Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Free Android and iOS Game That Teaches Coding

Tommy the Turtle helps kids learn how to code by making it a fun experience.  It's a free app that is available on Android and iOS (both iPhone and iPad). Kids learn about sequencing, looping, and following commands. Click here for the link. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Making Math a Movement Based Learning Experience

Students master content when they are provided opportunities to learn it in a variety of different ways. 

Kelly Mally shared a great interactive Math lesson that can easily be applied to other subjects. The tables have equivalent fractions to the ones written on the balloons that are on the floor. Students walk around the classroom trying to match the equivalent fractions on the balloons to the ones on their tables. Think of the math discussions being had by the students as they are trying to find a pair. 

I think that teachers often underestimate the value of students being able to stand up and move around. My control freak peers that don't want students to flinch without their permission. 

You try to sit for long hours a day and see if you can focus on what's being said without being distracted by how uncomfortable you are. 

Let's not forget what it feels like to be a student. Let's provide students of all learning types, the opportunity to master the concepts. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

3D Printing Student Samples

Many schools are experimenting with 3D printers. I've unfortunately not had the privilege. 3D printers are still very costly. 

What is a 3D printer? It's a printer that allows you to print out an image in 3 dimensions, instead of just a flat piece of paper. The computer tells the printer how to print out the object in layers so that it achieves a 3 dimensional effect. 

This tweet shared by Matt Hiefield shows a few useful items that his students have created. Among them: a cell phone stand, a butterfly shaped paper clip, and a tripod. 

I love how Matt's class projects are creative and useful. Students can take what they have made home and share the excitement of their lessons with their parents. 

STEM/STEAM teachers: Are you doing 3D printing with your students? How are you determining what the students should create?

Teaching the Art of Animation with Pixar

If you are a cartoon lover and Disney fan like I am, you probably are aware of the many Pixar films. Pixar recently had an exhibition in the California Science Center where they taught children the process of animated a character. Pixar provides educators with activities and guides aligned with Common Core Standards with the focus of helping students learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)

While the exhibit is no longer available and not everyone lives close enough to have experienced it, I'm sharing the link that contains the video resources and activity sheets. Click here for the link.

You might also be interested in Pixar in a Box.

It's a series of free lessons available through Khan Academy that teaches students about the steps involved in animation. Khan Academy is also a great resource for Math students. 

Pixar in a Box provides an insiders view of what animator at Pixar goes through from concept idea to creation. Animations are being used in a variety of ways these days, not just for cartoons. We can use animation as a way to motivate students to bring their creations to life, while learning about STEAM.