Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Graphing with Mythbusters

What better way to get ready for the holiday vacation than to cozy up and watch a holiday-themed "Mythbusters"?  The crew of this awesome show set out to conduct several experiments and engineering quests with some holiday spirit.

Students in Mr. Husson's 5th grade science and math class watched the episode "Needle Drop" where scientists were trying to determine which product was the best to prevent the needles from falling off of a Christmas tree.  Students first made their hypothesis and then watched the experiment.  The seven products were:

Fertilizer
Bleach
Lemon Lime Soda
Headache Medicine
Santa's Little Helper
Hairspray
Urethane


Results (Needles dropped in Cubic Centimeters):
500  Fertilizer
130  Bleach
300  Lemon Lime Soda
350  Headache Medicine
145  Santa's Little Helper (Medicine)
60   Hairspray

175 Urethane (Floor wax)

We discussed the experiment and the results.  Students agreed that even though the Hairspray was the one that would make the least amount of needles fall off, it would pose a fire hazard.  The control in the experiment received pure water and we decided that this would be the be product to use on a Christmas tree.

Students then took these results and worked collaboratively with a partner to graph the results. 


 They first discussed which would make a better graph, bar or pie, and then made several different graphs using an online graphing website.



Students Graphs




Massachusetts Science Standards for Inquiry
·        Ask questions and make predictions that can be tested.
·         Select and use appropriate tools and technology (e.g., calculators, computers, balances, scales, meter sticks, graduated cylinders) in order to extend observations.
·         Keep accurate records while conducting simple investigations or experiments.
·         Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction. Compare the result of an investigation or experiment with the prediction.
·         Recognize simple patterns in data and use data to create a reasonable explanation for the results of an investigation or experiment.
·         Record data and communicate findings to others using graphs, charts, maps, models, and oral and written reports.

Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations

Standard 1.  Demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers and applications, as well as an understanding of the concepts underlying hardware, software, and connectivity.


Standard 3. Demonstrate the ability to use technology for research, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.



International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards:
1.  Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
2.  Communication Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
3.  Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
6. Technology operations and concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Common Core
The Corresponding College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standard for Standard SL 4.5 was addressed: “Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.”



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Building 21st Century Skills with Computer Science



Students at Howe Manning Elementary School have been participating in the ‘Hour of Code’ this week.  They are using the puzzles on Code.org to develop 21st Century Skills.  




Students work on a puzzle to make their character move to a certain location.  They use building blocks of code that have directions in which to move.  Critical thinking and problem solving (as well as patience) are essential when building these commands.


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Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations
Standard 3. Demonstrate the ability to use technology for research, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
G3-5: 3.6   With teacher direction, use appropriate technology tools to define problems and propose hypotheses.
G6-8: 3.4   Independently use appropriate technology tools (e.g., graphic organizer) to define problems and propose hypotheses.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards:
1.  Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve
problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
6. Technology operations and concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Figurative Language in Mrs. Deeley's 4th Grade Classes

I had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Deeley's 4th grade classes during their unit on Figurative Language, which focused on similes and personification.  


Essential Question:  How do I recognize and create personification and similes in writing?
Personification Project


Courtesy of http://room19eps.edublogs.org

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As part of a Figurative Language study in Mrs. Deeley's 4th grade class, students created a brief imaginative narrative using ‘Personification’.  The Little Red Pen, by Janet Stevens, was the mentor text. Students needed to bring an inanimate object to life in their writing, making that object the main character. They wrote their personification story in their Writer's Journal. This project addressed Standards L4.5 and W4:  “Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.”

Mrs. Baker, Middleton’s Digital Learning Specialist, worked with our class to create a digital storybook with all of our stories.  The students integrated technology into this lesson using laptops to type their stories on and used the online program “Camameo” to create the book.  


Students get a lesson on using laptops properly.


Personification Project


Students from 6th grade helped edit the typed stories.  They also showed the students how to use Spell Check and insert pictures from Google Images.




Check out our digital storybooks on Personification






Simile Project



Students used the book My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil by Hanoch Piven, as an inspiration for writing their own similes.  The students then created self portrait collages using items to which they compared themselves.  This project addressed Standards L4.5 and W4:  “Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.”

Mrs. Baker then worked with our class to make our picture talk.  The students integrated technology into this lesson using the iPad program, Chatterpix.   The Corresponding College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standard for Standard SL 4.5 was addressed: “Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.”

 1st Period Simile Project



 2nd Period Simile Project




 3rd Period Simile Project




Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations
Standard 1.  Demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers and applications, as well as an understanding of the concepts underlying hardware, software, and connectivity.


Standard 3. Demonstrate the ability to use technology for research, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.



International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards:
1.  Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
2.  Communication Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including
at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
6. Technology operations and concepts
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Common Core
The Corresponding College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standard for Standard SL 4.5 was addressed: “Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.”

Hour of Code is here!

Hour of Code
December 8-14, 2014



Essential Question:  How do we use computer coding to make a character move in a video game?

Students at Howe Manning Elementary School will be participating in the "Hour of Code" this week.  
What is "Hour of Code"?
Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour.

Computer Science for Elementary School

Watch this video for Hour of Code 2014

Howe Manning students entered the computer lab today full of excitement.  Mrs. Paz introduced the Hour of Code last year and has continued it this year with an introductory video.  Today, they were ready to start.
President Obama Kicks of Hour of Code







Mrs. Pazdziorny sent this email out to HM staff:
"Howe Manning students are getting very excited about The Hour of Code. Next week, during computer classes, our entire school is joining in on the largest learning event in history, The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 8-14). Last year, 15 million students tried computer science in one week. This year, we're joining students worldwide to reach 100 million students!
I have enrolled every student into the program. There is a unique link for each class. They will be given their log in information next week. They will be able to use this link to log in at home if they desire. Once they complete the “Hour of Code” activities, many other coding activities are unlocked for them to try. If you would like me to create a user name for you to try it out, let me know.To learn more about The Hour of Code, visit their website at: www.hourofcode.com/us"

Students were shown how to access their account and began their 'Hour'.



