A Lesson on Heat

Welcome to the next installment of our Guest Blogging Series!  This post comes from Nicole Konicke a teacher at Lawson Middle School.

Who would ever think that heat transfer could be funny? My 6th grade students were able to do just that in their heat transfer comic projects. Their projects were completed as a comic, using Comic Maker or Book Creator.  Technology has provided an outlet for my students to show their creativity.

The inquiry hook to our mini heat transfer unit was a convection lab. During the lab, students used hot water (heat source), a pan, and some food coloring to demonstrate a convection current. We followed up by watching Bill Nye Heat. Then, we began our project.

In this project, students were required to show their understanding of the three types of heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiation through a day in the life of a molecule or a day in the life of a person as the character went through each type of heat transfer. They were responsible for including the type of heat transfer in action, how the heat transfer works, how the heat is being transferred, and where the heat was being transferred to. Students needed to have dialogue, represented through speech bubbles, between the characters.

We started our project by brainstorming the differences and similarities between the three types of heat transfer. I provided a list of scientific vocabulary that could be used throughout the comic. Then, we had a mini lesson on how to use book creator and comic maker. Students were given the freedom to explore the two apps for the rest of the class period. The final step before beginning the comic included story board completion. Students were to sketch and plan out their scenes prior to completing on the app.

My students did have some issues along the way, but they displayed their collaboration skills through the problem solving process. We all worked together to try to solve the issue and one student was able to come up with a quick solution. She was eager to airplay her iPad and share the solution with the class. The class was engaged throughout the entire project. I am continuously amazed at the work my students produce with their iPads.

 

 

 

 

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Hour of Code

The Hour of Code begins next Monday, December 8th!  The ‘Hour of Code’ is a nationwide initiative by CSEdWeek and code.org to introduce computer programming to 10 million students around the globe.

Why the Hour of Code?  Well that is an easy answer, exposure.  This hour is meant to spark interested in computer science and programming for our young students.  From the 2010 – 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, across all industries there are 136,620 jobs per year be added to the computing field.  According the the National Science Foundation, there is just not enough students enrolling into Computer Science Undergraduate Programs.  Leaving approximately one million jobs available and not enough people qualified to fulfill them. *information taken from code.org

Check out even more statistics in this infographic

There are many tools out there now that offer introductory courses to both children and adults.  To narrow down the process we have provided a list of tools we like best.  You can find them here!

Check back soon to see student projects that will be created next week.  Happy coding!

First Four Presidents – iPad Edition

Last week we showed how to create an infographic with Google Drawing, which works great on Chromebooks, Laptops, and Desktops.  If you liked the idea and have students using iPads, consider having your students do an AppSmash with Pic Collage and Thinglink.

You may already know from my previous post on Pic Collage that I love this app, yes I had to make that red!  It is free, no accounts are needed, pictures are sent to the camera roll, and you have the choice to make your background mustaches.  Does it get any better?

Here was my workflow for this project on the iPad:

1.  Find pictures of the first four presidents via Google Images.  Head over to google.com/images and search for “George Washington” select “Search Tools” and I recommend you select either “labeled for reuse” or “labeled for noncommercial (meaning you won’t make money off of it) reuse.”  When you find images you like save them to the camera roll.

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2.  Create a new Pic Collage.  Within Pic Collage you can create a picture layout, and change the background image.  You can add pictures, video, text, and stickers.  Watch out for in app purchases…

3.  Create a collage using those images.  Once your collage is done export your image to the camera roll by selecting the icon in the bottom right and under “More Actions” you will find “Save to Library”

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4.  Start creating your ThingLink.   When you open the ThingLink app you will be asked to choose an image from your camera roll, so go ahead and select that beautiful Pic Collage you just created.  You can add Media, which would be anything from your camera roll or any YouTube video.  You can also add text, url, and twitter handles.

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Click to view ThingLink

I recommend creating a classroom ThingLink account that all of your students can access via their iPads.  You can make your ThingLink “unlisted” which will only allow users with the direct link to view it.

