Monday, April 16, 2018

Cardboard Challenge: A Success

After three weeks of planning and creating the students were able to enjoy an afternoon of play.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sh! Room 202 will be Playing "CARDBOARD" Games Tomorrow

Here's the project, now see what we have done so far. Scroll to the bottom to see how far we've come and check back tomorrow to see how they all turned out!

As a class, we have decided to try the Global Cardboard Challenge. All of the students will have
some science time (many students will have extension time also) to create an arcade style game
out of cardboard. This is being planned and made here in school but we need your help finding
materials at home.
The goals and activities are:
  1. Research:
    1. Make an informed choice regarding theme (voted in a Google Form) The class voted on an arcade.
    2. Look at examples to brainstorm ideas
  2. Planning and preparing
    1. Reduce, reuse recycle video and classroom discussion
    2. Plan what you will make using only at home readily available materials. Raid the house for leftover craft materials, cardboard, bottle caps, and more - please do not buy anything other than fasteners (tape, glue, etc.)
    3. Help your children find supplies at home to use to build with.
    4. Create your plan in school.
  3. Use your plan to build and problem solve
    1. Use your plan to put together
    2. Problem solve as you go
    3. Document corrections
Standards Addressed:
4.3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out tests of one or more design features of a given model or prototype in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify which features need to be improved. Apply the results of tests to redesign a model or prototype.
4.3-5-ETS1-5(MA). Evaluate relevant design features that must be considered in building a model or prototype of a solution to a given design problem.*

5.3-5-ETS3-2(MA). Use sketches or drawings to show how each part of a product or device relates to other parts in the product or device.*

In the end, they will be able to play the other games built by the other children in the class. Ready, Get Set...Build, then Play!

Here is a list of possible supplies.

Used cardboard boxes (big and medium size)
Cereal boxes
Assorted paper for making fun passes
Brown paper bags
Empty containers of strawberries
Empty cupcake containers (if available)
Empty bottles and bottle caps
Egg cartons
Milk cartons
Paper towel and toilet paper tubes
Old fabric, pillowcases or clothes cut into scraps
Old stuffed animals and toys


Clear packing tape and mini tape dispenser
Bottles of glue
Glue sticks
Any sort of small hoop or o-ring that would function to create a basketball hoop (coffee cups? to cut apart?)
Duct tape

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Math: Weather Data to Inform Decisions

Oh No! More Snow

Today in class, students analyzed the weather to decide what Burlington Public School should do tomorrow in the event of snow. Students looked at to see the hourly chance of precipitation, temperature and wind speed along with the Storm Alert.

From there students utilized the data to make informed decisions regarding school cancellations, delays, and early releases. In no way, shape or form is this a real report; however, the students took their roles responsibly. In the end, each group created their own Dr. Conti All Call to inform parents of any type of school change in the event of too much snow...again!

See some decisions we made along the way.

See what Dr. Conti might say if he listens:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Where is our Earth in the Universe?

After two snow storms and 4 snow days, we are finally finishing out our exploration of Earth in the Universe. We have discovered that the Earth spins counterclockwise by placing sundials on ourselves to see where the sun rises and sets. The children explored their own understanding of the vastness of space by making models of the distance between the Earth and the sun. They determined the relative size of the Earth as compared to the sun and more. However, today came as a real revelation when they could put everything they already knew into play along with what we've learned.

As all the students stood around the 'sun' today holding a map of the United States with an X on Burlington, one student stated, "I have to turn counterclockwise because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. He used evidence to determine which way he had to turn. Success, he used a tool. Another student was struggling to determine which way the Earth revolves around the sun. We were able to draw from the last student and utilize a similar problem solving strategy. She compared herself to the skillfully spread out summer, fall, winter and spring solstices to determine that the Earth also orbits the sun in a counterclockwise direction.

There is so much more to tell, but hopefully you has a 202 student at home who can't wait to share.

Spreadsheets, Spreadsheets Everywhere

For those of you who don't know me, I love math and science! For me, teaching math is like teaching students how to do magic. It is magic! I love how you can pull the numbers together and make them work for you.

Every year, I teach the students how to make spreadsheets. It is such a great tie in to equations and the order of operations. At first, we review data analysis with mean, median, mode and range, but them we dive right into how to make the spreadsheet.

After they make my assigned spreadsheet, I challenge them to make their own using their math grades from class. Today, two topics later, they are still adding in their updated grades. 

Strong Shapes, Structures and Bridges

After almost a month of mini-lessons on planning and design students were sent to create their own bridges. Check it out. They all held the weight of the brick!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Too Big, Too Small, Or Just Right? How to Develop a Topic

We watched a read aloud of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The story led us to a great conversation about having topics that are just the right size. Students cannot write three paragraphs about a topic that is too small. Students also cannot write three paragraphs about a topic that is not specific enough. And finally, we realized it is hard to convince anyone of anything if it does not sound appealing.

From here, we introduced just one student's sentence to decide if the sentence's topic and main idea would be just right for a five paragraph essay. 

Today’s Example: Too big.
If you enjoy the outside, then snowball fighting may be excellent for you.

Topic: Snowball fighting
Main Idea: Snowball fighting is excellent if you love the outdoors.
Corrected: If you enjoy playing with your friends outside when the cold air hits, then you should try snowball fighting.

The children quickly realized that enjoying the outside did not constitute snowball fighting, but we had a harder time determining what did. We knew we had to add in the cold weather, but what else? They all agreed it should be something about friends.

Finally, we returned to the Topic Sentence writing homework to determine if topics were, Too Big, Too Small, or Just Right? This week students were given their old sentences to fix. They had to find the topic and main idea of the original sentence. Then, decide if it was too big or too small and fix it.