<![CDATA[Hudsonville STEAM Studio - Jamestown Elementary STEAM Blog]]>Thu, 06 Dec 2018 22:31:26 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 38]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-38Kindergarten-Animals in Action 4
After a review about the PLTW characters Angelina, Suzi, and Mylo creating animal animations that show how animals behave in their habitats, our students were given the same problem: How can we teach PreK students about animals and their habitats using animations in ScratchJr?  The students began using the design process to identify the problem and plan their animations.  The students had to identify which animal they would use, and the habitat that would be best for the animal.

1st Grade-Setting the Scene 3

After listening to or reading a familiar fairy tale, the students chose one scene from the story to recreate in ScratchJr.  They were responsible for creating the scene with backgrounds, characters, action, and voice recordings.

2nd Grade-Computer Science Explorers 3

The students worked on a program that will keep score as they play a math game.  Using ScratchJr, the students used functions and conditions to move a soccer ball toward the net.  Each time a player scored in a card game, the ball got closer to the corresponding goal.

3rd Grade-Variables Rule 3

Using Hopscotch ( a coding app on the iPad), the students built an interactive program that responds to new events like tilting, shaking, and tapping the tablet. The students learned how to move characters around the x-y grid and learned how to create a variable to track score, lives, and a timer.

4th Grade-Brain in Action 2

With this activity, students investigated how the brain processes sensory information to store it as memory and how it effects their reaction times.  The students participated in a memory card game, a reaction test on the iPad, and "remember the objects."  After completing these initial investigations, the students came up with their own investigations using the scientific inquiry process.

5A & 5B-Create a Toy 2

Teams worked collaboratively to create a prototype of toy using the engineering design process and VEX IQ® components.  The criteria for this problem was that the toy had to have at least one moving part, but could not use the robot brain, motors, or sensors.  Each team designed, sketched, built, and presented the prototype to the rest of the class.

5C & 5D-Reaction Test 1

Using the Tynker app, the students followed step-by-step directions to create a game that allowed the player to test their reaction time.  The students chose a background and actors that would randomly move around the screen.  Each time the player tapped the character, a score would be recorded with a reaction time (fast, medium, slow) displayed at the end of the game.
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 37]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-37Kindergarten-Animals in Action 3
After a review about the PLTW characters Angelina, Suzi, and Mylo creating animal animations that show how animals behave in their habitats, our students were given the same problem: How can we teach PreK students about animals and their habitats using animations in ScratchJr?  The students began using the design process to identify the problem and plan their animations.  The students had to identify which animal they would use, and the habitat that would be best for the animal.

 1st Grade-Setting the Scene 2

After listening to or reading a familiar fairy tale, the students chose one scene from the story to recreate in ScratchJr.  They were responsible for creating the scene with backgrounds, characters, action, and voice recordings.

2nd Grade-Computer Explorers 2

The students worked on a program that will keep score as they play a math game.  Using ScratchJr, the students used functions and conditions to move a soccer ball toward the net.  Each time a player scored in a card game, the ball got closer to the corresponding goal.

3rd Grade-Variables Rule 2

Using Hopscotch ( a coding app on the iPad), the students built an interactive program that responds to new events like tilting, shaking, and tapping the tablet. The students learned how to move characters around the x-y grid and learned how to create a variable to track score, lives, and a timer.

4th Grade-Brain in Action 1

With this activity, students investigated how the brain processes sensory information to store it as memory and how it effects their reaction times.  The students participated in a memory card game, a reaction test on the iPad, and "remember the objects."

5A & 5B-Create a Toy 1

Teams worked collaboratively to create a prototype of toy using the engineering design process and VEX IQ® components.  The criteria for this problem was that the toy had to have at least one moving part, but could not use the robot brain, motors, or sensors.  Each team designed, sketched, built, and presented the prototype to the rest of the class.

5C & 5D-Data Collection & Display 3

Using the Tynker iPad app, the students are learning to code their first game by following step-by-step directions.  The students learned about x and y axes, how to add characters to the game, and code actions the characters can follow.
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 36]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-36Kindergarten-Animals in Action 2
After a review about the PLTW characters Angelina, Suzi, and Mylo creating animal animations that show how animals behave in their habitats, our students were given the same problem: How can we teach PreK students about animals and their habitats using animations in ScratchJr?  The students began using the design process to identify the problem and plan their animations.  The students had to identify which animal they would use, and the habitat that would be best for the animal.

1st Grade-Setting the Scene 1

After listening to or reading a familiar fairy tale, the students chose one scene from the story to recreate in ScratchJr.  They were responsible for creating the scene with backgrounds, characters, action, and voice recordings.

