4th graders spent some time exploring electricity in the innovation center at South! They rotated through collaborative stations discovering more about electromagnets, circuits, static electricity, conductors and insulators and the important people who contributed to electricity. They encountered hands on activities and had so much fun engaging in their content! Students used Ozobots, circuit kits, Makey-Makeys and other devices in the different stations.
Ms. Bowman, our art teacher, has partnered with me to help 5th graders learn about internet safety and enter the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Kids Safe Online Poster Contest. After watching the Information Privacy video on BrainPOP, we talked with students about both the positive and negative powers that the internet and our digital devices have. Then, Mrs. Bowman challenged students with creating a poster about online safety. Each class voted on the best posters and those winners were submitted to the state’s poster contest. The winning posters will also be displayed during South’s Digital Citizenship Days in February. Great job to our South Stars!
Mrs. Allin (our awesome librarian) and I worked together to plan a lesson for our Kinders! This week, she’s reading the book Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett with her kindergarten classes. Jan Brett included in her book a recipe of how to make gingerbread cookies! The kids loved seeing the recipe and reading the book with Mrs. Allin. Then, we used our 3D printer to print a 3D cookie cutter. The kids loved watching the printer in action and learning what a 3D shape was. We printed the recpie from the book, so they could take their 3D printed cookie cutter home to make and bake gingerbread friends of their very own at home with their families!
Mrs. Allin and I collaborated to make South Elementary's first ever Thanksgiving Day Parade a reality. We completed this project with some of our 4th and 5th graders. They read the book Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet and then used their creativity and collaboration skills to create a "balloon" float of their very own! Students had the challenge of making a balloon that was visually appealing, all the while stable and light enough to be towed by a Sphero. Once their creations were complete, we "drove" their floats using the Spheros in front of a green screen and recorded it. We paired that recorded video with some green screen editing to present to you...South Elementary's First Thanksgiving Parade. Check it out!
Mrs. Ruffin’s class used the innovation center to take on the Ping Pong Sphero Challenge with lots of energy and great ideas! Students were divided into innovative teams and, using the design process, created a “vehicle” that could hold as many ping-pong balls as possible, but also be sturdy enough to be driven with a Sphero. Students had time to plan, create, test, analyze and adapt their designs before the big race. To finish the challenge, they had one minute to see how many ping-pong balls they could transport with their new creation from a start line to a bowl at the finish line. As a bonus, the students encouraging attitudes towards their teammates was amazing! We adapted this challenge from Destination Imagination’s Instant and Team Challenges. Check out this challenge and others on our innovation page.
Students participated in a 2-part challenge! First, students had 15 minutes to use his/her teamwork, creativity and innovation skills to build a maze out of Legos. The second part of the challenge was to use Ozobots and color codes to create, test and refine a code that will get a Ozobot through a maze his/her classmates created. Students had fun being challenged and collaborating with classmates!
Check out the challenge materials we used!
Ancient warriors made of clay by Emperor Qin in 210 BC, known as the Terracotta Army, have been buried in the earth for over 2000 years. Each soldier was crafted by hand to have unique characteristics and represent his military rank from stable attendant to armored general.
The warriors were constructed over a 40-year period and were mass produced much like the printmaking process used by the 3rd graders at South elementary. Students selected and drew their warriors, transferred their images to Styrofoam plates and, using ink and brayers, pulled multiple prints from their printing plate in Art with Ms. Bowman.
Students had the option to written a description of the Terracotta Army or the Printmaking process with their classroom teachers. With my help, they then recorded themselves reading their paragraphs and generated QR codes to be attached to their art work using Vocaroo. Classes throughout the whole school were invited to use iPads to scan the QR codes and listen to the descriptions their schoolmates had recorded. Their completed projects reflected a wonderful collaboration among art, history, writing and technology.
Mrs. Brown's class had fun writing and filming a newscast from the past. Each group picked a topic about Reconstruction that they were studying in class and used their content knowledge and creativity to come up with a news channel and a news segment informing the public of what was happening. They wrote their segment on note cards, practiced, and then filmed it using an iPad. From the iPad, I uploaded them to our WeVidoe account through the WeVideo App and students were able to delete the green background and add in a background of their choice. They also got to experiment with titles, effects and background sounds. What an awesome way to bring history to life!
Teachers at South are accustomed to BrainPOP being a great resource for videos and quizzes about those videos. What they did not realize were all the great features that are now available through BrainPOP subscriptions. Luckily, our school has each of our students already enrolled in BrainPOP classes through Clever, so logging in is a breeze! To get teachers interested in some of the additional features of BrainPOP, I offered an online safety collaborative lesson where teachers could see a demo of BrainPOP's new features such as Make-a-Movie, learn about online safety, as well as get some ideas of ways to use it in the future. After spending one session in BrainPOP's Make-a-Movie app, students and teachers were hooked! Mrs. Heiser let her students use Make-a-Movie as the platform for students to share their research of a famous African American they'd been researching the very next week!
A 3rd grade class had fun bringing to life the biographies they wrote about preschoolers at our school with Makey-Makeys!
Students first interviewed a preschooler and asked them questions about his/her self and life. 3rd graders then took that back to class and wrote a biography about the preschooler. Next, they picked the four most interesting facts about the preschooler and drew a picture that represented it. They recorded themselves reading the facts and combined that with a code in Scratch that played their recording. Finally, with my help, they hooked up a Makey-Makey to the coordinating input keys and transformed their drawing into an interactive display for preschoolers to come see and hear! Take a look at the easy code in Scratch that made this all possible!