 

Using Thinglink to Link Things

I was introduced to Thinglink a few months back and was amazed at how great it was!  Then life happened and I forgot all about it.  It resurfaced when I noticed it has an iPad app.  Thinglink – yes it is really one word – lets you make your images interactive.  You start with an image and can link other images, text, youtube videos, and even videos from your iPad.  In reference to the infamous SAMR model, this thing (get it?) has redefinition written all over it!

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Students will need to create an account to start using ThingLink, but have no fear it allows you to sign in with your Google account.  Cue Pharrell’s Happy Song now!  I am honestly sold on anything that allows me to log into their services with my Google account.  Hint, hint to all you start up companies out there.

Yesterday I started to look at the Social Studies standards, because my default is math and I am trying to break out of my comfort zone.  Here is my creation of the fourth grade standard 4.1.5: Use maps, charts, and pictures to describe how communities in California vary in land use, vegetation, wildlife, climate, population density, architecture, services, and trans­portation.

Unfortunately I cannot embed the ThingLink,  but my work around is to have you click on the image below to see the real thing.

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How do you see this being used in your content area?

App-Smashing Workflow

Last month several of us were fortunate to attend the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit.  One of the big takeaways was how to “smash” apps together to generate a workflow.  iPads can be frustrating sometimes when trying to share work between apps and publishing a final product.  A couple of key thoughts when planning a project on an iPad:

  1. Pick an app to store your work – I would suggest Google Drive since all students already have accounts.
  2. When picking an app to use – make sure it allows you to export the work – ideally to the app selected in #1.
  3. Select the final product and app that will allow you to import work from Google Drive.  This way you can use the various components in one final product.
  4. The Camera Roll is a key place where you can store images and videos you have created with other apps.

This is a sample of what an app-smash might look like:

app Smash Workflow

app Smash Workflow

Many apps specialize in doing one particular aspect of creativity.  Producing soundtracks, video effects, image editing, virtual whiteboards, etc.  If you select a preferred app for each aspect, you can then smash them together in the final product.

Some of the popular apps that are easy to work with:

You can see the presentation slides with other workflows here.

Developing workflows can be an effective way to help students use an iPad to be creative and produce projects that demonstrating their understanding.  One of my goals will be to start collecting and sharing these app- smash workflows for teachers to reference.

Have a Party with Your Photos

“Pics + Words + Stickers = A Party with Your Photos” is how Pic Collage describes this FREE APP on their website.  This is one of my favorite apps right now!  I have been talking about it every time I meet with teachers.  Check out some of the examples I have seen created.  Common Core aligned, of course!

K.MD.1: Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight.

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3.NF.3d: Recognize that comparisons of fractions are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole.  **This standard is going to be HUGE to help students better understand fractions!

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4.OA.5:   Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule.

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PicCollage can be used in all subjects.  Just make sure kids – or adults – don’t spend their whole time choosing a background.

Social Studies: Identify certain various regions of any given state.  Pictures of artifacts from ancient civilizations.  Collection of important members to a specific time period. 

Science: Identify parts of a plant.  Photograph stages of a lab.  Different forms of rocks.

Physical Fitness: Identify proper skill and form for various activities.

Let us know your fantastic ideas in the comment section.

Hour of Code Success in Cupertino

As the new year has started, we are getting more and more great stories of students engaged in Hour of Code in December.  In fact, many students are inspired to continue the lessons and create new ideas.  We thought we would share a few of the stories that we’ve heard that have made Hour of Code a success.

During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15), history was made when over 10 million people around the globe were recruited to join in and participate in the Hour of Code (http://code.org/). The Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour. Students would have the experience of writing code through a series of exercises.

At Montclair, Krissy Cabot teachers talked about her students:

I am sure this was happening at other school sites but I wanted to let you know about something cool that happened in several classrooms at Montclaire last week.  We partook in a program called “Hour of Code”. Several months ago a woman by the name of Hadi Partovi came up with a dream of having 10 million kids try one hour of computer science.  Her dream came true and over 10 million students participated.  Here is a link to a promotion video: http://code.org/.

