The Power of Applause

Applause are one of the more interesting phenomenon in the world.  Have you ever stopped to think about them?  My favorite are the genuine burst of excitement and appreciation kind.  I’m not talking about the kind of applause that you give when you know you’re supposed to.  I’m talking about the spontaneous kind.  The kind that just burst forth from your hands and your heart.

I worked all weekend on my book trailer for Touching Spirit Bear.  I had searched and searched the internet for good examples to show my class and I was less than thrilled with the student examples I had seen.  They can do better I thought.  They can do more.  So I set out to make my own.  I created each picture carefully, selected just the right music.  I watched, created, edited, and created some more.  When I finally finished I felt sure that the product would inspire them and give them a vision for what to create.

So on Monday I gathered them on the carpet and I showed my trailer.  They watched, captivated.  They oooed and ahhhed at just the right parts.  Clearly I had connected with my audience.  When the last line flashed on the screen something special and magical happened.  They burst into applause.  Loud, boisterous, gleeful applause.

They didn’t do it to be polite.  They didn’t do it because I was the teacher.  They did it because they enjoyed what they saw.  My heart swelled with pride.

A day later one student rushed up to me.  “I’m done, I’m done when can we share them.”  I realized that by showing my hard work I demonstrated the “why” of the assignment.  My students were working twice as hard so that they too could earn those applause!  Not because their classmates were being polite and not because they knew that it was what they were supposed to do.  Because they earned it.

Here is my trailer that I worked so hard on.  If you’d like to view my student’s work you can visit my Vimeo channel.  I will be posting them as they are completed in the coming week.  Please feel free to leave them an uplifting comment.

Categories: Slice of Life Challenge | Tags: | 19 Comments

Post navigation

19 thoughts on “The Power of Applause

  1. Beautiful. Makes me think of how I can show my weekly students my hard work to encourage them in their work.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I teach a weekly writing class to homeschool students. Your post has left me wondering how I can show them my hard work to encourage them in their hard work. Beautifully written!

  3. grade4wizard

    I join the applause.

  4. I don’t know whether to applaud the visual, the sound effects, or the way you put the words with everything else, but I want to run right out to get that book! I loved every bit, especially that ‘found on a bookshelf near you’. Clever, and special! Thanks for the work. My son-in-law is an editor & I know how much time that took! I will try to check out the students too, Katie.

    • I appreciate that Linda. I only have one of the student’s book trailers up. I have a few waiting to be uploaded upon my return to school. Conference today.

  5. I LOVE it! I was just talking to my assessing administrator today about “celebrating success.” Florida is using a new system of teacher evaluation (Marzano’s model) and one design question deals with celebration. The administrator wanted me to make sure I had students “clap at the end” or give themselves a “pat of the back.” I explained that he’d seen it happen spontaneous the last time he was in class and that is the only sort of applause that counts in my book. Thank you for re-affirming that. I used to love teaching Touching Spirit Bear (dated lesson plans are still online here: I’d love to use your trailer next time as an example. May I?

    • Absolutely! I hope to have many more quality trailers and digital stories that can be used by all.

  6. Your trailer is incredible! What an inspiration for your students! You have such a great community of learners.

  7. Lee Ann… I have just recommended Touching Spirit Bear five times in the last month or so. It is truly one of my favorite books. And this trailer is awesome. My students are in a choice novel unit right now and a book trailer is something I am considering as a final project. I would love to use this as an example. I will definitely be checking out the others, Thanks for sharing

  8. Wow! I need to learn how to do that!!! I love how this work has so many levels – it’s a teaching tool, it’s your own work and art, expresses your passion for books and for this particular story and is a model for work ethic to your students. Great! So were the drawings from a students? Can’t wait to see your the student work also.

    • Yes two of them were drawings that the kids did while I was reading aloud. Very creative. I should have more student work up on the vimeo channel in the next week or so. : )

  9. Hey there slicer! The video looks great…surely a labor of love. I’m going to have to experiment with this…although your trailer has me in awe.

  10. Wow! You definitely deserve applause for this ! Can’t even imagine trying to put something like SPIRIT BEAR together. I’m thinking about creating book trailers with my students in a couple of weeks, after our state tests. Can’t wait to see more of your students’ examples! I’m looking forward to learning from you this month!

  11. What a way to genuinely motivate your students! Touching Spirit Bear is one of those books I treasure. Your book trailer truly does it justice and I love the variety of techniques you used to show your students the possibilities for their own!

  12. Wow, Katie! This is so wonderful. Your students are so lucky to be learning with you!

  13. WOW! Amazing trailer. The combination of music, images, and written phrases was so powerful! I’ve never read that book and now you have me wanting to rush to the library and get it! I’m sure your students are so inspired and excited to create their own projects now — they are so lucky to have you as their teacher!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: