Tuesday, 31 May 2011

MooTV Episode 2- The Sequel is Unleashed

The magic behind "Sassy Cow."
Episode 2 of MooTV is ready to go!  There were some scary moments when it wouldn't upload to YouTube but all the technical bugs are worked out.  Please follow this link to view MooTV Episode 2.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWasZ8Va9Hk.  Leave us a comment to let us know what you think or if you have suggestions for the next episode.  You can also scroll to the bottom of this post to view the embedded version. 

We have learned a lot about creating moo-vies.  Here are some things you need to know if you are going to make your own moo-vies.
1. Make sure you put a sign out when you are recording.  You don't want to have to start over if people knock on the door or make noise walking by the classroom.
2. Scripts need to make sense, be easy to say and you need to have fun when you're writing them.
3. Make sure you have a full battery charged on your camera before you start and check that all your computer programs including the Internet are working properly.
4. If you have a puppet, make sure there is some support for that person's arm or the cow will get "weak knees."
5. If you're recording outside make sure there are no kids, parents, big noisy cars or airplanes in the background making noise.  Wind and mosquitoes are also a problem.

The Milk Revolution has been writing and recording lots of new scenes for future episodes. We hope to keep rolling all through the summer months, even though school ends at the end of June.  Maybe some of our followers would like to get in on the fun and help out in the next episode.

Until the next time, keep The Milk Revolution mooo-ving on.

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Answer is White Milk

The Milk Revolution continues to roll on.  On Wednesday, our teachers hosted a breakfast to honour all the volunteers who help make our school a better place.  The Milk Revolution handed out white milk and shared what they have learned about the chocolate milk.  We had a few more parents change their child's milk to white instead of chocolate.  One student was overheard at the beverage table saying, "Would you like raspberry juice or pommagranate juice?"  A parent, "Raspberry please."  Then the student said, "You're supposed to choose WHITE MILK."

Today is Jamie Oliver's birthday.  We made him a special birthday message.  You can view it here.  He has a birthday wish of his own.  If you would like to help out his wish, visit here.

Tonight's homework for students to watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution with their parents.  In Edmonton, both ABC and CityTV air this show at 9:00pm.

We have made a new graph for the month of May.  We are making a difference in our school.  More kids need to change their milk.  There is a rumour that the lunchroom supervisors are letting kids pick their milk rather than checking the list, so we're going to talk to them so that all students get the milk their parent's have chosen.

The Photo Challenge ends soon.  Thank you to those people who have already entered, but we'd love to hear from you!
We apologize for not having posted all week.  We were very busy filming MooTV Episode 2.  We will be releasing it on Tuesday, May 31 so be sure to check it out.

According to our honourary superhero, Chocolate-No-More-Woman, "This one is even better than the first!"

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Ups and Downs of a Revolution

Being a revolutionary is more difficult than it looks.  When we started this journey we believed people would see all that sugar and want to make a change.  How could people not want to be healthy?

Today was a roller coaster of emotions.  What started as a health lesson has turned into so much more.  With all the good stuff comes the not so good stuff, too.  We are learning so much.

First thing this morning, Mrs. Swelander shared her Twitter feed from the #foodrevparty on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.  Thank you @foodrevteam and @jamieoliver for all your kind words and for linking our movie.  It's so nice to share with people around the world.

The Assistant Superintendent of our school district visited our classroom early this morning and we presented our blog and video.  He enjoyed the video and said he would talk to the Superntendent and Board Chair of our district to see if they can visit our classroom.  He encouraged us to talk to other schools about our revolution.  So, if you're one of those schools in Edmonton (or anywhere else in the world) who is following us, we want to talk to you!  Join our revolution! If you live in the United States, be sure to sign Jamie Oliver's petition here.

Our class had a discussion later in the morning.  Mrs. Swelander asked students about how they were feeling about the revolution in general.  These were some of their comments.
~"We need to do a flash mob."
~"We need to talk to more kids.  Adults just don't get it."
~"Why do we need recovery drinks?  Do we need to recover from math?"  (Insert Mrs. Swelander giggling here.)
~"I don't understand why the grown-ups don't see that chocolate milk is bad."
~"Can we work on MooTV Episode 2 now?"

