Monday, July 11, 2016

PBL with Makey Makey

Project Based Learning begins with a Driving Question and evolves into a thematic exploration. I wanted to explore PBL with my summer interns and model for them how to plan and implement a PBL.  Here is what we did.  

First I Identified the standards I wanted to hit.

5th grade Science
Students will understand features of current electricity
  • Draw a label components of an electrical circuit
  • Investigate materials that prevent the flow of electricity
  • Make a working model of a closed circuit with a switch and conductors.

5ht grade ELA

Reading Informational Text, Standards 9 and 10

  • Integrate information from several texts, on the same topic to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably
  • Read and understand technical text

Writing Explanatory Text, Standards 2,7, and  8

  • Write text that explains information and conveys ideas clearly
  • Conduct short research projects
  • Recall relevant information from experience and gather information from print and digital sources to summarize or paraphrase.

  • Apply strategies for identifying and solving hardware and software problems

    • Use the content specific tools for research
    • Design, develop, publish and present products
    • Exhibit legal and ethical behaviors while using information and technology

Then I identified the Intended Learning Outcomes for the Unit

  • Communicates understanding of a circuit
  • Draws and labels components of a circuit
  • Creates a switch, can explain open and closed circuit
  • Defines insulators and conductors
  • Works collaboratively with group to creatively apply ideas about circuitry to a new situation that involves critical thinking
  • Explains Teacher Thinking, connections to Science and Engineering Practices, 21st century skills, and standards.

Driving Question: How does current electricity work and how can it be used through a circuit board to control a computer?

Entry Event: LED Throwies

The students are given the materials and are allowed to explore until they are able to light the bulb.  Discussion about the science involved.  Why is it only light when you connect it in a certain way?

 For the whole LED Throwie Lesson see LED Throwies

Next Stage Squishy Circuits: Students are given materials and asked to light a light bulb, then try the other make the motor work and the buzzer buzz.  Students are challenged to make a switch.  Students discover closed circuit, open circuit, conductors and insulators. 

For the complete lesson on Squishy Circuits see Fun with Squishy Circuits

(On another day) Next Stage: Makey Makey

I showed students this video 

I present the Driving Question:
How does current electricity work and how can it be used through a circuit board to control a computer?

Students are asked to generate questions that they will Need to Know the answers to in order to create their Makey Makey Project.

Students are divided into groups, each group has a laptop and a Makey Makey. Through Trial and error they figure out how to make it work. Through purposeful research they troubleshoot and think critically to figure out what they can create. Each group contributes at least one answer to the Need to Know questions. They are placed on the Project Board.


Once the students have had ample time to research and prepare their project and display board (several days) We had a Presentation Day in which we invited family and friends to come see our finished project. 

Here are some of their finished projects:

Here is the sequence of the Unit

Sequence of Unit

  • Entry Event: LED Throwies
  • Concept Development: Squishy Circuit
  • Challenge and Driving Question Presented
  • Generating of Need to Know Questions
  • Research: Hands-on and Looking things up
  • Planning, Designing, Implementing, Recording Ideas and Redesigning
  • Presenting
Our PBL was a huge success.  The students said it was very engaging and they learned a lot  

If you would like to see more of these projects in person, please visit the STEM+ Expo.  STEM+Expo  The STEM+ Expo is free to attend and we will be giving away a free Makey Makey!  

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And a few more:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Call For Makers and Exhibitors UVUSTEM+Expo

You are cordially invited to attend UVU's STEM+ Expo on Saturday, September 24th, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00p.m.

The STEM+ Expo provides a place for people of all ages to participate in the Maker Movement for FREE!
The Maker Movement has its emphasis, simply put: on having children and adults make something.  The Maker Movement encourages creativity, new ideas, innovation, repurposing, design principles and thinking outside the box.  
The Maker Movement is one manifestation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)  Through the Maker Movement we can encourage people to try something new, learn while using tools, explore new ideas, and engage in critical thinking.

There is a saying in the Maker Culture:  It is not a make if you don’t share it.  

Sharing and showcasing what one has made and the process of the making is an important aspect of the Maker Movement.

Our STEM+ Expo will be an opportunity for all types of Makers to showcase their Makes and explain/demonstrate their process.

At the STEM+ Expo you will have a chance to meet Makers of all kinds and speak with them about their process while you see what they make.

