Stop Motion Movies in the Math Class

I recently attended a breakout session at the Innovative Learning Institute that highlighted the app iMotion and how it can be used in the classroom.   In this 50 minute session, three elementary teachers briefly showed some examples of how they use iMotion with their students.  After 15 minutes, they said “Here is a table full of stuff (playdoh, legos, mcdonalds toys, ect..).  Your task is to create a video that shows change using iMotion.  For the majority of the session, a room full of 40 educators played and created a variety of short Claymation/stop motion videos.

It was amazing!  I kept thinking: “if a room full of grown-ups with varing levels of technology comfort can download a free app and create a stop motion video in less than 30 minutes, imagine what students can accomplish!?”

And I was intrigued.  And determined to discover ways to make this work with math concepts.  I found this blog post that gives a step by step how to for anyone who wants to step into this new movie magic.

Things I love about stopmotion vidoes and apps like iMotion:

1) You have to plan ahead.  In order to make your video the best it can be, there has to be some intentionality and planning.  If a student has a great idea, but dives into it before thinking about the final product, it will be choppy. BUT, iMotion is so easy, a failed or sloppy attempt is easy to recreate.  Practice makes perfect.

2) Its FREE! (iMotion is free.  The videos can be uploaded to a computer and edited or combined with MovieMaker (free for windows) or iMovie (not free for Macs or iPads).  I am sure there are programs online and other apps that can be used as well.

3) Its easy.  I am pretty tech savy, but I can say with confidence that anyone can do this.  My first attempt, although really ugly, took me less than 10 minutes.   Even my four year old helped me make a little video.  Her goal was to create a video and a story book.  I could have edited this and added her talking over…but we were just messing around.

I made this one in about 15 minutes.  It is pretty simple, but one idea for using stop motion to talk about fractions.

4) The ideas really are limit less.  Give the students a topic and see what they create.

Try it!  Let me know what you think!