Tech Takeout: Measurement Mania!

The Tech Takeout crew had the great opportunity of taking over 4th grade at Baker Elementary School this past Friday! Math has been one of the focus areas of the school so the we decided to bring the math in our activities. We had such a great day filled with fun hands on technology infused stations.

The instructional technology team just received a bunch of new tools called MaKeyMakeys. Over the summer we will be able to spend more time with them to develop some rich curriculum connections. However, we have been doing our best to bring them into schools as soon as we can to get some hands on experiences rolling. Mrs. Hughes brought the MaKeyMakeys to Baker today to have the kids work on measurement. Mrs. Hues had the students use Scratch to interact with the MaKeyMaKeys. The students selected a background on Scratch and two sprites. The students used the first sprite to act as the starting point. The students programmed the second sprite to move with the arrow keys. Each student was given a length either in inches or centimeters and they were challenged to move the second sprite that distance. In Scratch while programming you make items move in steps, so the students had to use estimation skills to reach their goal.

When they finished the programming the students plugged the MaKeyMaKeys in to control their new Scratch game.

Mrs. Browne and Mr. Favale used a tool called Nearpod in their station. Nearpod is a great website that teachers can use to construct presentations or polls. Teachers can deliver instruction to students by pushing content out to multiple devices at once. Mr. Favale and Mrs. Browne controlled the presentations from a computer while students followed along on their own computer. The great thing about Nearpod is that the students and teacher could also use any iOS device. The students participated in an activity together covering various measurement topics. The students were answering questions on Nearpod, having conversations about measurement, and even drew pictures within Nearpod! Mr. Favale created the activity, but a great thing about Nearpod is that lessons that have already been created can be tweaked by teachers or you can create your own resources.

Ms. Wright and Mr. Clough used an awesome website called CheckThis for their activity. The students began the lesson by choosing items to weigh. Once the student selected their item they then used a balance to measure the mass of the item. After they knew the actual mass the students were ready to head over to CheckThis to make their own website! Within CheckThis the students were able to take a picture of themselves holding their item. They then created a poll under the picture asking the weight of their item. At the bottom of each website the students took a second picture of themselves holding a piece of paper with the correct weight. Mr. Clough and Ms. Wright made sure to grab the address of each website so that they can share them with the four teachers we worked with today. When the students visit the websites they can answer the question and then scroll down to see the correct answer.

Mr. Covais and Mr. Caratachea had the students using Google Earth to measure the perimeter of historical sites aligned with fourth grade Virginia SOLs. First the students opened up Google Earth. Once Google Earth was opened the students went to the student server where they could drag a .kmz file onto Google Earth to take them to specific places. The first place that they traveled to was Jamestown. After Jamestown was located the students used the ruler tool to measure the three sides of the Jamestown fort. The students then added the length of the three sides and posted their findings on a collaborative Padlet Wall. After the students posted to the Padlet wall for their group they were able to repeat the activity and measure Mount Vernon, St. John’s Church, and some groups even had time to measure Baker Elementary!

Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Green’s group started by signing into their Google accounts. They then opened a blank document in Google Drawing and worked to create their own Gallon Girl, Gallon Guy or Gallon Man! Students used the shape tool to create various representations for the gallon, quarts, pints and cups. Each child changed their shape colors and added a key to their drawing as well. Finally they used the webcam to take a selfie and insert their own image into their drawing. Check out some of their creations:

Here are some pictures from our day: