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.
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom