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:

Meet Milo

Students in 6th and 5th Grade at Economy  have been busy building and programming Milo, a robot that can be built with the Lego WeDo 2.0 Robotics Kit.  First, they built and coded Milo to move forward.  Students worked in groups of 3 and each person had a specialized job, to keep things running smoothly.  One person was the “Picker” or the person who found the correct Legos in the kit.  Another person took on the role of “Builder”. The “Picker” handed the blocks to the “Builder” who assembled the blocks.  Then the “Coder” programmed the robot on the iPad.

Next, students added a motion sensor and programmed the robot to stop at a flower and play tune.  Then, they added a tilt sensor to their Milo and programmed the light on their robot to change color when the tilt sensor is moved back and forth.  Last, was the Collaboration Challenge, where students had to get 2 Milos to work together to pull a load. Check out this video summary of our work below.  We hope that the 4th Graders, as well as the students at State Street will be using these robotics kits before the end of the school year! Be sure to check out your student’s See Saw portfolio for photos and videos of their Milo in action!

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