Posted in Fun, Ideas, Lessons, Math, Roanoke County Schools

Breakout EDU

This summer while attending ISTE, I learned about a cool new game for the classroom called Breakout EDU. ¬†Here’s a short video about it.

Since receiving my kit, I’ve played it four times–twice with my college students and twice with fifth graders. ¬†All ages loved it. ¬†For the fifth grade game, I used an adaptation of two of the games on the site (http://www.breakoutedu.com/). ¬†The game centered around missing iPads, and students had to use their knowledge of place value to decode the clues to find them.

There are many games already pre-made to use with the kits (for free) and I enjoy making them up too. ¬†I’m looking forward to playing with some first graders on Halloween!

Posted in 21st Century Learning, Makerspace, Science

First Grade Force and Motion in the Makerspace

Students in first grade at both Glenvar and Oak Grove used the Makerspace to build hands-on knowledge of force and motion.  They rotated through six centers to investigate and understand Science SOL 1.2:  The student will investigate and understand that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion. Key concepts include a) objects may have straight, circular, and back-and-forth motions; b) objects may vibrate and produce sound; and c) pushes or pulls can change the movement of an object that moving objects exhibit different kinds of motion.

Maker Center Planning Sheet and Student Reflection

Center 1: Spinning Tops — Circular motion and elapsed time

Prompt: Make a spinning top.  How long does it spin?

Center 2: Air Tube

Make something that will fly.

Center 3: Zipline – pushes and pulls/ straight and circular motion

Design a car that can carry a toy dragon across the room on a zipline.  Explore ways to make the car move smoother and faster.

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Center 4: Musical Instrument – Vibration

Create a musical instrument with rubber bands.  Find ways to include higher and lower pitched notes on your instrument.

Center 5:  Racetracks

Build a racetrack.  Experiment with different types of cars, marbles, and balls.  Which ones go faster?  Slower?  Why?

Center 6: Robots On the Move

Make Dash the Robot Move!

 Cross Posted at the Learning Collaboratory.

Posted in 3D Printer, English, Reading, Roanoke County Schools, STEM

Tinkerplay

I’ve been playing around with the app, Tinkerplay. ¬†I started with my MakerMonday group of students and successfully printed one to the delight of the child who made it!

Then students in our FACES Special Education class designed characters during their Makerspace time.

Finally, I brought in a class of 22 third graders who are reading The Indian and Cupboard.  They designed action figures to place in the cupboard.

 

From those three trials, here’s what I’ve learned.

  • The smaller the scale, the easier it is for the action figures to break. ¬†I found 75% was perfect.
  • Students can easily be given parameters to keep their figures from getting out of hand. ¬†In the beginning, I had one action figure with 75 pieces! ¬†I limited students on the amount of filament (grams) and the estimated print time. ¬†They had no problem with this.
  • Saving is a bit complicated. ¬†I attached Tinkerplay to our school dropbox account and saved to there. ¬†I found that it automatically named the file with a number based on the time of day it was saved. ¬†That meant, theoretically, if I didn’t clear out the folder before a group began saving the next day, things could get messy. ¬†I also found that it was important to stagger saving so that people didn’t save on top of each other. ¬†One save per minute. ¬†I showed the students how to find the file name after it had saved so they could write it down. ¬†It made it much easier to know whose was whose later.
  • Taking a picture of the finished creation helped students put them together when printing was finished.

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