Category Archives: 3-5

Biomes for Everybody

Our fifth grade has been working on biomes, interdependence between plants and animals, and food webs. Some of the classes came and did research on it in the library but each focused on it in different ways. One class researched the biomes, but wanted more focus on the interdependence portion and then used Discover Ed to create boards about their biome. Another class researched the same things but then focused more on going in depth on particular animals in the biome to trace out food webs for the biome. We will be creating a Google Slides presentation showing the information and creating a food  web with images or using shapes. Here are a few pictures of some of the boards they created in Discovery Ed. There are more to them than what you can see if you scrolled down the pages, but I couldn’t fit it all in to take a picture. (We talked about making the backgrounds reflect their biome and they did a great job while still being creative, I think!)

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Polar Chatterpix

Third graders have been working on our research process, the Big 6. Lately, we have been researching a polar animal and then working together to combine their information to write a script and create a Chatterpix. They did a great job! One note to remember is that the Chatterpix Kids app only allows you to narrate up to 30 seconds, so some of them wrote more but it wouldn’t all fit. We used the ipads we got with our grant earlier this year, but it would go a lot faster if we had more than two.

Here are some of the final ones we have filmed so far.

More Moon Animations

Here are a few more stop motion moon animations. They are getting a little better as I can show better ideas of how to get it started, have things organized, and add extra frames to slow it down a little. Here they are!

Moon Phases and Stop Motion Animation

I posted a few weeks ago about trying out stop motion animation with a small group in Kindergarten. I jumped off the high dive this time and tried it with curriculum content and 4th graders in whole class settings…with 27-28 kids each class…and only 2 iPads. Well, it didn’t bomb, and I learned a lot about how to make it go better in the future. The biggest thing would be if we could have more iPads I think, so each group could film at one time instead of trying to get one group to finish quickly so the next can film. If each table had their own, they could take their time to make it the way they wanted it.

I found I needed to model what pieces might be needed and an example of one I made so they can see one photo of each phase would make a 1 second video that didn’t show much. They had to use their diagrams they researched to make and label the phases, and to put them in the correct order. (You may notice a couple of mistakes, but they did pretty well.)

Here is my example that I made to show the kids first:

And here are a couple of the final results from the kids. I did have to hurry them up at the end because others needed the iPads all at the same time. I asked them to have their moons drawn and in the correct order with the labels ready before they filmed, gave them a quick rundown of how to use Stikbot to film it, and let them do all the photos and movements themselves.

I think next time, we will actually storyboard it and take a little more time on it. I thought the moon diagrams they had done would act in the same way as a storyboard, but I think they need to think it through a little more and lay out the pieces better. Smaller groups would also help, but with only 2 iPads, I didn’t want to stack up too many groups waiting to film.

Have any of you done any stop motion animation? How do you help students think it through? Any ideas how to get more iPads? I tried a Donors Choose, but it didn’t get funded…

Hour of Code

So, I am a little late on this post, but before Christmas my fifth graders participated in the Hour of Code, and they LOVED it! the Code.org website uses Blockly to introduce students to coding and how to tell the computer what to do using popular characters such as Minecraft, Star Wars, and Frozen. I had planned to do with each grade, but my technology teacher had the same plans. Great minds think alike! So, she is doing it now with 4th and then 3rd grades.

Some other resources that my son has used at home are the board game Robot Turtles, which requires zero technology and not even any batteries! Also, for Christmas, he got a Code and Go set from Learning Resources with a robot mouse that you code to go through maze challenges. Either of these could be great for a center or intro to coding for younger kids.

Here are some shots of my 5th graders coding away!

Book Pumpkins

Our third grade has once again created awesome book pumpkins! Here are just a few.

Infographics Rock!

Our district held a conference this summer and one of the sessions I attended was about infographics. We learned about several different sites but the first one that I was able to confirm was ok to use with elementary students and figure out how to use was easel.ly. We have just used the free portion, but are looking into purchasing the pro version (if I get the grant I wrote)! The first class I used it with was 4th grade AIG working on various natural disasters. I was amazed at how fast they picked it up and how different each one turned out. We did have a few glitches and some trouble with logging in one day, but other than that it was great. The kids loved it and have been asking about using it again. I hung up printouts of the finished product and have had teachers already asking me about doing something with it with their classes and have a 5th grade already signed up to use it in conjunction with Native American research. Here are some of them working on it. (We used Britannica’s Image Quest for the photos and it was such a good resource as well.)

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