Stop-Motion Parametrics: Post-lesson Analysis

I posted recently about a lesson where students created stop-motion videos to model parametric functions.  Last year I did a similar lesson, but this year it went so much better because the activity was more structured, and I had them create presentations (on Google Drive so they could embed videos) rather than just creating a video. Here are just a few of the videos (in case they don’t work in the embedded presentations).

And here are some of their presentations, with names edited out.

Thanks to the questions that students had to create as a part of their presentations, the discussions that occurred around these questions were very good: students brought up misconceptions, and other students helped them out.  I didn’t always stop them at every little thing that was wrong, but after everyone’s presentations, I think we covered all the topics where students got something wrong.

Because this (students presenting and then asking questions) was a new way of learning (at least in this class), I had to push them to ask their peers the questions, and then wait for a good discussion to evolve.  We had good discussions and some of them posed great questions, but it took too much of me asking them for it.  I hope to do something like this again, soon, so they can get accustomed to teaching each other.

It also took a full 3 days of class to get through all the presentations (only 8 presentations), but I think it was worth it with the great discussions that were taking place.

Part of the reason students payed close attention was the fact that they had to answer their peer’s questions during the presentation.  The other part is that I had them fill out peer evaluations on Google Forms, which I hope to use and share with them. Here are just some of the responses (spelling errors included).

Answers to the request for: “One thing this group did well.”

they knew how their function worked pretty well.

What they said made sense and they had a good presentation.

the video was cool

explanation of domain and range

Understood her project and graph really well.

She did very well in finding a very unique parametric equation.

I really liked their video. They did a very good job in thinking about their questions. The questions are very well thought.

They really explained what the independent and dependent variables were. They also explained domain and range.

she knew allot about how her equation worked and knew how she got it, [1]

Answers to the request for: “One thing this group could work on or do better.”

They confused me when when finding the distance horizontally. They didn’t find the distance instead they found the displacement.

Be more ready for their question maybe go over them more before they presented so they could catch their errors before their presentation.

they were a little bit scared which made them uncertain of the equation

I think that they had okay questions but i felt that there could have been a few better questions.

They did not explain there X&Y values.

Answers to the request for: “One thing you liked about the presentation.”

I liked the fact that they went BACK IN TIME!!! WITHOUT HAVING TO GO 88MPH!!!

It was smart to have the equation before the questions because it was then easier to answer them.

She thoroughly explained her equation and its domains and ranges.

I liked the way they explained their answers so that i understood.

they kept the presentation going, no awkward pauses.

i really like the graph it was creative.

cool video


This kind of reflection is great, both for students to see their own pro’s and con’s, and to think about other groups as they presented.  If students are “just supposed to watch” a presentation, then there’s much less incentive for them to pay attention to the details.

[1] That’s a new way to spell it that I haven’t seen from a student.



Filed under Teaching

5 responses to “Stop-Motion Parametrics: Post-lesson Analysis

  1. Pingback: dy/dan » Blog Archive » Great Classroom Action

  2. Brianne Allbee

    I really like this idea and would love to try it in my classroom. Did you any specific guidelines you gave to students for completing the project or creating their parametric equations? If so, would you be willing to share?


    • Yeah, I had 7 items they had to have on their presentations:
      1) Parametric Equation
      2) Graph
      3) Table of values (that matches the graph)
      4) Video
      5) Explanation of the three variables (t, x, and y)
      6) Domain & Range
      7) Three questions to check for understanding from their audience

      The last part was crucial to generate good class discussion. I also had the “audience” type the parametric equation into Desmos so they could observe the equation as the students were presenting.

      • Brianne Allbee

        Thank you that really helps give me some direction. I appreciate your help. Now I just need to work on a grading rubric for it and decide if want to give them some example parametrics to chose from.

      • Awesome! Yeah, feel free to share the ones I shared above: I found that students did a lot better when they had something to compare it to and pull all the pieces together.

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