Sunday, November 12, 2017

Grade4 Makerspace Movies-Monday Class

Students in fourth grade enrichment have spent time this fall creating movies that share their favorite things about the RES makerspace.  This project has allowed students to dive into the makerspace, utilize movie making software as well as to use the equipment to teach others what is possible!  I love the diversity of makerspace choices and the way in which the students chose to share their info.  All of the created movies are students designed, filmed and edited.

Here is the fourth grade Monday class movies!

Green Screen

CD People "Come to the Makerspace!"

Take Apart Center

Take Apart Safety


Take Apart a Drone
**Coming Soon**
Make a Puppet

Take Apart a Printer



Grade4 Makerspace Movies-Friday Class

Students in fourth grade enrichment have spent time this fall creating movies that share their favorite things about the RES makerspace.  This project has allowed students to dive into the makerspace, utilize movie making software as well as to use the equipment to teach others what is possible!  I love the diversity of makerspace choices and the way in which the students chose to share their info.  All of the created movies are students designed, filmed and edited.

Here is the fourth grade Friday class movies!

Lego Wall Marble Run


Recycled Dudes

 

Marble Mazes

Green Screen
 

Green Screen Expectations
 


Yogurt Cup Babies

Coming Soon: Lego Stop Motion Video!

Grade4 Makerspace Movies: Wednesday Class

Students in fourth grade enrichment have spent time this fall creating movies that share their favorite things about the RES makerspace.  This project has allowed students to dive into the makerspace, utilize movie making software as well as to use the equipment to teach others what is possible!  I love the diversity of makerspace choices and the way in which the students chose to share their info.  All of the created movies are students designed, filmed and edited.

Here is the fourth grade Wednesday class movies!

Taking Apart a Computer:




Stop Motion Legos and the Green Screen



The RES Makerspace with Harry Potter





Marble Mazes



Rainsticks in the Makerspace


VCR Take Apart


Homemade Fidget Spinners


CD Player Take Apart

Friday, November 10, 2017

Cougar Cub Inventor's Workshop--Save the Date!

Richmond Elementary School , in conjunction with
the Society of Women Engineers, ECHO Science Museum, Radiate Art Space and  MMUSD Educators is proud to present the third annual:
COUGAR CUB INVENTOR’S WORKSHOP
Thursday November 30th, 2017
5:30 – 7:30pm
RES Gym, Library and Art Room
Cost: 2$ per project (to cover cost of disposable resources, scholarships available)

What is an Inventor’s Workshop?
This workshop is a family-friendly event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, craft, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, science and technology.  Students will work with their families to create!  Activities will be facilitated by engineers and teachers, but tasks will be open ended and creative.  Families will have an opportunity to learn together as they experience the fun of making / building / constructing / designing and more! A variety of activities will be available to challenge students from Grades K – 8.

Activities planned for our workshop include:
Cardboard Challenge:  Create with cardboard! The possibilities are endless!
Making a keyboard with bananas!  MaKey MaKey Boards are electronic devices that convert many regular objects into keys on your computer to control programs like Scratch or videos games.  Objects that are conductive, even slightly, like fruit or people, can be used with the MaKey. 
*New this year*Build and Launch a Rocket!  Using makerspaces materials we will build rockets that reach for the stars as they travel several stories into the night sky.
Creating lighted artwork with throwies!  LED Throwies are LEDs connected to coin batteries to create artwork with light.  They can be added to greeting cards or origami, or used to create nightlights or glowing badges. We will have a station to add LEDs to our rockets
Creating interactive circuits with littleBits!  littleBits are electronic modules that snap together with magnets to make circuits.  Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, motors, etc), and modules snap together to make larger circuits. We will have a teacher on hand to use synthesizer Little Bits to create awesome sounds.
Checking out a 3D printer in action!  CHMS and RES students have been using a 3D printer during technology/enrichment classes. Come and watch a 3D printer in action and explore the Tinkercad software we use to make our designs.
Make it Fly!: Create objects to fly in the wind tunnel and fly gliders with BRMS middle schoolers and staff.
Creating abstract art with a digital microscope!  DinoXcope Art is artwork created using a digital microscope to photograph intentional arrangements of materials.  
Programming interactive games with Scratch!  Scratch is a visual programming language.  Use colorful interlocking building blocks of code like legos to build interactive games and programs.
Green Screen! Green screen technology is used to create background scenes for pictures in films and photographs.  Come and create your own awesome photo.
JitterBots!  Back due to popularity, you can create your very own jittery robot!

