Tips for Making Successful Retellings

In an earlier post, I described how my students were using the “Puppet Pals” app to create animated retellings of stories that we are reading in class.  For those of you interested in giving it a try yourself, I have found the following things to be extremely helpful in the process.

1. Teach students to plan out their thoughts before jumping in and creating digital retellings.  To do this, I use the format described in Debbie Miller’s book “Reading with Meaning” as well as in “The CAFE Book” by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  I model the process a few times first, and then release the students to try it with a partner.  The following template has proven to be helpful as students organize their ideas.  retelling template

2. Be o.k. with the fact that your students’ initial attempts may not be perfect.  As with anything we teach, students need modeling and guided practice to become proficient.  Start early in the year and take time to revisit the concept (perhaps weekly). 

3. Make time for sharing.  Our students sometimes learn from their peers better than they do from us.  We model, talk, and try to shape student learning.  One student will pick it up and then another.  Sometimes it is what a child says during share time that “clicks” with another child and “Viola!” they too get it now.

I have begun posting some retellings on our classroom website to keep parents connected to what we are learning.  Once I figured it out, the process was fairly simple.  For those of my colleagues that are interested, here are the steps below (They may vary a bit for you depending upon your school website):

1.  Connect your iPad to your computer

2.  Open up the app and click on “saved shows.”

3.  Choose “export” and you will get an “Export in Progress” message.

Saved Shows Screen Capture
Saved Shows Screen Capture

4.  Your video will be copied to your camera roll.

5.  Log in to your website (or blog).

GSD website page upon log in
GSD website page upon log in

6.  Click on “subsites” to edit your page and add your video(s).

7.  I created a page called “Showcases of Technology” to save the videos to.  The page “type” is a “document library.”

8.  Click on “create new” and choose the file that you want to upload.  (I first had to transfer the file from my iPad camera roll to my computer.)

website screen capture

9. Click “save” to prevent your hard work from being lost!


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