3rd Grade Economics Popplets

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.09.45 PMThird graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about natural resources, capital resources, and human resources in economics (SOL3.7). Their benchmark tests also revealed that they need additional practice identifying the main idea and details in what they read (SOL3.5,3.6). Making a diagram is a great way to clarify main idea and details, so today students in Ms. Middleton’s class created business diagrams using Popplet. First the students decided what kind of business they wanted to have, and they created a bubble with the name of their business. I showed them how to change the color of the bubble and draw a picture. Then we added three bubbles connected to that bubble (click the little dots around the bubble to add connecting bubbles). We labeled them natural resources, capital resources, and human resources. We also drew a picture for each one and made the bubbles different colors. I explained that if we were going to write a paragraph about our business, those would be the main ideas for three paragraphs. Now we would add the details. Students added connecting bubbles to each type of resource with items from their business that pertained to that category. When they were finished, they downloaded their images and posted them to Google classroom so they could see each others’ work. You can take a look at some of them here.

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04 2015

4th Grade Famous People Predictions

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.29.39 AMFourth graders have been studying famous Virginians of the 20th century in social studies (VS.9). Making predictions (SOL4.5i) was also an area of weakness on the benchmark tests, so today students in Ms. Anthony’s class created websites where they asked their classmates to predict how a famous Virginian would react in a certain situation based on their character. First each student picked a famous Virginian and did some quick research about him or her using the Internet or their notes. Next we went to CheckThis, and I showed them how to customize the theme, fonts, and colors of their website. They uploaded a photo of their person and typed a few facts, focusing on ones that revealed the person’s character. Then they thought of a new situation for the person and wrote it as a poll question. They also wrote some ways the person might react to the situation for their classmates to choose from and practice making predictions. Finally they posted their websites to Google classroom so their classmates could visit them and vote. You can take a look at a few samples here, and you are welcome to vote as well.

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14

04 2015

2nd Grade Butterfly Measurement

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.20.04 AMSecond graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about the butterfly life cycle in science (SOL2.4a), and they’ve been measuring length in inches and centimeters in math (SOL2.11a). Today students in Ms. Gardner’s class created butterfly life cycle diagrams with actual size butterflies. First they logged into Google classroom where I posted a link to a website about Virginia butterflies. This is a great site because its shows the different stages of most of the butterflies’ life cycles. Once the students picked a butterfly they liked, they opened this template that I shared with them on Google classroom. First they changed the title text to be the name of their butterfly. Then they inserted a picture of their butterfly from the website. The template has an actual size ruler on it which they can use to measure the butterfly or they can use a real ruler. I instructed them to resize their butterfly picture (using the corners to keep it from being distorted) so that the image is the same size as the real butterfly. Students found the length of the butterfly on the website (under wingspan). Next I showed them how they could use the drawing tools to draw the other stages in the life cycle or they could insert images from the website. They labeled each stage and added connector lines to link them together. Connector lines (Insert > Line > Curved Connector) are different than regular lines because they link to small dots that appear on the images so when you move the image the line moves with it. Finally we shared our butterfly life cycles with our classmates by posting the links on Google classroom. They also wrote the size of their butterfly in inches on their post. You can take a look at some of them here.

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14

04 2015

3rd Grade Coding Angles

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 7.53.57 AMThird graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about different types of angles – acute, obtuse, and right (SOL3.15), so today students in Ms. Cousins’ class at Davis used computer code to create different angles. First we logged into Google classroom where I posted a link to Code.org. This website provides tutorials for elementary students to learn how to write simplified computer programming code. Students log in with their Google accounts and they can either create an app or a drawing. To make the angles, we chose the drawing option, but at the end of the lesson I gave them the opportunity to explore that apps part as well, which they loved because it is similar to coding games. First I showed them how to draw a straight line with code. Then we figured out the angle “drawing man” would have to turn to make a right angle (90º), and we added that part to our code. Next I asked if they could figure out how to draw an acute angle in another spot with a different color. Finally I challenged them to draw an obtuse angle. The students posted the links to their finished angles on Google classroom so they could see each others’ projects. That’s all we had time to do today, but once your students become familiar with the coding process, they can write all sorts of elaborate programs. Check out some of their work here.

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26

03 2015

Kindergarten Spring Math Pictures

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 3.42.11 PMNow that winter is finally over, Kindergarteners at Holladay have been learning about the plants and animals of spring (SOLK.9). They’ve also been learning how to find one more or one less in math (SOLK.4b). So today students in Ms. Green’s class created spring math pictures using ABCYa!Paint. First we helped them log into Google classroom where I had posted the link to the website. Once there, I showed them how to add spring stickers or paint spring pictures like flowers or rainbows. They were instructed to only paint a small number of things. Next they saved their pictures and uploaded them to Google classroom. They also typed “one more” or “one less” with their post for their classmates to solve. Finally the students looked at each others’ pictures, counted the number of spring things, figured out one more or one less, and typed their answers in the comments. You can see their pictures and some of the comments here. UPDATE: I taught a similar lesson with Ms. Feldman’s kindergarten class at Davis. This time they used ArtPad and painted spring addition pictures. You can see those here.

