Student Music Video: Be the Change – 5th Grade PJ Drive

Why they made it

Each 5th grade class contributed a short video with the goal of inspiring more folks to take small actions to make the world a better place.

How they made it

After watching examples of social action videos, students came up with ideas for videos, searched for and chose the images, selected specific parts of the songs, found the quotations, filmed the drive, the skits and the interviews. Then they worked with Mr. Rhys to put them all together using Final Cut Pro video editing software. A few students worked directly on the editing as well.

The video starts with 5-239’s music video, then shows 5-235s interview clips, and finishes off with a video poem by class 5-237.


The #taots #choosekind Campaign Continues…

Student #choosekind ambassadors presented the videos to the 4th grade classes today, and explained how and why they made it in the hopes of inspiring more students to take action to help others!



Blue Ribbon Lighthouse Award Conferred on NY City School.

TAOTS was featured in the latest Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Newsletter: 


blue20ribbon20logo2Walking into PS 682 in Brooklyn, New York, you immediately know you are in a special place. Sharing a building with two other schools, The Academy of Talented Scholars or TAOTS as it is known, takes students and visitors alike into a special place of learning. Every classroom, prekindergarten through grade 5 is positively engaged in authentic learning. Happy, eager students are reading and writing, student work is displayed throughout the school, and the teachers and support staff are seamlessly facilitating positive learning environments in their collaborative classrooms. The level of rigor at every grade level is impressive but not surprising as all students are treated like talented Scholars. The vision principal Josephine Sportella-Giusto created and brought to life in this school creates an environment where all students can be successful. The hard work and dedication of the students and staff earned TAOTS the U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School award in 2015 and in 2017 TAOTS was recognized as a Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Lighthouse School*. Congratulations to Mrs. Sportella-Giusto for her leadership and to her school community for their dedication to TAOTS success. ~ submitted by Jayne Ellspermann, BRSE Assessor and 2015 National Principal of the Year.

*On December 1, 2017, Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence recognized 26 schools for excellence in education. We will be featuring these schools over the next several weeks. See the entire list here.

See More from TAOTS (Highlight Video)

Preparing Informational Video Essays to 2nd Graders

5th graders have been researching nutrition in response to questions asked by 2nd graders.  They will make informational video essays to respond to the questions.  These videos below were made by each class as a way for the students to learn iMovie on the iPads in preparation for the video productions they will do in small groups to inform the 2nd graders.

Their next step is to create their informational scripts, and decide what images will help them engage and teach the 2nd graders.  The storyboard below is a model to demonstrate to student groups how to attach images to information in a way that is appropriate for 2nd graders, and will help them understand the issues.

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