5th grade students had a chance to dive into both a plant and animal cell using the Google Expeditions app on their iPads and in their virtual reality goggles. Students went on a hunt for various cell parts and showed their teacher just how much they remembered about animal and plant cells.
Students had a chance to go take a field trip - scuba diving!! In the rooms, We had two stations: one where students filtered in and out of using the VR goggles to take a trip underwater. Then, they discussed the characteristics, organisms and inferences about the depth, salinity, temp. of the water they were "swimming" in.
The other students were working on an animation of either a food web or of the varying levels of the ocean atmosphere using ABCYA Animations!
Students in Mrs. Sebera's gifted group worked to research and inform the public of things they need to know in the even of a disaster. Students could create a brochure, webpage or record a newscast using the green screen and wevidoe. As a culminating experience for the current disasters project in PACE, students were invited to tour the VA Dept. of Emergency mobile command bus (that traveled to Scott Park for the students) and Prince George County’s Emergency Command Center.
South continued Computer Science Education Week throughout the month with students from Kindergarten to 4th grade taking part in The Hour of Code! Students learned coding terminology and practiced using 21st century skills to code their very own animation using an app called Scratch, Jr as well as lessons from code.org. Mrs. Sebera’s gifted students even had a chance to share their coding knowledge from previous projects with a few of the classes here at South. Everyone involved enjoyed the challenge!
South kicked off Computer Science Education Week (December 4th-10th) with some of our first grade students taking part in The Hour of Code! Students learned coding terminology and practiced using 21st century skills to code their very own animation today using an app called Scratch, Jr.
This was a great way to introduce coding to younger students that can be built on in the future.
Thanks to virtual reality, dreams of visiting the Caribbean and scuba diving or walking through the Antarctic snow come true! Today, Mrs. Wicks’ class was able to have a visit to the coldest place on earth, Antarctica! After reading about this snowy location last week, they joined me in the lab to take a virtual reality tour through Google Expeditions. I acted as their “tour guide” and let them stand next to penguins and seals in the snow and even experience the beauty of auroras. We also made a quick stop to a few museums to let students see birds from around the world to connect to a lesson they’d had in class! They loved the 360 degree views!!
Each student had an iPad I had downloaded the Google Expeditions app to, and I directed the tour from mine. Each view had several points of interest that helped students learn more about Antarctica. Google Expeditions even gave me information to read as students enjoy the tour as well as questions to get their gears turning as they visit new locations.
I hope you take the time to download the Google Expeditions app and explore all the places you thought you'd never be able to in the past!
Sammy and Sally, two of South's app enabled spheros, made a visit to the kindergarten classes last week! Linked to the Draw and Drive app on the iPad, the spheros mimicked the handwriting strokes students made and traced letters on the hallway floor. Students loved seeing their handwriting come to life with the spheros! The practice with proper letter formation was practiced in an app, then they wrote their letters in the Drive and Draw app to make Sammy and Sally do their magic!
Mrs. Sebera’s gifted group has been working with computer engineering and have dipped their toes into coding. Using the Scratch coding language and building blocks, they have worked to code animations, games and even a music video featuring themselves! They used the green screen to take pictures and then create “costumes” in scratch to create a music video with themselves dancing! It has made them think logically, solve problems, be persistent, collaborate and communicate with one another, their teachers, and their computer! They definitely had to put on some of de Bono’s six thinking hats for this coding unit!
Scratch Online Tutorials
Green Screen Editor with Chroma Key Plugin
These kids give a Kahoot about their benchmark scores! After reviewing the areas students struggled with in PowerSchool on their 2nd nine weeks benchmark, they had a chance to prove they had mastered those skills with a game using Kahoot. Kahoot is a free website that allows you to create, play and share educational games that you can play with your whole class and get instant results! You can play where each student gets their own device or computer or as teams like we did in the classroom.
Students worked in teams to answer new questions in the areas they struggled. The group answers were instantly shown on the screen in the form of a bar graph, so Mrs. Burks could instantly see which groups were still struggling and those who understood the concepts completely after she did some reteaching. Students really enjoyed being able to interact with one another and with their iPads!
South’s First Makey Makey Museum
It’s not always possible for students to visit museums or go on field trips for every subject they study in class, but those hands on experiences are so important! So instead, students brought the museum to school! I partnered up with a science class who worked hard to create museum exhibits for their fellow fourth grade classmates to visit. Each exhibit brought to life information that was learned in class about electricity. Exhibits included: Open and Closed Circuits, Series and Parallel Circuits, Conductors and Insulators, Static Electricity, and Historical Contributions.
By connecting a Makey Makey to a Scratch game code, they created an exhibit that included important facts as well as an interactive game that quizzed students’ knowledge about their topic. Since this was their first view of coding, I had the skeleton of the code created for them, then they were allowed to customize it with their own questions, answers, and costumes that matched their topic. They really enjoyed writing the code and connecting it to the Makey Makey.
This year, I attended the VSTE conference and had the opportunity to join a session presented by Goochland County Public Schools about the Scrum method, a method used to teach kids how to work together and complete project tasks. Since this project included so many tasks of different degrees, I gave the Scrum method my first try. To organize all of the tasks they had to complete to create, students used the Scrum method to work collaboratively they used a Scrum board, and it helped them accomplish great things! Using the Scrum method, Scratch, and Makey Makey was new and challenging, but in just four days they created a project different than any they’d ever been a part of in the past. So, I’d say our first attempt at using the Scrum, Scratch and the Makey Makey was a success!