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03 2015

3rd Grade Solar System Soap Operas

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 11.23.26 AMThird graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about the motions of the Earth, sun, and moon (SOL3.8a). They have also been learning how to identify the problem and solution in the stories they read (SOL3.5h). So today students in Ms. Eller’s class wrote solar system soap operas about problems and solutions that the Earth, sun, and moon might have. First we brainstormed some possible problems that they might have if they had personalities and could talk (personification). Next I explained that we would be creating a three-panel comic using StoryboardThat. The first panel would present the problem, the second panel would show them trying to solve the problem, and the last panel would present the solution. We signed into StoryboardThat with our Google accounts, and I showed them how to change the background of each panel using the Scenes tab. Then we added Characters. I explained that they could use the clip art categories to find images or they could search for a specific picture. Finally we used the Textables to create speech bubbles. I pointed out that this was the most important part. They had to be very careful about what they typed in the speech bubbles so that the problem and solution were clear. When they were finished, they pasted the links to their comments in Google classroom with a question for their classmates to answer. You can take a look at their comics here, and read some of the comments.

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19

03 2015

4th Grade Battlefield Fractions

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 4.04.19 PMFourth graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about the Revolutionary War and Civil War battles fought in Virginia (VS.5c & VS.7b). They have also been learning how to compare fractions (Math SOL4.2a). So today students in Ms. White’s class compared the fractions of casualties in each battle to determine which battle was Virginia’s greatest victory. First students chose a battle they wanted to research. We used Wikipedia to quickly find the number of casualties on both sides. Next we went to Piktochart to create an infographic to display our findings. I showed them how to choose a template, add a title, and change the font, size, and color. Next we added a map of the United States (under Tools). They had to erase the data that was already in the map and replace it with the battle casualties data. Then they changed the colors for Virginia and the rest of the map. After that we added a pie chart showing the casualties (students had to type the data again and change the colors). I pointed out that they should try to limit the colors in their infographics to three or four colors. Last, they added some icons (under Graphics) to decorate their infographics. Finally we posted our infographics to our Google classroom page, and our classmates estimated and compared the fractions shown in the pie charts using the comments section under each infographic. After analyzing the fractions, we determined Virginia’s greatest victory. Which battle do you think it was? Take a look at some samples here. If you would like additional information about this lesson, including the lesson plan, you can find it on our county’s Henrico21 website. UPDATE: I taught a similar lesson in Ms. Burcham’s class at Varina, and you can see their infographics here.

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03 2015

5th Grade Decibel Day

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 1.34.33 PMFifth graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about sound in science (SOL5.2) and fractions in math (SOL5.2), so today students in Ms. DiMatteo’s class figured out the fractions of their day spent at different decibel levels. First we discussed what decibels measure (they are a way to measure the loudness or amplitude of the sound waves). Next we researched decibels using a variety of websites: Bouncy Balls, Dangerous Decibels, and the Interactive Sound Ruler. That last website has a valuable scale giving examples of sounds at different decibel levels. We used it to calculate the percentage of our day we spend at each level. I posted a Google spreadsheet template on Google classroom for the students to use. I made some changes to the template after teaching this lesson to simplify things. You can make a copy of the template here. It has some samples for you to look at in the tabs (sheets) at the bottom. Once we figured out how many hours we spend at each decibel level, we wrote a formula to convert it into a percentage. This is where we used fractions because the formula was a fraction with a variable in the numerator (# of hours)/24 hours. Next we highlighted all the percentages and created a pie chart. When the students posted their spreadsheets to Google classroom they estimated the fraction of their day spent at a certain level. You can take a look at some examples here.

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03 2015

3rd Grade Educational Coins

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.50.28 AMThird graders at Varina have been learning about money and multiplication in math (SOL3.8 & 3.2), so today students in Ms. Leo’s class designed their own educational coins and made up multiplication problems about them for their classmates to solve. First we discussed how the U.S. Mint designs new coins to sell and how, if people don’t like the designs, they won’t buy them. There are thousands of unused dollar coins sitting in vaults because no one wants them. I asked the students to guess the most popular coin (surprisingly, it’s the penny). Since they were also learning about the water cycle in science (SOL3.9), I told them to put something educational on their coins from science (water cycle, plant cycle, frog cycle, butterfly cycle, related to the circle shape of coin) or social studies (Greece, Rome, famous Americans, etc). They could either work with a partner or by themselves. Partners divided up the tasks, so one designed the coin using Pixie and the other designed a website about the coin using CheckThis. The website had to persuade people to buy the coin. Then they made a math multiplication word problems to explain how the coins are packaged and shipped out to banks (rolls of coins in boxes). Their sites were published to the classroom page, but you can take a look at them here.

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03 2015

End the Mapathy at EdTech 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 10.31.01 AMToday I presented at the EdTech 2015 conference at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. My presentation was called “End the Mapathy,” and it was all about the amazing things you can do with maps. First I focused on Google Maps. I showed how you can create your own maps which are automatically saved to your Google Drive with My Maps. Street view is now more powerful than ever with the ability to explore not only streets, but inside museums and other buildings, around famous landmarks, and even under the ocean. In Google Maps try dragging the yellow pegman to a site you are curious about and look for small colored dots to appear. If you drop pegman on any of those colored dots you can get a 360º view around that place. Explore some of the best street view spots with Google Treks. There are also several webtools that work with Google Maps like Animaps (create animated maps like this) and overlays (put historical maps on top of Google maps and adjust the transparency like this or this or this). Next, I shared some of the cool things you can do with Google Earth like creating tours of cities, the ocean, the moon, and even Mars. A new webtool to simplify the process is Google Tour Builder. Here’s a sample tour of Greece & Rome. I shared over 60 other map resources which you can find on my End the Mapathy website.

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03 2015