Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Students are challenged to create a launch pod for and egg to be propelled across the football field.  Using a giant slingshot the pods must fly through the uprights and land safely protecting their egg passenger.  Supplies are limited to challenge the students to build and create structure with supporting pieces that absorb and deflect force from the crash.  Prior to this project students studied crumple zone physics and used the same concepts to design a car.

  • 50x- Popsicle Sticks
  • 1x- cup of Foam Peanuts
  • 2x- rubber bands
  • 2x- note cards
  • 1x- 5”x7” piece of cardboard


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Grade 5 students explore coding and making using our BeeBots.  Students used their Chromebooks to write a retelling of a classic fairytale.  They created scenery and costumes for their BeeBots.  The students then programmed their Beebots to retell their assigned fairy tale.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Grade 5 students read a fiction article in StoryWorks about a poisonous duck. In this article the duck was not real but have very realistic characteristics.  The students were given the task of creating a fiction animal that could be real.  They worked together to research animals (habitat, food, characteristics, etc) using their Chromebooks. Using their research, the students created a realistic but fictional animal.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

You're never too early to start coding. Mr. Harkins visits Shawsheen preschool with beebots.  The students practice and letter recognition counting colors all while doing basic coding skills. And having fun. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ms. Siviski’s class have been learning about degrees and how they are used to measure angles in math. To help them further understand these concepts, the students are programming robots! The robots they are using are called Spheros. They are small spherical balls that can be programmed with a Chromebook or an iPad using a block programming language. After a brief introduction on how to program the Spheros the students started to use their math skills to move Sphero! Working in small groups, students were given different challenges for Sphero to complete.  In order to complete the challenge Sphero must be programmed correctly using commands the robot understands (Roll, Change Speed, Heading, Degrees, Spin, etc.). Each of the commands has additional variables that must be programmed properly, such as, the correct number of degrees when turning. The final challenge will be for students to figure out how to “go bowling” with Sphero. The catch? Sphero will not be able to go down a traditional straight lane, it will have to navigate an obstacle course to knock down the pins!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Whether you are using Google Docs or Google Slides both teachers and students can easily insert images into their work. Instead of sending students out on a Google Image Search or uploading pictures from another device, students can stay within their documents to find media that adds to their creation. From slide-based presentations on sustainable fishing to feature articles that use maps to complement their writing, the easy image insert option will come in handy when exploring any topic.

How-To Insert Images in Google Docs and Google Slides

In the screenshot below you’ll see the menu bar in a Google Doc. At the top of the screen you have the option to Insert and choose to add an image to your page.
There are lots of options for bringing images into your document. The last option on the right-hand side of the screen says “Search.” With the Search option you can find images that are labeled for reuse with modification. When you click on the image it will add it to your document.

I hope this quick tip will come in handy next time you are creating a template to share with students in Google Classroom or sending students off to create a product that demonstrates their understanding. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Six Ways to do more through Digital Learning
  • Allocate time for students to practice their technology literacy skills during class. 
  • Encourage student to use devices (laptops, iPads, etc) for problem-solving and critical-thinking activities. 
  • Have students use technology outside the classroom to solve real world problems. 
  • Support this by providing continuous access to digital devices.
  • Design student-centered, integrated curriculum units that use devices seamlessly. 
  • Adapt your use of classroom devices based on the newest software applications and research on teaching, learning and standards-based curriculum. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

What is Personalize Learning? 

“Tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests–including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn–to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.”  (definition from INACOL)

The purpose of personalized learning is to open student pathways and encourage student voice and choice in their education. Differentiation is a key part of personalized learning, and it is essential in education. In personalized learning environments, educators seek to meet each student within their own zone of proximal development. Without personalization, there is a gap between the individual student, their learning, and the support they need to succeed in a way that makes sense to his/her interests.

The shift toward personalization changes the dynamic between the teacher and student. Educators take on new roles as mentors, coaches and facilitators, and power and control shifts to the students. By giving students ownership over their learning and grounding learning in their interests and passions, they feel valued, motivated and in control.

Need help introducing and enhancing personalized learning practices in your classroom? Take some tips from members of the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools—a coalition of forward-thinking districts throughout the country. 
Start Here...

  • Provide alternative assessment opportunities that let students show their content understanding in nontraditional ways.
  • Emphasize experiential learning, student involvement, and student solving real-world issues. Have students set individual goals within the classroom curriculum. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

7th Grade Doherty students: Steven Zhang, Davis Blanch, Lucas Bacchi, Chad Cao under the guidance of Barbara Murray: Digital Learning Specialist & Stephen Chinosi: Director of Strategic Innovation took part in the OPTIMUS PRIME Challenge. 

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center invites students in grades 3-12 to take part in the OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC). Participants are challenged to help raise awareness and understanding of NASA technologies and their many benefits to our everyday lives. Our students have created a robot,the redesigned Rocker Bogie made to help people transport heavy loads or carry supplies, such as water, long distances. It uses the mechanics of the All-terrain wheelchair, designed by an MIT engineer Amos Winter, to move itself forward. The passenger can use their own strength to power the bot by using the hand cranks. By doing this they are able to help the bot move without using too much of the energy. In addition to the hand cranks, the Rocker  has installed motors which can help the person move the Rocker Bogie up hills and over rough terrains, when the hand cranks cannot provide enough power.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What is World Read Aloud Day?

Celebrated each year, World Read Aloud Day was started by LitWorld to bring attention to the power or reading stories aloud to children. Young and old we all know the power of a picture book or short story. 
The research on read aloud is clear – when children listen to the voices of their teachers and family members read stories aloud they can become stronger readers! You can learn more about LitWorld’s work and World Read Aloud Day on their website.
This list includes some favorite read aloud websites and apps that are prefect for your World Read Aloud Day celebrations.

  1. EPIC! (website and app) This iPad app and website gives elementary-school aged readers access to thousands of books straight from their device.  Kids can set their preferences, browse the collection and earn badges for their achievements.  This engaging app is great for reluctant readers or students struggling to find a just-right book that also captures their interest.
  2. One More Story (website) This is an online library for students with plenty of fiction titles perfect for read aloud.
  3. Storyline Online (website) Presented by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, this site has videos of well-known actors reading your favorite picture books aloud.
  4. Reading Rainbow (website and app) Looking for a seemingly endless number of great books? Reading Rainbow has plenty of titles for independent readers. Students can work on any device to explore stories independently or with a partner. There are lots of choices for readers with different interests.
  5. Caribu (app) This very cool app connects two readers from down street or across the world so they can explore a picture book together – perfect for long distance read alouds.
  6. Goodnight Safari (app) This beautifully illustrated interactive book that children can explore independently.