iMovie Book Trailer Projects


Using the movie trailer feature in iMovie on the iPad or Mac is a great way for your students to showcase their knowledge of a book they’ve read. Students choose a theme that compliments the genre of the book, insert appropriate text into the pre-made storyboard, and customize text and photos. I had my students use Royalty Free and Copyright Free images, create their own using drawing programs from the iPad (Drawing Pad, Draw Free, Doodle Buddy) and the Mac (Kid Pix), or take pictures with the built-in cameras on the device. Students used Stickies on their desktops to keep track of their sources so they could give credit to the images used. One tip for the Mac version of iMovie: If you aren’t using video, but using more pictures (as we did because of time) you need to convert your trailer to a project once you have the storyboard finished. To do this, go to File>Convert to Project and you will see that your trailer has now become a regular iMovie project. From there, you can insert or replace pictures and change the text. Here is the rubric I used with my fifth grade classes. Book Trailer Rubric 

Here are the CCSS standards addressed with this project:

  • NETS.2. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital media.
  • NETS.1 Demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
  • NETS.5.Understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
  • SL.5.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • W.5.6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • SL.5.5. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.

Finally, a fun way to showcase their work is to create a ‘Readbox’ wall display, which has QR codes that link the book to the student-created video. (Saw this fun idea on Pinterest)

Readbox display to showcase student book trailers

Readbox display to showcase student book trailers

Here are a few examples from my 5th graders! Enjoy!

The Secret of Laurel Oaks Book Trailer: Cole from April Requard on Vimeo.

Out of my Mind Book Trailer: Bella from April Requard on Vimeo.

Million Dollar Throw Book Trailer: Case from April Requard on Vimeo.

Cupcake Diaries Book Trailer: Taylor from April Requard on Vimeo.


iPad Resources (Managing Mobile Devices, iPad Tips, iPad Deployment, & PLNs)

iPad Resources for Educators

iPad Resources for Educators

I know there are TONS of amazing resources out there for educators on various ways to integrate using the iPad in the classroom. I put together a site that includes managing the mobile technology and some useful ideas in using the iPad as an amazing educational tool in your classroom!

1. Create an iPad/Laptop Checkout Calendar that the teachers in the school have access to. I have used many online check-out systems in the past and this one is my favorite. It’s (Here’s an example of the site I created for our school).

2. I came across a great blog from Tony Vincent, which featured iPad wallpaper/home screen with numbers for management purposes. It’s a great visual for the kids to see what number iPad they use. To download the wallpaper, click here. To see another great way to utilize iPad wallpaper, click here.

3. Here are some great ideas on successful iPad deployment!


iPad Management Tips

10 Awesome iPad Tips

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads

Other iPad Tools including user agreements

Apps Gone Free

4. Finally, the best resource out there is other educators! I follow amazing teachers who teach with iPads. The best PLN for this is Twitter! If you aren’t on Twitter yet, you need to be! I was hesitant at first, but Twitter has exponentially helped me in learning from so many other amazing educators! Here are some articles on how Twitter can transform your Personal Learning Network!

Twitter: Teachers

Social Media for Teachers

A Guide for Creating a Twitter Account

How Teachers Can Stop Being Scared of Twitter


The Best Educational Hashtags

Complete Guide to Educational Hashtags

App Speed Share Event

My after school technology leadership team (SWAT TEAM…Students Working to Advance Technology) held our first App Speed Share event two nights ago. What a great success it was! We had 50 teachers and principals from various schools in the district who attended the event. Each student became a “content expert” on the app that they were to teach others. The students learned so much more than how to use these apps. They learned public speaking skills, writing, presentation skills, and even how to purposefully speak to reporters who were there to conduct interviews. We had no idea that all three major local network stations would cover this event, but they were all there and all highlighted the great work these kids are doing to advance technology. It was a great experience for these kids; one I think they will not forget. Here are some clips from the news coverage we received as a result of putting together this event. To learn more about the apps we shared, click here.

App Speed Share Event

App Speed Share Event

Click on the picture to see the great story by Channel 4

Click on the picture to see the great story by Channel 4

Click on picture to see coverage by Channel 2

Click on picture to see coverage by Channel 2


Click on this pictures to see the coverage by Channel 2

Click on this pictures to see the coverage by Channel 2


Click on picture to see news coverage by Channel 13

Click on picture to see news coverage by Channel 13


Click on the picture to read the article from the ABQ Journal (Photo by Jim Thompson)

Click on the picture to read the article from the ABQ Journal (Photo by Jim Thompson)



Two Valentine’s Day Technology Integration Ideas

Austin's Love Is List
Austin’s Love Is List

Animated Image Created in Kid Pix

These two activities are great addition to your technology integration curriculum. Both of these activities were completed on desktop computers, but could be completed in Pages or a drawing app on the iPad. The first activity is a word processing activity completed in Microsoft Word. It is a “Love Is…” list where students learn to use and customize a bulleted list.

The second activity uses Kid Pix to create your own conversation hearts and turn them into a .gif. I think it’s important for even young students to begin to understand the differences among a .png, .jpg, .gif, etc. So, if you haven’t introduced that, this is a fun activity in which to have students create their own .gifs and animated pictures. You could easily use another application that will allow you to customize the color of the heart and export it as an image. This could also be done on an iPad.

Here are the steps:

1. Use an outline of a heart image.

2. Import that heart image into Kid Pix

3. Use the paint bucket to fill in the color of the heart as well as the background of the picture.

4. Use the text tool to create the “conversation heart” text.

5. Export this image as a .jpg and save it easily on your desktop.

6. Repeat these steps until you have three (or more) pictures from which to create your animated photo.

7. Go to and upload your three images.

8. Share! Share your images! Students can add to their blogs, websites, etc. You have the option to view the GIF animation, view the frame animation, or download the GIF image. From there…share!

Interactive Whiteboard Resources

I made this website earlier this year to share with teachers in my school and district. It has some really cool interactive sites that pair very well with your interactive whiteboard. The math sites are particularly fabulous for use in whole-group instruction or even centers while interacting with the whiteboard. Click here to access the site. Lots of great resources for your classroom.

My List of Interactive Whiteboard Sites

My List of Interactive Whiteboard Sites

Teach Your Monster to Read

TYMTR-300x203If you have little ones or teach kindergarten, this program, Teach Your Monster to Read, is a MUST! This program has adorable graphics and engaging content for little ones. I set each of my kindergarten classes up with an account and let them try it out in the computer lab before sending the login information home so they can use this program after school. Students create a monster and take it on an adventure through a magical world. Even if your students are great readers, they will enjoy this program. It helps them with basic computing skills (clicking and dragging) as well as helps them develop speed and accuracy of letter recognition. The best part: once they master the first stage, then the second stage is having fun with words and allows the student to work with captions and sentences. Let me know how your students like it!