Check out the challenge materials we used!
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!
Students from 2nd grade to 5th grade are all using Ozobots to add excitement and creativity to their core classes. Students learned the basics of coding their Ozobot with lines and color codes and then used those coding skills to:
Code their robot to go to the correct answer of a math equation
Write questions about rock types for their classmates and have his/her classmate answer the question by coding the robot to go to the right answer, drew the different levels of the ocean environment and had their Ozobot go on a scuba-diving trip and program them to do varying "tricks" at each level, code their robot to do "tricks" on certain days of the month, and much more! What awesome ways to integrate coding into the curriculum!
For those of you new to coding, How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk was an amazing find by our librarian, Mrs. Allin. Terminology that seems so hard for both students and teachers to understand when it comes to coding became clear and computational thinking began to click. Pairing that with coding the Grinch to make his way through a snowy obstacle course was a great way to celebrate the Hour of Code and introduce block-based coding to 2nd and 3rd graders.
Code.org is an awesome resource of curriculum and ideas for teachers, students and parents!
A few of the teachers here at South have become interested in incorporating their computer science standards by using Google CS First. Google CS First is a free resources to introduce computer science skills and block-based coding language through the Scratch programming language. There are sample activities that have informational/instructional videos alongside coding activities. The one I collaborated with a 3rd (Mrs. Rose) and 4th (Mrs. Pugh) grade teacher with this year was coding An Unusual Discovery. Really, Google CS First did all the hard work! We watched the videos as a group and then students worked independently to code an outer space adventure. The great thing about CS First is the kids could refer back to the instructional videos on their own computer if they needed assistance. Mrs. Pugh, Mrs. Rose and I were there to assist them, but instead of giving them the code to use in a certain situation, we asked probing questions that helped them find the correct code to include. Students were super proud of their finished project!