Colorado History in Stop Motion

I showed students some stop motion videos so they would have a sense of what we were doing in 2D. (Rather than have the additional elements in three dimensional projects, I elected to limit it by using only two dimensions.) Students split into teams of 4-6 and decided on a topic in Colorado History to blend with their showcase.

Time: 4- 30 minute Computer Lab sessions

First, I showed students some stop motion videos so they would have a sense of what we were doing in 2D.  (Rather than have the additional elements in three dimensional projects, I elected to limit it by using only two dimensions.)  Students split into teams of 4-6 and decided on a topic in Colorado  History to blend with their showcase.

Day 1- Student teams decide on concept and mock up idea by all drawing in KidPix.

Day 2- Explanation of background.  Teams decide on background image, draw, and print it.

Day 3- Explanation of moving elements.  Teams divide foreground drawing duties among themselves, draw, and print.

Day 4- Film using camera stills from a regular digital camera.

I asked students to take around 100 images, but it quickly became apparent that was a large number for this age group.  The best process was to have each student on the team take 10 photos, and most groups ended up with around 40 images.

Due to our time limitations, I downloaded all the projects into one iMovie file on my computer.  You can easily make Stop Motion on iMovie by adding the images to the project, then selecting all of them.  You must then do two things:  1) Make sure the “Ken Burns/Crop” is off, and the “Fit” is on, and 2) Use the Inspector to change the time per image to something like 0.2 seconds….. that varied by project.  Some I were longer than others.

The biggest challenge for me was stepping back and letting them work out their issues, especially in filming.  Some of the groups moved the camera or didn’t zoom in close enough (thus the table and tape view you see in some of the projects), but it was fully theirs.  I want to empower them to create on their own, and not have their project be my project.  We’ll have a wrap-up discussion later this week when we watch the movies in class.

Kindergarten Showcase 2010

My students created a project for their Holiday Showcase this year.  I projected the slideshow during the waiting time prior to the start of their program, and parents really enjoyed it. ((There were many of them using video cameras to record the slideshow.))

I need to credit my friend and mentor, Diane McInturff (@giftedteacher) for this idea.  She’s an amazing thinker, and such a blessing to me.

I read the book Someday by Charlotte Zolotow to the students.  Then, we talked about font sizes, shapes and colors.  Using KidPix, students created a new page, typed the word “Someday”, changed the font/size/color, typed their name, drew a picture, and dictated their “I will….” sentence.  It took two 30-minute class periods- one to read the book and model the font concepts, and the second for the students to create the images.  Rather than having them save, I took screenshots as students finished.  Here is the result:

Kindergarten Showcase 2010 from Berthoud Elementary School on Vimeo.

Music by:

Super Special Snowflakes

[media-credit name=”Stock Xchng | http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1319900″ align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]

Last year, I did a mini-project with Kindergarteners prior to their Showcase night where they drew snowflakes, typed their name on the page, and printed them.  They were precious, and a neat winter wall decor item.  I talked with students briefly about how snowflakes are all special and unique…. just like them! ((Although, I learned today that conventional wisdom about ‘no identical snowflakes’ is not true. Check out the info here at Wolfram Science.))

This year, I’m sprucing up that project by showing a short BrainPOP video on Snowflakes and then sharing another video from University of Wisconsin-Madison on Computer Modeled Snowflakes. (I wish this video was embeddable, but it’s not. It’s worth the click!)

Rules of the game?

  • Use blue colors.
  • Keep the background white.
  • Type your name.
  • Print.

Results below.

I’m also downloading Wolfram’s MathematicaPlayer for my older students because it has an interesting snow growth simulation that I’d like to show to the older students.