Google Science Camp

The summer is flying by, and some of you may be at the point where you are looking for a new activity.  Well, you are in luck! Google started their online Science Camp this week, and it’s free!  “Ocean Week” is this week’s theme, followed by “Space Week,” “Nature Week,” and “Music Week.”  Don’t worry that you missed the first couple of days, because all of the videos and activities are available online.

Google Science Week


By the way – don’t forget to fill out this Padlet about what you have learned so far this summer!  I really want to hear from you!

1st Grade Practices Visual Thinking

The first graders have been working on their visual thinking skills by doing origami and other activities.  They did some more tangram puzzles using our Osmo systems on Friday, and also built some masterpieces out of Magnatiles as well as solving some challenging “Go Getter” puzzles.

On Tuesday, the students took a short field trip to the playground to take some pictures.  We are inviting people around the world to share playground pictures from their schools and wanted to add some from our own school to the slide show.  So far, we have pictures from Africa, Australia, South America, North America, and Asia.  We are still waiting on one or two from Europe.  Hopefully they will be added this weekend!  Below, you can see the students pointing out Bahrain on our wall map (which happens to be near Saudi Arabia).


1st Grade Delves into the Art of Origami

The 1st graders learned about the Asian art of origami last week.  We also talked about the importance of having a “growth mindset,” which includes always trying to learn new things.  Since 1st graders typically have varying degrees of experience with origami, after we did one group project they were allowed to choose their own based on their perceived difficulty levels. Some of them quickly learned that they needed more practice before they could tackle some of the more complex origami art.  A lot of perseverance was needed in order to accomplish their goals, and sometimes they needed to re-adjust their goals.  It was a good learning experience for all of us!

1st Grade Finishes Their Green Screen Videos

The first graders finally got to put all of the pieces together for their green screen videos today. (They filmed the videos on Tuesday, and superimposed them on their still shots today.) We are not quite ready to share them because we want to link them to the Photo Mapo projects they did a couple of weeks ago.  So, for now, we will share some “before” pictures of them posing for their projects!

1st Grade “App Smashes”

The 1st graders are working on a multimedia project that has involved the use of several different apps and web resources.  They used Google Street View on the web to find pictures of different landmarks in their countries, and took screenshots of ones they liked.  Then, we took their pictures in front of the green screen.  They learned how to use a green screen app to insert themselves in front of one of their landmark pictures.  Photo Mapo was the next app employed – to make personalized postcards about their landmarks. On Friday, the students researched their landmarks and made scripts for short videos they will be making. The videos will appear when you scan their postcards.

Whew!  That’s a lot of different steps for one final project!  Hopefully we can reveal their products soon!

1st Grade Plays Geography Duel

The first graders practiced identifying the countries their classmates have been studying by playing Geography Duel on the iPads.  I was able to customize the game so that it only quizzed them on the countries we have learned about so far.  Some of them are getting quite good at finding different locations!

I also challenged the 1st graders to program our robot “bunny” to travel around the world to each continent.  They were only allowed to use one program to direct his travel, and they competed to see who would get the most continents.  We had a 3-way tie of groups who were able to achieve 4 continents.  I guess the bunny didn’t have time to stop at the other 3!

Believe it or not, we even had time to do some Spring S.C.A.M.P.E.R.  The students drew what they would invent by combining a kite with something else.  You can see a couple of examples below.

1st Grade Gets Some Perspective with Google Street View

The 1st graders got to see some amazing images of the countries they are researching by using Google Street View this week.  Many of the images were panoramic, and made them feel like they were actually standing in the middle of the attractions as they moved the images around.  It was a great way to virtually travel to their countries!

On Friday, the students reviewed some strategy games: Robot Turtles and Tic Tac Chec.  I got to play some Tic Tac Chec against three different students, and they really had me thinking!

1st Grade Looks at Currency From Other Countries

One of the 1st graders, Cami, brought in a tin of currency from all over the world!  The class got to to look at the money closely, and it was fun trying to identify the different countries represented.  Thanks for sharing that with us, Cami!

They also played a fun game on Osmo Tuesday.  (If you don’t know what Osmo is, you can see it here.)  We used pictures from their Haiku Deck projects to display in the game and the students tried to spell them out. Some of them were hard – like a picture of Kenya might actually have “Africa” as the answer.

On Friday the students worked on Venn Diagrams comparing their countries to the USA.  They also did some Twitter shoutouts to their teachers using our GT Twitter account (@HiddenForestGT).

1st Grade Makes Riddles About Their Countries

The 1st graders used Haiku Deck to create short riddles about their countries.  On Friday, we showed the riddles and the students put their location guesses on our floor map.  The student who guessed the closest got to program Dash to “travel” to that country. You can see their riddles embedded below.

The students also used some creative thinking to draw what they would like to find at the end of the rainbow.  I included some of their drawings with the photos for this week.

Riddle 1 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Riddle 2 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Riddle 3 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Riddle 4 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Riddle 5 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Riddle 6 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Riddle 7 – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

1st Grade Compare Cultures

The 1st graders learned about the currency of different countries, and got to take a look at some Japanese coins that I brought back from a trip a few years ago.  They also made some guesses about the comparative sizes of their countries by standing in line with their books to show how big they thought each one was (biggest on the left).  We then used a library resource called Culture-Grams to check to see if they were right.  After comparing land sizes, the students compared populations, and were surprised to see that smaller countries might have more people than bigger countries.

The students worked on a really challenging math activity on Friday called, “Balancing Bears.”  It’s a bit tough to explain but we might find a digital way to show you the activity next time!