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Posts Tagged ‘stop motion animation’

1.Creativity: Students can show what they know best through the act of creation. In creating a script and storyboard for a video, students not only show what knowledge they have gained but help the brain to become an even better tool for logical and rational thought.

2. Thought process: Building a stop motion video takes planning. An initial idea starts as a thought, is fleshed out in a script and then start to come to life as the storyboard is created. Working through a process like this helps students to think about working logically through a project.

3. Finishing a project: Students find great satisfaction in being able to watch their video with classmates. Being able to finish a project and show it to others builds self esteem and provides a platform for successfully accomplishing tasks in the future.

4. Attention to detail: Moving figurines hundreds of time to create a stop motion project takes careful planning and acute attention to detail.

5. Follow directions: There are many steps involved in making a stop motion film. Because students are highly engaged in this activity, instructors have the opportunity to use the project as a means of showing how following directions produces great results with less hassle.

6. Teamwork: The best stop motion projects are made in teams. Refining scripts, storyboards, and creating the film can all be done in groups. Those groups that work well together always seem to have the best projects.

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Yesterday, my Seniors turned int their stop motion animations, and we watched them as a class. I just have to say that I love watching student films, no matter how choppy or crazy they may be! Student work like this always amazes me because it shows what great minds these student have.

If I had my way, I wouldn’t worry about grading a project like this at all. In my eyes, just the fact that they went through the process of making the movie based on a classic story from the Decameron shows that they learned plenty. However, today’s students expect a grade for their work and so do parents, administrators, and the state. Teacher have to show that the student learned something by the means of points in a gradebook.

I am not a fan of huge rubrics. Notice that I did not say “I am not a huge fan of rubrics.” It is the other way around for a purpose! I think that the more simple a rubric is, the better off students are, especially when creating a project like a video. The reason for this is that a rubric with 15 different points of achievement may limit the creativity of the student. The whole point of this project is to stretch a student’s thinking, and in order for this to happen, the student has to have some room to think.

Here’s my rubric for this project:

3 points – Video/Story

3 points – Music/Sound Effects

3 points – Attribution

That’s it. That is what I gave to the students as a guide for creating their video. There was another grade early in the project for creating a storyboard, but for the actual video, this is what they got.

I think it worked quite well.

Now I know that there are some out there who are saying, “But what about the standards? The rubric should reflect the state standards and show that the students achieved something in the course of the project.” I am betting that if you asked my students, most of them would be able to recite the common core standard that the worked toward achieving during the project. For this project, the standard was the main goal:

RL.11-12.5: Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

Not only did students learn how an author’s choices make a piece of writing a piece of art, they examined the choices, made their own choices, and made a piece of art their own. They actually became the artist. There is no better way to learn a concept than to practice it.

If you haven’t figured it out already, the whole point of this post is not to trash on rubrics. I know that students need to first know what is expected, and secondly, we have to show that students are learning something. That is the reality of working in education. However, it doesn’t have to be painful. When I see a rubric with 15 different points on it, I feel sorry for both the student and the teacher. Both are going through a lot more headache than necessary for the sake of learning.

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