#ourlearningspace

Bridges and Towers of Disaster

Alright so I’m still at my next blog post this one is going to be about the bridge/tower building project we did in class. One of the great things with this project is we didn’t use any 3D printing. Not that 3D printing has its benefits. But.. when I gave my conference talk earlier this year with the Diocesan conference I said that “3D printing should be used in the proper manner in a classroom meaning it’s a great tool just like virtual reality will be a great tool but you need to use it when it’s needed not just because it’s a tool or a toy.” I think what I’m trying to say is this; 3D printing has its proper place in the curriculum. You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Just because 3D printing is cool and the kids think it’s cool that’s not the point of 3D printing. 3D printing should be used for an educational tool such as helping students learn about modeling and problem solving.

The bridge/tower building project is going to be based on earthquakes and students are going to construct a bridge or tower that can withstand the shaking of a magnitude of 8.5 and 9.2 earthquake. The lesson is coming from the Shaker, Rattle and Roll Earthquake Board and The Towering Toothpick Disaster lab activity. The Towering Toothpick lab is  already created, we purchased both together. The Shaker table is already built and we purchase the table through Sargent Welch. It made it a little easier for us, however it can be expensive so you can find other ways to make a cheaper shaker table. Here are some resources:

Engineering is Elementary

Shake Table

The activity fit perfectly into our curriculum. Students were allowed to use a certain amount of materials to build their towers. Materials included popsicle sticks, toothpicks and wood splints. There were two projects going on at the same time, I had half my classes building Towers and the other half building bridges. The bridge component was a bit different. I used some of the Tower lab to create a background. Bridge builders had a reduced amount of materials. They also had to complete an activity at Bridge to Classroom. This was their background work to the project. Part of their assessment I had my students create a journal on Google Documents for their lab group. Each day they answered questions and summarized their build. Pictures were taken each day and inserted in the journal.

Basically the criteria was set out in the lab activity for the towers, see below:

In addition, your building must meet the following requirements:
Buildings must be 45 cm tall.
Buildings must have 3 stories.
Each story must be 15 cm high.
Each story must have a floor; however, the floor does not have to be solid.
Buildings must have flat roofs.
Buildings cannot have solid walls (instead, the structures should be more like scaffolding).
Building bases (footprints) must be 22.5 x 22.5 cm.

The bridges had different requirements. Most of the criteria related to the materials. However, students were required to have a 30 cm long bridge. They were to follow their design from the website. The bridge component of the project was new. So student feedback on the project would be important to improving it for next.

In my next post I will go over the positives and negatives about the whole project. We are already thinking about what we are going to do next year.   

Far tooooo Long

Time, what’s that? I’ve been really  behind with my blog these days. I haven’t made an entry  in a while so we’re going to start the first entry about the beginning of the school year. I know it’s 4 months into the school year actually more than 4 months for us into the school year because we started really early in August this year.

I decided to change a couple of things, I had to actually make the change. With regrets Zaption went away and I had switch to another site. I now use PlayPostit  for all my videos PlayPostit used to be Educannon. The good thing about PlayPostit was that you had until September 30th to switch over all your zaption videos. Of course I completely forgot and did not switch mine over. However I did start posting on PlayPostit. Here are the some good points and the bad points about PlayPostit. One good thing is that you can place questions in the video, so students will have to answer questions as they are watching the video. I know many of my students have said that they prefer having questions within the video then at the end of the video. Some of the controls in the video allow you to control the rewind and fast forward.

The second thing you can do we play posted as you can keep an eye on what questions students got right, the analytics isn’t bad for a  free version. The pro version  is a little bit different than the free version. I’m still working with the free version. Some of the advantages of having the pro version is the analytics. You can see when students hand in their work late and there are more in depth views of questions. One thing you should tell your students that they have to finish the whole video if they don’t finish the video it will put down incomplete or lock them out. I would say that I’m not happy but I’m not unhappy with the program. I am thinking next year to go back to Screeencast which is part of Camtasia. I do like the interface between Camtasia and Screencast. Once you are ready to produce your video in Camtasia you can upload automatically to Screencast. What’s stopping me from changing? I don’t like making my students change in mid-year, it can complicate things.