2nd Grade-Computer Science Explorers 1

The students learned about the encompassing nature of computer science and how it is used in our everyday lives.  They read a story and informational piece about computer science and began to work on a program that will keep score as they play a math game.

3rd Grade-Variables Rule 1

Using Hopscotch ( a coding app on the iPad), the students built an interactive program that responds to new events like tilting, shaking, and tapping the tablet. The students learned how to move characters around the x-y grid and learned how to create a variable to track score, lives, and a timer.
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4th Grade-Senses Exploration 2

Each part of the brain regulates specific functions in the body.  The students learned about how our senses receive input, how our sense receptors are specialized, and the part of the brain responsible for each sense.  Rotating through stations, the students watched a short animated video about the sense, labelled a diagram of the body for that sense, and completed an experiment using the sense.

5A & 5B-Inputs/Outputs 2

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To identify inputs and outputs within a robotic system, the students learned how to connect the robot brain to the controller and motors.  Using the controllers, the students identified the direction and speed of the motors depending on the direction they moved the controller.  They also learned how to use the bumper switch, LED lights, and color sensor.
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5C & 5D-Data Collection & Display 2

Using the Tynker iPad app, the students are learning to code their first game by following step-by-step directions.  The students learned about x and y axes, how to add characters to the game, and code actions the characters can follow.

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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 35]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-35Kindergarten-Animals in Action 1
To begin this unit, the students heard a story about our PLTW characters Angelina, Suzi, and Mylo creating animal animations that show how animals behave in their habitats.  Our students were given a problem: How can we teach PreK students about animals and their habitats using animations in ScratchJr.  The students began using the design process to identify the problem and plan their animations.  The students had to identify which animal they would use, and the habitat that would be best for the animal. When their animations are complete, they will be sharing them with our PreK classes at Jamestown.


1st Grade-Scratch & the Butterfly 2

In our last cycle, the students acted our programs in teams.  That information was applied to ScratchJr with Scratch the cat and a butterfly.  After programming a butterfly to jump and fly, the students programmed Scratch to trigger the butterfly to begin its program.  They learned how to use the bump trigger and the message trigger.  The students also learned how to create their own characters in ScratchJr by drawing them, editing existing characters, and using the camera to put themselves into their programs.

2nd Grade-Moving with Math 3

The students completed their race car program, their farm programs, and completed any unfinished pages in their Launch Logs.

3rd Grade-Code Sketches 2

Now that students have an understanding of basic programming, they used the iPad app Hopscotch to program actors to draw shapes.  The students learned how to add an actor, draw a line, use loops and functions to make the program efficient.  After completing a basic square, students were challenged to use repeating squares to create colorful patterns.

4th Grade-Senses Exploration 1

Each part of the brain regulates specific functions in the body.  The students learned about how our senses receive input, how our sense receptors are specialized, and the part of the brain responsible for each sense.  Rotating through stations, the students watched a short animated video about the sense, labelled a diagram of the body for that sense, and completed an experiment using the sense.


5A & 5B-Inputs/Outputs 1

To identify inputs and outputs within a robotic system, the students learned how to connect the robot brain to the controller and motors.  Using the controllers, the students identified the direction and speed of the motors depending on the direction they moved the controller.  They also learned how to use the bumper switch and the LED lights.

5C & 5D-Data Collection & Display 1

Using the Tynker iPad app, the students are learning to code their first game by following step-by-step directions.  The students learned about x and y axes, how to add characters to the game and code actions the characters can follow.
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 34]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-34Kindergarten-The Matching Game 2
Using ScratchJr, the students worked to create an animated matching game.  Choosing 3 animals from ScratchJr, the students drew their game plan in their Launch Logs, then moved to the iPads.  The students chose either the "green flag" or "touch" triggers to move the animals to the first letter of the animals' name.  This project reinforces the importance of giving program commands in the correct sequence.

1st Grade-Scratch and the Butterfly 1

To learn how sequential programming and trigger blocks work in ScratchJr, the students played a game where each person on the team gets a piece of paper showing a program made out of ScratchJr blocks. Each student had a different trigger block to start the next student's program.


2nd Grade-Moving with Math 2

Building on the skills learned in the last cycle, the students created an animation in ScratchJr that included 2 farm animals and a barn.  The students chose the trigger (green flag or tap) to move the animals to the barn and then made the animals disappear into the barn.  The students used the grid again to determine how many pixels the animals needed to move to get to the barn and answered questions about the process in their Launch Logs.

3rd Grade-Code Sketches 1

Now that students have an understanding of basic programming, they used the iPad app Hopscotch to program actors to draw shapes.  The students learned how to add an actor, draw a line, use loops and functions to make the program efficient.  After completing a basic square, students were challenged to use repeating squares to create colorful patterns.