      SNAP Circuits, Art Creation with Radiate Art Space, ECHO Engineering Challenge, Keva Planks, Robots…and more!!!!
Please contact Darcie Rankin, RES Enrichment Teacher at darcie.rankin@cesuvt.org with questions.
We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Great Start

Every teacher spends time over the summer thinking about how to make the school year great....and we all know that a great start goes a long way towards helping students get excited about the year and invested in their learning.  In the enrichment classroom I am lucky to see students once a week as we plan and learn together.  Even though I spend a lot of time over the summer reflecting on the previous year and learning about new ways to engage and work with students, I believe strongly in the idea of using the first days of class to meaningfully reconnect with all of the students.

When you enter my classroom the first few days of school, we aren't going over rules or jumping in to curricular content.  What you will see is students playfully exploring a huge range of materials.  You will observe me meeting individually with every student.  Our discussions will give me a chance to make sure every voice is heard as we discuss: What have you been doing since I last saw you?  Do you have new news or ideas to share with me?  What are your goals and ideas for this year that will make learning awesome for you? Do you know how important you are to me as a teacher, and to our learning community?



These conversations are invaluable to me as a way to connect with students, but also because they provide a backdrop for how and what we will learn.  Of course lots of conversations are based around a students trip to the fair, or time they spent with extended family...but they are also a time for students to share grief or worries.  I want students to know that we are teaching the whole individual person and my investment in time to listen to them is intended to provide a safe and welcoming environment.  I believe that relationships and mutual respect are the cornerstones of meaningful education, and I want my year to begin with those values front and center! 

Now those first few classes are behind us...I have met with hundreds of kids and talked...but mostly listened.  Now we will begin exciting learning in a huge variety of areas. Student input has helped me to get a vision of what our year of learning will look like--and it is going to be great!

If you have ideas about how to make enrichment programming at RES better----please reach out to me.  Community voice is also important as we plan our great year.

An Engineering Challenge: Design a PaperClip

This week in enrichment students in Grades 1-3 spent time participating in an engineering design challenge. At the beginning of the year I like to use these challenges to build teamwork as well as to have students use their creativity!  This is the first year I have done this challenge, and it is  a lot of fun.  First we watched a film about how paperclips are made. Next we looked at other student paperclip designs...and then the challenge:  Build a unique paperclip that holds five pieces of paper.  




I know that RES students are creative, but their ideas and creativity really blossomed.  It was also cool to watch students iterate their designs through the class period if one strategy did not hold paper, OR to create another type if one worked.
Students brought their paperclips home, but here are a few pictures of their work:



My idea for this challenge came from:  http://stemactivitiesforkids.com/2017/06/27/quick-stem-challenge-kids-engineer-new-paper-clip/

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

An Amazing Learning Extension!

Last year in fourth grade students participated in a combined library and enrichment class in which they were supported in developing research questions based on their own interests, finding the answers to those questions and then developing a project to share what they learned.  The process we used with students is documented on this blog:  https://thinkcreatecollaborate.blogspot.com/

The work that students completed during this capstone process is always amazing and unique because it is really driven by their own interests.

Last year one student decided to work on the question:  How do we remember things?
http://images.all-free-download.com/images/graphiclarge/human_brain_picture_165499.jpg
http://images.all-free-download.com/images/graphiclarge/human_brain_picture_165499.jpg

It turned out that this was a question that his sister and he had been discussing at home and that she had submitted to a podcast show for young learners called Tumble Podcast http://www.sciencepodcastforkids.com/.   He thought that instead of waiting for their response he would find the answer and create his own podcast!  His work was great and at the end of the school year he had completed his podcast:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZMQUN1hP2o

His podcast was shared with our school learning community at an in person celebration and posted online. Normally this would be the end of the capstone process as students move to the middle school for Grade5!

But in this case, the exciting part is that at the same time the Tumble Podcast had also decided to explore this question. They created their own podcast with the input from expert scientists...BUT they also included our RES students' work as well (his family had shared his work with the podcast producers!)
Here is the completed Tumble Podcast with our RES student featured!
https://art19.com/shows/tumble/episodes/a7e1b749-9440-49b9-b26b-589b78f4b067

When students pursue their interests their learning is always amazing, but this extension beyond the classroom adds to the idea that we build knowledge as a community of learners -- within our school community but also with the support of family members and experts.  I love playing just a small role in a students' learning journey as they navigate their interests and new knowledge.  As a teacher I believe that it is important to support student interests. Each student is the reason I became a teacher, and this connection to the real world is a reminder to me of how we all play a role in the education of our kids. It is inspiring to see how students have the same questions that other adults pursue as careers over a lifetime.  I am so lucky to learn next to such amazing, thoughtful students!