Sunday, November 27, 2011

Earth/Space Science Unit Ready to Blast Off!

With each new unit and topic, the kids ask me, "Is this your favorite topic?" and, I most sincerely say, "YES" each time! But, as I review my content, double check my materials, and get ready for this unit, I am REALLY excited.

These are a few tricks in the bag...

Oldies, but goodies:
1. Marcus Chown's Solar System app- love, love, love the science content and manipulation of app.
2. Pocket Earth app- Great to add to lesson using models and flashlights for a deeper understanding of day/night cycles.
3. NASA app- Do I need to say's NASA!
4. Recycled robots project- This project is designed to give students a week in class with various recycled containers, motors, lights, gears, and every other gadget you can imagine to build a robot. It is crazy fun, and it is the way to bridge earth and space science to physical science. So, it is towards the end.
5. Solar System walk outside to see spacing of our planets and other bodies from sun.
6. Solar System in a cup- Objects represent planets.
7. Cool Brain Pops, TED talks, They Might Be Giants, and more!
8. Pages project for order of the planets.

New this year:
1. Edmodo badges to award at each concept check. Giving the unit a game like feel (thanks for the link T.J.), we will build from Earth Cycle Experts to Lunar Landers to Planetary Explorers to Solar/Galactic Guides to Futurists.

2. NASA Lunar and Meteorite samples will be delivered to our school in December because THAT IS AWESOME!
3. Participation in the GRAIL project with Sally Ride Science. Students will be in control of photographing the moon! Wicked cool!
4. Students will be creating Planet Postcards with the LifeCards app.
5. We will be assembling and using NASA robotic arms to simulate real use of robotic technology. Imagine students moving Legos and various materials in a sand box with these robotic arms...better yet, doing it remotely (another classroom) by using an iPad 2 dialed into our smart board with Skype! Two Skype accounts will be utilized to "call ourselves" to work remotely. Hope that is is in my mind, and I'm SO excited!
6. Design your own moon/planet base or space probe with Legos, Blocks app and Keynote to present.

And more!

So, yeah! This is my favorite unit. ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Biomes, iPads, and FUN

To view a video of this...

As culmination for our Life Science unit, students chose a biome from around our AWESOME planet to research and create a project to present to the class. We used our learning from the first quarter and our resources to get great info.

Our resources included:
-Our textbook (homework to gather information)
-Class animal card set (donated by a great student)
-Our iPads Internet resources (Including and

Students grouped together based on biome interests to create a representation of their learning. They were able to chose to create:
-Keynote presentation
-Electronic postcards with LifeCards app
-Mini-display board (reused iPad boxes)
-Pages poster
-Toontastic cartoon

*Students will have an opportunity to create a project with the media that didn't explore this time later. ;)

Some observations-
-Students are great problem solvers, but not great with quality checking their work. They will figure out a way to draw a picture on one iPad, drop it into Dropbox, and pull it up on another ipad to add to an iMovie. Wow...right? they think to adjust volume, check the picture after inserted? Nope.
-Students were SUPER proud of their work, and they loved using Edmodo for feedback! They gave each other great praise and support. It was really cool to read their comments.

To view some student projects, please visit our website at and go to Student Projects. There are 5 class periods to surf through under that. You can send feedback to our class twitter account @lacrossescience

Remember, the students have been using the iPads since September. They are not iMovie experts (I'm not either.). So, be kind. ;)

Now...onto Earth and Space Science which started with a blast! Seriously...volcano lab!
Check it out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad