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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hello Spring

This morning we took advantage of this beautiful spring day by reading in the Cannon courtyard. It's amazing how a change of scenery can invigorate and motivate!

Monday, March 23, 2015

WeDo Robotics

Our class had the opportunity to visit the media lab today where scholars incorporated technology and engineering skills to build and program robotic lions.

The Lego WeDo Wild Animals materials provided a connection between our animal research, part of the science, reading and writing curriculum and our technology and engineering curriculum. There are three animal builds included in this activity pack: The Hungry Alligator, The Flying Bird, and the Roaring Lion. We chose to build the Roaring Lion today.

After a brief introduction, scholars worked with a partner to navigate through the step by step building and programing guide. As you can imagine, they were VERY engaged! They were beside themselves when after just 30 minutes, they had build a Lego lion that sat up, laid down and roared!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Animal Investigations

Scholars recently finished an integrated learning project. As part of the reading and science curriculum, scholars researched animals, their habitats and adaptations. As part of the writing curriculum, scholars wrote informational books about animals and their adaptations.

We used a digital workflow to plan the work... from Information Gathering, to Information Processing to Information Sharing.

Information Gathering:
Scholars researched using a variety of sources and one that I particularly like is the World Book of Animals app. It has a wide variety of animals and when you click on an animal there is a 'fact page', a few paragraphs of information, some photographs and in some cases, video and sound clips.

Many animals were researched and learning was recorded using an outline in STEM notebooks. Scholars were ultimately asked to choose 3-5 animals to include in their books.

Examples of STEM Notebooks

The information was then organized in the Popplet app.

An example a Popplet Tree Map

Information Processing:
Using the Tree Maps created in Popplet, scholars wrote books and drew and labeled diagrams. (By the way, there is a great video called Austin's Butterfly, that helps students see the value of critique, feedback and improvement. I used this video in an effort to improve their 'scientific illustrations'. Click her to view:  Austin's Butterfly )

Examples of Book Pages

Information Sharing:
Once the books were written, scholars used the Doodlecast app to create 'videos' of their books. The Doodlecast videos were posted to scholar Weebly Blogs to be shared with 'the world'.

Click here to view: Evie's Book

Click here to view: Rocco's Book