Oscar Stringer – ¡Vámonos!

Category: Oscar Stringer

Another example of the wonder of animation from Oscar Stringer.

This clearly shows how animation can be used in the primary classroom to present and rehearse vocabulary as well as make ‘pop videos’
Find out more on Oscar’s blog.
And if you’re going to the Primary Languages Show in Liverpool next Friday, you can catch Oscar sharing more ideas and examples of animating in the PLL classroom.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYHJ4Q4C]

Animated languages

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Another highlight of the Hampshire Language Conference was Oscar Stringer‘s session on Animation. So popular it was put on twice, and had to move rooms to accommodate the number of people wishing to attend, from the conversations I heard, Oscar and his ideas were a hit!

Using I Can Animate and a Hue webcam, Oscar guided the assembled throng through how to animate using fuzzy felts before adding voiceover using iMovie – bet he had no shortage of volunteers!

You can see the finished movies – made in 20 minutes!- on Oscar’s blog, along with other examples of animation using languages such as the ones from Wednesday in Gloucestershire, and the lovely animations made with a Reception class last year. You’ll also find plenty of tips and guidance on how animation can be used right across the curriculum and beyond.

Animation is such a brilliant way of getting kids to be creative, to collaborate and to be independent – and it’s such fun!

Friday was a busy day, starting off in London with an animation course run by Oscar Stringer at Institute of Education.

Working in two groups, we spent the day developing our animation skills, producing two short animations from initial idea to finished film complete with transitions, titles, sound and music. We used ICanAnimate to capture the animation then exported the film to iMovie to ‘finish’ it. My group used my Macbook and a Hue webcam – and it was lovely to meet the man behind Hue in the UK during the day as well (mine’s on order from Amazon – went for the blue one in the end!) whilst the other group used an iMac and a driverless webcam.

James, Carolyn and I took our inspiration from the Mr Men. Firstly, our models followed the principles of Mr Men (which are also important principles for plasticine animation – big features, bold shapes and simple designs) and secondly, we made an animation with a message – suitable for PSHE and based on friendship in the playground – a lonely girl on a bench wanting to join in with a game of ball.

The day reinforced all that I already knew about animating – the importance of keeping things simple, of planning well before you start, of working in collaboration and of how much fun it is!
We laughed so much making the animations – my group’s is posted below. This is the English version. We recorded three different ending – with the bench saying THE END in English, French and Spanish – so that we can use it in our classrooms and dub it in different languages.

If you want to find out more about animating, I can’t recommend Oscar’s courses enough. He has a real gift for making it all seem very simple (and it is) and conveys the great potential that animation has as a tool for creativity, collaboration, innovation and progression. Check out his website and his blog to find out more.

Amazing what you can do with a carpet tile, some plasticine and an idea!

When I met up with Oscar Stringer at the Primary Languages Show in Liverpool, he told me about his recent experience of using Fuzzy Felts when animating with younger pupils, so I was really excited to see some of the work he did last week on his blog.

In Animation with Reception (Early Years), Oscar shares how he used the farmyard Fuzzy Felts with small groups of pupils for 20 or so minutes, making up simple stories involving the animals and the farmer, taking the required shots before using iMovie to create the finished product with sound.

Several things excited me about this!

Firstly, it’s so simple – no models to make- just take the pieces out of the box and off you go!
Secondly, it worked with young pupils – I made plasticine monster models with Yr2 but wasn’t brave enough to animate them – yet!
And possibly the most exciting thing for me as Oscar told me, and I can see the evidence in the clip, is that it makes for very simple stories of the kind that are so useful in language learning.

Do cows eat apples? No!
Do ducks eat apples? No!
Do dogs eat apples? NO!
Do horses eat apples? YES!

¿Eres mi mamá? ( the chick asks the cow.) ¡No! etc

Une vache habite un étang? Non!
Une poule habite un étang? Non!
Le fermier habite un étang? Non!

And anyone could make up such a story, young or old, using simple language to create their own version.

So pop by Oscar’s blog and see if it inspires you too!

I’m off to ELC to get myself some fuzzy felts – the house set is on offer as are ballerinas and pirates!

On Monday, Comenius West Midlands held its Primary Languages Conference at the Novotel in Wolverhampton. Sandwiched between keynotes by Joe Brown from CILT that involved song rhyme and lots of action, and Steven Fawkes from ALL who thrilled us with his ‘Banane‘, delegates had to choose sessions from a range including :

  • It’s magic!
  • International Perspective
  • Let’s play – Language games and activities for the playground.
  • Numeracy through Languages
  • Animation
  • Italian for the Primary classroom – a cross curricular approach.
  • Music and songs in the Primary classroom
  • Animation in the languages classroom (double session)
  • Creative use of ICT

A tricky choice for many, judging from the feedback at the end of the day! I for one will be emailing presenters for notes from their sessions as I was presenting and missed out on all of the sessions!