Then we received a good news tweet from @FoodRevTeam and we said,
~"If one kid changes their milk we made a difference.  We rock."

Center time in Grade 2.
 According to Room 13, The Milk Revolution has taken over their center time in Grade 2.  Students have started working on several projects to share what they've learned.  They've even given themselves cool new superhero names.  Awesome!
So, this afternoon full production of Episode 2 began, but our entire computer network crashed and we had to stay offline.  Students danced their way throughout the neighbourhood.  We even found Room 13 (also known as Moo 13) in the library and had them dance too.  Episode 2 is already funnier and more educational than the first. The blooper reel also has plenty of new material. 

And then....(drum roll please) this happened:

Can you find our story on http://www.jamieoliver.com/?

Our blog suddenly got a bunch of hits, so Mrs. Swelander started investigating and found this on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution website.  You can see the whole article written by Mrs. Swelander here.  We knew about the article, but were keeping it a secret until we knew if it would be published.

So, our class won't be back in session until Tuesday, May 24 while we celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday here in Canada.  That will give everyone time to send in their entries for the photo challenge.

From the mouth of a student today,"Once upon a time people thought the world was flat.  Everyone thought the guy who said it was round was crazy.  Now I know how Jamie Oliver feels."

And The Milk Revolution rolls on.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Revolution Roll-Out

What an exciting week we've had in grade four.  Here's the latest news on The Milk Revolution.

We released our video on YouTube Tuesday morning.  The release appears to have gone off smoothly and people are leaving us very nice comments.  If you'd like to see it, please visit this LINK.  Loopy Bubblefanny (one of our classroom superheroes) says "MooTV Episode 2 should include another cow, a talking milk jug and pictures of our planning sheets and scripts so people can see how much work it was."  We would like to thank everyone who has viewed our video and give a really big thank you to everyone who shared the link with a friend.

The Revolution Roll-Out

A grade three student was the first to bring in her form.
Students visited each classroom in our school and shared both the original video we saw and our MooTV video.  We talked to students about the milk.  Most students in kindergarten through grade four want to change their milk.  The grade fives and sixes don't really want to, so we're appealing to the parents of the fives and sixes because they sign the forms.  So far we've had a 100% increase in the amount of white milk being ordered for lunches.  We still have a way to go, but we're not giving up.

The Photo Challenge
We think he should try to drink one 4L jug of white milk.
We've started receiving entries for our photo challenge.  We realized people might need some ideas for their own photos, so Mrs. Peters asked her son to help us out.  Do you have a photo idea for the challenge?  Kristilyn Robertson has offered to give away 5 free, autographed copies of "One Glass at a Time" to the winners.  What funny or interesting photos can you take with our blog address in them?  For all the contest details click here.

Kids Speak Up at Parent Council Meeting
On Tuesday, May 10, 2011 five students presented everything we've learned so far from The Milk Revolution.  We shared the video of Jamie Oliver pouring sugar into the bus, MooTV and clips from our blog.  Parent really didn't have much to say, but they did ask a few questions.  We're pretty sure our answers were good.

One parent asked: I've heard chocolate milk is a good recovery drink after a workout, what is your opinion?  Buttercup Pizzashorts answered with, "White milk and chocolate milk have the same nutritional value, but with white milk you don't get all the sugar."

They asked us what our goal for the revolution is and Flunky Bananapants said, "Our goal is to change 60% of the chocolate milk orders to white milk."

Another parent asked, "How did you get interested in your project?" and Cheeseball Gigglebrain replied, "It was just a health lesson, but we wouldn't let it go.  It just keeps getting more interesting and we just couldn't forget the lesson we learned that day."

The Milk Revolution Meets 1000km Challenge
Mr. C and our carton of milk.
Our entire school had a challenge this week to run 1000km.  All together we ran 1496km.  As part of our celebration lunch students received white milk.  Our now-famous inflatable carton of milk even ran a few laps of the track.

Q & A with Grade Four
We've received many interesting comments and questions on our blog and thought we would take some time to answer them.  Although we researched the answers, please remember we're 9 and 10 year olds.