4th Grade-The Body's Computer 2

In this cycle students completed their clay models of the brain adding labels that named each part of the brain and described the functions that each part controls.

5A & 5B-Organizing the Kits

To better understand and learn the names of the pieces and parts of the robotics kits, the students organized the kits.  All of the parts were separated into bags and batteries were installed.  In the next cycle we begin to build!

5C & 5D-Information Highway 2

After learning about binary code during our last cycle, the students learned how computers store images.  They created their own pixel pictures, wrote the code for the images and then passed the code to another student who then duplicated the image.
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 33]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-33-0327-0330Kindergarten-The Matching Game 1
Using ScratchJr, the students worked to create an animated matching game.  Choosing 3 animals from ScratchJr, the students drew their game plan in their Launch Logs, then moved to the iPads.  The students chose either the "green flag" or "touch" triggers to move the animals to the first letter of the animals' name.  This project reinforces the importance of giving program commands in the correct sequence.


1st Grade-Meet ScratchJr 1

Using ScratchJr (a programming tool on the iPad), the students learned how to create their own animations.  They had to think about and plan how they wanted their animation to look and how their characters were going to act.

2nd Grade-Moving with Math 1

Playing the Rosie games taught students to use step-by-step instructions for a character or actor (as they are called in coding apps).  Using ScratchJr, the students learned how to choose new actors, program them to move, and how to use the grid feature to move actors using math skills.  The students created a game with 2 cars.  Two students tapped the cars to begin the motion of moving them to the finish line.  Whomever ended up tapping first was the winner.

3rd Grade-Rosie's Path 2

Just like the kindergarten-2nd grade classes, the students learned how to program Rosie the Robotic Dog to move through a maze of colored dots to retrieve bones, jump the mud puddles, and end at home.  The 3rd graders took the process an extra step by including repeats (or loops) and "if-then" statements.

4th Grade-The Body's Computer

Our brains work in a similar way to a computer--with inputs and outputs.  We receive stimuli, our brains process that information, and then our cells pass signals to generate a response.  Students continued learning about the brain by completing a clay model of the brain.

5A & 5B

With Spring Break on the horizon, the specials teachers decided to mix it up a little.  The students could choose between dodgeball or free art/STEAM.  Some of the students used this opportunity to organize the VEXIQ robotics kits.

5C & 5D-Information Highway

The students learned that computers store information in binary code (1s and 0s).  Each code represents text.  Using a downloaded PDF and conversion table, the students converted data to and from binary, marked up the PDF in Preview, and uploaded the completed document to Google Classroom..
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycles 31 & 32]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycles-31-32Kindergarten-ScratchJr Puzzles
Using ScratchJr (a programming tool on the iPad), the students learned how to create their own animations.  They had to think about and plan how they wanted their animation to look and how their characters were going to act.

1st Grade-Rosie's Runtime

Rosie is a robotic dog (played by the students) who can only follow specific step-by-step directions to work through a maze.  She must collect bones and jump the mud puddles before ending at her dog house.  Teams used code cards, much the way computers are programmed, to lead Rosie through the maze.

2nd Grade-Repeating Rosie

Following the same rules as Rosie's Runtime, the students were introduced to writing algorithms to solve problems.  This group implemented loops, when appropriate, to eliminate redundant directions.

3rd Grade-Rosie's Path

Following the same rules as Rosie's Runtime, and Repeating Rosie, the students were introduced to writing algorithms to solve problems.  This group implemented loops, functions, and "if-when" statements, when appropriate, to eliminate redundant directions.

4th Grade-The Body's Computer

We began our final PLTW unit for the year: Input/Output-The Human Brain.  In this cycle, the students learned about the regions of the brain and how each region relates to specific functions in the body.  The students learned about the nervous system and neurons and how they connect and work with the brain.

5A & 5B-Introduction to Robots 2

To begin our new Robotics and Automation unit, the students explored different types of robots using nonfiction books.  After choosing a robot, they answered a Google questionnaire and uploaded a drawing of the robot. 

5C & 5D-Input, Processing, and Output

The students identified basic input and output devices in computer systems. With a team, students identified similarities between a computer system and a human body (input, processing, and output) by watching a short video about the anatomy of a computer and participating in a game called Pass the Input.  The students recorded their observations in their STEAM Journals.
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 30]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-30Kindergarten-Meet ScratchJr 1
Using ScratchJr (a programming tool on the iPad), the students learned how to create their own animations.  They had to think about and plan how they wanted their animation to look and how their characters were going to act.

