Friday, November 28, 2014

Green Screen Makes Learning Real...Fun!

Bay Colony Educators - Tim & Carole
This week our school was visited by the Bay Colony Educators thanks to funding by our PAC.  This husband and wife team having been coming to our school for over 20 years.  Students learn what life would be like living in the 1760's in New England. Learning about colonial homes, chores, food, clothing, school and more makes this visit interesting as it is quite extensive.

Using a graphic organizer, students take notes during the hour-long presentation. Using those notes students then were able to compare and contrast Colonial life to the lives of the Pilgrims and our own lives today.

Technology certainly has improved since the eighteenth century, and we decided to capitalize on it.  Using a Green Screen app on the iPad, DoInk, students were able to share what they learned in a fun and unique way. Using their notes students wrote about what they learned, their opinion why they
DoInk App
would and why they would not have liked to live during that time period.  Then they chose one of those topics to create a mini video.  Placed in front of the "green screen" students choose a colonial background and shared the information by creating a video on DoInk.  DoInk is easy to use.  Simply choose a background image, clipart, or background video then create the overlay video.  Save the video to your camera roll.

After saving the video to the camera roll, we used the iMovie app to create a video that can be shared via Youtube!  It really is very easy and quick.  (Except this first time since we were learning how to use the app!).

Take a look at some of the creations! Using this type of technology is engaging for the students which makes learning!



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Second Annual Science Fair

What is the effect of soda on teeth?  What is the effect of light on fish?  Do cats have a dominant paw? These are just a couple of questions that were being examined during our Second Annual Science Fair.

Using BrainPop, JP Taylor's Scientific Method Blues and other resources, students were given instruction around the Scientific Method.   To begin the process students explored a topic in Earth Science, Life Science or Physical Science and then learned about asking a question.  Following that came researching the topic, forming a hypothesis, testing that hypothesis and coming up with some conclusions. 

Students had the option of creating either a Google Presentation or a Tri-fold Board.  Most students in our class chose to complete the Google Presentation.  Some printed out some of the Google Presentation and included it on their tri-fold.  Others followed the tri-fold directions from the guiding packet.

On the day of the fair, students brought in items that helped create a visual for their project.  One student brought in the rocks she used to check for absorbancy, another brought in her moldy bread, while another brought in bouncy balls used in her experiment.

There was a buzz in the classroom as kindergartners through 5th graders learned from the fourth graders about chemical reactions which create rock candy, clean copper and cause soda to explode.  Others listened intently as students explained the amount of iron in cereal, where the most germs are located and how the temperature of water affects the time it takes to freeze.

When the Fair was all over the students completed a "Reflection" worksheet.  The last question on the reflection asked students to describe the Fair in one word:  Awesome! Amazing! Fun! Educational! were just some of the descriptions.

The 4th Grade Science Fair is here to stay!

Students: What advice would you give others about completing a science fair?

Others:  What parts of the Science Fair would you like to learn more about?