Friday, April 7, 2017

Kindergarten Animal Research Projects

The kindergarten students have been working hard for a month to research about different kinds of animals. They have been learning about animals during reading class so the students worked with partners in library class to do more research. They used the PebbleGo website to find out more facts about the animals including what they look like, what they eat, where they live, and fun facts.
After completing the research the students created Chatterpix projects on the iPads. Students took a picture of their animal and then recorded their voice stating a fact about that animal. The Chatterpix app puts their voice with the picture and makes a video. The videos were shared with other elementary students for all to enjoy. You can click on the words below to watch the videos made by each kindergarten classroom.

Kindergarten Animal Research Projects

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Community Helper Research

The first grade students have been learning about community helpers in their reading series this month. In library class students did additional research with a partner about a job that they selected. They had to write down facts they learned about that job after reading a book and finding information on the PebbleGo research website. Students were trying to find out what the job was, where they work, what they wear at their job, the tools that they use, and other fun facts. Students picked their three favorite facts to say in a video. The students created a Tellagami which is an app that allows students to design their person, select a background image, and talk for thirty seconds. Students were able to select what their person looked like, they used a picture of their job as a background image and had to share three facts about their jobs. The students then uploaded them to Seesaw so their classmates and family members could view their videos. The students worked very hard on their videos.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Microsoft Word and Searching the Online Catalog

The second grade students have been learning how to use Microsoft Word to type documents. We have practiced how to type words and leave space between words and paragraphs. After typing their document they learned how to change the look of their document by changing the font type, color, font size, and the alignment of the document. They will use what they have learned to type up information they have been learning in their classroom.

The third and fourth grade students have been learning how to search for books using the online card catalog. They have learned how to search by title, author, and subjects to look for library books. They are able to search at home if they would like by visiting The library name is carptest and they can leave the password box blank. They have learned how to tell if a book is currently checked in or out, how many copies the library owns, and where it is located in the library.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Pete the Cat

The month of January was busy getting ready for our visit to see Pete the Cat the Musical in Dubuque on February 6th. We were busy reading a lot of Pete the Cat books and doing activities to go along with them. Students also got to experience a Breakout EDU kit for the first time this month. Students had to find clues around the room to help Pete the Cat find his magic sunglasses that were locked inside of the box. Most classes were able to break into the box and save the magic sunglasses to help Pete.

The kids had a great time at the musical! Most had never experienced anything like it in the past and were excited to ride on a school bus with their class to see the performance. The kids were all well behaved and polite kids around the others in the theater.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Making in January

In January the Carpenter students have been busy learning more about Makerspaces. Students created a maker journal to use throughout the year to document the challenges they receive and the steps they take to complete those challenges.  Students will use these to document their trials and errors and explain their thinking with the different challenges they are given.

Students also had a week of Makerspaces where they were able to go to a variety of stations that included legos, Beebot coding, Cubelet coding, Osmos, rainbow loom bracelets, and kindness station. Makerspace week took place the same week as The Great Kindness Challenge so one of the stations allowed students to make cards, pictures, or letters for others to give as acts of kindness throughout the week. Other students were also making rainbow loom bracelets for others to show kindness.
There was a note sent home with students this week asking for Makerspace supplies so we can continue to do these stations throughout the year. We can use these supplies anytime throughout the school year. You can find a copy of this supply list at the bottom of this post or on the Makerspace tab of the blog.

Later in the month students used the Pebble Go website to research information about Martin Luther King Jr to celebrate MLK day. Students learned how to navigate the website and find the facts they needed to complete the activity.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Magnificent Things

This week the Shannon students listened to the story, The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, in library class. This book is a great book and is on the Goldfinch Award nominated list. We discussed how the character in the story never gave up on her plan to make something magnificent throughout the story. She got very upset during the story and the students talked about ways to get calmed down when someone gets very angry.

After we read the story the kids got to test out making things by using Strawbees. The students were given straws and connectors and were told to make a shape. After they worked together they were able to make squares, hexagons, pentagons, and triangles. The next challenge I gave the students was to make a 3D shape. Students were able to make large pyramids and cubes with their groups. The next few challenges were to make letters with the straws and then to make anything magnificent. Some of the pictures below are some of the many magnificent things the students made during the week.

Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers

Students at Carpenter these past two weeks have been learning about Makerspaces. This summer I received a Iowa STEM grant called Making STEM connections. With the grant I received a large toolbox and many tools and items for the students to use during the school year that help with makerspaces. I introduced the students to the tools last week and they completed a Safety Stoplight to show what tools they feel comfortable using on their own and what tools they need to only use when a teacher is present. We also talked about safety features for each tool as I introduced them so the students would know the proper way to hold and use the tools. Some of the tools we discussed include; sewing machine, hammer, screwdriver, iron, scissors, motors, drills, and hot glue gun. Ask your child what areas they put the different tools in on their stoplight.

This week we have been learning about the Learning Design Process and making Spaghetti and Marshmallow towers. Students had to come up with a plan of how they would create a tower using only what they were given and try to make it as tall as it can be. They drew out their plan and then received 25 spaghetti noodles and 50 marshmallows. Most groups thought that making a cube would work the best but quickly learned that a pyramid has a stronger structure and stay up longer. The students worked very hard this week and enjoyed exploring how to be creative and willing to change your plan and try a new way when things do not work out the first time.