Rawshorts for Explainer Videos

Most of us dislike the ads placed on our Facebook accounts, but every now and then an advertiser offers something of use to me as a teacher. I saw a recent ad for Rawshorts, a video creation tool. Rawshorts offers a 30-minute tutorial to get users up and running. Using some of their templates, I was able to create this video for my students.

The video shown below was made by fellow resource¬†teacher, Matthew Gipson. He used his own creative style to help students learn how to behave properly in the computer lab. I’ll be showing both videos to my students during their first week back to school.

Mondrian Style Art With Google Drawings

Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter, is best know for a form of art he called neoplasticism. The art is prepared on a white background, with a grid of black lines and the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Young students can easily recreate their own Mondrian style art.

When students originally began this project, they used the Kerpoof website. It was loved by kids and fairly simple to use. Kerpoof, owned by the Walt Disney Company, closed April 2014. Instead, Disney moved toward creating mobile apps.

The art for this project is quickly created with Google Drawings. Just a few tools are needed: line tool, line weight, shape tool, and arrange. Ctrl + D is also used to quickly duplicate lines. Once completed, I have the students save their art as a png file and have them upload to a collaborative canvas at Padlet.

Mondrian style art image


#Mondrian #GoogleDrawings #ElementaryArtProjects

Creating Digital Badges for Students

Image of a digital badgeI spent much of my summer vacation searching out new digital projects for my students. I really wanted to do more¬†with Google Drawings. On YouTube, I came across this well-made tutorial from Flipped Classroom. The instructions were clear and simple. Shown at left is the badge I made to award students who create a Mondrian style art project. Years ago, students used the Kerpoof Website to make that artwork, but Kerpoof closed in 2014. ¬†My 2nd graders can now use Google Drawings to mimic Piet Mondrian’s style and earn a digital badge.

 

The CRES Class Tweeter Board

Are you interested in giving your students ¬†Twitter-like capabilities? ¬†I recently came across this lesson concept from¬†Tammy Worcester, outlining the steps necessary to create a class Tweeter Board, giving students an opportunity to compose 140 character responses. Click here to reach Tammy’s lesson plan.

My students will access the student form here. Shown below is an example of how the sheet will appear to the teacher as tweets¬†are collected. The teacher is given the option to moderate responses by simply typing a Y into the yellow box during lesson set up. When my students return to school in August, I’ll repost with an example of their collected tweets.

example of the tweeter form

Shown below is the student view of the Tweeter Board as viewed in a Google Form.

Google Form view

If students write more than 144 characters, the message area will turn red as shown below, and the message can’t be submitted.

example of a 144 character tweet

Students who successfully post to the computer lab Tweeter Board will earn the digital badge shown below. ¬†I’ll¬†reveal the claim code to students earning the badge. Students with the claim code will access the badge at Credly.

Tweeter digital badge

 

 

 

 

 


#TweeterBoard #Twitter #tammyworcester

Creating Online Projects with Padlet

Padlet is a wonderful resource for classroom projects. Shown below is an example I made to illustrate my Four Seasons Project.

After showing students my example, I’ll send them to their project Padlet and ask them to upload a pic for each season under the appropriate column, including a sentence or two. Students will click a¬†plus sign below each season to add text and images. ¬†When students return from summer vacation, I’ll unlock the Padlet, making it public and editable. Padlets can be private, password protected, secret, or public. They can also be set to read, write, or moderate.

Made with Padlet

When unlocked by the student, the canvas will appear as shown below.

view of unlocked Padlet


#Padlet #Padlet_Projects #Digital_Projects

Hacking the Great Depression

I’ve always been intrigued by the Great Depression and thought it would make a wonderful project for 4th graders in the computer lab. I created this App Flow through Graphite, which outlines¬†the steps required for the project. I also created the virtual corkboard shown below through linoit¬†to hold some reference materials for the topic.

virtual corkboard picture

Basically, I had the kids add¬†themselves to an assigned photo from the Great Depression. ¬†They had to blend into the photo so they needed to decide if they would stand or sit; face the camera or stand¬†in profile, left or right. ¬†Over the course of 2 weeks, I had the kids drop by the computer lab in period style clothing, photographing them against a green screen. I then downloaded all of the old photographs and the green screen photos, gathering them into a shareable folder. When students completed their¬†composite images, they uploaded to Photo Story and added their classmates’ composites when they were completed and shared. Shown below is the Photo Story I made with student photos and narration. I used this video as my hook for the project.

