The 2nd graders were tasked with building a 2 ft. bridge that our Dash robot can cross between tables. They were given a budget of $50,000 and a price list for potential supplies. They brainstormed designs, made diagrams, and did some mathematical computations to decide which supplies to “purchase.” This took quite a bit of planning, so they haven’t had a chance to build yet. They are definitely learning how difficult it can be to stick to a budget, though!
The 2nd grade students used 6 Hat Thinking to reflect on their 1st semester today. After learning about animal/natural structures during the first part of the year, they are now beginning to learn about man-made structures. We had a bit of a technical glitch with our wi-fi, but fortunately we still had internet access for our whiteboard. The students learned about the different things that can affect building large structures, such as: forces, shapes, materials, and loads. They were surprised to learn that a triangle is actually stronger than a rectangle! Here is a link to the site in case you want to try it from home.
The 2nd graders learned about biomimicry – how humans innovate by imitating nature. After seeing buildings, cars, and fabric that borrowed ideas from animal adaptations, the students began brainstorming their own ideas to help improve products we use in everyday life. Stay tuned for more news on their innovations!
The students were also introduced to “Math Analogies” this week, which is great practice for math and looking for connections.
image from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alphachimpstudio/3799184542
The second graders will be experiencing a “virtual field trip” in December when they Skype with rangers at Yellowstone National Park about animal adaptations. In preparation for their trip, the students have been researching animals that live in our area so they can present them to the rangers. In turn, the rangers will highlight a few of the animals that live in the diverse habitats of Yellowstone.
In addition, the students applied their Thinking Hats to a Thanksgiving problem (no one I invited likes turkey!) and worked on an online Thanksgiving sudoku puzzle.
The 2nd graders worked on a super secret Mother’s Day project that we will complete next Monday. We had some technology glitches, but they also tried to do some iPad research on skyscrapers to add to our knowledge of structures. In addition, the students got great math practice by working on Math Analogies like the ones portrayed in on the book cover below.
We will not be able to have GT this coming Monday due to STAAR testing, so I will see the students again on May 16th. Only two more class meetings to go!
The 2nd graders explored some of the interactive features on the Building Big website to learn more about different things that can effect the sturdiness of structures. Then they spent more time working in Tinkercad (using the Project Ignite website). We all tried to build houses in Tinkercad, and we all found it challenging! But we are learning from our mistakes, and definitely making progress. Hopefully we will be able to start designing our 3d lunchboxes soon!
Using Pic Collage and the Green Screen app, the students finished up collages they were making about the bridges they built with K’nex.
The 2nd graders also tried out an app that we are experimenting with for the new 3D printer in the library. The app is called Makerbot Printshop, and the students explored designing different items that we might possibly be able to print. They learned some of the benefits and limitations of 3D printing, and we discussed the ethics of this relatively new technology.
Next week is our last class, and we are hoping that some of their designs get printed! (Mrs. Lackey and I are still working on getting the printer working.)
We had a shorter GT period today due to the 2nd grade program rehearsal. However we had plenty of time to watch this neat video about a Kindergarten in Japan. After the video, the students did a lot of brainstorming about what they would add to a school, and then drew some diagrams of their ideas to share with the class. You can see some examples below. (Remember, you can click on each picture to enlarge it.)