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December 16, 2008

Woodland Middle School Reflection

I was very surprised by both the technology and skill level of the students at Woodland. They were working with Photoshop and learning the techniques of stop motion animation before we even worked out our lesson. The class space was in the computer lab connected to the library and was a little bit of a squeeze. The classroom consisted of anywhere from 14 to 19 students daily and was the first class hour going from 8:15am to 9:00am. The students' teacher was thankful to have us and was also a great resource for us to both observe and to hear helpful feedback from. When we were planning out our lesson plan we wanted to have the students work on something that they hadn't before; instead of manipulating images on a computer into a stop motion animation we wanted them to manipulate real objects, objects that they themselves had created. We also felt that another way to help transform this lesson would be to include the idea a cross-curriculum (interdisciplinary) ideas. We used the famous poet Robert Frost and two of his poems 'The Door in the Dark' and 'The Road Less Traveled' as our beginning guidelines for the lesson. The students were then suppose to create a strong storyboard, a background, some characters, props (if needed), and shoot it all using a digital camera. Now looking back at the lesson I felt that both Mr. Nagahashi and I did a great job keeping the students motivated and interested in the process. I also feel that it helped give us a sense of where the students were at developmentally and how to better prepare perhaps for when the next time we use this type of a lesson. Overall, I enjoyed the time at Woodland and with our teacher there.

December 11, 2008

Final Project Reflection

During my process of working with Garageband and iMovie HD I was thinking how I could have students learn from the video I was making. I would love to see the students create their own music videos to songs that they create. I feel that we as a class could shoot several minutes of footage in the classroom having the students pose and wear costumes, etc. Then each student could make their own music using Garageband and then move into iMovie and create a music video from the footage we as a class had captured. Each video would have similar, yet different qualities making each one unique and test each student's creativity.

December 9, 2008

White Board Animation

I feel that this would be one of the easiest and most engaging activities that we have done in the class. It is simple and has an easy-to-use additive and reductive process. It is quick and could be done with almost any grade level (for upper level classes have the students construct longer and/or more abstract ideas and transformations). I felt this was a very effective idea for teaching stop motion to a medium to large classroom and would be even better if done with a small class.

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December 4, 2008

M&Ms Stop Motion Lesson

Overall, I think that this idea was a fun and unique way at looking at stop motion; however, I believe that it also needs some tweaking in a few ways. I need more M&Ms than I originally thought and I also need to find a book that perhaps focuses more on color and pattern more than just pattern. Perhaps taking in the advice from my teacher and getting a book like sesame street with elmo or something would work better than 'Where the Wild Things Are'. I enjoyed showing the lesson and will probably work on some stop motion based films with M&Ms in the near future.

Wanda Gag Lesson

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Wanda Gag - Millions of Cats

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End Project with Students @ Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN


I really liked the lesson on Wanda Gag and her cats. It was an exciting and entertaining way of keeping the students engaged and to add a bit of art history into the mix which I feel that many teachers are finding harder and harder to fit in. It gave the students the time to create their own feline critters with markers (keeping in mind to keep them black and white like Gag's pieces), cut them out, and begin to place them on a large copied image of one of Gag's works. Then, using a camera, slowly moving each cat and take a picture, in the end, creating a stop motion animation of Wanda Gag's cats and what they do in their free time. It was a very cute project and perfect for elementary students.

November 4, 2008

Sand Painting / Painting (With Light Table)

I really liked that idea of using the light box as a way to help back-light the sand and paint in our moving images. I actually have worked on a light box table before when I was student teaching at Hermantown Middle School and found them to be extremely helpful and easy to use. Out of the two projects that we did in class I felt that the sand painting was much more effective with less of a mess to clean up afterward. It also was an easier medium to manipulate and move around on the light box than the paint was and also when mixing colors together didn't turn to a brown like the paint. If I am fortunate enough to be able to obtain a light box when I am teaching, I will probably perform a lesson that closely resembles the one that we did in class.


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Moving Images (With Index Cards & Pencil Device)

I personally feel that these short activities would be very exciting ways to start off a moving image lesson to help the students understand how it works and how easy it is to make interesting images that can move. I would use this method of animation with students who were probably a little younger (2nd to 5th grade) and I feel that the index card with rubber bands idea was probably my favorite (though one side of mine was backwards) because it was quick, easy, required no cutting, and created two separate images that when spun, created one image with both of the drawings together.