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Don’t Be Sheepish: Showing What You Know with Presentation Software. Jen O’Halloran & Daria Taylor Montgomery County Public Schools. Who Are We?. Jen O’Halloran Strawberry Knoll ES 6 years experience MLS from University of Maryland Briefly taught 2 nd grade.

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Don’t Be Sheepish: Showing What You Know with Presentation Software

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Don t be sheepish showing what you know with presentation software

Don’t Be Sheepish: Showing What You Know with Presentation Software

Jen O’Halloran & Daria Taylor

Montgomery County Public Schools

Who are we

Who Are We?

  • Jen O’Halloran

    • Strawberry Knoll ES

    • 6 years experience

    • MLS from University of Maryland

    • Briefly taught 2nd grade

Terry Martorana, SKES Media Assistant, and I on Halloween, 2006.

Who are we1

Who Are We?

  • Daria Taylor

    • Clarksburg Elementary School

    • 8 years experience

    • MLS from University of Maryland

    • 3rd and 5th grade teacher in former life

Session overview

Session Overview

  • Intro to three types of software: Pixie, PowerPoint and Photostory

  • Examples of projects for K, 2, 3, 4 and Staff

  • Planning for each project

  • Questions & Resource CDs

Our goals

Our Goals

  • Provide multiple examples of how to incorporate effective use of presentation software into instruction of students and staff

  • Provide files for you to take back and apply to your instruction (located on the Wiki!)



  • Creativity software program that allows students to use pre-created templates, OR create original art and writing.

  • Slideshow feature



  • What can we say that you don’t already know?

Photo story

Photo Story

  • Free downloadable software from Microsoft

  • Allows you to upload digital pictures and create slideshows with transitions, special effects, background music, and narration

Beginning with the end in mind

Beginning With the End in Mind

  • Examples of final products

  • Most examples were collaborations between LMS and classroom teacher

  • Will share vision of adapted projects when presenting planning process

Project examples

Project Examples



  • Margaret Wise Brown author study

  • Living Things Research Project

  • Both projects incorporated writing and drawing using the Pixie Software

  • Project started with Literature connection in Media Center and then some kind of writing activity

  • Each student created one Pixie slide and class books/slideshows were then created (used templates created by LMS)

Second grade biography

Second Grade Biography

  • Pixie slideshows created by individual students

  • Reading/Language Arts and Social Studies connections

  • 4-5 lab sessions, including one for Gallery Walk

  • Prior work in classrooms to complete storyboards

  • Slides created from templates

Third grade

Third Grade

  • Writing project based on informative paragraphs the students wrote in class

  • Four 45-minute sessions in the computer lab (could definitely have benefited from adding 2 more sessions)

  • No templates were used – students used Pixie tools described in introductory lesson

  • Students created one slide for each sentence in paragraph and then created slideshow

Fourth grade native americans

Fourth Grade Native Americans

  • Group project meeting Social Studies and Writing outcomes

  • Bi-weekly sessions for 6 weeks

  • Collaboration with 2 classes and their social studies teacher

  • Students used template created in PowerPoint

  • Slides are examples from final product

Staff presentation

Staff Presentation

  • Had the misfortune of being absent on our pre-service day

  • Wanted to share information about new resources and technology available to staff

  • Created short, 12-minute, narrated video using PhotoStory with the information I would have shared at the meeting

Don t be sheepish showing what you know with presentation software

We will attempt to share part of the Staff Presentation!

How did we get there

How Did We Get There?

Kindergarten margaret wise brown author study

Kindergarten: Margaret Wise Brown Author Study

  • Read The Important Book together in the Media Center

  • Completed writing assignment (with help from LMS and MA)

  • Scheduled two 30-45 minute sessions in the computer lab – teacher was present at both sessions

  • First session focused on introducing Pixie and typing the words (using template)

  • Second session focused on drawing tools and drawing the illustration

Writing assignment rough draft

Writing Assignment (“Rough Draft”)

Template for pixie slide

Template for Pixie Slide

Kindergarten living things research project

Kindergarten: Living Things Research Project

  • Total number of lessons – 5 (including final) presentation

  • Read a book about gardens/planting in the Media Center

  • Together we brainstormed a list of living things that live in a garden – the class picked one living thing they wanted to research

  • Collaborated with classroom teachers for the rest of the project

Lesson breakdown one 30 minute research session in media center

Lesson Breakdown – One 30 minute research session in Media Center

  • Divided students into 3 groups.

