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 as an assignment in Google Classroom and will mark their work “DONE” when completed. 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. I’ll repost examples of student responses toward the end of September.

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 140 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 CRES Tweeter Message 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.  I can also send the badge directly to students via Google Classroom.

Tweeter digital badge

 

 

 

 

 


#TweeterBoard #Twitter #TammyWorcesterTang

Building Circuits in the Elementary Classroom

Thanks to a grant for $2500, our school was able to purchase some LittleBits Premium and Synth kits. Some students worked with the Premium Kit, familiarizing themselves with the different components, making the Hypnotizing Wheel and Auto Greeter. The other group used the Synth Kit to create their own music. All students culminated their activities by partnering up to build the Bubble Flute, which used 3 components (power, sound trigger, fan) from the Premium Kit.


#LittleBits #circuits #synth kit


Why We Blog


kid blog logoWhy should students blog? Answer: Blogging develops numerous skills, and many of those skills are the focus of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). ISTE has developed the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science teachers.

Those standards include the following six focus areas: 1) Creativity and Innovation, 2) Communication and Collaboration, 3) Research and Information Fluency, 4) Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, 5) Digital Citizenship 6) Technology Operations and Concepts.

1) Students will improve their writing skills more quickly because they now have an immediate audience for their work, an audience that goes beyond the walls of their classroom, connecting them to other students in their grade level at school. This is a great way to build collaboration and comraderie.

2) Students learn how to use a social media platform, in a closed environment.

3) Students learn the importance of netiquette (writing appropriately).

4) Students learn how to adapt images, to save them, to import them, to embed video, which can be helpful to students wanting to learn computer programming.

5) Students understand the meaning of hyperlinks and how to create them.

6) SMARTER Balanced Assessments will require students to enter information into text boxes; therefore, students need practice composing digital content.

7) Students generate their own passwords and learn to protect them, an important part of Internet Safety.

8) Blogging is a great way to teach kids the importance of staying on topic.

9) Blogging can be used to develop self-reflection and summary writing skills.

 

In the words of one teacher: “My favorite part about Kidblog is that I can access, assess and respond from anywhere. It’s priceless.”

 

Building a Squishy Battery

Students build a giant Squishy Battery.

Students build a giant Squishy Battery.

In a this after school class, students used their basic electrical concepts to build a Squishy Circuit. This particular circuit required students to build small cubes of conductive dough, bridging them between insulating layers of dough. As the circuit grew, so did voltage.  Students bridged each cube of conductive dough with a galvanized nail and copper wire, jumping over the non-conductive slices. A meter was used to measure the slowly increasing voltage.

You can learn more about Squishy Circuits by viewing the video below.

 


#SquishyCircuits #ElectricalProjects

3D Printing with the MOD-t 3D Printer

Mattel's ThingMaker 3D printer

Mattel’s ThingMaker 3D Printer

Manufacturers of 3D printers have now realized the best venue for 3D printers is in the field of education. Currently, New Matter, the manufacturer of the Mod-t 3D, is offering its printer for $300. New Matter offers the Educator Starter Bundle, which includes 5 Mod-t printers, 30 filaments in a variety of colors, 15 print surface plates, a teaching guide, free lesson plans, and unlimited live support. The Mod-t looks to be an affordable choice for schools. The video shown below demonstrates the printing process from start to finish. Also on the horizon is Mattel’s ThingMaker, now scheduled for 2017.


#Mod-t #3Dprinting #ThingMaker #NewMatter

Blogging Develops Many Skills.

KidBlogWhy should students blog? Blogging develops numerous skills, and many of those skills are the focus of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). ISTE has developed the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science teachers.

Those standards include the following six focus areas: 1) Creativity and Innovation, 2) Communication and Collaboration, 3) Research and Information Fluency, 4) Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, 5) Digital Citizenship 6) Technology Operations and Concepts.

1) Students will improve their writing skills more quickly because they now have an immediate audience for their work, an audience that goes beyond the walls of their classroom, connecting them to other students in their grade level at school. This is a great way to build collaboration and comraderie.

