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Elementary School

Into Focus: Increasing Student Engagement and Understanding Through Animation

District: Groton

School Name: Northeast Academy Arts Magnet School

Teacher: Ryan O'Connell

Grade 5

Description: An important aspect of literary analysis is sharing and synthesizing interpretations of a text. In this multimedia reading project, fifth grade students adapted a sequence from Gary Paulsen’s Newbery Honor novel Hatchet as a stop motion animated short film. After reading and discussing the book, they researched, designed, and constructed characters, props, and sets, recorded sound, and brought their interpretation of the story to life using animation and editing software, as well as 3D printing technology. During the filmmaking process, students analyzed the text and evaluated classmates’ different ideas and proposals, from establishing mood to creating practical effects, working together to achieve a cohesive vision. The book-to-film adaptation process was used as an instructional tool within the classroom, shared with the school community, and integrated district elementary reading curriculum with our school’s arts magnet theme.

Hatched Stop Motion Video

Middle School

Global Innovators

District: Darien

School Name: Middlesex Middle School

Teacher: Timara Bruton

Grade 8

Description: Global Innovators is an 8th grade computer course offered at Middlesex Middle School. During this 9-10 week course students explore the fields of computer science, graphic design, and video production. This course introduces students to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs which cover a wide range of sustainability issues. The SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The SDGs were set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. They are an urgent call for action by all countries developed and developing. Through this course students focus on one global goal to promote, innovate and campaign through a series of 3 projects. These projects are designing a poster/infographic, programming an informative game, and filming a public service announcement.

Global Innovators Video

High School

Computer Science - Family Style

District: Darien

School Name: Darien High School

Teacher: Rich Reynolds & Lorraine Westervelt

Grades 9-12

Description: Guess a Number - Family Style is a simple game for a beginning Java programming student to code and involve a family member by asking them to play. Several times during the semester, the game was revisited and improved by including more complex computer science concepts.

For this school year during COVID, our district asked us to consider writing a student goal in several areas. We chose family engagement, high school students generally are reluctant and by sharing they improve their abilities to collaborate, communicate and interact with others.

Our goal is for students to improve their Java programming ability by creating text based games using the skills and techniques learned. Students will ask family members to try out the games they created and share feedback. Coding the game, playing with their family and improving the game was very successful.

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