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Braeden the Puppet Maker, Artist, Writer and Now Performer

A few weeks ago, I was in a meeting and missed a ton of calls from my nephew. He finally sent this message… “I called to see if you could cut one of the songs or basically all of them because we only have 3 minutes & I need the music so I will know how much to I have for each scene. Call me I need to start scripting.” After viewing the three youtube links that he sent, I replied with this… “If you ever need to download a file from youtube to convert to mp3 clipconverter.cc to then combine multiple …


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Sparking Wonder One Idea At a Time

For over a year, I thought that my nephew found a love for puppetry after watching the muppet movie which then led to a binge night of creation culminating in an epic facetime call with me. Last week, at TCEA, while listening to my nephew share his story during his session, I learned that his drive to create puppets started long before that. Two years ago, while Braeden was in 2nd grade, his teacher assigned a “recycling” project where kids were to take things found around the house to create something new. According to Braeden, he chose to make a puppet marionette (He …


Storytelling with TechSmith’s App Show and Minecraft

One of these days, Techsmith’s App Show won’t be in free beta and I’ll be sad. For the record, I’m pretty sure that this nifty storytelling tool wasn’t made for education but that didn’t stop plenty of educators from finding it. I actually love App Show because it helps users create stories from an embedded “best practices” framework. You plug in your device and film scenes. After filming scenes, you add voice over and music. If you have Camtasia, you can export for further editing and what’s cooler is that each clip translates over to its own timeline for much more fluid …


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A Boy, A Lion and A Google Form

The other day Braeden decided that he wanted to involve “twitter” in his puppet decisions. As a kid who thrives on collaboration, making a Google form to share seemed like the obvious choice. Those were his words anyway. His questions… What should I name my lion puppet? Should I make a turkey costume for Lenny the Lizard? Which puppet should I make a Christmas costume for? After the form was created and shared, it was simply amazing watching him light up as his survey takers increased. He watched his data change and as the data changed, his questions and thoughts …


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The Undefined “MakerSpace”

By definition, “making” means constructing, building or putting things together. This isn’t new. Yet, we approach the idea of “making” as an entirely new thing. We even have a “space” for it now which seems to be our own way of creating an “anti-testing” space that somehow correlates nicely with “making” being the anti-testing movement. I am all for creating, as I have a nephew addicted to the idea at home. However, we will no longer try to fit him into the mold of being a “maker”. What is that anyway??? Aren’t we all this? My nephew, a puppet creating artistic minecraft builder, doesn’t …


30 Days of Learning Day 2: Collaborative Learning with Photoshop, Youtube and Braeden

What did you learn today? Today, I learned to never underestimate the creativity of a kid with a vision. Ok, to be fair…I knew this already, but today’s point of view was further amplified by the fact that we were both learning something new. I’ve been a Photoshop user for years and by user, I mean that I get by with the most basic of skills. I make banners for my blog and toy with font. That’s about it! Before I even saw Braeden today, I made photoshop a personal goal of mine so I buried myself in Lynda.com, got …


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Don’t Be the Creativity Police, Sometimes Dogs are Yellow

Our little “in house” creator, Braeden is working on a new puppet. Inspired by Steve Axtell‘s Shaggy Mountain Dog Puppet, Braeden decided to make a shaggy dog…a yellow one. So, he started his process of making patterns, bonding foam, making eyes and envisioning the puppet that he wants. In one night, he sewed his foundation and excitedly showed all of us. I took pictures and video as always. It’s kind of our “thing” because I am still amazed at him…even after all that he has done. Like always, Braeden took the dog to show my mother, who replied with a …


How To Be More Creative

If you want to be more creative, you have to toss out the instructions and just go! – Braeden Today in the car, Braeden expressed his plan to create an animatronic puppet. Like any adult would, I suggested that he search for a kit that we could put together. Replying in the only way that he understands, he said… “Auntie, we’re not buying a kit. Did you know that even kits are made according to another person’s vision? Even if you don’t follow their directions, you only get the parts that they felt you needed. If you make it all …


When the World Is Your Classroom Part 2

I’m sitting here watching the kid problem solve his way around creating a stage for his puppets. There are boxes, baskets, shoes and just about anything to hold the stage up. I’m not helping him. My role is that of observer and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Today, Braeden took his puppet, Lenny, to school to share with his classmates. His friends, now familiar with most of his furry friends, were fascinated with Fancy the Flamingo and have demanded a new episode of the Lenny the Lizard show. So, while I finish the last remnants of book writing …


Braeden’s Easter Bunny: A New Tackk

If you follow any of my other social feeds, you know that Braeden made a new Bunny puppet for his mother. So, naturally I used TACKK, an amazing digital storytelling tool to share the story. I love Tackk because it’s the perfect way to share the details beyond the images and videos that I load across the web. I especially love the instragram integration. If you haven’t checked it out…you should! I’ve embedded it below. You can also view it on TACKK, here.