If I were flipping my class for the first time I would start with PlayPostit. It’s easy to use and pretty straight forward. You can upload your video to YouTube and then create the vodcast. Once you are comfortable using that tool I would then suggest expanding to Camtasia and Screencast. Just my opinion.

LEGO Challenge Calendar Free Printable for Kids

Want some great new LEGO building ideas for your kids or family? We have a 31 Day LEGO challenge calendar perfect for screen free fun. Free printable.

Source: LEGO Challenge Calendar Free Printable for Kids

Maybe we could change this to suit High School Science Class? Ideas?

Five Tips for Creating Effective Learning Videos

Five research-based tips for designing and reating effective learning videos that are engaging and can hold the viewers’ attention.

Source: Five Tips for Creating Effective Learning Videos

These are great tips. When I do my videos I use most of these to create the video. Great for flipping the classroom.

GOES-R Mission

Source: GOES-R Mission

This new mission could be not only a great weather and climate tool. But also a great educational tool.

What Makes the Kigali Agreement so ‘Monumental’ for Climate Change?

Another great resource, Enjoy🙂

Nat Geo Education Blog

ENVIRONMENT

More than 170 countries have agreed to limit emissions of key pollutants found in air conditioners, a significant step in the effort to keep climate change from reaching catastrophic levels. (Time)

How do greenhouse gases cause atmospheric warming? Use our activity to find out.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

The tropical heat of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, makes air conditioners like these important to a comfortable life! Malaysia is one of more than 170 nations that have agreed to begin phasing out use of HFCs in air conditioners. Photograph by Tinou Bao, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0 The tropical heat of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, makes air conditioners like these important to a comfortable life! Malaysia is one of more than 170 nations that have agreed to begin phasing out use of HFCs in air conditioners.
Photograph by Tinou Bao, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0

Discussion Ideas

View original post 587 more words

America’s Most Endangered Historical Sites

This is a great geography lesson and environmental lesson.

Nat Geo Education Blog

UNITED STATES

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has announced its annual list of America’s “Most Endangered Historic Places.” All of the featured sites were nominated for their historical or architectural significance, their deteriorating conditions, and the viability of a solution to restore them. (National Trust for Historic Preservation)

Use today’s MapMaker Interactive map to navigate these important parts of our heritage.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

Take a look at today’s MapMaker Interactive map to navigate the 11 Most Endangered Historical Sites. All information taken from the good folks at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Take a look at today’s MapMaker Interactive map to navigate the 11 Most Endangered Historical Sites. All information was taken from the good folks at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Discussion Ideas

  • Many of the endangered historic sites address cultural and ethnic diversity in the United States. Can students identify these cultural markers?

View original post 346 more words

We Are All A Work in Progress

Great perspective on classroom visits. I love allowing people in my classroom. There are days I think we had our best lesson, then there are others that I think I can toss. I think the positive is that people have a different perspective and can give you some new ideas. Plus I always get new ideas on how to improve the lesson.
Thanks for sharing

http-www-pixteller-com-pdata-t-l-547127

Sometimes I am asked if other educators can come to our classroom, just to see.  Just to visit, just to speak to our incredible students.  Sometimes I am asked when would be a good time for such a visit.  When will our classroom be ready.  Never, I think to myself.  Right now, I think to myself.  Maybe tomorrow, or next week, or maybe the last day of school.

Because there is no day that is perfect in our classrooms.  There is no lasting moment when we feel we have mastered this year or mastered our content.  There is no point in the year when we know that from here on out all will be right, all will work, all will be figured out.  There is always more work to do.  Moment filled with greatness only to once again be faced with the truth that we still have so much to…

View original post 261 more words

The Scientists Who Pee Plutonium

SCIENCE Members of the exclusive UPPU Club lived and breathed radiation . . . literally. (War is Boring) See the club’s group project here. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources i…

Source: The Scientists Who Pee Plutonium