1st Grade-Free STEAM

We finalized our unit on Light: Observing the Sun, Moon, and Stars, so we took a break this cycle to explore STEAM related websites.

2nd Grade-Catch Up

The students had time to complete any unfinished work toward our unit about the changing Earth.  As students finished, they were encouraged to practice their typing skills through online games linked on the STEAM Studio website.

3rd Grade-Story Factory

After reviewing nouns, adjectives, and verbs, the students were divided into teams.  Each team was given a set of instructions that they were to follow when given a cue.  The first team started the factory by delivering messages to the other teams.  One team was in charge of responding to the messages with nouns, one with adjectives, and the other with verbs.  As the "story factory" ran, each team was delivering and sending messages to the final team who inserted these parts of speech into a story.  At the end of the program, the final team had a "Mad Libs"-like story to share with the class.  Using the story factory as a model, the students were able to see how computer scientists break big problems into subproblems and ways that teamwork can support problem solving.  This was the first computer science lesson in our unit "Programming Patterns."

4th Grade-Reaction Test 2

Using the Tynker app, the students followed step-by-step directions to create a game that allowed the player to test their reaction time.  The students chose a background and actors that would randomly move around the screen.  Each time the player tapped the character, a score would be recorded with a reaction time (fast, medium, slow) displayed at the end of the game.

5A & 5B-Introduction to Robots

To begin our new Robotics and Automation unit, the students explored different types of robots using nonfiction books.  After choosing a robot, they answered a Google questionnaire and uploaded a drawing of the robot. 

As we have worked through this first year of STEAM, we spent a good deal of time considering curriculum.  We made the leap during our 2nd trimester to adopt Project Lead the Way.  Because we began using PLTW into the school year, it just hasn't been possible to do all of the units.   The limitation with this unit is the expense of robotics kits.  We were able to purchase robotics kits for two 5th grade classes.  Next year we will be able to stagger the use of the kits so that all of the 5th graders will have the opportunity to use them, but time is a constraint this year.  
I know our 5C & 5D students are disappointed that they won't be using the kits this year, but it is important to us that the students (and us as teachers) get as much experience as we can with each unit.  

5C & 5D-Catch Up

We spent time this cycle working through any unfinished assignments before we begin our next unit which focuses on computer science.
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<![CDATA[Virtual Reality Demonstration]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/virtual-reality-demonstrationWe had the privilege of a visit by one of our students' parents Brian Knapp.  Mr. Knapp has a company in Grand Rapids called Externa CGI and specializes in CG imaging and design.  He and a couple of his employees brought in some virtual reality equipment and gave the students an opportunity to experience virtual reality.  They spent the entire day with us and the students thoroughly enjoyed the virtual adventure!
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<![CDATA[STEAM Cycle 29]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://hv-steamstudio.us/jamestown-elementary-steam-blog/steam-cycle-29Kindergarten-Animal Maze
The Animal Maze Game is designed to teach students how to write a basic set of instructions similar to coding a computer program.  As a team, the students must help an animal get to its food and shelter.  This game will prepare students for creating animations using ScratchJr.

1st Grade-Take Cover (Evaluate)

In this design problem, students designed a covering for a playground to protect students from UV exposure.  They used UV-sensitive beads and a UV flashlight to determine the effectiveness of their design to protect students playing on the playground.  During this cycle, the students evaluated their designs and looked for ways to improve them.

2nd Grade-Save the City (Evaluate)

The students worked individually to read a map of a city and identify homes that may be in the path of a landslide. Working in small groups, the students designed and tested a solution to prevent erosion of the hill and save the homes.  Using the iPads, students recorded the investigation and spent this cycle reviewing the data and video to determine the strengths and weaknesses of their designs.

3rd Grade-Seed Solutions (Evaluate)

The students completed their Educreations (iPad app) presentation with photographs, text, and a voice-recorded explanation.

4th Grade-Reaction Test 1

Using the Tynker app, the students followed step-by-step directions to create a game that allowed the player to test their reaction time.  The students chose a background and actors that would randomly move around the screen.  Each time the player tapped the character, a score would be recorded with a reaction time (fast, medium, slow) displayed at the end of the game.

5th Grade-Disease Detectives (Present)

There is an illness spreading at our fictional school.  Using the Patient Information Sheet, the students made correlations between the students in the class and the activities they participated in together.  Using data from the sheet, we determined how long the fictional students had been sick and how they interacted with one another to pass along the illness.  Using Educreations (an iPad app), the students created a diagram or flow chart to illustrate how the illness was spread and made conclusions about Patient Zero.  The presentations were shared with the rest of the class as students defended their diagnoses.
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