Located in the heart of upper Westmount, Montreal, Roslyn Elementary has been at the forefront of innovation and academic excellence in public education for just over a century. In that time, they have pioneered programs such as French Immersion, and graduated many remarkable individuals. The school brings together multiple cultures represented among their 570 students.
Starting in 2011–12, they expanded their individualized enrichment programs to better serve the unique needs and talents of every child. As part of this initiative, Julie Marcus, Roslyn's Technology Teacher, implemented Flip Boom All-Star in her lab and introduced media literacy to students from Grade 1 to 6. Adapting her teaching to the different age groups, she explained how to deconstruct an image to understand the creation process. "Students create the knowledge as they go, following a self-constructivist approach. Students are very responsive and are very proud of their creations," explained Julie.
As a first exercise, Julie explained the bouncing ball exercise and showed the value of the onion skin. In some classes, she started with a brainstorming session to have all the students share ideas on what their animations would be about. Some students worked in teams, some worked alone. They also have the opportunity to browse images in Google to get inspiration. "Students have a newfound appreciation of cartoons as they see what it takes to create them!" added Julie.
She commented: "Children are so exposed to technology nowadays that they find the tool very intuitive." During Toon Boom's visit at the school, several students were proud to show their work. From Aaron in Grade 1 to Freida and Morgan in Grade 2, Taya, Louis, Han and Stuart in Grade 4, Ian, Hannah, Merle, Jane, Amelia, Luca, Michaela, Sofia, William and Sumin in Grade 5, as well as Tristan and Meihiba in Grade 6. All were raising their hands to play their animations. All agreed that they found Flip Boom All-Star a lot of fun and quite easy to use.
Julie explained that for some students who are not as verbal or usually require assistance, she noticed a significant difference in their learning retention and ability to focus. "Animation is a big draw for the students who feel more engaged. Soon, the grade 5 students will have the choice to submit their assignments using animation in their Ethical and Religious Training class, in addition to PowerPoint and video," she concluded.
Montreal’s Roslyn School expands their individualized enrichment program to cultivate and nurture the unique needs of each child. By introducing media literacy to students from grades 1 to 6, animation creation has found its way into the hearts and minds of students, engaging them in a fun and entertaining way.