January 11, 2014

Tech Filler Class Finds

It's that time of year when we've spent our curriculum budget for the school year and we've run out of lessons in several of our classes.  Depending on the subject, we handle this in different ways.
In math, we buy more.  Never mind that we already bought for the year.  Math budgets are pretty much a bottomless barrel of funds.  You don't look at a kid who is flying through math and say, "Well, that's all until next year."  And the kids are all on the same math curriculum at the moment, so Hannah Jane is the only one we typically have to buy new for.  The rest just gets handed down.

For history, we're just starting over.  This is the year for ancient times, there's always more to go back and learn, so we're just starting back at the very beginning and reading any books that we missed, doing all of the projects that didn't spark our interest the first time around.

But for Art and Tech, we've found some excellent filler activities for free!  That's always in the budget!

We've landed ourselves in the middle of a little stop motion animation phase, which is great because the kids enjoy doing all of the  steps all by themselves and I can have that extra free time for planning their other, more teacher intensive courses.  They story board their ideas, gather supplies, work on sets, and then make it happen.  Next week they're going to work on adding music and sound effects to their existing movies, and hopefully figuring out how to shoot them without the occasional hair or hand in the frame.  Still, they are having so much fun!

We tried every free stop motion app for iPad, and the one simply called Stop Motion was easily the most intuitive.  iMotion was a close second, but the free version holds your videos hostage on the iPad and well, they like to share their fun!

We setup a little studio with some posterboard in a well lit area of the sun room, and propped the iPad up with our Montessori thousands cubes and a world records book, and they were good to go!

Here's Hannah Jane's first ever movie, which she was really proud of.  She went with fewer set elements, and instead focused her time on creating a pulley system that would allow her to control pterodactyl flight from behind the camera.  

The kids have all officially wrapped up their robotics courses for the year.  That was fun, but I'm not sure exactly how beneficial it was.  It was more following directsion than it was thinking about how the parts worked together, so I'm hoping we can circle back around to that with more thought and perhaps with more kid invented projects, just so they can use their thinkers a little more.  I know.  Sometimes you have to follow directions before you can race off on your own, but to me, the ideal curriculum involves both.

Anyway, to fill the tech gap in our lives, we're taking computer programming.  And when I say we, I mean it.  I'm taking it too.  I am a complete tech idiot and I have this fear of being that old woman who can't connect with her kids because she stopped keeping up with the changing times.  I'm not sure that JavaScript is actually going to fix that for me, but it's keeping my brain working hard at foreign computer related skills, so I'm running with it.

Haven's brain just gets it.  Hannah Jane isn't far behind.  Hunter and I watch them, we scratch our heads, and we mumble at the computer under our breath as we sit there and attempt to complete assignments that we just watch Haven and Hannah Jane complete with relative ease.  It's frustrating, but that frustration is exactly why I think I need to be doing it too.

So far I've made a giant letter H, a silly face, and a cute little outdoorsy scene with basic shapes and colors.  And you know what?  As dumb as that sounds, it was flipping hard to do.  And I'm proud.

So, those are our current favorite free finds for ways to engage with technology, be creative, and fill some holes in our second semester school work.  If you have ideas for other free courses for art or technology, let me know!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hit me with some comments!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© At Home with Momma Skyla. Powered by