All of our fifth grade classes at Montclaire participated on laptops we had some lower grade classes working on iPads. Parents came in to the classrooms and helped, which was great for me because I had never learned to write code so we were all learning together.  The students loved it!  The students had to use the 4 C’s to work together in pairs to write the code for the tutorial they worked on. This led to so many great conversations in my class already about jobs for them and your dreams can come true, dare to dream big.  I know it will be a building block in many conversations for the rest of the year.

Also at Montclaire, Jen Auten worked with her first graders having them program, Daisy the Dinosaur.  They then progressed to programming with Tynker, Kodable and Hopscotch on the iPad.

Kathy Young at Blue Hills had students working through the Code.org.  Several of the students were able to progress through the entire series of activities and earn a rewards card.  She reports:

We met in the computer lab to allow a 1-1 ratio of students to devices.  We watched the introductory video together and discussed the basic “howtos” of getting into the site.  We used our lab’s desktop computers.  Each student created and logged into their account.  Then they worked individually to complete as many activities as allowed in the ~30 minutes remaining.  It was probably the quietest and most-focused class we’ve ever had.  From that day, students have continued to ask to use an iPad during class time to continue their Hour of Code activities.  Many have spent many hours at home completing activities as well.

Kathy’s students feedback include:

Nimitz: Hour Of Code

Blue Hills Elementary School: Hour Of Code

Giulio: Today I will tell you why I think Hour of Code is helpful  I think Hour of Code is helpful because int he future there is probably going to be robots.  Well, you might say, if there is going to be robots, then why do we need to know how to function computers?  Well, because how do we make robots, movies, games, toys, and some machines?  We make all those by computer, and in the future, there will be eve more of those, so that means when my classmates and I grow up, all jobs will be with computers.  An Hour of Code gives you a good idea of how computers work, and you can see how they can be improved.  Well, I hope you liked my paragraph and good luck.
Amy:  Hour of Code is a very scientific game for children who like technology.  I like how the founders of Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Twitter use Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombie to teach how to program in such a fun, awesome, and fantastic way.  I would give this website 5 starts!  For the whole game, the main blocks are move forward, turn left, turn right, and the repeat block.  I learned how to make a game with a computer with just only a few lines of code.  I want to grow up to invent something electronic like a high-tech engineer as my interest from my dad as a computer science person.
Teja:  I think Code was a helpful site.  It just gave me a head start on computer coding.  Now, I can make codes, after codes, after codes!  Thnks to Code, I have a headstart on computer engineering.  Now let’s talk about what I Code.  Code’s full title is the Hour of Code.  There are mazes you have to figure out, but you have to use the blocks in the slot and you figure out the code.  Each maze gets harder and harder, but you get used to it.  I really hope you get on your computer and try the Hour of Code.  The funny trick is that you finish 20 mazes in an hour!
Keshav: Hour of Code is awesome.  It is computer science.  First, there are stages.  Each stage is different.  Whatyou need to do is that on the computer or on a laptop, you need to make the trace of the drawing or where you have to go.  Second, in Hour of Code, I learned that if you use the counter block 20-100 by 10 and inside you say that make a square and jump forward, it will create 8 squares.  My favorite part of Hour of Code was the last stage.  Now, I told what I learned from Hour of Code.

Rita Cole had her students work on the Code.org as well, and then one of her students took it a step further and created a math app for the iPad and publish it on iTunes. My-ath: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-ath/id689802288?mt=8 Download it now – its free and fun!!

Rohini Tambe from Eaton shared out some of the activities at her school including ways to teach programming without using technology.

Stocklmeir Students Coding

Stocklmeir Students Coding

Over 400 Stocklmeir Elementary students, in 17 classrooms grades 1-5, were a part of this exciting movement whose numbers to date has reached 21 million participants. Students caught on fast and excelled at the activity. Not uncommon, they were able to go far beyond the expectations of the adults involved. Excitement and enthusiasm were in the air while learning a new side to technology. The activity is hopefully just the first step on a journey to learn more about how technology works and possibly find a real passion in programming.

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Stocklmeir Students Coding