2) Students learn how to use a social media platform, in a closed environment.

3) Students learn the importance of netiquette (writing appropriately).

4) Students learn how to adapt images, to save them, to import them, to embed video, which can be helpful to students wanting to learn computer programming.

5) Students understand the meaning of hyperlinks and how to create them.

6) SMARTER Balanced Assessments will require students to enter information into text boxes; therefore, students need practice composing digital content.

7) Students generate their own passwords and learn to protect them, an important part of Internet Safety.

8) Blogging is a great way to teach kids the importance of staying on topic.

9) Blogging can be used to develop self-reflection and summary writing skills.

 

In the words of one teacher: “My favorite part about Kidblog is that I can access, assess and respond from anywhere. It’s priceless.”

Note: All student content is held for moderation before it is published by Miss Anderson.

The Flipped Classroom.

I’m currently enrolled in another class through HP Catalyst Academy called Flipping Your Class: An Analytics-Based Approach.  The course includes a discussion of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Many educators may know that Creating is at the top of the pyramid.  Lorin Anderson has flipped that model to emphasize how important creating is for today’s digital students.  You can read more at her blog: http://plpnetwork.com/2012/05/15/flipping-blooms-taxonomy/.

Bloom's Taxonomy, inverted, to illustrate how important "Creating" is for 21st Century Students.

Bloom’s Taxonomy, inverted, to illustrate how important “Creating” is for 21st Century Students.

Her blog post discusses how Bloom’s has usually been organized: “a pyramid suggests that one cannot effectively begin to address higher levels of thinking until those below them have been thoroughly addressed. Consequently (at least in the view of many teachers who learned the taxonomy as part of their college training) Blooms becomes a “step pyramid” that one must arduously try to climb with your learners. Only the most academically adept are likely to reach the pinnacle.” After reading her post, it validated my desire to teach at the top of the pyramid, promoting creativity and collaboration. I agree: too much time spent at the basement of Bloom’s does little to facilitate higher order thinking skills.

Preparing for SMARTER Balanced Assessments

sb

There are many ways to help kids prepare for the format of the SMARTER Balanced Assessments. Here are some ideas for helping students work with multiple resources at one time.

  1. While the teacher is giving a lecture kids can practice taking notes on their computer using WordPad. (Note: CRES teachers click the Microsoft icon on your menu bar,  click  All Programs, click Accessories, then select WordPad.  Students should have WORD open at the same time, minimizing the screen so that both resources are visible at the same time. Students should retype their notes into clear sentences in Microsoft Word.
  2. Teachers can create an online form for current events for students to access through GoogleDocs.  Students should then bring up an online newspaper, resizing the page so that their Google form and newspaper article are viewable side by side. As students read the paper, they can enter information about their article into the online form. Or, students can complete an online form for reading. 
  3. Students can practice using a virtual calculator (available through Accessories) to help them complete an online sheet of math problems. This gives students an opportunity to practice resizing proportionally/restoring down/maximizing, bringing objects forward or sending them to the back, selecting and dragging, and scrolling. A desktop view is shown belowcalculator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SideVibe can be used to create a directed web search for students. As students research websites they enter their answers into a floating toolbar.

KidBlog can be used to build better writing skills. Students enter text into an online form. The form can also contain images, hyperlinks and embedded videos.

VoiceThread  and  Edmodo are also helpful resources for creating online content. 

Flatland, the Movie, A Mathematical Adventure

I just purchased this movie.  It runs about 30 minutes and teaches kids about the difference between 2 and 3 dimensions.  The visual animation is very creative. Here’s the premise:

Flatland: The Movie is an animated film inspired by Edwin A. Abbott’s classic novel, Flatland. Set in a world of only two dimensions inhabited by sentient geometrical shapes, the story follows Arthur Square and his ever-curious granddaughter Hex. When a mysterious visitor arrives from Spaceland, Arthur and Hex must come to terms with the truth of the third dimension, risking dire consequences from the evil Circles that have ruled Flatland for a thousand years.

View the trailer 

Link to purchase video