Sometimes the Darndest Things Work

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Originally posted on Weebly 1/15/2012

Ha!  Sometimes you try the simplest little things and you get the hugest return.  When my kiddos come into class, their first job everyday is to complete the "Do Now" list before we can begin class.  The list is in the same place everyday and written in green for consistency.  The "Do Now" includes writing down the homework, updating their table of contents in their binder, completing a geography bonus question and taking out their homework.  Some of my classes were able to get into the swing of getting this done daily by the beginning December.  I have one class, though, that was really struggling and every day it would eat up over ten minutes.  I even tried using some Fun Timers and although they loved the timers, it really didn't make them want to complete the tasks.
In absolute desperation, and almost as a joke, I started to look around for a virtual ticker, like those at the Stock Exchange.  I couldn't find one but it gave me an idea.  I wanted a visual remembrance that moved to catch their eye and get them movin' and groovin'.  I decided to go to my one of my favorite tech creators, Animoto.  I created one slide on PowerPoint that stated "Complete the Do Now!".  I imported that picture, duplicated it multiple times and used the tools on Animoto to add text, (i.e. Do Now!  Do Now!  Do Now!).  I chose a generic rock song (royalty free of course because that's how Animoto rolls).  Voila!  Instant reminder video!!!!
So although I made this totally on a whim and almost as a joke to myself...... IT TOTALLY WORKED!!!!  Holy productivity Batman!  My husband told me not to use the music because he felt that would be too distracting.  I tried it after a couple of days, as an experiment, and the music made the experiment even more successful!  Somehow the music centered them even more and seemed to tap into their auditory learning.  These kids come in, now, and really start to get organized and prepared without a single reminder! 

One of my classes really 
doesn't need this reminder but I decided to use the video with them a couple of days after my initial launch.  One of my brightest students said to me, "Mrs. Wilkins.... this is a brilliant idea!".  I love when I'm brilliant and I really don't try.  If you aren't able to h it:)view the embed below, click here to go on over to Animoto and watch it :)


  1. nice! I'm trying to figure a way to use this idea when my promethean board is in use with the actual focus assignment. =)

  2. I put my assignment up as well. Here is a link so you can download the video and then I minimize it into a small box next the assignment. I have multiple windows open at a time.
    I hope this helps!