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7th Grade

10 Second Movie

posted May 13, 2013, 10:58 AM by   [ updated May 13, 2013, 1:01 PM ]


Tell a story in 10-15 seconds.  Draw the viewer in, make them laugh, cry, or scream, and get it done in 1 period.  This video will give you the idea of what we're looking for:


Your movie can be in any genre!  Here are some possibilities:

Filming DOs

  • get close to your subject to get good audio
  • keep other people or unrelated backgrounds out of the shot
  • start filming 5 seconds before the action
  • use hand signals to communicate with actors
  • stop filming 5 seconds after the action

Filming DON'Ts


Updating ePortfolios

posted May 6, 2013, 12:54 PM by   [ updated May 6, 2013, 1:14 PM ]

Biography Podcasts
Africa Presentations
Evolution Presentation
Speech Contest
Saints Presentations
Birthday Geography
Earth Maps
Literature Circles
Science Fair
Book Reports
Asia Biography
Speaking in unison
Persuasive Emails
Name/Story Dice
Public Service Announcements

Parallel Lines Cut by a Transversal

posted Mar 22, 2013, 10:26 AM by   [ updated Mar 22, 2013, 11:17 AM ]

You have two options for instructions for this investigation.  First, here is a video:

You can also download written instructions here.


posted Mar 11, 2013, 10:28 AM by   [ updated Mar 18, 2013, 5:18 PM ]

7th Grade students have been reading biographies of important figures.  We are going to create our own biographical podcast about those figures.  You already got started by drafting scripts for your podcast.  The next step is to find audio of our subjects that we can use in our project.  


Remembering Lillian Cahn - Creator of the Coach Handbag
This is a great example of telling someone's story without ever hearing from them directly.  Throughout the story, Mrs. Cahn's husband describes her.

This biography tells us all about who Julia Child was, without going into to many boring details.  As we discussed, it only contains a few quotes, and is mostly told by the host and an expert.

Production Designer Ray Cusick - Designer of the Daleks
This short piece is not quite a biography, but it does provide a remembrance for a person's most standout work.

Audio Resources

Here are some good sources for audio: - Internet archive of media.  Search for audio or video of your subject, narrow by type, and download. - News and interviews of many current and historic figures
BBC Archive: People - Photos, audio, and video from the BBC

Finally, just try Googling your subject's name with "interview mp3" at the end!

Note-taking with Audio

It can be pretty hard to find something in an audio piece you've heard before.  Make sure you take good notes while you're listening!
You can use this template to help get organized:
  1. First, make a folder to keep all the audio for your project.  Anything you download should go in the folder.
  2. As you listen to audio clips, fill in the template for each clip you may want to use in your project.

Recording Audio that can't be downloaded

In class I explained using Soundflower to record audio.  Here's a video that walks you through the process*:

*Note: In the video, the presenter mentions that there is a Windows version.  This is not correct.  If you want to try this process on Windows, consult with Mr. Dreyfus-Pai.

Soundflower Download

Landform Detectives

posted Dec 3, 2012, 12:58 PM by   [ updated Dec 3, 2012, 12:58 PM ]

This is one of my favorite games of ALL TIME (that's a geology joke).  Go to and try to figure out how some of the most incredible places on Earth transformed from boring lumps of rock to magnificent landmarks.

Caritas Interviews

posted Nov 26, 2012, 3:07 PM by   [ updated Nov 26, 2012, 3:32 PM ]

Students in the past have often thought of Caritas as a life changing experience.  We're going to capture some of that experience by interviewing each other about Caritas.

Part 1

Think about what you did and learned at Caritas.  What are some questions you would like to ask your classmates about their experience?  Here is a list of sample questions the class came up with together:
    • What is one thing you learned about yourself?
    • What’s something you learned about nature that everyone should know?
    • What is one thing you learned about your class?
    • What was your favorite meal?
    • What was one way you pushed yourself?
    • What thing you would share with your family?
    • Where did you see God last week?  In what way?
    • How did you connect with SONG?
    • What was your most meaningful experience?
    • What was the most challenging club to join?


  1. Write up your own list of questions to ask a classmate. You can include as many of the questions above as you like, but add at least 3 of your own.
  2. Write down your answers to your own questions, as a way to prepare for your interview.

