Category Archives: Science

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.

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Polar Bears

I am finishing up a short unit on polar bears with second grade. We spent a couple of weeks on it and covered things like our Super 3 research process, sources of information, considering the actual source of information, and organizing our information. The second graders looked at a nonfiction polar bear e-book and how to log in to our e-books first. Then, we used some videos from Polar Bears International and talked about sources from people studying polar bears are going to be more trusted sources than random videos we could find on google. Finally, we looked at National Geographic’s webpage. We made these flip booklets as we went. Here are some shots of a few finished ones.

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…

Bees Super 3

I wanted to go ahead and do a little bee research with my Kinders in preperation for pumpkin research in a few weeks so I can tie the two together. This year I decided to try something a little different with the “do” step of the Super 3, and had the students draw and label a bee after we read a nonfiction book about bees. We talked about how you can gather information from pictures as well as the text, then we drew and labeled the bee together as we talked about the different parts. As usual, here are some of their bees!

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This is the one I did with them to model.

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Insects – Fact and Fiction

First graders were flying into insect research! First we read about what makes an animal an insect and they filled in this booklet with facts about insects (I think I got it from TpT?).

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The next week, we reviewed the parts of an insect, and I created a page with a word bank. They created their own imaginary insect and labeled the parts, then named it and wrote about it on the back. I was so impressed with some of the ideas they came up with! You can definitely tell what each student is most interested in.

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Sea Turtles Life Cycle

I am finally adding some of the projects we have been working on to the blog. Second graders spent a few weeks working on sea turtle life cycles. We started off with a graphic organizer and gathered info about the parts of the life cycle from One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies. We talked about the eggs, hatchlings, juveniles, adults, and then laying eggs. Once students had the information, we needed a way to put it together and I wanted to do something a little craftier than I have tried in the library in the past.

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would work out well. I made a few tweaks but mostly it was pretty similar. I made patterns for each table from manilla folders for the kids to trace and cut out the shapes. They colored the shells and wrote about each stage inside the shells and then glued them to a paper circle.

Showing what parts they need

Showing what parts they need

Tracing the patterns

Tracing the patterns

Writing the information in the shells

Writing the information in the shells

Finished!

Finished!

They really enjoyed it but it was definitely a different type of classroom management to think about. I started with one pattern of each shape for each table thinking they would be able to share them but it worked much better to have at least a pattern for the shells for each student. I had them trace everything and color the shells before they cut them out. Then they wrote their information and glued them together. It took an extra class or two than I thought it would for most of the classes, but they really liked it so I think I will do it again, but maybe try to find more ways to streamline it.