This summer, some other GT teachers and I got together to host some free online classes through Edmodo for our 3rd-5th graders. My class is called, “Make a Theme Park.” Each week, the students are invited to make something for a theme park that they have imagined. For the 1st week, the challenge was to build a model of a theme park ride, and the fantabulous Joey Hudy judged. You can see the post I did on the winners here.During the second week, the students created theme park mascots, and Braeden the Master of Puppetry was our judge. Here is the link to that post.
Our third week of our online “Make a Theme Park” class invited the students to create songs for their theme parks. Michael Medvinsky (@mwmedvinsky), who is an amazing music teacher and Master of Making I connected with through Twitter, was our judge for the week. As usual, the creativity and variety in the submissions thoroughly impressed me! Our judge was dazzled as well, and had a very difficult time choosing the winner. There were songs created with Garage Band, piano, Scratch, and even a muffin tin with wrenches! My daughter and I tried to create one with Incredibox and iMovie – but somehow lost the sound :( In the end, Mr. Medvinsky chose the Kittyana Jones Theme Song that was created with Scratch. You can see and hear all of the songs submitted, as well as Mr. Medvinsky’s wonderful comments by going to our Padlet.
On this blog, I tend to post about a lot of ideas that I find, and some readers don’t always get a chance to know if I ever tried them – or if they were complete flops. This week, I want to feature a few past ideas that I did try and that were successful – and that I definitely want to do again.
In 2013 I stumbled across the Global Cardboard Challenge, and decided to see what my GT students could do with it. I had great hopes for it – and I was not disappointed. Here is one of the posts that I did while we were in the midst of the project. My GT students in 1st through 5th grade all participated. You can see some of their creations here.
When I say that I have never been so completely useless as a teacher in my life (except when I administer standardized testing), I am not exaggerating. Why was I useless? Because once the students got to work, they were completely engaged for hours at a time – and they really did not want my help or suggestions. I stood around and made cuts in boxes and distributed packing tape.
I am planning to expand the Challenge this year to include not only my GT students, but also students in a Maker Club that I am going to be sponsoring after school. We also have a fundraiser in the works where the students will display their final products at a local business and the community will be invited to play the cardboard games for a small donation to a charity that my students will determine.
This year’s Global Cardboard Challenge is scheduled for October 11, 2014. But you do not have to actually create on that date! Go to the site for the details and resources, and think about what works for your community of creative kids. And, if you or your students have not seen Caine’s Arcade, the amazing video that inspired this event, make sure you watch it!
In January, I posted about my acquisition of the 3Doodler from a Kickstarter project. My students used it with varying degrees of success in our Makerspace (B.O.S.S. HQ) this year. Some were frustrated immediately, and some went to that center any time they had the chance. I’m trying to encourage them to expand their thinking about what they can accomplish with it. The other day, I ran across a post on Makezine.com that featured a remote control plane that someone built using a 3Doodler Pen! What I particularly like about the story is that it shows the process of building it and testing it – and gives reasons for its somewhat shaky flight. This is a great little video to show students T.M.I. (Think, Make, Improve – recommended by Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez in Invent to Learn).
This summer, some other GT teachers and I got together to host some free online classes through Edmodo for our 3rd-5th graders. My class is called, “Make a Theme Park.” Each week, the students are invited to make something for a theme park that they have imagined. For the 1st week, the challenge was to build a model of a theme park ride, and the fantabulous Joey Hudy judged. You can see the post I did on the winners here.
Last week, the students were assigned to create Theme Park mascots. Braeden, Puppeteer Extraordinaire, was our “celebrity judge” for the week. (You can learn more about Braeden in this post.) After viewing a great introduction video from Braeden and exploring some links I made, the students posted videos and/or pictures of their mascots by Thursday evening on Padlets that I created for the purpose. Braeden gave some awesome feedback for each one. As you can see from the picture above, Shelly The Underwater Sock Bunny was the winner. Some of the other fabulous entries were:
This summer, some other GT teachers and I got together to host some free online classes through Edmodo for our 3rd-5th graders. My class is called, “Make a Theme Park.” Each week, the students are invited to make something for a theme park that they have imagined. Last week, the challenge was to build a model of a theme park ride. With a great introduction video from the awesome Joey Hudy, our “celebrity judge” for the week, and some links I provided, the students were assigned to create projects that were: fun, creative, and had at least one moving part. Their videos and/or pictures of their inventions were posted by Thursday evening on Padlets that I created for the purpose. On Friday, Joey Hudy announced the winners. He admitted, and I completely agree, that choosing the winners was extremely difficult! I was blown away by the intricacies of each one, and it was really fun to see how different they were. Each week we have two categories – one for the family to enter together, or one that the individual student can enter. Here are the winners:
Family Theme Park Ride – “The Sparking Spur” – I don’t have a good image of this one, as only video was provided. However, as you may or may not know, we live in San Antonio – home of the 2014 World Champion Spurs basketball team. This ride celebrates our awesome team and city by starting at the AT&T Center, going past the Tower of the Americas and the Alamo, and ending at the River Walk.
Individual Theme Park Ride – “Kittyana Jones”
I want to give shout outs to the other amazing entries:
The BGW (Bubble Gum Water Blaster) – Ride down a slide as you are pelted by water balloons and splash into a pool.
The All-Star – Spun by a K’nex motor, this ride offers you a basketball hoop to sit in and features Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.
Turning Tail Over Scale – I wish I could show you a picture of this one, but all I have is video and the screen shots are blurry. This innovative inventor used a pencil sharpener to turn her ferris wheel!
Dolphin Ferris Wheel
Best Way to Hogwarts
If you are interested in the idea of getting your students more involved with making, here are some other resources for you:
I am pretty sure that my father never ever packed my lunch for school. And even though my mother would surprise me periodically with sweet notes taped to the bag covering my standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich, these notes did not have the artistic flair that you see in the images below. For today’s Phun Phriday post I will remind you that Father’s Day is quickly approaching here in the United States. It’s time to give credit to all of the men who do things like this and other wonderful things for their families.
Alex Feliciano decorates bananas for his sons.
David Laferriere should seriously start his own sandwich bag company.
And you really must check out the unbelievable 3-dimensional works of food art from “Lunchbox Dad.”