Animoto has made a few changes to the layout of their site this year, so I have created some new directions with screen shots that show how to get the embed code to post on your blog. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!
During spring Reflective Friends observations, I saw a teacher who had some great ideas for probability stations. The students were recording their results on a worksheet, but I thought it will be really neat to gather results on a Google Form, so I gave it a try with a class this week. I tried this activity with 4 different stations. The students scanned the QR code to the form on the iPad and then completed the activity. Students took turns filling out and submitting the form until everyone had a turn.
Heads or Tails
Roll the Dice
Choose a Block
Afterwards, we were able to view and analyze the data as a class by opening the spreadsheet to the form. If you click on form, you can get a summary of the results, which pulled up as either a pie or a bar graph for the multiple choice question I asked.
Following the lesson, the teacher and I reflected and decided it could be better if we had a spinner with uneven color spaces, so that one would be more likely to occur than another. The same would work for the choose a block station. If the entire bag consisted of red and blue blocks, the students would have much different data than if the bag had one of each color. I can’t wait to try this again with another class.
After learning the basics using the SCRATCH task cards provided on scratch.mit.edu, the students were eager to create their own projects. Ravi, a student in Mrs. Moore’s 4th grade class at Springfield Park, decided to create a review game on force and motion, since they had just finished learning about this topic in science class. In his design, the player has to correctly answer the question in order for the roller coaster cart to move down the track. Ravi published his completed game to the Scratch website and then posted a link on the Edmodo Scratch group so that his peers could try his game and leave feedback.
Force & Motion Review Game
I am so very proud of two wonderful teachers from my schools, Jan Locher, 1st Grade Teacher at Maybeury and Elizabeth Lacy, 5th Grade Teacher at Baker. They were featured at the school board meeting for their work with STEM. Jan Locher’s students designed a cup to keep the hot chocolate hot for a longer period of time. They tested the hot chocolate’s temperature using the GoTemps and were successful at creating a better insulated container. Elizabeth Lacy mentors a First Lego Leaugue Robotics Team at Baker Elementary where they use computer programming to program their robots to complete a specific task. Way to go ladies! You can check out their highlights on this STEM video that was shared at the last school board meeting:
HCPS TV – STEM Highlight
This is just a reminder that the students should be practicing for the upcoming direct writing test by using the writing practice tool provide by the VDOE. Directions for how to go about conducting a practice session are provided below. If you need assistance implementing this with your students, sign up on my calendar and sign ups tab.
It’s been about 2 weeks since I first introduced Scratch at Springfield Park and some of the kids are really enjoying using it at school and at home. Check out this student sample from Mrs. Moore’s 4th grade class. This is the first of many projects that this student is working on. I will post more as they become available!
I’ve also created a group on Edmodo for students to share their projects as well as tips and tricks. The group code is nbl7rw if you want to check it out! I will be introducing this to some classes at Glen Allen this week. I can’t wait to see what else the students will create! Keep up the great work!!
Karen Nowicki, 5th Grade Teacher at Springfield Park, saw a TED Talk about SCRATCH and it sparked her interest. I too had just recently learned about SCRATCH at a technology conference in Charlottesville. I liked it so much, that I put in a software request to have it added to all student and teacher machines, and it was approved! Mrs. Nowicki and I are going to introduce the SCRATCH program to her students this week. As a starting point, the students will work through the SCRATCH Task Cards provided at scratch.mit.edu I printed them off, cut them out, folded them in half, and laminated them, so hopefully they will last for multiple classes. Not very tech-y of me, but I think it will be easier for the students to learn how to program code without having to go between multiple windows.
The students will work through as many cards as possible to learn how to manipulate the sprites (or characters) on SCRATCH. Our hope is that students will then be able to transfer this knowledge to create a review game or digital story telling. I can’t wait to see what the kids design! Check back later for their finished products.
The students in Mrs. Heiberg’s 3rd grade class at Springfield Park worked on solving multi-step word problems using the ShowMe app on the iPads. We did one sample together and then the students found a partner to work with and selected a word problem at random. I used word problems from these sites:
After reading their problem several times, the students worked out the problem using this worksheet as a planning guide.
Once the planning form was completed, students were able to get an iPad and use the ShowMe app to explain and show how they solved the problem. Check out this example!
The students in Mrs. Locher’s 1st grade class at Maybeury were posed with a problem. We have had freezing temperatures in Richmond lately and when we are outside drinking hot chocolate, the delicious drink is getting cold very quickly. The students were asked to design a container that would keep the hot chocolate hot for a longer period of time.
First the students needed to know how the hot chocolate would cool down when placed outside. They were provided with a plastic cup and 6 oz. of hot chocolate. The students took some initial measurements using the GoTemp with the laptops. They checked the hot chocolate every 10 min to see how the outside temperature was affecting their hot chocolate. They graphed their results using EasyChart on the iPads.
Here are their results:
Students analyzed the graph and realized that there was a big drop from the initial temperature to the reading after being out in the cold for 10 minutes.
Before the students could start designing a new and improved cup for their hot chocolate, they needed to do some research to see how creatures that are outside in the cold stay warm. They looked at Arctic Animals on PebbleGo, navigated through slides about how animals stay warm on the Promethean Board, listened to a fictional story “The Mitten”, and reviewed non-fiction texts to gather ideas on how animals stay warm. They recorded their result on a t-chart.
Students used the information they gathered from research to plan and design their new and improved cups. Here are some of the designs they came up with:
After designing the cups, the students tested them using the same steps they followed for the initial test. They took the temperature, put them outside, and tested the temperature every 10 minutes. The results with the new and improved cup were much better!