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!!