Part 2

Before you start, review the basic filming guidelines.  Follow the instructions below to film interviews:
  1. Write down the iPad # your team is using.
  2. Partner 1 films Partner 2 asking the questions.  Film it all as one clip, leaving 3-5 seconds between each question.
  3. Partner 2 films Partner 1 answering the questions.  Partner 2 should start filming, ask the question, and film Partner 1's response.  Be sure to leave 3-5 seconds between each question.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 the other way around (Partner 2 films Partner 1, etc.)

Part 2.5

Follow the instructions below to import video from your iPad:
  1. Log in to the iMovie account
  2. Import ONLY the clips of YOU ASKING questions and YOUR PARTNER ANSWERING questions
    • manual --> uncheck all --> select clips --> import checked

Part 3

Follow the instructions below to edit your interview:
  1. Log in to the iMovie account
  2. Create a new project titled <Your Number> Caritas Interview
  3. Drag and drop video clips of you asking questions and your partner answering questions.  These should alternate.
  4. Add a title and music as an intro and outro.
  5. Add a "lower third" to identify the interviewer and interviewee: "Person's Name - Student"
  6. When finished, Share --> Export Movie (size large)

Intro to Sketchup

posted Oct 15, 2012, 12:26 PM by   [ updated Oct 15, 2012, 12:26 PM ]

Google Sketchup is a program for Computer Assisted Design (CAD).  Unlike most CAD programs, Sketchup is completely free!  We're going to use Sketchup to map our perfect community, but first we need to learn some basics.  Download the tutorials and follow along to get a feel for the tools in Sketchup.

Contributing to an Online Encyclopedia

posted Oct 1, 2012, 10:10 AM by   [ updated Oct 12, 2012, 1:02 PM ]

"Crowd sourcing" is one of the most interesting and useful ideas to come out of Web 2.0 ideology. is the most popular example of this idea.  On Wikipedia, thousands of people contribute to an ever growing encyclopedia of information.  People who are experts in a field can offer their own knowledge and insights to improve the encyclopedia or update it to reflect recent changes.  It turns out that everyone at school has expert knowledge of a page that needs updating: Christ the King School in Pleasant Hill, CA!

Wiki Markup

Wikipedia uses its own code to mark up text.  Mark up is how Wikipedia and the web browser know, for example, that some text should be bold, and some text should be a link.  Here are two guides to Wikipedia markup:

Follow these guides to mark up your writing for posting to Wikipedia.

Collages with Photoshop

posted Sep 17, 2012, 1:53 PM by   [ updated Sep 17, 2012, 1:53 PM ]

To extend the Birthday Geography project, let's make a picture of ourselves at our party!

To complete this assignment, we'll be using Photo Booth and Photoshop Elements 10.


  1. Find a background picture of the location of your birthday party. Make sure it is a large sized image.
  2. Open Photo Booth and take a picture of yourself that you will place on top of the background.
  3. Open both in Photoshop Elements.
  4. Use the Quick Select tool to select yourself.  Leave out your chair, the background, and anything else around you.
  5. Copy yourself!
  6. Go to the background picture and paste yourself in.
  7. Adjust the size of either your picture or the background, using what you learned about layers and Command-T (transform).
  8. When you're done, go to File --> Save for Web.  Save the file using the preset JPEG High.  Now it can be viewed by any computer or web browser!

Setting Up Khan Academy

posted Sep 7, 2012, 10:01 AM by   [ updated Sep 7, 2012, 10:01 AM ]

This year we'll be using Khan Academy to practice our math skills.  To get set up, follow these directions:
  1. Go to
  2. Click Log In
  3. Click the  Button
  4. For email, enter your whole address
  5. For password, enter your email password
Now you're signed in to Khan Academy!  This will let you save your progress, earn badges, and review topics.  Use the steps above to log in from now on, even from home!  Next we're going to add me as your coach so I can see your results.

  1. Click on your username 
  2. Click Coaches
  3. Enter Mr. Dreyfus' email address and click Add Coach
Now I can see your results!  Let's get practicing!  Click on PRACTICE to check out the Exercise Dashboard.


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