The Digital Math Book Project, part one

My students have finished up their Digital Math Picture Book Project and I am going to share out some of the work and some reflections over a few days. The basic premise of this project is that students use MS Powerpoint as a platform for designing and creating a digital picture book. They can’t use any clip art. And the theme that must woven into all of their stories is math (last year, it was science). Some students go deep into Powerpoint and animate their stories in pretty neat ways. Others spend a lot of time on the illustrations. Everyone is fully engaged in the work during the entire unit and many students emerge as leaders and helpers of others.

Typically, this project takes a good three to four weeks, including planning time, rough draft writing and storyboarding, and then working on the computers. The final results are shared on our class weblog for families and shared with younger students at our school. Some years, we have money to print out hard copies of all the books, but not this year. Which is unfortunate, because there is value in their perceptions of their books from the digital canvas to the printed page.

Here are some samples of the books from this year, including a few that I experimented with my converting into a video. It’s not perfect — some frames move too fast and some of the writing is too small. I need to keep working with the software and figure out a better method. But I like turning the books into little movies, however.

I’ll share out the three little movies that I made as part of this series of posts. I would include them all here but the new Edublogs platform seems resistant to more than one embedded video media.

Here some links to download and view some books in Powerpoint mode:

I am now in the process of grading all of the books (more than 50!) and I am pleased with many of the results. This weekend, I’ll post out the results of a survey I gave to students and then I will share some of their written reflections on the project. The reflections provide an interesting insight into the process from their viewpoint (hint: why math? is a common thread).

Peace (in picture books),

Kevin

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