You will also be able to participate in Make and Take Booths where we will have items to Make and Take such as LED Lights, a Sound Sandwich, weaving and marshmallow launchers, absolutely FREE!

You will also have the opportunity to visit Make and Take a Photo Booths that allow you to explore and play with some interesting materials such as Squishy Circuits, Keva Planks and Makey Makeys.

It is FREE to attend the STEM+ Expo

We are currently looking for Makers who wish to Exhibit at the STEM+ Expo.  If you are interested, please visit our website and apply to be a Maker under the Maker tab.  It is Free to exhibit, but you must apply.

And Follow us on Twitter

Please share this post on social media using #UVUSTEM

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

QR Codes in The Classroom

QR codes are easy to use and add interest and technology use to any lesson.  QR stands for Quick Response and they are a scannable image that takes you directly to a website.   It is free to create a QR code and super simple.  It is also free to download a scanning app.

To make a QR code simply use and online QR code generator.  You can google one or you can use  Copy and paste the url you want the QR code to take the students to and presto!  You have a QR code!
Here is the QR code I have made to this blog. 

Next I save the QR code I have created as a jpeg.  I can then put it on a piece of paper and print it out. 

There are many ways you can then use a QR code.  You can have a scavenger hunt and students look for pieces of information on the various websites.  

Students can write down information that they find responding to specific prompts.

Scanners are free apps that you can get for your SMART phone or Tablets in your app store.  Simply hold the device over the QR code and the device will go to that specific webpage.   

Some clever teachers make games out of the QR codes to review for a test reinforce information.

This teacher used the QR codes as part of a check out system for books. 

And here are some examples of other clever ways to use QR codes.

It is easy to infuse your lessons with this fun and free technology code.

Check out my TPT Store for more great ideas.

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Infusing Technology in Face to Face Instruction

I wanted to provide an example for my preservice teachers on how to infuse technology into a lesson.

Here is an example of one such lesson. 

 We start with a SMARTboard sort about owl facts and myths

Click here for a copy SMART Board sort OWLS Facts and Myths

Next I provide a hands-on, inquiry based experience.

Students discover what the owl ate and the unique digestive adaptation that owls have.
Students use interactive notebooks to record information and connect to writing informational text standards.

Students also take the opportunity to
Tweet their findings using our class hashtag. 

We do further research using iBird Ultimate

Click here for a 5 e learning cycle lesson Owl Pellet Lesson

SMARTboard Activity on Owls SMARTboard Owl Fact and Myth Sort

Please tweet or share on Pinterest if you like this post!  

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Best Folds for Interactive Notebooks

Now that I have been making Foldables for several years I have landed on a few favorites that I use again and again in different assignments. In this blog post I am going to share some of my favorites.  

Circles can be used in a variety of ways. Wheels, layers and lift the flap.  Circles are easier to do if you have a template. Circles can be hard for students to cut without a template.  You can find templates for circle foldables here. Circle Foldables

The Match Book Fold.  This nifty little tab keeps the foldable from getting caught and bent back when your turning pages.  It comes in a variety of numbers of tabs and can be used in any subject. Click here to see my Super template pack that includes Match Book Folds Super Pack of Foldable Templates

 Another fold I really like is the four part interlocking fold.  When it is open like below there is lots of space to write information, when it is closed it locks neatly.


These interlocking four part Foldables can be found in my super Pack of Foldables Super Pack of Foldable Templates
or in my Interlocking Fold Pack Interlocking Foldable Pack

I also really like the sliding Folds and so do the students!  These handy foldables allow students to slide out a piece of information and then slide it back in!  

They come in different shapes. Like these small sliding folds that you can put several tickets or ideas into one pocket. The Sliding Fold Templates can be found in my Super Pack of Templates for Interactive Notebooks or by themselves in Sliding and Pull-Out Templates

The Triangle Sliding Fold Template can be used either way.  Pointing down....
......or Pointing up

The rectangle sliding fold is also versatile. 

Shutter fold are useful whether they are split or whole.  

 You can find this Template FREE in my Store Free Foldable Template

 Below you can see an envelope fold and a shutter fold.

Both can be found in my Super Pack of Foldables Super Pack of Foldable Templates

Be sure to check out my store for this surprise FREE Foldable Template Freebie

If you like this post please share on social media!  Thank you for visiting and have fun with some paper!