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If you are like me, you don’t want to wait to learn everything about the technology or apps before you teach your students. Sometimes you have to jump right in and learn it with them!
A few years ago my school got two student iPad carts and I wanted students to create their own original content. I co-teach with classroom teachers during a nine week arts-integration block. In our school, these periods are called HOT Blocks, once a week sessions with lessons designed so all students, and especially those in need of academic support, can learn through multiple intelligences and the arts in addition to conventional methods. So what could be better than using stop-motion to show what they know in math?
Here are my top 5 tips for creating stop-motion videos with elementary students:
1. Use an easy to use stop-motion app like iMotion, and be sure to demonstrate to students how they will use it. I usually have a class watch me and two students make a short stop-motion video with some school supplies, then show it to them before they create their film.
2. Have the students plan out and rehearse with the objects they will be using. You can make the objects, use manipulatives, be creative!
3. Put students in groups of 3 or 4, I find that larger groups are harder to manage around the iPad. Assign jobs for students so that everyone gets to participate in the filming of the video. Two students can take turns taking each picture, and the other two can move the objects just a little bit for each frame.
4. I have supervised groups in second and third grade, but fifth grade students can film independently once you show them how it is done. My students loved using dollar store lighting and colored cellophane paper.
5. Use a stable support so the device does not move while students are filming! I learned this the hard way: I thought it wouldn’t be hard for third graders to keep the iPad still. I was wrong, see these videos. It was a good first try, but I had to find a way to keep the iPad stable while they were taking each frame. These math videos are much better, we placed the iPad on top of a wire shelf held up by two stools. Students place their objects on a piece of construction paper on the floor.
Are you creating stop-motion videos with your students? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks below!
This post is also published on Education Closet.
So, you want to do some arts integration with your young students, but don’t know where to start? Do you think you are not creative enough to increase student achievement through the arts? Well, don’t believe that for one minute! Here are some easy ideas to do with your whole class or with small groups:
Write sight words with marker! Yes, I know this sounds way too easy to even work, but in my experience, it does! Just imagine if you had to write in drab pencil- Every. Single. Day. And you are age 5, 6 or 7. Boring, right? I had a small group of first graders SO excited about their sight words on drawing paper, they called it a “word wallet” and carried them around in their pockets. And, their teachers reported that this helped them practice and remember more sight words! Awesome.
“Write” your letters, words, numbers or number facts with colored modeling clay! Using this medium will help with letter and number formation, and help develop those little hand and finger muscles. I show the students how to warm up the clay, then roll it to make coils. Students use the coils to make their letters and numbers. It helps to have an alphabet or number line by each student to minimize reversals.
Use washable finger paint! No? Oh, I know what you are thinking: WAY too messy for a classroom! Well, you can have the finger paint without the mess by putting it inside two gallon size plastic zipper bags. Lay it flat and write letters, words or numbers on it with your finger!
Or, if you are really daring you can put a tablespoon of finger paint on a tray or directly on the table for students to “write” in it. I have done this on trays in the art room while co-teaching with a classroom teacher. With two of us, it was easy to check everyone’s work and easy to clean up because my art room has four sinks. (Yes, four!) I showed the students how to put their tray down in the bottom of the sink and scrub it with a sponge, then scrub their hands with the sponge. It took about ten minutes to clean up. If I were in a regular classroom I would probably do this in small groups, it would be much more manageable!
Have you used art materials to help students learn? Using different mediums can help students retain many different concepts. Please share your ideas below, I’d love to try some new colorful ideas with my students. (See, I told you you could do it!)
This was first published at Education Closet.
If you are an art teacher, you probably have heard of The Art of Education website. They have great ideas, classes, lessons, an online conference and more! I was REALLY surprised when I was informed today that this blog has been nominated for "Best Rising Star Art Ed Blog." I know- crazy, right?
If you'd like to vote, here is the link. Thanks for reading my little blog!
I sat at the small table and opened up my briefcase. I was ready to teach my students, and I was nine. Those “students” were my two younger sisters, they seemed to enjoy it. My teaching expanded to the neighborhood when I opened a free summer camp for all of the neighborhood kids. I planned activities and games for everyone.
Teaching was my destiny. My first grade teacher gave me reading groups to lead because I could read. In middle school and high school, teachers had me help other students. In 11th and 12th grade ceramics, I was in charge of all of the firings and glaze mixing. When I was a teenager, all my summer jobs were camp counselor jobs. I was always with children. Naturally, I went to college to become an elementary education teacher. I minored in art, which was convenient later when I decided to get my Master’s degree in art education.
My first year of teaching was in a small private school teaching Kindergarten. The next year, I was lucky to get a first grade position in a public school and I taught first grade for 8 more years. It was during this time I realized I really wanted to teach art, so I got my Masters degree and certification in art education.
After those years of teaching Kindergarten and first grade, an elementary art position opened up and I grabbed it. This year is my twenty-first year of teaching elementary art.
All that teaching experience is great, but I am on this leadership path because of Twitter. Really! I became a connected educator about three years ago and once I realized I could learn about educational subjects I was interested in, I was hooked.
Without even realizing it, everything I learned online led to me to become determined to make some changes in my school to use tech to improve student learning. (My assistant principal said there was no stopping me!) It was impossible for my elementary students to create and get their work off of shared iPads. Apps that were supposed to be easy to use were not. As their art teacher, this drove me absolutely crazy! Student iPad use was SO limited, students were using them as worksheets. Drill and practice has a purpose, but I had learned through my online connections that students needed to create with technology, not just fill in blanks. When I realized that no one else was going to fight for what was right for students, I had to push things in that direction. Partly because of my leadership, all teachers and students have their own Google Drive accounts this year, and my colleagues have had relevant tech PD, created and delivered by myself and other teachers.
For the last two years I have been recognized in my district as a teacher leader. Some of my connections on Twitter are educators who live right here in Fairfield County. These educators are now friends who I turn to for support and advice. One suggestion they gave me was to get my admin certification so that I could touch more students. At first I thought they were crazy, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense for me. When I mentioned it to my building administrators, they agreed. When I complete this certification, my vision is to someday work as a technology coordinator, arts coordinator or curriculum/PD director.
I am a creative, innovative and passionate educator. My vision is to advocate for students to ensure they get the most out of their time at school and become lifelong learners. I’m no longer just playing school with siblings: I hope to help shape an exciting future for student learning through art and technology.
Elementary art essentialist, arts integration teacher, techie, and HOT School educator. I began my career as a kindergarten and first grade teacher.