Actually, I didn’t completely miss out as I was able to attend the plenaries and also began the day by acting as ‘roadie’ for Oscar Stringer as he presented a whistle stop double session on animation from idea through planning, modelling, filming, adding finishing touches and publishing. Phew! In a very short time (less that two hours), the participants made short films in French and Spanish which can be viewed below and on his NING network. Just shows what you can do in a short time with good instruction, imagination and a bit of plasticine. ;o)

Find more videos like this on Animation For Education

Definitely inspired me! So much so that, after a quick chat with Oscar, I decided to have a go with my Year 4 class this week. More of that in a later post!

My session was entitled Creative use of ICT and centred on the use of some tools that i thnk are useful to enhance and enable PLL.

The idea had been to introduce delegates to Voki, Voicethread, Audacity and Photostory, explain how I’ve used them in my classroom, and then let delegates have a go at using one of the tools. I’d prepared notes for people that went into everyone’s pack so those who couldn’t attend were able to benefit too, and these pointed to online tutorials for the tools as well as examples from my experience and research. I’d also requested a laptop between two to be provided with a microphone and Internet access, and Audacity and Photostory3 uploaded ready. I’d prepared a Voicethread and Voki account for the day so all outcomes could be saved together for future reference, and I’d also added some examples to get people started.

Best laid plans and all! There were three laptops provided, the speakers didn’t work, and Internet access was at best infuriatingly slow and at worst non-existent (at 20€ per laptop, I hope the orgnisers got a refund!) Anyhow, it left me rather embarrassed as my examples took an age to load (Voki) or didn’t play sound (Voicethread AND Voki at times) – next tie I’ll save them for offline access using Camtasia or similar – and I’ve found that there is a facility on Voicethread now to save for offline access.

However, I did manage to highlight the use of del.icio.us which i hadn’t intended to mention but proved to be one of the most popular ideas with delegates. My account of how I use Audacity led to lots of smiles and there was a general hum of interest as I made a Photostory in three minutes.

I must say was a little disheartened by the first session, especially as I had to repeat it after lunch, but several people came up to me and seemed to be buzzing about something I’d shared, so I went into the repeat feeling a little more confident, especially as I was prepared for the problems this time! The make up of the group was different this time and they asked lots of questions – I think they were the G&T group ;o)

At the end of the afternoon when the evaluations were returned, I was rather surprised, and very pleased as well!- to read several who said things like

“The ICT session was the best bit!’
“Brilliant session on ICT – can you do a whole session on Voicethread and podcasting next time please?”
“the notes were so useful – I’m going to check them out on del.icio.us – and I’m going to tell my staff about it too”

If you want to have the notes, see below. and all the sites / references can be found on my del.icio.us account – http:del.icio.us/lisibo/june22

Creative uses of ICT in the PLL classroom – Get more College Essays

After a conversation with a few of us in Nottingham at the UK National eTwinning Conference yesterday, and a crash course in NING building from NING queen Jo Rhys Jones, Oscar Stringer has created a NING network called Animation for Education for those wanting to discover more about animation in education.

As Oscar explains in the site’s blurb, he aims for it to be –
A place to share ideas, thoughts and examples of work. With the aim to help you develop confidence in using animation in the classroom.

So, why not do as Isabelle Jones and SpookingDorf did after reading my tweet about it and join? You’ve got nothing to lose and lots to gain :o)

Having spent all weekend working hard (honest!) at the eTwinning conference in Nottingham, the last thing I fancied today was an Inset day. This was partly due to fatigue but also as I didn’t want to lose the thoughts that are still floating around my mind following the excellent CPD over the last few days. So many ideas, so little time! A further complicating factor was the need to produce evidence for our school ‘Curriculum for the 21st Century’ display that each Head had to put up for today’s proceedings. Flattered to be asked but lots of work – hence the Twittering about laminating.

Despite my misgivings, I have to say that I enjoyed today and found it quite exciting!

The theme of the day was ‘A curriculum for the 21st Century’ and the day was actually an Inset for our cluster of local schools based around the Creative Curriculum.

We started the day with a definition of creativity – ‘bringing into being something that did not exist before’ – before moving on to consider our aims for our pupils, deciding that it’s not content as much as attributes and skills that are at the heart of what we want. What really excited me was that the things being said fitted so well with what I had been hearing (and agreeing with!) in Nottingham, particularly in George Glass‘s presentation about collaborative communities, raising self esteem, nurturing empathetic youngsters who can work cooperatively in teams, becoming effective learners and local and global citizens.

The idea of working creatively was likened to building a house – the house won’t be built by leaving a pile of bricks on the plot – you need to put them all together. There was also the analogy of a tree with content as the leaves, and attributes as the roots (teamwork / reflective learners / self managers / creative participants / independent enquirers), held together by the trunk of learning experiences.

And the picture I liked best was about throwing things! If you throw a dead bird, there are laws etc that make it possible to calculate how far it will travel, but if the bird is alive, there is no way of knowing. The vision was of the creative curriculum as a way to launch live birds into the world, hoping that they will soar , becoming things of beauty rather than plummeting to the ground. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for a good analogy, but this made sense to me!

I can see that thinking creatively and given pupils more responsibility for their learning is desirable – we want children to remember things – what’s more memorable than finding out for yourself, and enjoying the process? I could have downloaded Oscar Stringer’s notes on animation and learned that way, and without the opportunity to experience the workshop, that would have taken me through the necessary steps. However, being there, hearing the instructions first hand whilst watching what to do and then working with a group of people to create and animate our own ideas was so much more memorable.
We were allowed to play around with the plasticine (and we did!) without being told off – how often do we give kids something that they’re dying to play with (as a language teacher, I’m thinking of dictionaries), only to tell them that they’ve got to do it our way? Wouldn’t it be better to let the pupils ‘play’ first and discover for themselves with guidance where necessary?

As a Primary Languages teacher, I think I’ve become increasingly creative in my teaching, looking for ways to embed the subject across the curriculum, and I believe that’s one of the reasons why I was asked to present some ideas and evidence for the display. It was good to talk to teachers from other schools about eTwinning, International School Award, Voices of the World, EDL, links with Canada and USA as well as Spanish from 3-11, and to share some ideas that they could use in their schools. And, in the end, it wasn’t too onerous to miss lunch and stand by our display talking to colleagues, because I wholeheartedly believe that being creative is the way to go.

Animation for Education

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Just rushed out of Oscar Stringer’s workshop to upload our finished animation (it is coffee time so I’m not being rude!)

The idea of our animation was as a promotional video short for the Voices of the World NING group that Sharon began following a previous eTwinning conference, hence the multilingual big mouths.

This was made by Sharon (Scotland), Elissa (UK via Australia), Kurt (Germany), Nikolay (Bulgaria) and me (UK / Spain) in about an hour and a half (although we fiddled and tweaked for longer!) and I can see it as something that I could now use within my practice. We talked about how we might use this kind of animation in our classrooms, specifically in the context of eTwinning, and suggested that an animation could be started in one country, sent to a partner school for music and sound to be added and perhaps sent on for subtitles, credits etc, thus making it a collaborative project. That’s a really exciting idea that I may well be pursuing so watch this space!!

I’m blogging from the Internet hub at the NCSL in Nottingham as I’m attending an etwinning conference this weekend. For those who have never had the pleasure, it’s a lovely place – Molten Brown toiletries, a maid to make your bed, complimentary drinks and delicious three course meals.

I’ve met lots of interesting people from across Europe; England, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland etc. After a drinks reception on Friday with people bringing items of food and drink that represent their countries, there was a conference dinner and then today we’ve got down to the ‘work’.

I’ve been involved in eTwinning for the last year or so, completing a project called Somos lo que celebramos at Whitehouse Common with Colegio Público César Hurtado Delicado. I spoke about this project at Joe Dale’s conference a couple of weeks ago (see my blog post on Talkabout Primary MFL) and was sent to this conference to represent Comenius West Midlands, the idea being that I would find out further information about eTwinning links across regions and countries, and also make new friends and potential contacts for future projects.

There have been sessions about the eTwinning portal and ICT and eTwinning. the main part of the day has been spent in one of three workshops taking an ICT theme and showing how it could be used for eTwinning. I’ve been attending the Animation for Education session lead by Oscar Stringer. In my next post, I’ll share the outcomes of the sessions in which I worked with four other delegates and some plasticine to make a short film.

eTwinning is a great way to address the Intercultural understanding strand of the KS2 Framework, and is also a great source of cross curricular activities, as the project between WCPS and CPCHD showed. But more of that tomorrow – the clocks do change tonight but it’s still tiring work being at a conference 😉

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