If you’ve listened to any of the podcasts I’ve been on, or heard me speak at a conference or webinar, or read my blog, then you know I love to have students write and create in my math classroom. One project that I particularly love is the Transformation Comic activity. This year, I wanted to step it up a notch and make the transformations more visible, so I had the students turn their comic into a stop motion video. I posted about making stop motion videos on my Infinitely Teaching blog using Tall Tweets. For this project I used Screencastify and had my students manually move their comic book characters around.
When I surveyed my students at the end of the project, their favorite parts were using Bitmoji (which was optional), writing the story, and many said the LOVED making the movie. One student said that making the movie helped her understand the transformation better. YAY! We used part of a class period for students to share their videos. They were very proud. So was I!
Here are a few of the movies and their original comics.
Comic 1 Comic 2 Comic 3 Comic4 Comic 5
Movie 1 Movie 2 Movie 3 Movie 4 Movie 5
I would love for you to share on Twitter if you do this activity with your students!
Key features of parabolas are important to understand the why behind quadratic graphs. It seems intuitive, and it is provided an image, but often the situation is represented as a graph with only words to guide students. My students can graph them but seem to struggle with where things are on the graph. We approached quadratics much differently this year, using only Desmos and graphing calculators to graph. We started with an idea from a colleague at another high school in my district. She uses fly swatters on day one to review key features of a parabola. This is not in the context of a situation but a good place to start. Student LOVED this activity.
This is played relay style (picture was taken on pajama day for homecoming, hence the jammies) and students run up and smack the parabola on the key feature selected.
link to slidedeck
I also gave an exit ticket in Desmos activity builder to see where we still needed to remediate. I really liked this one because it was open-ended. They moved the parabola around to meet each requirement.
I’ve included the link to the Desmos activity if you would like to use it as well.
Lastly, we worked with real situations. I gave them an Angry Birds picture and had them label, with their elbow partner, initial height, maximum height, time to max height, and time to the ground. It went pretty well and they got everything but initial height, which led to great discussions.
Our last activity was giving them a situation with an equation, they graphed it in Desmos and used their graph to make #mathsnaps. Bitmoji has updated so it wasn’t as easy to use since the beginning of the year (sad face). Students must now create an account on their app (iOS or Android) then link that to the Chrome extension. For students who didn’t have access to the app, I provided a link to clipart and emojis they could use. Here are a few of the math snaps I received this year.
This is without feedback so some of the information isn’t correct. We’ll be conferencing about it soon.
We learn from mistakes and some of mine will have some learning opportunities. YES!
This is a lesson that I originally found here. It has gone through many iterations. You can see the progression of these on my sister blog Infinitely Teaching if you want a paper version of this project. I love this project because students have to take the transformation words and work them into their comic. They also use the transformation tools inside drawing or slides to actually transform their superhero. This year we created Bitmojis and used those in combination with the Jachimo template from SlidesCarnival or template from the ever wonderful Sylvia Duckworth and my students loved it more than they ever have before. It’s amazing what adding a personalized Bitmoji will do for student engagement.
Here is the example I gave my students. We also had a quick exploratory lesson about how to transform the Bitmojis through the arrange menu (or 2 finger click or key command) and a quick lesson on how to crop and mask images.
I was even more impressed after my students submitted their projects.
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
I’ve included the template I gave my students but they weren’t limited to these templates. They had the freedom to create their comics however they saw fit. Remember, giving students choices will make them own their learning more.
Template to create your own (make a copy to edit it)
Please, if you use any of the provided templates, credit the correct person. SlidesCarnival is a wonderful resource and Sylvia has taken a lot of time to put her slide deck together as well.
As always, drop me a note if you use this project. I love to hear from teachers who find these projects useful.