Jamestown Hybrid/Digital Breakout Edu

At the VSTE conference this year, I attended a session where the presenter, Kristine Vester (@kavester) shared her ideas for Hybrid Breakouts.  Basically, Hybrid Breakouts were a mix of digital and hands-on Breakout Edu games.  Students solved all the clues online, and then once they knew the lock combinations, they used those combinations on a physical box with actual locks.  It was appealing to me because it meant you could use less boxes (between groups you could re-lock the box), it allowed for more participation for individual players, and the set-up was a lot easier on me!  I still LOVE hands-on Breakout Edu games and will continue to use them, but this idea provided an alternative, especially when there was limited time to make physical game pieces.

I tried it out with two fourth grade Virginia Studies classes.  I built a Jamestown Digital Breakout using Breakout Edu’s new platform.  There were enough locks in the Digital version that every student on a team would be able to “drive” the computer for a lock.

At the end of the game, the reveal was the lock combinations for the physical box.  There were enough locks on this one too that everyone in a group could open at least one lock.

After playing it a few times, I’ve adjusted the clues a bit.  I think it’s perfect for students in Grades 4 and 5, which was just what I needed for our Virginia SOLS.  All teams were able to Breakout in under 45 minutes, and they had a blast playing!

So, just in case someone else would like to use it, included a link below. For the Hybrid version, you will also need a Breakout Box with a 4 digit lock, 3 digit lock, word lock, direction lock, and key lock (combinations are shown at the end of the game).

Jamestown Breakout Edu – Hybrid (Play Code: 6XW-P1I-WEU)

I went ahead and created a completely digital version of the game too, just in case someone without access to a box would like to play.

Jamestown Breakout Edu-All Digital (Play Code: 8HY-TK7-IUY)

I don’t want to post answers online, but if you need help figuring it out, feel free to contact me.

Field Trips Around the World with VR

We all know that students remember the things they experience–that’s why we like to take students on field trips when it’s possible.  As teachers we know it is often hard to really communicate ideas about different places that students have never been — they can look at pictures, but it’s just not the same.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could take students to all the places they study?  Talk about an expensive field trip! Or…maybe not!

Over the past few weeks, fourth graders at Oak Grove have been helping me experiment with using Virtual Reality as a way to going on virtual field trips.  As they were studying habitats, they had the chance to actually “visit” habitats around the world using the app Google Expeditions.  I brought in a virtual reality headset that works with a phone and played around with allowing students to go scuba diving in a coral reef, polar bear site seeing in the arctic, safaris in the savanna, and much more.  Since I only have one phone, we also tried out using the app on the iPads without a VR headset, allowing for up to four groups to be participating at a time.

Finally, students then took turns taking each other to different habitats using the teacher console of Google Expeditions and one VR headset.  It was fun to watch them teach each other about what they were seeing in the various places.  I’m excited about the potential of this technology and can’t wait to see how it will transform classrooms in the future.

Virtual Reality from elemitrt on Vimeo.

 

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!

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.

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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Mouse Traps with 3rd Graders

Mrs. Weikle’s class, with the help of Mr. Clark, visited the Makerspace for a STEM activity. They created Mouse Traps that contained at least one simple machine and one 3D shapes. Then they used Pic Collage to display their creations. Take look below!

Take a look at a few of their traps in action!

 Cross posted at Oak Grove Digital Archive.

3rd Grade Green Screen Explorer Videos

Third Graders used a green screen to record part of their performance for PTA.  Students acted, filmed, and edited their own explorer videos (using the app Green Screen by Doink) in the Makerspace for this project.  If you missed the performance, you can check them out below!

Explore All Videos