  • Each group was assigned one question on a piece of chart paper (Where Does it Live, What Does it Look Like, What Does it Eat, How Does it Move) and given a set of books about the chosen living thing

  • LMS, MA, and teacher each worked with a different group to read the books and take notes on the chart paper in order to answer the question

Lesson breakdown writing done in the classroom

Lesson Breakdown – Writing done in the Classroom

  • Classroom teacher took the chart paper with questions/notes back to the classroom

  • Each student picked a different fact from the chart paper and turned it into a sentence

  • The students then illustrated the sentences

Lesson breakdown two 30 minute lessons in the computer lab

Lesson Breakdown – Two 30 minute lessons in the Computer Lab

  • Teacher stayed for these lessons – students brought sentence/illustration rough drafts with them to the lab

  • First session - students used a Pixie template to write their sentence

  • Second session - students used the Pixie tools to illustrate their sentences

  • If necessary, we signed up for an extra 30-minute slot in the computer lab (or teachers had students finish slides in the classroom)

Template for pixie slide1

Template for Pixie Slide

Presentation of final product

Presentation of Final Product

  • Saved all the students slides into one folder, added Cover Page and Table of Contents slides, and watched as a slideshow

  • Printed and laminated each slide and used book binding machine to create a class book available to students for check-out

Possible adaptations

Possible Adaptations

  • Students could work in pairs if there is limited computer access

  • If teacher is unable to stay with class, mature 5th graders or parent volunteers could work with research groups, help take notes, and help in computer lab

  • Same project could be done in Powerpoint if Pixie is unavailable (use clip art for pictures, or a hand-drawn illustration could be scanned and imported)

Second grade biography1

Second Grade Biography

  • Students read and researched famous person in class

  • Students created storyboards for their slides in class

  • Collaboration with classroom teacher in computer lab to create 4 slides

  • Final slideshow graded by LMS with rubric at conclusion of Gallery Walk

Planning with teachers

Planning with Teachers

Storyboard title page

Storyboard Title Page

Storyboard for additional pages

Storyboard for Additional Pages

Possible adaptations1

Possible Adaptations

  • Each student creates just one slide on a person they’ve researched, compiling into one class presentation instead of many

  • On fixed schedule, complete over 3 sessions, limiting number of slides of information and/or using text written by students in classroom

  • Have students narrate text to turn into E-book to share with others

Third grade informative paragraph presentation using pixie

Third Grade: Informative Paragraph Presentation Using Pixie

  • Collaborative project between LMS and 3rd grade team

  • Writing and research was done in the classroom – students each picked a topic of interest, used online resources, and wrote informative paragraph

  • Students, teacher, and LMS spent four 45-minute sessions together in the computer lab creating the Pixie presentations

  • Each student created a Pixie presentation/slideshow for their paragraph

Lesson breakdown

Lesson Breakdown

  • First lesson – set up the paragraph folder in their My Documents and demonstrated the basics of Pixie

  • Together we created the title page and the first slide using the pre-created checklist (demonstrated each feature and students followed along) and saved them

Remaining lessons

Remaining Lessons

  • Students worked at their own pace to create each slide (one slide for each sentence)

  • Followed the steps on their checklist

  • 4 sessions was not enough – most classes needed 1-2 more sessions to actually finish the slideshows

  • Teachers graded the slideshows using a checklist that was created collaboratively

Possible adaptations2

Possible Adaptations

  • Students could work in pairs or small groups to research and write their paragraphs and create their presentations (cuts down on time in a fixed schedule situation)

  • Powerpoint could be utilized if Pixie was not available, drawings could be imported

Fourth grade native americans1

Fourth Grade Native Americans

  • Research on tribes selected by teacher to represent different geographic regions

  • Each group answered same set of research questions

  • One PowerPoint was created for each tribe

Note taking

Note Taking

Planning powerpoint on paper

Planning PowerPoint on Paper

Rubric for powerpoint

Rubric for PowerPoint

Possible adaptations3

Possible Adaptations

  • Limit research questions to shorten length of project

  • With fixed schedule, focus research on ONE question and have students complete 1 or 2 slides in pairs

  • Change writing point of view from third person to first person

Staff presentation1

Staff Presentation

  • Created an outline of topics I wanted to cover in the presentation

  • Took digital pictures of all the new equipment (books on CD, digital cameras, ELMOs, etc.)

  • Captured screenshots of online resources and used IrfanView to save as jpg’s

  • Used Pixie to create agenda and title slides

Creation of presentation

Creation of Presentation

  • Imported picture files into PhotoStory and created transitions

  • Added background music and narration to each slide

Possible adaptations4

Possible Adaptations

  • Actually use a digital camcorder to create a video of you demonstrating the new technology and how to use it in the classroom

  • Create a narrated podcast of the online resources




    • Clarksburg Elementary

    • 301-353-8060

  • Jennifer_R_O’

    • Strawberry Knoll Elementary

    • 301-840-7112

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