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Using Google Suite Tools for Stop Motion Animation

If your district has adopted Google for Education then you might be looking for new and innovative ways to use these tools. I was at a Google Summit this weekend and learned this neat trick for creating stop motion animation. I know my students will love this!

You need access to Google Keep and Google Photos to make this work but if your students have G Suite then they should have access to these. By the way have you ever used Google Keep? I use it every week for my grocery list and it's shared with my hubster because he does the shopping. I love that if I forgot something I can add it to the list and he gets the updated list in real time so I don't have to send him 50 million texts with the things I forgot to add to the list.

Okay back to stop motion animation....

DISCLAIMER: Before we get started, please take note....my artistic skills are severely lacking so please don't laugh at me! I thought about telling you that one of my kids made the animation but decided to keep it real.

Steps for Creating Stop Motion Animation Using Google Keep and Photos:

It might seem a little involved at first but once you make a couple of these it really takes no time at all. 

Step 1:

Open up your menu on the right hand side of your chrome browser. Then click on the Google Keep app. If it doesn't appear there then go to the address bar and type in keep.google.com.

Step 2:

Once Google Keep opens up you will see the option to take a note. Click on the pen icon, "New Note With Drawing".

Step 3:

The drawing applet will open up and you can see the drawing tools. There are a couple of pen options as well as a highlighter, eraser and cropping tool. 

 Step 4:

Step 5:

Step 6:

When your picture is complete you need to download the image and save it to Google Photos.

Step 7:

 Step 8:

Go back to Google Keep and use the cropping tool so that you can create the stop motion animation.

Step 9:

Move the image that you just cropped to its new location. Depending on how many images you want to make you might want to only move the cropped image a small amount. It really depends on what you want your animation story to look like. Once you move the cropped image then you need to repeat Steps 6,7 and 8 until you have all of the images that you need (to a maximum of 50).

Step 10:

Once you have created all of your images and uploaded them to Google Photos, click on "Google Assistant" on the left side of the screen. 

Step 11:

Finally click on "Animation" and select the images that you want to animate. Then click "create" and wait for the magic!

 If you prefer to watch the video tutorial you can check it out here:

As always,  ask your questions in the comments below! 

If you are in need of some cool digital resources to add to Google Classroom check these out by clicking here.

The Best Read Alouds For Earth Day

On Earth Day I like to focus on activities that don't create a lot of waste. I think read alouds are a great way to do this in both the primary and middle grades. I generally read a couple of Earth Day themed books during the lead up to Earth Day and then on the actual Earth Day I also read one or two books. You can check out my recommended list of Earth Day read alouds below.

I'm all about paperless activities on Earth Day or at least activities that use minimal paper and resources so read alouds fit in perfectly with that.

This post contains affiliate links for which I will receive a small commision if you click through and make a purchase.

The Best Read Alouds For Earth Day

1.  Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon

I love love love this one! There's a youtube video a plastic in the ocean that you can show as well.

This is another favorite Earth Day book! 

I hope these read alouds come in handy for you on Earth Day! You can check out my other Earth Day activities here.

Google Play Music Stations for the Elementary Classroom

We listen to music a lot in my classroom. My students seem to work better with tunes in the background. Sometimes I use it as a reward as well. My district has Spotify blocked but we are Google Suite Members so we have access to Google Play Music. 

Google Play Music has some good stations that are kid appropriate but you have to be careful! There's one hip hop station that says it is censored but it's really not. Luckily I was listening to it at home and noticed. That could have turned out really badly at school! I definitely recommend listening to a station for a while before you play it at school for your students.

Here is a list of Google Play Stations that I listen to in my classroom.

Google Play Stations For the Classroom:

PG Pop Hits (This one is the favourite Google Play station in my class)

Kids Radio (This is another favorite)

Google Play Music Instrumental Stations

These stations are good for when you don't want to have lyrics. You can just go to Google Play Music and search for instrumental stations and you will find a wide selection.

Don't forget to check out my other technology related posts here.

The BEST Pencil Sharpener EVER for Your Classroom

I have been on a quest for the best pencils for years now because my pencils kept breaking and cracking in the pencil sharpener. I didn't think the sharpener was the problem because I tried several different ones. I went through 3 electric sharpeners that died from overuse and on top of that I hated the loud sound while everyone was trying to work.

Then I found THIS pencil sharpener!

It took me a minute to figure out how to work it because you have to pull the little silver piece out on the front but once I figured that out I couldn't stop sharpening pencils.

Does anyone else get as excited about a sharp pencil as me? This sharpener honestly makes the sharpest pencils I have ever seen and on top  of that they come in the most fun colors!

Once you stick the pencil in you need to turn the crank.  If you're sharpening a dull pencil then it only takes about 4-5 cranks but a brand new unsharpened pencil takes about 12 times to get your pencil sharpened all the way.

Look how sharp it is! It's a thing of beauty!

The shavings are easy to clean out too. You just push the little plastic holder out and dump it out. 

The pencil sharpener is from Classroom Friendly Supplies. It's a company run by a teacher so they know how important a good sharpener is in the classroom.

I highly recommend this sharpener.

You can check out my video of how it work.

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