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.






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.

Virtual Field Trips via Google

Google has started creating virtual field trips with museums, organizations around the world.  Today, they “visited” the Minnesota Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, and flew a solar plane.  All visits are recorded and can be played back as convenient.Connected Classrooms

The website has a calendar of upcoming events.  If you see an event you can sign up to participate via Google Hangouts.  All teachers have Google Hangouts enabled with their accounts. You may be selected to ask questions directly to the experts.

Check it out: http://connectedclassrooms.withgoogle.com/#

The Sweet Spot

Back in the day there use to be a model called PAC where it labeled effective teaching by understanding both content and pedagogy.  Sure you could know how to do math, but what makes you a great math teacher is knowing how to teach it.  I mean think about it, without that pedagogy aspect all Engineers would be teaching math.  Or maybe not…

Now another topic added – technology!


image taken from tpack.org

Our group has defined that area in the middle as “The Sweet Spot.”  Throughout this month we have been meeting with Principals and Leadership teams in our district.  We are sharing our goal of Students Using Technology in their Individual and Group Learning Everyday.  Our purpose of these meetings is to get ideas from theses groups to learn about how we can help them get there.  During our discussion we are talking about this “Sweet Spot” and asking staff to talk about their vision of what that looks like.  Some teachers are sharing stories of how they are already there – yay!

A Lincoln Elementary teacher will be taking her first grade class on a trip to Petco and allowing them to take their class set of iPod touches.  With them students will be taking pictures of various things around the store, so that when they come back they can put together a presentation about what certain pets need.  Cannot wait to see the final product!

A Blue Hills Elementary teacher told us about how her fourth grade students collaborate on Google Spreadsheets to create review questions for upcoming tests.  Students are assigned a row and need to fill in a question for each section they have covered in the columns.

Collins Elementary teacher explains how her students are using Google Earth to visit various places around the world to assist with their Social Studies units.

Dilworth Elementary teacher has students creating Educreations to share their thinking, and then shares them with parents via Twitter.

DeVargas Elementary teacher has her first grade students creating an animal unit.  Students are going to the library and using the National Geographic App on her class iPads to learn about various animals and their habit.

Cupertino Middle School teacher talks about how the flipped model has completely changed his Physical Education for the better.  Students watch videos to learn proper form and are expected to come into class and discuss as a group.  He said students have really become the teachers of the class and the engagement level has skyrocketed.