This project is intended to be used in my 5th grade novel study class as a capstone project. The students are all Korean and speak English at an Intermediate level. The purpose of the course is to provide integrated language arts practice via the medium of the novel Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Students gain content specific vocabulary, work to increase their reading comprehension, and discuss, interpret, and reflect upon character motivations and themes in the story.
The aim of this project is for students to create a short stop-motion animated film to illustrate one of their favorite scenes from the novel. The project is intended to engage students while promoting reflection on the novel and providing an opportunity for students to develop and display proficiency speaking English with correct tone, expression, and inflection.
Students will work in groups consisting of 4 or 5 students and be given 4 class hours to complete their stop-motion film. They will be expected to create resources prior to class for homework.
Before beginning the project, a brief lesson on how to create stop-motion animation will be given. I will show the following YouTube video and slide presentation to help my students get organized to create their movies.
Students will be tasked with creating a stop motion video that is 15 seconds to 1 minute long to share one of their favorite scenes from the novel Coraline. They will be graded based on their adherence to the time limit, presence of a title screen and credits, use of vocabulary from the chapter, organization of their movie, and the dialogue that is included. All students will be provided the following rubric prior to beginning their project.
Finally, students will be shown the following exemplar that I created in order to inspire their creativity and provide them with an example of an animation that would get a perfect score according to the rubric.
Classting is a great safe social media platform that you can use to communicate with your students and their parents any time! It has a free smartphone app, allows for push notifications of updates to class members via SMS, supports embedded audio, video, and images in posts, and allows you to connect and share with other classes. Best of all, it's free!
The interface is quite simple, and it's really easy to sign up. Just in case you're having difficulty, here's a screencast to walk you through the process.
However, I don’t see myself using Twitter in class any time soon. The tool that has shown itself to be of the most potential value to my students is the blog. I’ve come to realize that by having students create and maintain learning blogs, I will be providing them with a framework upon which they can integrate any number of other technologies we wish to use.
They can share videos, digital art, and opinions. Blogging will provide them with an authentic reason to revise and rewrite their work. Getting creative with their blogs and posts will provide them with a sense of agency in their learning. Their blogs will also allow them to connect with the world as global digital citizens.
By adding blogging to my curriculum, I will be able to meet a number of the 2016 ISTE Student Standards and begin to move further towards creating a 21st-century learning environment in my classroom.
Each year, students at our school take part in a mandatory speech contest in which they produce a speech no longer than 2-minutes and present it to their parents and peers.
Though it is a great chance for students to practice their speaking and develop confidence, practicing and feedback prior to speech day typically take up a lot of instruction time and can be a source of stress for both students and teachers.
This year, in order to alleviate some of the pressure caused by time lost to speech practice, students will submit a digital audio recording of their speech in place of one or more of our practice sessions in class. I will provide feedback on pronunciation issues and give advice on intonation and inflection. For struggling students, I'll create an audio recording of their speech and provide it to them to help them further practice their speech.
Included below is an example of a speech recording that a student might submit for assessment:
The authors outline three important elements that should be present to provide adequate professional development to teachers faced with integrating new technologies into their classroom practice.
Teachers and students helping each other to implement new technologies can take up where PD leaves off and help to deepen engagement in the process.
In my school, we are working to create a culture of collaboration through our project. About half of our teachers have ‘bought-in’ and are active participants in the initiative. Professional development is another opportunity to expand our community circle and create new ones.
Support from Administration
Admin should make sure to allow teachers extra time for PD to help them to learn the skills they need to implement new tech tools. Also mentioned was the need for the communication of specific expectations for the PD from administrators.
While I can’t speak for out administration’s ability or willingness to provide extra PD time, I believe that teacher-leaders can possibly define and communicate expectations among learning groups in the school community.
Training at integrating technology into existing curricula should be provided, rather than adding technology on as a separate instructional strategy.
We are in the perfect position to mold our new curriculum in such a way as to allow for seamless integration of relevant technologies.
This article has helped me to foresee the challenges of educational technology implementation on a school-wide basis and plan strategies to overcome them. I look forward to getting to that stage of our curriculum development!
Matthew Boomhower is a mid-career educator with 15 years of classroom teaching and educational leadership experience. He is Head of Innovation & Learning at an international school in Malaysia and is a proud husband and father.