications (iTunes, iPhoto) are connected so it is a drag and drop to combine them.  I also like how easy it is make movies in iMovies.   What I think as the longest part of this process begins next,  making the length an image appears match the number of seconds the teacher reads each page.  This not a difficult process, a few clicks but it does take time to do every page.

After all the videos are completed I upload them to my Youtube account to share them with the teachers to show in class during the week.  I like using Youtube because you can make the videos private for only those with the link which keeps the privacy of the teachers and students.  I also like using Youtube because you can embedded the videos into websites and blogs.

Check out the rest of our Mystery Teacher Readers HERE.

Hope you enjoy!!


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