A Colorful Robotic Arm for Kinders

While browsing YouTube, I found this simple project for making a robotic arm. I used some colorful Popsicle sticks I had at school, small sections of skewers for the connectors, and a pair of caps from milk containers, centers cut out.¬†The kinders think it’s pretty neat because I use it to grab their noses when they walk by my desk on their way to the library. I love the mechanics of this project, no motor or wires, but pretty cool and colorful.

Robotic arm made from Popsicle sticks.

Robotic arm made from Popsicle sticks.


#robotics #robotic arm

Your Virtual Store and TinkerCad

Tinkercad logoInterested in 3D design? Consider Tinkercad. It’s free and has an easy to use interface.¬† Upload¬†directly from the Workplane¬†to one of four sites: Ponoko, i.Materialize, Sculpteo, or Shapeways. I’m currently using Shapeways to check my designs and determine pricing. I¬†order my prototypes in strong and flexible plastic, though a wide array of¬†¬†materials can be selected, such as metals¬†and porcelain, plastics¬†or sandstone. Shapeways also lets users create their own virtual store to market their creations, handling the sale and shipping. Shapeways takes a nominal fee for their service.¬† Items usually arrive within 3 weeks or sooner and are packed safely within a sealed plastic baggy with insulating material for protection.¬† Check out my virtual store at https://www.shapeways.com/shops/shetinkersin3d

Shapeways logo


#Shapeways #Ponoko #i.materialize #Sculpteo #3D

Coin Cell Robots

I recently built these two tiny robots from coin cell batteries. I love the coin cell battery holders because they let me solder a permanent connection to the pager motor. My red-eyed bot actually has a switch, which I salvaged from some old electronics. Some helping hands and a magnifying glass made the soldering fairly simple. This robot was made possible after viewing How to Make a Mini Bug Robot.

Coin cell robot with glowing red eyes.

Coin cell robot with glowing red eyes.

Lenny, shown below, is made from electronic components I salvaged from a variety of e-waste items. His body is built from a¬†printed circuit board¬†taken from the¬†inside of a kid’s calculator. While Lenny lacks a switch, he makes up for it in character.

botman2

Coin cell robot with vibration motor.

Podcasting Our School News with PodBean

A few years ago I had a chance to try out Podbean for podcasting our elementary school news. Using my iPad, I’d record¬†students and staff using the Twisted Wave audio editor app. I’d then edit recorded interviews for clarity, adding sound effects purchased from Soundsnap. ¬†Using Podbean’s free account, I could share and embed podcasts, like the one shown below.


#Twisted_Wave #Podbean #podcasting #Soundsnap

Build a Wheel with Tinkercad

Check out my first tutorial using Camtasia software to record step-by-step instructions for creating a wheel using Tinkercad. This wheel requires 5 parts: a thin torus, a half sphere, and 3 cylinders. The final cylinder is used as a box tool to cut a hole through the small blue cylinder, the larger pink cylinder, and partially through the yellow half sphere. The hole allows the wheel to adhere to an axle and is part of a larger project focused on building a miniature scooter.


#TinkerCad #3D #SheTinkersIn3D #Camtasia #SheTinkersIn3D

Popplet for Quick, Visual Organization

There are many resources for creating visual maps online. ¬†I’ve always¬†found Popplet to be the most user-friendly,¬†though Mindmeister offers many more tools. A free membership allows the user to create up to 10 popplets. Popplets can be shown in one of eight different colors, as can each popple of information. The popple¬†can contain text, an uploaded image, a sketch created within the popple, a hyperlink, or embedded video. Text size and alignment can be customized. The best feature of Popplet is the ability to generate an embed code to display your popplet¬†within a post.

Just 60 Drawings to Animation!

Sketches of Ishvir Dancing.

Sketches of Ishvir Dancing.

I made this animation of a student when he was in kindergarten. I took a brief video of him dancing and then made a simple drawing of him every 10 frames using thin paper to copy his outline. I completed a total of 60 drawings for this short animation. The student has now graduated to the 7th grade. Upon his graduation, I bequeathed the original 60 drawings to him.


Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.


#Animation