Monday, September 4, 2006

Teaching methods

School starts tomorrow. I'm simultaneously nervous and excited. Isn't it always that way?

My sixth graders are doing a special project, so while I'm not ready for them, I'm also less invested in some ways - it isn't really "my" curriculum.

My eighth graders are starting animation. The way I teach animation is to start with the history of animation. This year, I'm planning to have them use thaumatropes and zoetropes then have them make an animation with one. Then I introduce Flash, leading them step by step through learning to make animations.

This year I'm having kind of a quandry. On the one hand, if I could get them making actual animations right away, it would be so compelling. On the other hand, how can I get them doing great animations without first giving them the underlying understanding about how animation works? I recognize that I don't have to start with the history, but there is a value in stepwise learning, as long as it can be fun.

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