Fun music video to show the "Top 10 Reasons to Code."

Students loved creating code to make their video game characters move.  They worked with Angry Bird, dragons, greeting card creation, art tasks, monster race, candy quest, and many others.



The website that hosts The Hour of Code crashed today...Eeeek!  Mrs. Paz and I had no fear.  We had the students use Tynker to code.



Students are able to do coding any time of the day.  They are signed up on Code.org, but can make accounts on any number of coding websites.  Here is a list of some websites for coding that we found to be fun.

Go to Code.org Lessons

Courses for coding on Code.org

Try Code.org’s exclusive new tutorial for the Hour of Code 2014, in beta - featuring Disney’s “Frozen” heroines Anna and Elsa! 



More on Coding:  Here are Code.org’s suggestions on teaching Hour of Code in your classroom. If you have a favorite tool, they likely will guide you in using it for this amazing week. Check out this list:


Here are ideas of apps and websites that teachers and students have used:

hour of codeKindergarten

Start kindergartners with problem solving. If they love Legos, they’ll love coding
  1. BotLogic–great for Kindergarten and youngers
  2. Code–learn to code, for students
  3. Daisy the Dinosaur—intro to programming via iPad
  4. How to train your robot–a lesson plan from Dr. Techniko
  5. Kindergarten coding
  6. Kodable--great for youngers–learn to code before you can read
  7. Move the Turtle–programming via iPad for middle schoolhour of code
  8. Primo–a wooden game, for ages 4-7
  9. Program a human robot (unplugged)
  10. Scratch Jr.

1st Grade

  1. Code–learn to code, for students
  2. Espresso Coding–for youngers
  3. Hopscotch–programming on the iPad
  4. Primo–a wooden game, for ages 4-7
  5. Scratch Jr.
  6. Tynkerhour of code

2nd Grade

  1. Code–learn to code, for students
  2. Espresso Coding–for youngers
  3. Google Spreadsheets–decode and fill in color coded pictures (like the popular gingerbread house, penguinpicture, or shapes and pictures)
  4. Hopscotch–programming on the iPad
  5. Tynker

3rd Gradevector of a robot

  1. Blockly
  2. Build with Chrome–kind of like Minecraft, more like Google Earth Warehouse; use virtual Lego blocks to build in your browser
  3. Minecraft

4th Grade

  1. Build with Chrome–kind of like Minecraft, more like Google Earth Warehouse; use virtual Lego blocks to build in your browser
  2. Khan Academy Computer Science
  3. Minecrafthour of code
  4. Robotics
  5. Scratch
  6. Snap!—runs in your browser

5th Grade

  1. Build with Chrome–kind of like Minecraft, more like Google Earth Warehouse; use virtual Lego blocks to build in your browser
  2. Google Spreadsheets–code the spreadsheet with color that will reveal a secret picture
  3. Khan Academy Computer Sciencevector art robot man
  4. Lego Digital Designer
  5. Minecraft
  6. Robotics
  7. Scratch
  8. Snap!—runs in your browser
  9. Tinkercad–3D modeling–fee–perfect for 3D printing
  10. Windows Property menu–create a shortkey for any Windows tool through properties.Here’s a how-to for one example
  11. Wolfram Alpha widgets

Middle Schoolprogramming

  1. Alice
  2. Auto Hotkey–free–simple shortkey programming for students; requires download
  3. Build with Chrome–kind of like Minecraft, more like Google Earth Warehouse; use virtual Lego blocks to build in your browser
  4. Code Avengers
  5. Code Monster
  6. Gamestar Mechanic–design video games
  7. Hakitzu–learning through games
  8. Khan Academy Computer Science
  9. Lego Digital Designer
  10. Looking Glass—animated story–offshoot of Alice
  11. Minecraft
  12. Notepad–coding using the Windows Notepad
  13. Python
  14. PythonMonk–free lessons for beginners on PythonTwo robots with blank tablet computers
  15. Robotics--using NXT and Lego Mindstorm
  16. Scratch--here's a Scratch tutorial for Hour of Code. Find the facilitator's guide hereand the self-guided tutorial here.
  17. Snap!—runs in your browser
  18. Tinkercad–3D modeling–fee–perfect for 3D printing
  19. Windows Property menu–create a shortkey for any Windows tool through properties.Here’s a how-to.
  20. Wolfram Alpha widgets
Here are general ideas. See what fits best for your grade levels:
  1. Activate!—create gameshour of code
  2. American Computer Science League–competitions for junior and senior high
  3. Chrome Experiments–geeky experimentation with programming
  4. Google Computer Science for High School–free workshops (with application) for K-12 teachers
  5. I like programming video
  6. Kodu—game programming
  7. Learn to code
  8. Robby Leonardi–programmer–a game played about programming in the style of Mario
More ideas? Check Cybraryman's Programming Page and see what Kent ISD is doing that week.
Massachusetts Technology Literacy Standards and Expectations
Standard 3. Demonstrate the ability to use technology for research, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
G3-5: 3.6   With teacher direction, use appropriate technology tools to define problems and propose hypotheses.
G6-8: 3.4   Independently use appropriate technology tools (e.g., graphic organizer) to define problems and propose hypotheses.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards:
1.  Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
4. Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve
problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
6. Technology operations and concepts

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.