We recently held a Maker Educator Boot Camp (our version of an exhaustive professional development for teachers and educators) at West Liberty University’s Center for Arts and Education. The teachers got the chance to learn some teaching techniques centered around making and exploring. I was only able to attend one day of the four day Boot Camp but just one day was special enough.
I taught the digital application workshop. I spent a little bit talking about different digital apps that could be used in the classroom to further your students education. I really wanted to stress the importance of using the iPad as a tool and not just as a device for learning games and reference materials.
I gave the teachers the opportunity to play with a stop-motion animation application. They had a lot of fun exploring the process. I set up several filming stations around the room. Each station had an iPad on a special tripod stand but there were different materials at each station. Two of them had LEGOs, one had recycled materials and another had magnet shapes and magnet phrases.
The teachers worked in groups to make their animations. During the fun we still had time to conduct a couple serious discussions about how animation could be used in the classroom.
How would you do this kind of activity with Pre-K students?
Is it important to prompt students on what to make?
That is how I typically run a teacher training. I like to get them up and moving around. As the teachers make their own mistakes and start developing their own questions about the project they also start to think about the kinds of questions and problems their students would have with this same activity. If you can get the teachers up and out of their seats then the discussion will manifest itself through the activity.