Friday, December 6, 2013

Perimeter, Twitter, ChatterPix and Christmas Augmented Reality

This week was a whirlwind!  I guess it's cause we're getting back into the swing of things after being gone for Thanksgiving break.

Monday we spent the day catching up on our Classroom Champions lesson, this month over "Community".  We watched a video from our athlete, Josh Sweeney, and then came up with a plan.  To show Community this month we have made a giant tree in the hallway and we're doing random acts of kindness.  Every random act of kindness will get a leaf on the tree!  Excited to watch it grow!

Another idea this week that I had was creating an Augmented Reality Christmas Tree using the app Aurasma.  So I made the tree, cut out light bulbs, and put the kids pictures on each light bulb.  Then I had them record a brief video discussing why they like Christmas.  I attached the video to each picture and now anyone that comes to our school can scan a child's picture on the tree and see a video of them talking about why they love Christmas! A TON of work, oh man.  But HUGE thanks to Drew Minock and Brad Waid for constantly being available to help me make the whole thing and figure out my mistakes :-)




We also did I project this week that I've mentioned before.  It's our perimeter project.  I gave each group of students a piece of chart paper, markers, pencils, crayons, yarn, rulers, play-doh, and blocks.  They had to trace a person's body on the paper, and then find the exact perimeter of that body using whatever tools they could.

I love this project because it really requires the kids to think about the tools necessary to find the perimeter.  Many want to go straight to the ruler to measure, but since they're working with curved lines they have to figure out that using the yarn is the best tool they were given.

I love the conversations that pop up and more!  So great!





The other cool thing we did this week was use a new app I found thanks to Drew Minock, called "ChatterPix".  This app allows you to take a picture, choose where you want the mouth to move, and then record yourself saying something and watch your picture speak it.  To say the kids loved this app is an understatement.  So I decided to give them some homework.  I told them to take the ChatterPix app, and record themselves singing our "Perimeter/Area" song.  They LOVED it!  They came back with so many hilarious videos of cows, hamsters, cars, and even toilet paper singing the song!  It was so much fun they begged to do it again the next night.  Awesomeness.



The final thing that happened this week that I loved was that we were doing a writing lesson and sea animals came up.  One of the students asked if a Starfish was considered a fish....I didn't know...so of course the kid jumped on google to look it up.  At the same time, another student was trying to be funny and said that a starfish was "a star that fell from space, and it the water, and came back to life, like Jesus" I thought it was so funny that we then tweeted it out.  Well wouldn't you know a friend of mine Jenny Buccos, who runs Project Explorer, tweeted us back and shared a link to a video about starfish. We watched that video in class and learned even more!  The kids were in AWE that someone saw our tweet and then shared something with us.  Let's just say that the entire rest of the week the kids were trying to get me to tweet more and more out to see if people would respond.  I even had a child tell me his group was arguing and that he wanted to record them and put it on YouTube to show how juvenile they were acting! Love it!

And how could I forget that this week, I also got to interview Science GURU Steve Spangler on EduAllStars with Chris Kesler. Such a cool experience!