Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ribbon Poem- 2nd Grade

My 2nd graders just finished a multi-step project. I love doing larger projects, even with the youngest students. Sometimes it can be tough picking back up each class since I only see them once a week, but I think the benefits of them seeing a larger project come to life is worth it!

There were a few main parts to this project:

  • Type & Print the Poem- they learned a few new formatting skills, such as center align, and this was their typing practice as well. They then got to cut out their poem and put it on a piece of card stock and make it in any shaped they wanted. I told them they are all unique, so these should be as well! 
  • Measure Stations- There were students manning the stations and they were in complete control. Sorry parents if your child's ribbon is a tad off in their heights :)... Anyways, in one group there was a recorder whose job was to document all heights. There was another in charge of the actual measuring of each student. These jobs were very important and they took them very seriously! The other measure station was to take their number (height) and cut the yard to that height so we had a physical representation of their height to attach to the poem.
  • Excel- The last part of the project was to have the students create a very basic spreadsheet with all their classmates names and heights. They were asked to independently work and type each name and height. They were asked to try their best to spell the names correctly. The almost final step was to create a very basic graph to illustrate the heights of all students in the class. We went over step by step several times. Finally, they needed to change the orientation to Landscape (so we talked a little about landscape and portrait) and print. 

The results were super cute and as a mom myself, I would love to have this come home with my kids! A little keepsake. Here are some pictures of our project.

( I found the poem via is link to photo that was uploaded by user: Poem Link)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Current View

There is a current post in one of my daily ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) feeds about work-spaces. My work space is really the whole school since I support devices in all areas, but today I am in my classroom teaching most of the day. As I look at my view from my desk, I know that I am lucky to have the classroom that I have. My room is beautiful and it was renovated just two years ago and I have all kinds of fun toys... I mean educational items.... to keep my students and I busy. (Like the 3D Printer and dual interactive boards!) The first half of my week is typically spent more on support and the second half with teaching and support so my classroom isn't as tidy as I would like as it has boxes stacked in the back of new iPad mini's to get set up, a pile of ipads waiting to be updated with some new apps, a stack of library books for a 4th Grade iMovie digital library project and remnants from other recent projects, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way... nor would the students...

Pano view from my desk. I still have the Dale Chihuly Projects hanging from ceiling from last year- I love them!

Right outside my classroom- the Typing Tree for grades 3-6. They get a leaf for a specified lesson and their leaf goes on the branch for their WPM.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3D... again! Lucky Duck!

Our 2nd grade teacher pulled me aside and was telling me her students could not wait to get to class this week because they just did a Scholastic News about a duck that got a 3D printed webbed foot and they had a lot of questions. I asked for a copy of the Weekly Reader. It was a great little article about a duck that was born with a foot backwards, which made it very difficult for it to walk. The end result was a 3D printed webbed foot. On the back, there where other descriptions of animals with 3D printed body parts. I went online to Thingiverse and found an stl file for both a turtle shell and duck foot. I printed them today and will use tomorrow in class. I also researched the toucan because a colleague asked what I had printing and after I told him, he started to tell me about a documentary he watched about a birds beak... Yup! It was the same bird! I found a short video clip from CNN about it (Tieta the Toucan) that I will show as well.

Monday, April 3, 2017

3D Printing Engineering Project

My 8th graders just finished a large project on 3D Printing. I decided to have them do an engineering project and it would require group work, critical thinking, spacial awareness, spreadsheets, and a little creativity. I jumped off a project I was doing with 4th grade- skyscrapers! I asked each group to create the tallest skyscraper, with limited supplies. Each group was given the same materials, the assignment guidelines, and a clean slate!

The assignment looked like this to the students:
Skyscrapers! Engineering Project

Goal: To build the tallest skyscraper with allocated sticks and connectors

You Get:
  • Sticks
    • Big: 6
    • Medium: 6
    • Small: 4
  • ONE print job on the 3D Printer (multiple connectors on same work-plane)

Team Assignment:
  • Draw to scale, connectors (if there are multiple the same size, you only need to draw it once. If they are different sizes, each unique piece needs to be drawn!)
  • Design in Tinkercad
    • Connectors are not intended to add height, they are to connect sticks. No connector should be larger than 1.5 inches (AKA- shouldn’t use connectors to increase structure height)
  • Assemble
    • Put together
    • Should not be any extra pieces… extra pieces= points deducted.
    • Give skyscraper a name
    • Create one-page “poster” with name of skyscraper on it
      • Poster: up to your group to come up with best poster. You can include items such as research about skyscrapers, your process in creating your design, a picture of your design, etc.
  • Create a Google spreadsheet with all skyscrapers heights. Then create a graph that illustrates the differences in height.
    • Create a spreadsheet
      • Your name in cell A1
      • Headers for Name and Height and they should stand out (use formatting)
      • Name of each skyscraper (both classes)
      • Height of each skyscraper (both classes)
      • Create a chart/graph that you think best represents to purpose of this project.
      • Add a text statement that sums up/interprets  the chart.
      • Add “extras” to make spreadsheet look fantastic- shading, fonts, colors, etc.

