I was a student of the 80’s. I grew up when education was still “drill & kill”, test scores and worksheets. I struggled as a student. I never got high marks and dreaded getting back my writing assignments. The reason my writing assignments caused so much stress, was the fact that they had so much red ink on them I usually just gave up, took the C- and never really looked back. Then came one of the most memorable activities I got to do as a student.
I think it was about 4th or 5th grade when my teacher told us we could make a stop motion animation using a camera, construction paper, and some clay. Thirty-seven years later, I am still able to recall that experience. Why? Because it was the first time I was offered a creative way to share what I learned.
Now I have a passion to bring animation to my students, especially the ones who struggle. For a lot of my students who are struggling the opportunity to animate a scientific process gives them a taste of success. Just like me when I was a student, I believe a lot of my kids have the knowledge, but just weren’t given the right way to express it.
So for the past several years, I have been teaching my students how to animate using Google Slides. I do this at the beginning of the year and for a lot of my kids, they flourish. Watching a student who struggled to write even a paragraph, show you their 1-minute animation that has all the key standards addressed in it, confirms that this is a great opportunity for a lot of students.
After I watched these students blossom in their education, I began sharing my story with other teachers through technology conferences. I made videos to teach students how to make and publish their animations. It has been one of the highlights of my career to help students find their creative side and give them a chance to share what they know in an alternative way.
Please visit my web page for stop-motion animation and contact me with questions or classroom ideas that animation can be used for.
7th-grade Science Teacher
Google Certified Trainer
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