Super Special Snowflakes

[media-credit name=”Stock Xchng | http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1319900″ align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]

Last year, I did a mini-project with Kindergarteners prior to their Showcase night where they drew snowflakes, typed their name on the page, and printed them.  They were precious, and a neat winter wall decor item.  I talked with students briefly about how snowflakes are all special and unique…. just like them! ((Although, I learned today that conventional wisdom about ‘no identical snowflakes’ is not true. Check out the info here at Wolfram Science.))

This year, I’m sprucing up that project by showing a short BrainPOP video on Snowflakes and then sharing another video from University of Wisconsin-Madison on Computer Modeled Snowflakes. (I wish this video was embeddable, but it’s not. It’s worth the click!)

Rules of the game?

  • Use blue colors.
  • Keep the background white.
  • Type your name.
  • Print.

Results below.

I’m also downloading Wolfram’s MathematicaPlayer for my older students because it has an interesting snow growth simulation that I’d like to show to the older students.


Watermelon Word Processing

watermelons

Grade: 2nd

Time: Two 30-minute lab times

This project was an attempt to incorporate Henry Anker’s 2nd grade word processing lessons with something the students had already created in class.  We turned off the auto-spell check.  Students learned about text wrapping, inserting an image, changing font size/color/style.

Likes: Pre-finished draft made for easier word processing, but I wasn’t sure what was appropriate to help further edit during the data entry process.

Dislikes: Not very engaging, other than the picture import.  Finished product doesn’t look very finished. Time consuming for first quarter when students are still learning to save to server.

Spelling City

Spelling City is a wonderful website to help drill spelling words in a fun and interactive way that’s sure to increase student success.

However, it can also be used to meet technology goals for primary grade levels.  In the last two lessons using this website, students learned the following:

  • Naming files
  • Using drop-down boxes
  • Navigating a complex website
  • Maximizing/minimizing windows
  • Controlling the mouse
  • Locating keys on the keyboard
  • Refreshing a page

Quite a bit of ‘bang’ for our short computer lab buck.  Although I’m very eager to move beyond the “Remembering” portion of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, I want these young ones to know how to use this site backwards and forwards because I think it requires more of them than most websites geared towards children, and therefore does a better job of preparing them for using sites that allow them to create content or collaborate.  We’re working our way up the ladder! (By the way, if you haven’t seen the images and resources at iLearnTechnology about Digital Bloom’s Taxonomy, you really need to check them out!)