Jody Lundell asked: Which is better in a school lunch if someone doesn't like white milk, chocolate milk or juice?
Our answer: Juice comes in lots of different types, and some are more sugary or don't even have any fruit in them.  Chocolate milk is full of sugar.  Try drinking water for lunch, but include cheese or yogurt if you need calcium.  If you need fruit try an orange or a banana in your lunch.

Jody Lundell asked: Is chocolate milk a good recovery drink after a workout?
Our answer: After you work out your body needs healthy vitamins.  White milk has the same amount of vitamins or more, but not the same amount of sugar.  Your doctor would have the best answer for you.

Kristine asked: If you mix chocolate milk with white milk does that make less sugar?
Our answer: If you mix a serving of white milk and a serving of chocolate milk together, there will be less sugar if you drink one total serving.  So, if you mix 250mL of white and 250mL of chocolate and then drink 250mL of milk total, you will drink less sugar than if you drink the chocolate milk serving.  If you just mix the mix and drink all of it, you aren't reducing anything.  In fact, you're adding more sugar.

We'll keep you posted on more news from The Milk Revolution.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Announcing MooTV

After two long weeks of work, our MooTV Episode 1 was finally released this morning.  We are SO excited, especially since we found out just yesterday that we needed to edit out some of the words.  It was exciting in our classroom when we uploaded our video to YouTube and saved all the changes to make it public.  We hope you like it and share the link with your friends.  We all want you to be healthy, too.

If you are having trouble viewing the video above try this link

Our Milk Revolution is in full swing and the school is all a "twitter."

Milk Revolution Teams visited all the classes in our school today to share our message.  We handed out special new milk order forms that students can change their milk orders.  We even talked to kindergarten students to help them make a healthy choice for next year.

The Milk Revolution superheroes in disguise.
We also received an exciting twitter message this morning.
We all want to write emails, but Mrs. Swelander said it might be better if we just send one really good email.  Now we have more work to do this afternoon.  Just as we are posting to our blog we got "tweeted" by @FoodRevTeam about our video.

Tonight we present our video and all the information we've gathered to our school's parent association.  We will post again tomorrow to let you know what they think.

In the meantime, thank you and we hope you enjoy our video.  If you have ideas for the next one, be sure to leave us a comment.

Friday, 6 May 2011

There's Something "Moo" on the Horizon

Our new recording sign.
Get ready!  MooTV is being released on Tuesday, May 10, 2011.

Mrs. Swelander asked students to come up with an innovative way to teach other students about what they have learned about added sugar in the milk served in our lunch program.  They decided that making an educational, but entertaining movie would be the best way to spread their message.  This way classes can view the movie at the time that works best for them, since it is a very busy time of year with testing and such.  A movie was also the best option because students could post it online.  Other schools across the province or country (or world) can also view it and don't have to take the time to make their own movie.  We decided anyone can use our movie for educational purposes.  Our entire movie was written and acted by the students in our class, but we got help with the camera from Mrs. Swelander and Mrs. Peters.  We got to use many new computer programs.
A scene from MooTV "Episode 1."
We discovered that making a movie is not as easy as it sounds, although it's not impossible.  We had so many ideas, we had trouble making only one movie, so we've made MooTV "Episode 1."  If the ratings are good, we'll make more movies.

Meet Our Honourary Class Member
Every member of our class has a superhero name they were given in September.  We use these names when we do things online so that Mrs. Swelander knows who we are, but we are protected online.  This morning we got a visit from a student in grade 2.  She wanted to show us the button she made and
Chocolate-No-More Woman's Button
is wearing to school to make other people aware of the added sugar in our chocolate milk.  We've made her an honourary member of our class and so we gave her a superhero name of her very own: Chocolate-No-More Woman.  (We had a vote.)  We'd like you to see the badge she made and wore all day long.  WAY TO GO!

Another Breakfast with MILK

Yummy regular milk!
This morning our class had another breakfast with milk.  This was our second breakfast in class since starting The Milk Revolution.  Today we had a big reading test, so it was the perfect way to start the day.

We have one more breakfast coming up in May, so we'll keep you posted on that.

What else is "Moo"?

Our bulletin board.
We have our bulletin board started outside our classroom.

Students are preparing to speak at our Parent Association meeting May 10, 2011.

The Revolution Roll-Out hits classrooms in our school Tuesday, May 10, 2011.  We will be sharing MooTV "Episode 1" as well as the video clip of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution that started our whole revolution.

Our world map has gone digital, which is much easier for keeping track of visits from around the world.

By May 13, new order forms will be going home with students so they can change their milk order.  We're hoping at least 60% of students will switch to white milk.  Our lunchroom coordinator said she has already noticed more white milk is being ordered.  That's a great start!

The Milk Revolution is moving full-steam ahead.  Spread the word!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Note From Mrs. Swelander

Normally our class would make a list of topics to be covered in our blog post, then we would either write it together as a class or we'd hold a writing committee meeting during a break and get the draft writing done.  It's been a very busy week in our classroom.  It's Earth month, the 1000km challenge, writing and reading testing, lacrosse and guest authors, but even so, students are hunting me down all day (and all night) sending me emails, writing notes and following me around between classes.  There have been writing meetings, filming sessions, phone calls, Twitter, Blogger and Facebook lessons, collaboration meetings, props and costumes have been showing up in the classroom and there is a buzz that we can't seem to shake whether we're talking about plants or Alberta in the 1800s.  While all of the previous posts under my name have been written by the students, I thought I should take a moment and share the behind the scenes activities.

These students are the reason I go to work with a smile on my face every day.  They challenge me to think about their learning outside the box.  That's how his all got started.  I was trying to make health class interesting by showing a clip of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  It worked.  They're interested.  Now I'm using the blog to teach writing, reading, mapping/geography, fractions, decimals, graphing, drama, public speaking, nutrition, healthy choices, decision making and so much more.  They're still interested and I'm going to "milk" it until they get bored.

So here a few of the "behind the scenes" tidbits...
  • Two students showed up with a very elaborate Lego "set" last week.  This will be shared with the world soon.  I may have "accidentally" mentioned something about MooTV on Twitter.
  • Students have been brainstorming prizes for the "Look at Your Milk" photo challenge.  My favourite idea was "The Milk Revolution Start-Up Kit."  It includes a Milk Revolution membership card, autographed copy of "One Glass at a Time," a pop-up cow card made in art class that has a sound recording that says "choose your milk," a homemade cow necklace and a drawing of Mrs. Swelander.
  • Students also want to give away unflavoured milk as a prize, but they recognize it might be hard to send by mail.
  • Our bag of sugar has become famous at school.  People keep touching it and now there's a hole in the bag.  We might be down to about 25.5g of sugar now. We're going to get a new bag.
  • "Quiet on the set!" is now heard frequently from the hall outside our classroom door.
  • We've been invited to speak at our Parent Association meeting May 10, 2011.
  • A local news reporter is interested in our story.  According to one student, "We need all the press we can get."
  • Our Educational Assistant found an inflatable carton of unflavoured milk which now lives in our classroom.
  • We had a class breakfast and drank 4L of delicious unflavoured milk.
  • Our blog is posted to our school website, Facebook and it's being followed by several consultants for reading, writing and technology.  Students "infer" that Jamie Oliver is a follower, but there's no way to know for sure.  We're hoping he'll enter our contest.
  • Now my students say the classroom has to be clean at all times in case reporters come to school.  (I don't think that will happen, but I'm enjoying their ownership of the classroom.)
  • Students are independently emailing/writing to Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution team.  That means kids in this class are READING AND WRITING for pleasure!  That's big.  I'd like to apologize to the Food Revolution Team.  My class has recently received their own emails and like to use them...a LOT.
  • We are going to be reordering the milk for the remainder of the year so that students can re-choose their milk for the rest of the year.
  • My class wants to get a flash mob together, even trying to convince me it could be their dance unit and gym class all in one.  They even planned out that students could wear our blog address on their class shirts.  After evaluating the possibilities, we decided that we have to save that one for later.
  • We're hosting a milk table where we will share our message (and unflavoured milk) at an upcoming schoolwide event.
  • We'll be speaking at our next school assembly (where we will also share the aforementioned MooTV).
So, phew, busy. I love my job!

These kids are our future.  Watch out world, because here they come!