The students were busy for several weeks working on this project. I will say, while they were frustrated at times, they enjoyed working on this project and the day they assembled their skyscrapers was a hoot! Some groups were cheering and laughing and others were quiet and determined. After the official measuring, I got a chance to go around and look at the "posters" (and some had some very creative names) and the structures. I was able to ask the groups questions about their structures as to what they thought they did well, what didn't go well and what they would have done differently. To finish up the project, I asked them to complete a Google Form with questions about their participation, what they learned, what they would do differently, etc. I will definitely create a similar project for next year! Oh, I forgot to mention that the other students LOVED watching this project unfold. They watched the printer creating the connectors, they watched them as they were being constructed and they then got to visit each "building site" with poster to see the final outcome. The other students learned so much from just watching as the "big kids" project evolved.

Here are some pictures... some skyscrapers went as planned, and others, well-- didn't!

(This was the overall winner at 60 inches!)

(This was a class winner and was the only group to use a tri-pod base)

(Clearly this one did not go as planned)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Saint of the Day Video Project

I have a great group of 7th graders this year, one class in particular. I love when they come in as they have so many great ideas and we seem to always be brainstorming and coming up with new projects. Their excitement is contagious! I have been talking with them about changing up the morning routine of the school.... yikes! Each morning, a few 8th graders read morning announcements over the PA System. I thought it would be great to move towards something a little more modern and technological. (Did I mention I have a GREAT group of 7th graders?) This group of 7th graders also loves to do videos, iMovies, 360 Videos, etc. Anyway, I was thinking how to get started with "Live" announcements and thought baby steps might be a good idea. I started, with 8th graders, and they did a Saint of the Day iMovie which would replace the reading of this each morning and will give the students something more visual and engaging to watch and listen to. After the positive feedback from the teachers, I decided to have the 7th graders do this as well. They are blowing me away with their work. I have added a few below. 

The assignment was as follows: 
  • Each student was given a date. They had to pick a Saint based on their day. (Some days have multiple Saints)
  • Research their Saint. (I did give a few suggestions for sites)
  • Create a Google Doc with their notes and citations.
  • Create an iMovie, Video, Stop Motion, etc that is approximately 45-60 seconds long and the target audience is our younger students- must be visual!

March 3rd:

March 6th:

March 10th:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Technology & Art- A perfect marriage!

The 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th Graders are working on projects in both the Technology Lab and in the Art room. The art teacher and I came up with artists for each of these grades to learn about and then create masterpieces in each of our classrooms. Last year we did just one artist, Dale Chihuly, with the odd grades and the students loved this unit! This year, we decided to branch out and explore multiple artists.

So, for each grade, we decided on the following artist:

  • 1st- Paul Klee
  • 3rd- Roy Lichtenstein
  • 5th- Andy Warhol
  • 7th- Claes Oldenburg
At this point, I have just finished 1st grade and 3rd is almost done. The 5th and 7th are finishing other projects right now and will be starting soon. 

The first graders researched Paul Klee. I found a cute short video about him that the students enjoyed. You can find it here: . I also did some other research and found sites ahead of time for us to go to as a class. The students are now able to tell others about Paul Klee and where is he from, about his family and of course about his artwork. After we did research, we started our project this is inspired by his work. The students created a Microsoft Word Document. In this document they worked on the following skills:
  • Creating New Word Document
  • Typing (First and Last Name with proper capitalization)
  • Inserting Shapes
  • Using Fill to Color the Shapes
  • Copy/Paste to add multiple (similar) shapes
  • Mouse Skills- dragging, dropping, right click, double click, etc.
  • Saving
Here are some examples of their work:

Castle and Sun

More to come with other Art Projects by the 3rd, 5th and 7th graders! I cannot wait to see the finished projects in the Technology Lab AND projects from the art room!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Internet Safety Newsletter

Recently, in the Technology Lab, the 8th Graders created an Internet Safety Newsletter. Each class was tasked with creating a unique newsletter. There were 3 Editors in each class (which they had to apply for) and it was up to them which articles were selected, what layout to use, and what videos to include. It was set up as a competition and the “best” would go out to our families and that class would also get a treat of some kind.

Each student created an article and then, in groups, the students created videos that went along with the topics of the articles in the newsletter. There are even videos on page 3 of the newsletter!