Not Your Average Rain Forest Diorama!

2nd Graders were reading about the Rain Forest, so in STEAM they made a model of a Rain Forest.  Each group made a different layer of the Rain Forest and then we taped our boxes together.  We also had students make pipe cleaner animals.  We connected our animals to a Makey Makey, and learned how to program them in Scratch!  When our Makey Makey is attached to our animals, we can touch them and they make their animal noise!  We learned a lot about the Rain Forest and circuitry in this unit!

Me On the Map

First graders were reading about maps, so in STEAM they planned and designed a map of an imaginary community. First, we brainstormed places in a town and made a concept map.  Next, students made a map on the Interactive Whiteboard.  Then, they made a model of their town. Each group made a different building for our town.  A big thank you goes out to Colteryahn Dairy who donated empty cartons for the buildings. Students programmed the BeeBots to go from one place in the town to another. They also learned about circuits and made “Squishy Circuits” with play dough, a battery pack and a light bulb. They put their “Squishy Circuits” in the buildings to light them up!  See our learning in action in this video:

Algorithms for Algorithms

When students create a computer program they are creating an algorithm or listing the steps needed for something to happen.  Students also use algorithms in mathematics; in this case the algorithms would be the steps taken to divide fractions or multiply decimals.  Students were challenged to create a program in Scratch that reteaches a math concept. By elaborating on their understanding of the math by teaching the concept to others, this will help them store this skill in their long term memory!

Here are their final products:

Mr. Beighley’s Class

Mrs. Brock’s Class

Mrs. Hartle’s Class

Mrs. Keczmer’s Class

Mrs. Ramer’s Class

Mrs. Rupik’s Class

Multiplication the Fun Way

Students in 4th Grade read stories from the book Times Tables the Fun Way that provides tales and visuals to help students remember their multiplication facts.  For example, for 6 x 6 their are the two 6s that are wandering through the desert an and they are “thirsty sixes”.  Thirsty six sounds like 36, so students will remember more easily that 6 x6 = 36.  They recreated these stories by creating a program in Scratch, a free programming software from MIT.  Here are links to their work:

Mrs. Malatesta’s Class

Mrs. Ray’s Class

Mrs. Rusnak’s Class

Mrs. Shumsky’s Class

Kodable

In STEAM we have been emphasizing Computational Thinking by teaching programming or “coding”.  One of our favorite Coding programs is Kodable!  Your child can use Kodable at home as well!  It is available as an app or online.  Be sure to enter your child’s class code.  A list of the codes are below:

  • Mrs. Cosky:  steamkc
  • Mrs. Kennedy: steamkk
  • Mrs. Leseiko:  steamkl
  • Mrs. Thomas:  steamkt
  • Ms. Bennis:  steam1b
  • Mrs. Clinger: steam1c
  • Mrs. Kovach: steam1k
  • Mrs. Malinich: steam1m
  • Mrs. Bischak: steam2bis
  • Mrs. Boswell: steam2bos
  • Mrs. Fetkovich: steam2f
  • Mrs. Somerville: steam2s

BeeBots have Kindergarteners Buzzing about Coding

During the 2nd Nine Weeks, Kindergarteners studied Bees in the STEAM Lab through hands-on coding. First, students worked together to create beehives out of donated cardboard tubes and tissue paper flowers. Each week students learned about the ways bees are helpful through short videos from Discovery Education.  Then, students arranged their beehives and flowers on their BeeBot mat.  Students took turns programming or “coding” the BeeBots to get them to model a task such as:

  • Getting Nectar- Going from the beehive to a flower.
  • Making Honey- Going from a flower to the beehive.
  • Pollination- Going from one flower to another flower.
  • Bee Dance- Going back to the beehive and doing a dance to communicate to the other bees where the flowers are.
  • Two Bees-  The first bee goes from the beehive to the flower and and the second bee follows!

Check out the video compilation of this project below, and be sure to check out your child’s See Saw Portfolio. (Don’t have a See Saw account? Email Miss Conroy at cconroy@ambridge.k12.pa.us to ask for one!)