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  • Writer's pictureRachel Terlop

Stop Motion

When confronted with bad news, it almost feels as if everything stops. Breath, movement, time - everything. In the past two weeks, I've had the stop-motion feeling more than once, and its an astounding feeling. Everything in the world, in my world, is constantly moving. From having 21 second graders constantly on the move in a classroom, to working in the nation's capital, to preparing to move to a new school, working two jobs... There are those big moments that knock the wind out of you though. Being worried about students, school shootings, and personal emergencies happen, without warning, and everything that normally that just spins effortlessly - stops.

And then, just like that, we're back in motion.

Thats the amazing thing about our hearts, and our minds. We continue on, because we constantly make the choice to continue on. It's our choice how we proceed. We can choose to stop dead in our tracks, or we can readjust and keep it moving.

That idea this week is what lead us to stop-motion videos in class. In our technology unit, this week we zoomed in on the development of technology in animation and movies. We spent Monday watching "Plane Crazy," the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with sound. On Tuesday, we watched "Feast," a Disney PIXAR short from 2014 to see the difference in technology from 1928 to 2014. On Wednesday, we compared and contrasted the two cartoons.

"I wanted to be sure I mentioned that the colors in Feast were different from Plane Crazy. In Feast you can tell when the dog is happy because the colors are bright. You can tell when things are sad because its all dark gray and blue and hard to see. In Plane Crazy, its just black and white."

Maybe one of my students did announce that during my final, end of year, observation. #Winning #GoBabyScholar #TeamTerlop

Thursday was a day to read into other advancements, and make a flip book. Since the first animations were just on paper, we got stacks of post-it notes and just worked on making a little dot move from one corner across the page. Some kids got adventurous and made their dot grow in size, and turn into a flower!

When Friday arrived, I was stuck thinking about how I wanted to wrap up the week. We had plans to make a timeline with the information we had learned, but this unit is too cool to not do hands on. The flip books were a huge success, and we tried our best to make celluoids during indoor recess. I had a little bit of clay and was thinking about stop motion - and enter Mr. Ewing. He suggested stop-motion too - and then offered up more clay. So I started the search for a good app.

Stop motion animation can be incredible, but I didn't want my scholars just taking picture after picture after picture. Luckily, I found an app that helped compile all the pictures and cut them down to 10ths of a second. 1 hour of playing later... we have incredible videos.

Sometimes life feels like a stop motion film. Abbreviated by moments that cause you to pause - but we keep going. That's how we create something wonderful.

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