When the dynamic Erin Snelling approached me about wanting to do videos for cell division in her high school biology classes, I was quick to send back some ideas of what she could have students use. After going in her room to assist, I quickly saw that she wanted stop animation for this project.
Because of the ease of adding apps to the Chromebooks, I was able to quickly push Stop Motion Animator out to her students. This has to be one of the easiest apps to use. Students needed very little guidance to get going on this, exploring and figuring it out for themselves. To be honest, this app needs very little explaining - very simple.
Students were given chalk and neon markers and were told to draw on the tables. Gasp! Yes, draw on the tables. Erin has black-topped tables, which were perfect for the chalk markers (we recommend Expo neon markers because they were the brightest). Students would draw a little, snap a photo, draw a little, snap a photo, and so on. When they needed to erase, they grabbed a wet towel and a dry towel, did their business, and continued on with the videos.
Students drew the stages, using their notes, and were told to label specific parts. Erin gave them a directions sheet the day they started, which had their requirements listed for each phase of mitosis.
Something I found interesting, students who typically weren't engaged in other classes I had seen them in, were engaged in this lesson. Although some of them were chatting or slightly off-topic, their work was still getting done and they would problem-solve together. Students were engaged and participating in their learning...they got excited when they heard they were asked to draw on the tables. Just by drawing on their desks, this adds engagement to the lesson. Seriously, this makes me want to buy markers for everyone just for them to write on their tables! I am including some of the finished products for your viewing pleasure! Please comment or retweet this to someone who may be inspired! Note: they may have added some silly photos in the endings of their vids...just playing around with the tool! Lol!
**A couple of great appy things - some kids had to come back to their videos the next day, and it was easy to load their videos from the day before and move forward. Then some of them finished and were able to move their videos to their Drive and share them.
DOGO News has received many recognitions for being a great current event website. Edmodo, Association for Library Service to Children, District Administration, Great Websites for Kids, and School Media have all recognized DOGO News for having quality information and being a wonderful web tool for students and teachers.
Students can narrow by topic, including sports, social studies, entertainment, and amazing articles. They can also narrow by grade span. All students can benefit from the site, Kinders all the way through middle school (and probably many high school!).
Teachers can sign up for FREE. Yep, free. You can create lesson plans with the news articles, make reading lists (through the DOGO Books area of the site), create a class calendar online, and make learning collaborative.
Students create their own avatar, earn badges and points, bookmark favorites, and leave reviews for books and movies. Pretty awesome!
Even better, you can link to DOGO News through the Chrome Web Store, Apple Store, Edmodo, Edublogs, and others! No reason to not sign up for this great resource!
I attended a great FREE technology conference this past week - and did my first conference presentation, which was super exciting! There was a very informative session I went to about Chrome extensions and apps. If you don't use Chrome, you should be using Chrome! I mean, wow. The amount of thought that has gone into this browser is amazing. It's like it was made for the classroom. Differentiation is easy through this browser. There are apps for people with ADD that are bothered by adds and colors, people with dyslexia can find an app where the font is made easier to distinguish between the letters, reading levels can be changed to fit a reader...so awesome!
I am going to share some apps over the next few weeks, maybe months, that will make your life easier - or more fun!
One I found that I love is the Black Menu for Google. This extension allows you one click to see all the apps Google holds in the waffle after you log in. I always find it annoying that once I leave a Google page, I have to go back to Google to find my app waffle again. This extension allows you to easily move between your apps. It even gives you a great preview window, which lets you see your Drive and Gmail, as long as you give it permission.
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom